Frederick also wrote a political […] He was an enlightened monarch who wanted to apply reason to affairs of state in order to benefit the people. With the goal of a united Prussia, Frederick lost little time plunging Europe into war. In 1756, Austria, backed by France and Russia, tried to regain control of Silesia. Unlike in every way, Frederick's parents sought to raise him in their own, if totally different, images. Frederick ruled for a period of 46 years in the 18th century and during his time as a monarch of Prussia, the country won significant military victories. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! He was a stark, militaristic … Frederick the Great was most known for his embodiment of enlightened despotism. First of all, he did not believe in divine right, the idea that a leader is chosen by god to lead his people. They were caught and arrested for treason, however, and Katte was beheaded in Frederick's presence. He was king of Prussia in the eighteenth century and he was a brilliant reformer, statesman and administrator. Frederick’s influence casts a long shadow over culture, the philosophy of government, and military history. Frederick was a well-known patron of the arts, which brought him the love of his nobility. Kaiser Wilhelm served as emperor of Germany from 1888 until the end of World War I. Nicholas II was the last tsar of Russia under Romanov rule. During Frederick's childhood, his mother brought him many of the treasures of the Enlightenment. However, he was also known to be a cultured, art-loving man; he commissioned the construction of the Sanssouci palace, played the flute … He took too long to deploy his men and this allowed the Austrian to form up a line and in particular, it allowed the Austrian cavalry, to charge Frederick’s own cavalry. This planted a seed of anti-Austrian sentiment in Frederick; he believed that Austria, long Prussia’s rival for influence in the crumbling Holy Roman Empire, was meddlesome and dangerous. https://www.biography.com/political-figure/frederick-ii. Over the next thirty-two years, Frederick would use the military prowess of the Prussian Army and his own strategic and political genius to reclaim the entirely of Prussia, finally declaring himself King of Prussia in 1772 after decades of warfare. Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great, was the eldest surviving son of Frederick William I and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, sister of George II of England. Frederick quickly separated from her and, for the rest of his life, showed no interest in women. Frederick was born into the House of Hohenzollern, a major German dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was Frederick IV (Friedrich IV.) Considered by some to be one of the greatest generals in history, he was an excellent commander, developing Prussia into a military power. Of all things, Frederick the Great, as he became to be known, left a legacy of devotion to Germany that set the example for leaders into the 20th century. Although Frederick did not gain territory, the ensuing treaty allowed him to retain Silesia and made him popular throughout the many German-speaking territories. Despite believing German culture, in general, to be inferior to that of France or Italy, he worked to elevate it, establishing a German Royal Society to promote German language and culture, and under his rule, Berlin became a major cultural center of Europe. As a youth, Frederick showed little interest in military matters, preferring poetry and philosophy; subjects he studied in secret because his father disapproved; in fact, Frederick was often beaten and berated by his father for his interests. When Frederick was 18 years old, he formed a passionate attachment to an army officer named Hans Hermann von Katte. Frederick the Great, King of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Year's War, was a distinguished tactician who gained much of his fame for his many victories against the far larger Austrian army. Although Frederick is never seen on screen, he is mentioned several times in Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon. His poor handling of Bloody Sunday and Russia’s role in World War I led to his abdication and execution. Frederick ascended the throne upon the death of his father in 1740, and abandoned peaceful pursuits to make his place in the geopolitical intrigue of 18th-century Europe. His father pardoned Frederick, but placed him as a junior official in local administration to learn the ways of government. He became known as Frederick the Great (Friedrich der Große) and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz ("Old Fritz"). “The story of Frederick’s youth is a known chronicle of suffering.” Frederick the Great’s father laid the foundation for Frederick’s legendary military exploits by assembling a well-drilled professional army for Prussia. We strive for accuracy and fairness. A man of many facets, Frederick was also a supporter of the arts, commissioning buildings, paintings, literature, and music. the first servant of the state. This attitude would prove to have long-lasting implications for the future of Germany and Europe. how did Frederick consider his role as…. Frederick the Great: Flutist and Composer Andrea Kapell Loewy II, KNOWN AS FREDERICK THE GREAT, WAS THE ELDEST SURVIVING son of Frederick William I and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, sister of George II of England. This military power allowed Frederick to have a proportionately outsize influence on European history. This form of leadership was exhibited by many of the monarch’s in the 18th century who sought to instill the principles of the Enlightenment in their rulings. Although officially pious and supportive of religion (and tolerant, allowing a Catholic church to be built in officially protestant Berlin in the 1740s), Frederick was privately dismissive of all religions, referring to Christianity in general as an “odd metaphysical fiction.”, He was also almost shockingly racist, especially towards the Poles, who he regarded as almost subhuman and undeserving of respect, referring to them privately as “trash,” “vile,” and “dirty.”