The army and military tradition he left behind helped his son Frederick the Great in making Prussia a great power. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates. Frederick William was a God-fearing man who stood up for his Calvinist faith and wanted his branch of Christianity to be treated the same way as the Catholic or Lutheran branches. [4] 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 (German: Friedrich Wilhelm; 16 February 1620 – 29 April 1688) was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from 1640 until his death in 1688. In 1680 two chartered ships established a bridgehead colony on the Gold Coast, and his African Trading Company brought modest profits by trading in slaves with the West Indies. Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. His father, Frederick I of Prussia, was an extravagant man who often drained the state’s treasury in order to display wealthiness and luxury. . He was an advocate of mercantilism, monopolies, subsidies, tariffs, and internal improvements. He chartered Dutch ships to privateer in the Baltic during a war with Sweden from 1675 to 1679. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. Those who are designated by the terms of a will or appointed by a court of probate to manage the assets and liabilities…, Pembroke, William Herbert, 1st earl of 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. On 25 February 1713, King Frederick died and Frederick William succeeded him and became the second King in Prussia. From a young age, he was fond of wearing officer uniforms, forming a company of cadets and inspecting and drilling them. Fax: +44 (1753) 5 820 585 Encyclopedia.com. In his own domains, which eventually comprised one-third of all the land, Frederick William freed the serfs completely (1719) and abolished hereditary leases. Fredericks), Fredericks, Neal 1969–(Neal L. Fredericks). Frederick William the Great Elector. The Great Elector is most famous for building a strong standing army, with an elite officer corps. He is noted for his use of broad directives and delegation of decision-making to his commanders, which would later become the basis for the German doctrine of Auftragstaktik, and for using rapid mobility to defeat his foes.[5]. The coffins were later discovered by occupying American forces, who re-interred the bodies in St. Elisabeth's Church in Marburg in 1946. The extravagance of his father during his reign had devastated the already small Prussian treasury. [7] The court declared itself not competent in this case. Frederick William himself was named after his grandfather, Frederick William the Great Elector of Brandenburg, who had died three months before his birth. ", This page was last edited on 1 November 2020, at 03:30. It was she who uplifted him from spells of depression he experienced if he did not achieve what he had set out to do. Realizing that Prussia’s military and financial weakness made it dependent on the relations between the great powers, Frederick William resolved to make his state financially independent. Thus, Frederick William left his heir an efficient, centralized state with sound finances and an excellent army. He would order them to walk in front of his window every day and joyfully watch them. . General Staff of nineteenth- and twentieth-century notoriety. Conquer these questions—and expand your mental empire—in this quiz of emperors, conquerors, and men of war. It is also known that at a very young age he formed a small squadron of soldiers with the gold he saved from his own pocket money. Fritz was beaten for being thrown off a bolting horse and wearing gloves in cold weather. 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. They refused, arguing that they had no responsibility to protect East Prussia. 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. Scholars estimate that the war had cost Brandenburg more than half its population, and by 1648 Berlin numbered only 6,000 people. He was raised in the Reformed faith of the Hohenzollern court and in 1634 went to the University of Leiden, where he dutifully, if un-enthusiastically, attended lectures and more happily explored the vital commercial life of the harbor town. Born on 14 August 1688, Frederick William was the only son of King Frederick I and his wife Queen Sophie Charlotte of Hannover (after whom the famous Charlottenburg Palace was named). Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg. He gained decent experience about battlefield in this campaign but more importantly, he gained a lifelong friend who later greatly helped him in military matters when he became king; Leopold I of Anhalt also known as The Old Dessauer. The King was strict and brutal in his rules. In 1732, the king invited the Salzburg Protestants to settle in East Prussia, which had been depopulated by plague in 1709. "Frederick William He had created a force of about two thousand from Schwartzenberg's mercenaries, but he need more, especially to defend East Prussia, which was close to the fighting. His father had successfully acquired the title King for the Margraves of Brandenburg. The capital Berlin had only 6,000 people left when the wars ended in 1648. he was a man of great ability and continued with the policies of the Great Elector- centralising the government and extending the power of the crown. ed. ", Read more: Alexander von Humboldt: A 19th century German home story. "Frederick William The Great Elector. In 1709 he joined a campaign alongside the Austrian forces in the Spanish