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|Frederick William I|
Portrait by Samuel Theodor Gericke (1713)
| King in Prussia |
Elector of Brandenburg
|Reign||25 February 1713 – 31 May 1740|
|Born||14 August 1688|
|Died||31 May 1740 51) (aged|
|Spouse||Sophia Dorothea of Hanover|
|Mother||Sophia Charlotte of Hanover|
Frederick William I (German : Friedrich Wilhelm I) (14 August 1688 – 31 May 1740), known as the "Soldier King" (German : Soldatenkönig ), was the King in Prussia and Elector of Brandenburg from 1713 until his death in 1740, as well as Prince of Neuchâtel. He was succeeded by his son, Frederick the Great.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
King in Prussia was a title used by the Electors of Brandenburg from 1701 to 1772. Subsequently, they used the title King of Prussia.
The Republic and Canton of Neuchâtel is a canton of French-speaking western Switzerland. In 2007, its population was 169,782, of whom 39,654 were foreigners. The capital is Neuchâtel.
He was born in Berlin to Frederick I of Prussia and Sophia Charlotte of Hanover. During his first years, he was raised by the Huguenot governess Marthe de Roucoulle.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Frederick I, of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was Elector of Brandenburg (1688–1713) and Duke of Prussia in personal union (Brandenburg-Prussia). The latter function he upgraded to royalty, becoming the first King in Prussia (1701–1713). From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel. He was also the paternal grandfather of Frederick the Great.
Sophia Charlotte of Hanover was the first Queen consort in Prussia as wife of King Frederick I. She was the only daughter of Elector Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his wife Sophia of the Palatinate. Her eldest brother George Louis succeeded to the British throne in 1714 as King George I.
His father had successfully acquired the title King for the margraves of Brandenburg. On ascending the throne in 1713 the new King sold most of his fathers' horses, jewels and furniture; he did not intend to treat the treasury as his personal source of revenue the way Frederick I and many of the other German Princes had. Throughout his reign, Frederick William was characterized by his frugal, austere and militaristic lifestyle, as well as his devout Calvinist faith. He practiced rigid management of the treasury, never started a war, and led a simple and austere lifestyle, in contrast to the lavish court his father had presided over. At his death, Prussia had a sound exchequer and a full treasury, in contrast to the other German states.
Margrave was originally the medieval title for the military commander assigned to maintain the defence of one of the border provinces of the Holy Roman Empire or of a kingdom. That position became hereditary in certain feudal families in the Empire, and the title came to be borne by rulers of some Imperial principalities until the abolition of the Empire in 1806. Thereafter, those domains were absorbed in larger realms or the titleholders adopted titles indicative of full sovereignty.
Frederick William I did much to improve Prussia economically and militarily. He replaced mandatory military service among the middle class with an annual tax, and he established schools and hospitals. The king encouraged farming, reclaimed marshes, stored grain in good times and sold it in bad times. He dictated the manual of Regulations for State Officials, containing 35 chapters and 297 paragraphs in which every public servant in Prussia could find his duties precisely set out: a minister or councillor failing to attend a committee meeting, for example, would lose six months' pay; if he absented himself a second time, he would be discharged from the royal service. In short, Frederick William I concerned himself with every aspect of his relatively small country, ruling an absolute monarchy with great energy and skill.
Absolute monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme authority and where that authority is not restricted by any written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In contrast, in constitutional monarchies, the head of state's authority derives from and is legally bounded or restricted by a constitution or legislature.
In 1732, the king invited the Salzburg Protestants to settle in East Prussia, which had been depopulated by plague in 1709. Under the terms of the Peace of Augsburg, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg could require his subjects to practice the Catholic faith, but Protestants had the right to emigrate to a Protestant state. Prussian commissioners accompanied 20,000 Protestants to their new homes on the other side of Germany. Frederick William I personally welcomed the first group of migrants and sang Protestant hymns with them.
