Frederick William III (German: Friedrich Wilhelm III) (3 August 1770 – 7 June 1840) was king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He ruled Prussia during the difficult times of the Napoleonic Wars and the end of the Holy Roman Empire. Steering a careful course between France and her enemies, after a major military defeat in 1806, he eventually and reluctantly joined the coalition against Napoleon in the Befreiungskriege . Following Napoleon's defeat he was King of Prussia during the Congress of Vienna, which assembled to settle the political questions arising from the new, post-Napoleonic order in Europe. He was determined to unify the Protestant churches, to homogenize their liturgy, their organization and even their architecture. The long-term goal was to have fully centralized royal control of all the Protestant churches in the Prussian Union of Churches.
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918. It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, where its capital was Berlin.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), Fifth (1809), Sixth (1813), and the Seventh and final (1815).
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.
Frederick William was born in Potsdam in 1770 as the son of Frederick William II of Prussia and Frederica Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt. He was considered to be a shy and reserved boy, which became noticeable in his particularly reticent conversations distinguished by the lack of personal pronouns. This manner of speech subsequently came to be considered entirely appropriate for military officers.He was neglected by his father during his childhood, and suffered from an inferiority complex his entire life.
Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital, Berlin, and is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel 24 kilometres southwest of Berlin's city centre.
Frederick William II was King of Prussia from 1786 until his death. He was in personal union the Prince-elector of Brandenburg and sovereign prince of the Canton of Neuchâtel. Pleasure-loving and indolent, he is seen as the antithesis to his predecessor, Frederick II. Under his reign, Prussia was weakened internally and externally, and he failed to deal adequately with the challenges to the existing order posed by the French Revolution. His religious policies were directed against the Enlightenment and aimed at restoring a traditional Protestantism. However, he was a patron of the arts and responsible for the construction of some notable buildings, among them the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Frederica Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt was Queen consort of Prussia as the second spouse of King Frederick William II.
As a child, Frederick William's father (under the influence of his mistress, Wilhelmine Enke, Countess of Lichtenau) had him handed over to tutors, as was quite normal for the period. He spent part of the time living at Paretz, the estate of the old soldier Count Hans von Blumenthal who was the governor of his brother Prince Heinrich. They thus grew up partly with the Count's son, who accompanied them on their Grand Tour in the 1780s. Frederick William was happy at Paretz, and for this reason in 1795 he bought it from his boyhood friend and turned it into an important royal country retreat. He was a melancholy boy, but he grew up pious and honest. His tutors included the dramatist Johann Engel.
Wilhelmine, Gräfin von Lichtenau, born as Wilhelmine Enke, also spelled Encke, was the official mistress of King Frederick William II of Prussia from 1769 until 1797 and was elevated by him into the nobility. She is regarded as politically active and influential in the policy of Prussia during his reign.
Paretz is a village in the German state of Brandenburg in the district of Havelland, west of Berlin. Recently, a district reform made Paretz into a borough of the city of Ketzin. It has a population of approximately 400. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the village was the summer residence King Frederick William III of Prussia and of his wife Queen Louise.
As a soldier, he received the usual training of a Prussian prince, obtained his lieutenancy in 1784, became a lieutenant colonel in 1786, a colonel in 1790, and took part in the campaigns against France of 1792–1794. On 24 December 1793, Frederick William married Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who bore him ten children. In the Kronprinzenpalais (Crown Prince's Palace) in Berlin, Frederick William lived a civil life with a problem-free marriage, which did not change even when he became King of Prussia in 1797. His wife Louise was particularly loved by the Prussian people, which boosted the popularity of the whole House of Hohenzollern, including the King himself.
A lieutenant is a junior mostcommissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.
Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.
Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was Queen of Prussia as the wife of King Frederick William III. The couple's happy, though short-lived, marriage produced nine children, including the future monarchs Frederick William IV of Prussia and German Emperor Wilhelm I.
Frederick William succeeded to the throne on 16 November 1797. He also became, in personal union, the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel (1797–1806 and again 1813–1840). At once, the new King showed that he was earnest of his good intentions by cutting down the expenses of the royal establishment, dismissing his father's ministers, and reforming the most oppressive abuses of the late reign. He had the Hohenzollern determination to retain personal power but not the Hohenzollern genius for using it.[ citation needed ] Too distrustful to delegate responsibility to his ministers, he greatly reduced the effectiveness of his reign since he was forced to assume the roles he did not delegate. This is a main factor of his inconsistent rule.