Succession War. Throughout his reign, Frederick William was characterized by his frugal, austere and militaristic lifestyle, as well as his devout Calvinist faith. When Frederick William responded that this increased force would protect Brandenburg too, they remained unmoved. Frederick the Great may be the best-known member of the Hohenzollern royal dynasty, but many of Prussia's achievements date back to his great-grandfather — at least according to myth. Frustrated by his allies, he reversed his policy once more and allied with France in 1679, sitting by quietly while Louis XIV established French dominance in the Rhineland. Encyclopedia of World Biography. By the time of Frederick William's death in 1740, he and Frederick were on at least reasonable terms with each other. The degree, quantity, nature, and extent of interest that a person has in real andpersonal property. He is notable for his joint victory with Swedish forces at the Battle of Warsaw, which, according to Hajo Holborn, marked "the beginning of Prussian military history",[4] but the Swedes turned on him at the behest of King Louis XIV and invaded Brandenburg. Updates? Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA). Impressed by the economic success of the seafaring Dutch, the elector tried to build an active navy. Public Com…, fourth estate Name sometimes given to the press. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. World Encyclopedia. According to Luh, this information hails from preliminary work of 19th-century historiography which was seeking a founding father for Germany. ", Wilson, Peter H. "The Great Elector. His success in rebuilding the lands and his astute military and diplomatic leadership propelled him into the ranks of the prominent rulers in an era of "absolutism". During his reign, thousands of Protestant refugees immigrated to Prussia for religious freedom. The rest of the soldiers were recruited from all over Europe. frederick william the great elector of brandenburg (r. 1640-88) Resume: Objective of Reign: To transform Rolesvilia into a productive and self sufficient country, by improving the government and its military. Frederick William was faithful and loving to his wife[8] but 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. Born on 14 August 1688, Frederick William was the only son of King Frederick I and his wife Queen Sophie Charlotte of Hannover (after whom the famous Charlottenburg Palace was named). The Estates of Brandenburg and Cleves and Mark ceased to meet at all, and the Estates of Prussia met but had little power. ." Frederick the Great is undeniably the most famous leader of the dynasty that ruled Prussia. After his death, this regiment was consolidated into the infantry corps by his son Frederick the Great but it later got completely disbanded after the disastrous defeat against Napoleon’s army in 1806. At that time, Frederick William was the crown prince and the heir apparent to the Prussian throne. His tastes remained simple and his court frugal. Following Louis XIV's revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Frederick William encouraged skilled French and Walloon Huguenots to emigrate to Brandenburg-Prussia with the Edict of Potsdam, bolstering the country's technical and industrial base. Frederick William I, German Friedrich Wilhelm I, (born August 14, 1688, Berlin—died May 31, 1740, Potsdam, Prussia), second Prussian king, who transformed his country from a second-rate power into the efficient and prosperous state that his son and successor, Frederick II the Great, made a major military power on the Continent. On the other hand, he also took in those who were persecuted elsewhere: Jewish businessmen from Vienna and Huguenots from France. In 1723 he centralized his administration under a general directory through which his ministers executed his orders. King Frederick William I of Prussia, the “Soldier-King,” modernized the Prussian Army, while his son Frederick the Great achieved glory and infamy with the Silesian Wars and Partitions of Poland. (October 16, 2020). Frederick William, byname The Great Elector, German Der Grosse Kurfürst, (born Feb. 16, 1620, Cölln, near Berlin—died May 9, 1688, Potsdam, near Berlin), elector of Brandenburg (1640–88), who restored the Hohenzollern dominions after the devastations of the Thirty Years’ War—centralizing the political administration, reorganizing the state finances, rebuilding towns and cities, developing a strong army, … Frederick William raised an army of 45,000 soldiers by 1678, through the General War Commissariat presided over by Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal. From that time Hohenzollern possessions in Germany were second only to those of the imperial Hapsburg dynasty. At the age of 6, he was given his own regiment of children [6] to drill as cadets, and a year later, he was given a miniature arsenal. The capital Berlin had only 6,000 people left when the wars ended in 1648. The new elector of Brandenburg also inherited the duchies of Prussia in the east and Cleve-Mark on the Dutch frontier. His shrewd domestic reforms gave Prussia a strong position in the post-Westphalian political order of north-central Europe, setting Prussia up for elevation from duchy to kingdom, achieved under his son and successor. Germany itself did not exist as a single nation as we know it today, but was instead a union of different principalities, counties and cities, headed by an emperor known as an elector.

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