The Salzburg Protestants were Protestant refugees who had lived in the Catholic Archbishopric of Salzburg until the 18th century. In a series of persecutions ending in 1731, over 20,000 Protestants were expelled from their homeland by the Prince-Archbishops. Their expulsion from Salzburg triggered protests from the Protestant states within the Holy Roman Empire and criticism across the rest of the Protestant world, and the King in Prussia offered to resettle them in his territory. The majority of the Salzburg Protestants accepted the Prussian offer and traveled the length of Germany to reach their new homes in Prussian Lithuania. The rest scattered to other Protestant states in Europe and the British colonies in America.
During the Great Northern War (1700–1721), many towns and areas of the Circum-Baltic and East-Central Europe suffered from a severe outbreak of the plague with a peak from 1708 to 1712. This epidemic was probably part of a pandemic affecting an area from Central Asia to the Mediterranean. Most probably via Constantinople, it spread to Pińczów in southern Poland, where it was first recorded in a Swedish military hospital in 1702. The plague then followed trade, travel and army routes, reached the Baltic coast at Prussia in 1709, affected areas all around the Baltic Sea by 1711 and reached Hamburg by 1712. Therefore, the course of the war and the course of the plague mutually affected each other: while soldiers and refugees were often agents of the plague, the death toll in the military as well as the depopulation of towns and rural areas sometimes severely impacted the ability to resist enemy forces or to supply troops.
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the Schmalkaldic League, signed in September 1555 at the imperial city of Augsburg. It officially ended the religious struggle between the two groups and made the legal division of Christianity permanent within the Holy Roman Empire, allowing rulers to choose either Lutheranism or Roman Catholicism as the official confession of their state. Calvinism was not allowed until the Peace of Westphalia.
Frederick William intervened briefly in the Great Northern War, allied with Peter the Great of Russia, in order to gain a small portion of Swedish Pomerania; this gave Prussia new ports on the Baltic Sea coast. More significantly, aided by his close friend Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, the "Soldier-King" made considerable reforms to the Prussian army's training, tactics and conscription program—introducing the canton system, and greatly increasing the Prussian infantry's rate of fire through the introduction of the iron ramrod. Frederick William's reforms left his son Frederick with the most formidable army in Europe, which Frederick used to increase Prussia's power. The observation that "the pen is mightier than the sword" has sometimes been attributed to him. (See as well: "Prussian virtues".)
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1693 to 1747. He was also a Generalfeldmarschall in the Prussian army. Nicknamed "the Old Dessauer", he possessed good abilities as a field commander, but was mainly remembered as a talented drillmaster who modernized the Prussian infantry.
The Canton System or Canton Regulation (Kantonreglement) was a system of recruitment used by the Prussian army between 1733 and 1813. The country was divided into recruiting districts called cantons (Kantone), and each canton was the responsibility of a regiment. The system was a Prussian distinctive. Every male was from the youngest possible age enrolled in the army, and by 1740 the Prussian army, with a strength of 3.6% of the total population, was proportionately the largest in Europe. The new system replaced coercive recruiting, which in turn replaced the hiring of undependable and expensive mercenary forces. It allowed the army to double from 38,000 to 76,000, making it the fourth largest in Europe, and it linked the local population more closely to the royal government.
Prussian virtues refers to the virtues associated with the historical Kingdom of Prussia, especially its militarism and the ethical code of the Prussian army, but also bourgeois values as influenced by Lutheranism and Calvinism. It has also significantly influenced wider German culture, such as the contemporary German stereotypes of efficiency, austerity and discipline.
Although a highly effective ruler, Frederick William had a perpetually short temper which sometimes drove him to physically attack servants (or even his own children) with a cane at the slightest provocation. His violent, harsh nature was further exacerbated by his inherited porphyritic disease, which gave him gout, obesity and frequent crippling stomach pains.He also had a notable contempt for France, and would sometimes fly into a rage at the mere mention of that country, although this did not stop him from encouraging the immigration of French Huguenot refugees to Prussia.