A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct. A real union, by contrast, would involve the constituent states being to some extent interlinked, such as by sharing some limited governmental institutions. In a federation and a unitary state, a central (federal) government spanning all member states exists, with the degree of self-governance distinguishing the two. The ruler in a personal union does not need to be a hereditary monarch.
Disgusted with the moral debauchery of his father's court (in both political intrigues and sexual affairs), Frederick William's first, and most successful early endeavor was to restore the moral legitimacy to his dynasty. The eagerness to restore dignity to his family went so far that it nearly caused sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow to cancel the expensive and lavish Prinzessinnengruppe project, which was commissioned by the previous monarch Frederick William II. He was quoted as saying the following, which demonstrated his sense of duty and peculiar manner of speech:
Johann Gottfried Schadow was a German Prussian sculptor.
Every civil servant has a dual obligation: to the sovereign and to the country. It can occur that the two are not compatible; then, the duty to the country is higher.
At first Frederick William and his advisors attempted to pursue a policy of neutrality in the Napoleonic Wars. Although they succeeded in keeping out of the Third Coalition in 1805, eventually Frederick William was swayed by the attitude of the queen, who led Prussia's pro-war party, and entered into war in October 1806. On 14 October 1806, at the Battle of Jena-Auerstädt, the French effectively decimated the effectiveness and functionality of the Prussian army led by Frederick William, and the Prussian army collapsed entirely soon after. The royal family fled to Memel, East Prussia, where they fell on the mercy of Emperor Alexander I of Russia.
Alexander, too, suffered defeat at the hands of the French, and at Tilsit on the Niemen France made peace with Russia and Prussia. Napoleon dealt with Prussia very harshly, despite the pregnant Queen's personal interview with the French emperor which was believed would soften the blow of defeat. Instead, Napoleon took much less mercy on the Prussians than what was expected. Prussia lost many of its Polish territories, as well as all territory west of the Elbe, and had to finance a large indemnity and to pay for French troops to occupy key strong points within the Kingdom.
Although the ineffectual King himself seemed resigned to Prussia's fate, various reforming ministers, such as Baron vom Stein, Prince von Hardenberg, Scharnhorst, and Count Gneisenau, set about reforming Prussia's administration and military, with the encouragement of Queen Luise (who died, greatly mourned, in 1810).
In 1813, following Napoleon's defeat in Russia, Frederick William turned against France and signed an alliance with Russia at Kalisz, although he had to flee Berlin, still under French occupation. Prussian troops played a key part in the victories of the allies in 1813 and 1814, and the King himself travelled with the main army of Prince Schwarzenberg, along with Alexander of Russia and Francis of Austria.
At the Congress of Vienna, Frederick William's ministers succeeded in securing important territorial increases for Prussia, although they failed to obtain the annexation of all of Saxony, as they had wished.[ citation needed ] Following the war, Frederick William turned towards political reaction, abandoning the promises he had made in 1813 to provide Prussia with a constitution.[ citation needed ]
Frederick William was determined to unify the Protestant churches, to homogenize their liturgy, their organization and even their architecture. The long-term goal was to have fully centralized royal control of all the Protestant churches in the Prussian Union of churches. In a series of proclamations over several years the Church of the Prussian Union was formed, bringing together the majority group of Lutherans, and the minority group of Reformed Protestants. The main effect was that the government of Prussia had full control over church affairs, with the king himself recognized as the leading bishop.
In 1824 Frederick William III remarried (morganatically) Countess Auguste von Harrach, Princess of Liegnitz. They had no children.
In 1838 the king distributed large parts of his farmland at Erdmannsdorf Estate to 422 protestant refugees from the Austrian Zillertal who built Tyrolian style farmhouses in the Silesian village.[ citation needed ]
Frederick William III died on 7 June 1840 in Berlin, from a fever, survived by his second wife. His eldest son, Frederick William IV, succeeded him. Frederick William III is buried at the Mausoleum in Schlosspark Charlottenburg, Berlin.
