Time he Ruled: 1740-1786
Predecessor: Frederick William I
Successor: Frederick William II
Wife: Elizabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel-Bevern
House (dynasty): Hohenzollem
Pros: Greatly increased territory and made Prussia the leading military power in Europe. He endorsed religious freedom, was stable politically, and he was a patron of the arts. He won the war of Austrian Succession that won Prussia the city of Silesia. He allied with Britain.
Cons: The government during his time was overbearing, and he had tense relations with his neighbors because he was constantly trying to gain more territory. He began the war of the Austrian Succession that caused damage to the economy of Prussia.
How he took Power
-He made his army even stronger, started many wars, freed up trade to get more money, and made ⅘ of Prussia’s state revenue go into Prussia’s army. All religions were endorsed (Jews, and Catholics not as much)
-This weakened the Church's power with diversity of religion. He set up the first Compulsory Public Education - This weakened Nobilities control on peasants and the working class.
-He wanted to expand his lands.
-Started First Silesian war for land from Maria Theresea to achieve this. This started the First War of Austrian Succession, and The Seven Years’ War.
-Wanted religious toleration and legal reform. “Father” to his people, he was stable politically, and he was a patron of the arts.
-Used Junkers (Nobility) as partners to keep them happy.
-Greatly increased territory and made Prussia the leading military power in Europe.
-He endorsed religious freedom, and was stable politically.
-Patron of the arts.
-He took Selisian provinces. He made the first Compulsory Education (public).
-First Silesian War, War of the Austrian Succession, Second Silesian war, Third Silesian War, Seven Year's War, First Partition of Poland (Russia, Prussia, and Austria dismembered much of Poland-Lithuania).
Wars and Rivals
First Silesian war
War of the Austrian Succession
-Austria (Maria Theresa)
-Britain (Britain was not so much a direct rival to Prussia per say, but it did support Austria, and was a major rival to France, whom Prussia was allied with)
Second Silesian war
Third Silesian war
Seven Years’ War
First Partition of Poland
He tried to run away in 1730 with a friend
He loved music philosophy and poetry
He was punished for trying to run away by being forced to watch his friends beheading
Believed rulers should be a father to his people
“A prince… is only the first servant of the state, who is obliged to act with probity [honesty] and prudence… As the sovereign is properly the head of a family of citizens, the father of
his people, he ought on all occasions to be the last refuge of the unfortunate.” - Frederick II