Frederick William died in 1740 at age 51 and was interred at the Garrison Church in Potsdam. During World War II, in order to protect it from advancing allied forces, Hitler ordered the king's coffin, as well as those of Frederick the Great and Paul von Hindenburg, into hiding, first to Berlin and later to a salt mine outside of Bernterode. The coffins were later discovered by occupying American Forces, who re-interred the bodies in St. Elisabeth's Church in Marburg in 1946. In 1953 the coffin was moved to Burg Hohenzollern, where it remained until 1991, when it was finally laid to rest on the steps of the altar in the Kaiser Friedrich Mausoleum in the Church of Peace on the palace grounds of Sanssouci. The original black marble sarcophagus collapsed at Burg Hohenzollern—the current one is a copper copy.
His eldest surviving son was Frederick II (Fritz), born in 1712. Frederick William wanted him to become a fine soldier. As a small child, Fritz was awakened each morning by the firing of a cannon. At the age of 6, he was given his own regiment of childrento drill as cadets, and a year later, he was given a miniature arsenal.
The love and affection Frederick William had for his heir initially was soon destroyed due to their increasingly different personalities. Frederick William ordered Fritz to undergo a minimal education, live a simple Protestant lifestyle, and focus on the Army and statesmanship as he had. However, the intellectual Fritz was more interested in music, books and French culture, which were forbidden by his father as decadent and unmanly. As Fritz's defiance for his father's rules increased, Frederick William would frequently beat or humiliate Fritz (he preferred his younger sibling Augustus William). Fritz was beaten for being thrown off a bolting horse and wearing gloves in cold weather. After the prince attempted to flee to England with his tutor, Hans Hermann von Katte, the enraged King had Katte beheaded before the eyes of the prince, who himself was court-martialled.The court declared itself not competent in this case. Whether it was the king's intention to have his son executed as well (as Voltaire claims) is not clear. However, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI intervened, claiming that a prince could only be tried by the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire itself. Frederick was imprisoned in the Fortress of Küstrin from 2 September to 19 November 1731 and exiled from court until February 1732, during which time he was rigorously schooled in matters of state. After achieving a measure of reconciliation, Frederick William had his son married to Princess Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, whom Frederick despised, but then grudgingly allowed him to indulge in his musical and literary interests again. By the time of Frederick William's death in 1740, he and Frederick were on at least reasonable terms with each other.
Although the relationship between Frederick William and Frederick was clearly hostile, Frederick himself later wrote that his father "penetrated and understood great objectives, and knew the best interests of his country better than any minister or general."
Frederick William married his first cousin Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, George II's younger sister (daughter of his uncle, King George I of Great Britain and Sophia Dorothea of Celle) on 28 November 1706. Frederick William was faithful and loving to his wifebut they did not have a happy relationship: Sophia Dorothea feared his unpredictable temper and resented him, both for allowing her no influence at court and for refusing to marry her children to their English cousins. She also abhorred his cruelty towards their son and heir Frederick (with whom she was close), although rather than trying to mend the relationship between father and son she frequently spurred Frederick on in his defiance. They had fourteen children, including:
Prince of Prussia
|23 November 1707-|
13 May 1708
|Died in infancy|
| Friedrike Wilhelmine |
Margravine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
|3 July 1709-|
14 October 1758
|Married Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth and had issue|
Prince of Prussia
|16 August 1710-|
21 July 1711
|Died in infancy|
| Frederick II the Great |
King of Prussia
|24 January 1712-|
17 August 1786
|King of Prussia (1740–1786); married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern but had no issue|
Princess of Prussia
|5 May 1713-|
10 June 1714
|Died in infancy|
| Frederica Louise |
Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach
|28 September 1714-|
4 February 1784
|Married Charles William Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and had issue|
| Philippine Charlotte |
Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
|13 March 1716-|
17 February 1801
|Married Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and had issue|
|Louis Charles William|
Prince of Prussia
|2 May 1717-|
31 August 1719
|Died in early childhood|
| Sophia Dorothea |
Margravine of Brandenburg-Schwedt
Princess in Prussia
|25 January 1719-|
13 November 1765
|Married Frederick William, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, Prince in Prussia and had issue|
| Louisa Ulrika |
Queen of Sweden
|24 July 1720-|
2 July 1782
|Married Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden and had issue|
| Augustus William |
Prince of Prussia
|9 August 1722-|
12 June 1758
|Married Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and had issue (including Frederick William II)|
|Anna Amalia||9 November 1723-|
30 March 1787
|Became Abbess of Quedlinburg 16 July 1755|
| Frederick Henry Louis |
Prince of Prussia
|18 January 1726-|
3 August 1802
|Married Princess Wilhelmina of Hesse-Kassel but had no issue|
| Augustus Ferdinand |
Prince of Prussia
|23 May 1730-|
2 May 1813
|Married Margravine Elisabeth Louise of Brandenburg-Schwedt and had issue|
He was the godfather of the Prussian envoy Friedrich Wilhelm von Thulemeyer and of his grand-nephew, Prince Edward Augustus of Great Britain.
