Time he “ruled”: 1640-1688
Predecessor: N/A (he started the Prussian “Empire”)
Successor: Frederick William 1
Wife: Louise Henriette of Nasau and Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Pros: Strong army, weakened power of representative assemblies of territories
Cons: Rigidly controlled society, permanent taxation
How he took Power
He formed a small army and used it to rise to become the leader of his house, displayed his forces in the Great Northern War, which ended with him having full sovereignty over the duchy of Prussia. He removed the noble’s control over each estate’s taxation and finances. (He didn’t actually achieve absolute power in his life, but he laid the groundwork so that his predecessors may achieve absolute power). He also rebuilt towns and cities.
-He wanted to conquer all of Pomerania, and gain more lands for Prussia, as well as claim its sovereignty from the Holy Roman Empire. (Become independent from any other foriegn powers as well). He wanted to advance his house’s interests by always joining the weaker side in any conflict. (His future successors would follow suit in this policy).
-He followed a policy known as “Bradenburg’s intermittent fever” (made sure that no country/countries could gain predominance over other countries).
-He wanted to create a large standing army, proper tax reforms, centralize political administration, rebuild many towns and cities, and form a sovereign, bureaucratic, abolitionist state.
-Established a sovereign Prussian state which would eventually lead to a united Germany. He also restored the traditional rights of the Estates of Prussia and Cleves and Mark and granted the Estates of Brandenburg additional privileges in exchange for a monetary contribution.
-First Northern war, Bradenburg was filled with foreign troops when he first came to power, Battle of Warsaw, and the Grand Alliance.
Wars and Rivals
First Northern war
Battle of Warsaw
The Grand Alliance
-France (Louis XIV)