|(daughter, no name)||1 October 1794||1 October 1794||stillborn|
|Frederick William IV of Prussia||15 October 1795||2 January 1861||married Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria (1801–1873), no issue.|
|William I, German Emperor||22 March 1797||9 March 1888||married Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1811–1890), had issue.|
|Princess Charlotte of Prussia||13 July 1798||1 November 1860||married Nicholas I of Russia (1796–1855), had issue including the future Alexander II of Russia|
|Princess Frederica of Prussia||14 October 1799||30 March 1800||died in childhood|
|Prince Charles of Prussia||29 June 1801||21 January 1883||married Princess Marie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1808–1877), had issue.|
|Princess Alexandrine of Prussia||23 February 1803||21 April 1892||married Paul Friedrich, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1800–1842), had issue.|
|Prince Ferdinand of Prussia||13 December 1804||1 April 1806||died in childhood|
|Princess Louise of Prussia||1 February 1808||6 December 1870||married Prince Frederik of the Netherlands (1797–1881), had issue.|
|Prince Albert (Albrecht) of Prussia||4 October 1809||14 October 1872||married Princess Marianne of the Netherlands (1810–1883), had issue; married second to Rosalie von Rauch (1820–1879), Countess of Hohenau, had issue.|
|Ancestors of Frederick William III of Prussia|
The House of Hohenzollern[ˈhoːəntsɔlɐn] is a German dynasty of former princes, electors, kings and emperors of Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern Castle. The first ancestors of the Hohenzollerns were mentioned in 1061.
William I, or in German Wilhelm I., of the House of Hohenzollern, was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and the first German Emperor from 18 January 1871 to his death, the first head of state of a united Germany. Under the leadership of William and his Minister President Otto von Bismarck, Prussia achieved the unification of Germany and the establishment of the German Empire. Despite his long support of Bismarck as Minister President, William held strong reservations about some of Bismarck's more reactionary policies, including his anti-Catholicism and tough handling of subordinates. In contrast to the domineering Bismarck, William was described as polite, gentlemanly and, while staunchly conservative, he was more open to certain classical liberal ideas than his grandson Wilhelm II.
Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.
The German name Friedrich Wilhelm usually refers to several monarchs of the Hohenzollern dynasty:
The Order of the Black Eagle was the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. The order was founded on 17 January 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg. In his Dutch exile after World War I, deposed Emperor Wilhelm II continued to award the order to his family. He made his second wife, Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz, a Lady in the Order of the Black Eagle.
Prince Wilhelm of Prussia was the son of Frederick William II of Prussia and Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt.
Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria was a Princess of Bavaria and later Queen consort of Prussia.
Prince August Ferdinand of Prussia was a Prussian prince and general, as well as Herrenmeister of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg of the Order of Saint John. He belonged to the House of Hohenzollern, and was the youngest son of Frederick William I of Prussia by his wife Queen Sophia Dorothea.
Karl Friedrich von dem Knesebeck was a Prussian field marshal and military adviser in the Napoleonic Wars, notable for designing the campaign plan of the Battle of Leipzig and the subsequent invasion of France.
Princess Friederike Luise of Prussia was a daughter of Frederick William I of Prussia and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover and Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach.
Karl Wilhelm Wach was a German painter.
Margravine Anna Elisabeth Louise of Brandenburg-Schwedt was a Prussian princess. She was a daughter of Margrave Frederick William of Brandenburg-Schwedt and his wife Princess Sophia Dorothea of Prussia.
Countess Auguste von Harrach, was the second spouse of King Frederick William III of Prussia. Since the marriage was morganatic, she was not named Queen, but was given the titles Princess von Liegnitz and Countess von Hohenzollern. Frederick reportedly stated, that he did not wish to have another queen after his first one.
Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia was a member of the House of Hohenzollern, great-grandson of Frederick William III of Prussia.
Philip William, Prince in Prussia was a Prussian Prince, was the first owner of the Prussian secundogeniture of Brandenburg-Schwedt and was governor of Magdeburg from 1692 to 1711.
Queen Louise is a German silent historical film directed by Karl Grune and starring Mady Christians, Mathias Wieman and Anita Dorris. It was released in two separate parts slightly less than a month from each other in December 1927 and January 1928. It commenced a series of historical epics directed by Grune. Art direction was by Hans Jacoby.
Louise, Queen of Prussia is a 1931 German historical drama film directed by Carl Froelich and starring Henny Porten, Gustaf Gründgens and Ekkehard Arendt. The film's art director was Franz Schroedter.
Frederick Henry Charles of Prussia was a Prussian prince and army officer.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Frederick William III, king of Prussia .|
Frederick William III of PrussiaBorn: 3 August 1770 Died: 7 June 1840
Frederick William II
| Prince of Neuchâtel |
Louis Alexandre Berthier
| Elector of Brandenburg |
|Annexed by Prussia|
| King of Prussia |
Frederick William IV
Louis Alexandre Berthier
| Prince of Neuchâtel |