|Ancestors of Frederick William I of Prussia|
Frederick II ruled the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. His most significant accomplishments during his reign included his military victories, his reorganization of Prussian armies, his patronage of the arts and the Enlightenment and his final success against great odds in the Seven Years' War. Frederick was the last Hohenzollern monarch titled King in Prussia and declared himself King of Prussia after achieving sovereignty over most historically Prussian lands in 1772. Prussia had greatly increased its territories and became a leading military power in Europe under his rule. He became known as Frederick the Great and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz by the Prussian people and eventually the rest of Germany.
Frederick I was the last Duke of Würtemberg, then briefly Elector of Württemberg, and was later elevated to the status of King of Württemberg by Napoleon I. He was known for his size: at 2.12 m and about 200 kg (440 lb).
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.
Frederick William III 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.
Sophia Dorothea of Hanover was a Queen consort in Prussia as spouse of Frederick William I. She was the sister of George II, King of Great Britain and the mother of Frederick II, King of Prussia.
Hans Hermann von Katte was a Lieutenant of the Prussian Army, and a friend, tutor and possible lover of the future King Frederick II of Prussia, who was at the time the Crown Prince. He was executed by Frederick's father King Frederick William I of Prussia when Frederick II plotted to escape from the Kingdom of Prussia to the Kingdom of Great Britain. Some believe that Frederick intended to defect to the service of George II of Great Britain and possibly return to Prussia to depose Frederick William.
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.
Augustus William of Prussia was Prince of Prussia and a younger brother and general of Frederick II.
Frederick II was Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel from 1760 to 1785. He ruled as an enlightened despot, and raised money by renting soldiers to Great Britain to help fight the American Revolutionary War. He combined Enlightenment ideas with Christian values, cameralist plans for central control of the economy, and a militaristic approach toward international diplomacy.
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.
Frederick William of Brandenburg-Schwedt was a German nobleman. In his lifetime, from 1711 to 1771, he held the titles Prince in Prussia and Margrave of Brandenburg, with the style Royal Highness. He was made a knight of the Order of the Black Eagle.
Brigadier-General Charles Hotham, of South Dalton, Yorkshire, was a British Army officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1723 and 1738. He was entrusted by George II with the task of negotiating a double marriage between the Hanover and Hohenzollern dynasties.
The Old and the Young King is a 1935 German historical drama film by Hans Steinhoff and starring Emil Jannings, Werner Hinz and Leopoldine Konstantin.
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.
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.
Frederick William II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck was a Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. He served as Prussian field marshal and was appointed Governor of Berlin, but never filled the latter position.
The Monarchy of Germany was the system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.
Johann Friedrich Domhardt, was one of the most important and successful administrative officials of Frederick the Great's Prussia. He was the first President of East and West Prussia. Under his leadership, Frederick's royal stud farm was secured from Russian invasion and he developed and organized profitable settlement and agriculture in East Prussia.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Frederick William I of Prussia .|
Frederick William I of PrussiaBorn: 14 August 1688 Died: 31 March 1740
| King in Prussia |
Elector of Brandenburg
Prince of Neuchâtel