Time of Rule: 1713-1740
Predecessor: Fredrick William
Successor: Fredrick II
Wife: Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
House (dynasty): Hohenzollern
Pros: Transferred Prussia into an efficient and prosperous trait. Improved military and economy. He bought the cooperation of the junkers by making them officer in the army.
Cons: Harsh militaristic views, discontent from peasant bondage and junker tyranny.
How he took Power
-Tried to centralize state and weaken nobility. -Raised a militaristic country, so much so that all had to obey him. Banned arts, plays, dramas, and any other “soft things”. -Despised luxury. (The Northern Spartan). -Removed all ties to the feudal era of Prussia by freeing serfs from their lords, aimed for a mercantilist and self-sufficient state. This allow for Prussia’s economy to skyrocket.
-Wanted to prepare Prussia for expansion after his death by growing Prussia’s army even more, and making the economy even stronger and more fruitful. -Relations with Austria and England were also peaceful under his reign.
-Wanted to become a full absolute monarch, and recover Prussia’s population from the 30 years war. He did this by inviting the Protestants from the Roman Holy Empire to live in Prussia. Grew a standing army of 80,000. Valued soldiers above civilians, and serving noble men above their noble peers.
-Reformed the military, hence the name “Soldier King”.
-The army grew immensely, army recruitment became streamlined, and tactics were improved. (Some of the best drills and tactics of his time).
-Foreign policy was less effective than the domestic policy. -By 1739, Prussia’s sole ally was France. (Everyone else in Europe and everywhere else was an enemy of Prussia).
Wars and Rivals
Every single country was on poor terms with Prussia with France as their only ally by the end of his rule. There was however, no true war or conflict during his reign.
Also known as The “Soldier King”
He enjoyed hunting and drinking beer
He was happy with simple things and turned most of the palace over to various ministries
Frederick didn’t trust many people, and did most of the governing on his own
Had Potsdam giants regiment (He took Tall people from around the world and put them in this regiment of “soldiers”) - didn’t use them in war as he knew they’d just get shot because of how tall they were. (Height requirement was 6 feet, but the average was 6’2”. Ironically, King was only about 5’5”!)
He created military tactic drills that many governments model their drills after even today!