. After a tepid reconciliation, Frederick's father arranged for him a marriage to Elizabeth Christine of Brunswick-Bevern, in 1733. During his childhood, he took much interest in the fine arts. Pope John Paul II made history in 1978 by becoming the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years. He died in 1786. He lived from January 24, 1712, until August 17, 1786. Frederick struck preemptively, invading Saxony, and with his ally Great Britain started the Seven Years War. However, the death of Empress Elizabeth of Russia placed advocate Peter III on the throne and Russia withdrew from the war. One little-known fact is that after America defeated Britain, the Americans wrote offered, Frederick’s brother Prince Henry as the King of America. However, his father chafed at such notions and pushed to have his son educated in the practical matters of running and defending a state. Hitler and Napolean. Frederick II “Frederick the Great” (January 24, 1712—August 17, 1786) owes much of his success to his father for leaving the Prussian Empire to him at the height of its military power. Frederick was born into the House of Hohenzollern on January 24, 1712, to Frederick William I of Prussia and Princess Sophia-Dorothea — the sister of George II of Great Britain. Frederick’s father, King Frederick William I, was an enthusiastic soldier-king who worked to build up Prussia’s army, ensuring that when Frederick assumed the throne he would have an outsize military force. Sensing weakness in the Austrian Empire, Frederick deceived Habsburg Queen Maria Theresa to allow his armies to occupy Lower Silesia in exchange for protection from France, Spain and Bavaria. Frederick II, also known as Frederick the Great, was the King of Prussia who belonged to the Hohenzollern dynasty and went on to become the longest ruling monarch from his dynasty. Oscar Hammerstein II collaborated with Richard Rodgers on popular musicals such as ‘Oklahoma!,’ ‘South Pacific,’ ‘Carousel,’ ‘The King and I’ and ‘The Sound of Music.’. In 1741, Prussia consisted of scattered territories across central Europe and few significant allies save for Great Britain. Prussia became one of the preeminent powers in Europe. Frederick II combined the qualities of a warrior king with those of an enlightened despot. He … Frederick was miserable under the authority of his harsh father and planned to escape to Great Britain, where his maternal grandfather was King George I, and he invited Katte to join him. Frederick William abused his son, often beating and humiliating him for trifling reasons. Frederick inherited an army that was not only large, it had also been shaped into the premier fighting force in Europe at the time by his military-minded father. The eldest son of Frederick William I of Prussia and of Princess Sophie Dorothea of Hanover, Frederick II was born in Berlin on Jan. 24, 1712. By winning wars and expanding territories, he established Prussia as a … It was a political marriage that Frederick resented; at one point he threatened to commit suicide before relenting and going through with the marriage as ordered by his father. Frederick the Great was one of the most brilliant monarchs in German history. Frederick’s military successes and expansion of Prussian power led indirectly to the establishment of the German Empire in the late 19th century (through the efforts of Otto von Bismarck), and thus in some ways to the two World Wars and the rise of Nazi Germany. Although most often remembered as a warrior, Frederick actually lost more battles than he won, and was often saved by political events outside his control—and the unparalleled excellence of the Prussian Army. Frederick was almost certainly gay, and, remarkably, was very open about his sexuality after his ascension to the throne, retreating to his estate in Potsdam where he conducted several affairs with male officers and his own valet, writing erotic poetry celebrating the male form and commissioning many sculptures and other works of art with distinct homoerotic themes. He is the first Prussian king to use the title “King of Prussia” instead of “King in Prussia”. He was born to Frederick William I, and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. as a duty... followed the principle of 'raisons d'etat' by which…. The Seven Years' War threatened to destroy Prussia's status, but ended with Silesia still in Frederick's control. In fact, when Frederick ascended to the throne in 1740, he inherited an army of 80,000 men, a remarkably large force for such a small kingdom. He then proceeded to invade key areas, forcing Maria Theresa to cede almost all of Silesia by 1745. A battle during the Seven Years War Aside from economy, Frederick the Greatalso overhauled bureaucracy and civil service since 1760. Jeff Somers is an award-winning writer who has authored nine novels, over 40 short stories, and "Writing Without Rules," a non-fiction book about the business and craft of writing. He earned the title of 'the Great Elector' If you search for the "The Great Elector" on the Internet, … Born in 1712, Frederick William II, known as Frederick the Great, was the third Hohenzollern King of Prussia. Spirituality, Sexuality, Artistry, and Racism, The Life and Work of Voltaire, French Enlightenment Writer, American Revolution: Baron Friedrich von Steuben, Biography of Frederick I Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, War of the First Coalition in 1790s France, French & Indian/Seven Years' War: 1760-1763, Franco-Prussian War: Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Biography of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, The French & Indian War/The Seven Years' War: An Overview, Industry and Agriculture History in Europe, What’s So Great About Frederick? Catherine II, or Catherine the Great, served as empress of Russia for more than three decades in the late 18th century after overthrowing her husband, Peter III. Fortunately, his loathsome father left Frederick with a strong army and ample funds. In a series of battles to the death, Frederick lost territory, then gained it, then lost it again. Although Frederick the Great was widely known as a tactical genius and a skillful military theorist, it was his domestic policies that made him known as Frederick the Great. Updated October 16, 2019. Frederick II, byname Frederick the Great, German Friedrich der Grosse, (born January 24, 1712, Berlin, Prussia [Germany]—died August 17, 1786, Potsdam, near Berlin), king of Prussia (1740–86), a brilliant military campaigner who, in a series of diplomatic stratagems and wars against Austria and other powers, greatly enlarged Prussia’s … Philip II reigned over Macedonia from 359 to 336 B.C. When he came of age, Frederick was forced into the army and set on a course of military science and governance. Frederick II also known as ‘Frederick the Great’ was a powerful and influential King of Prussia whose reign witnessed several military victories expanding the territories of Prussia. Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images. Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great (1712–1786). Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great, was Prussia's king from 1740 to 1786. Frederick the Great was born in Berlin, under the name Frederick William II. In 1746 Frederick the Great presented a musical theme he had written to composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who used it to develop a set of canons and … Frederick assumed the throne in 1740 after the death of his father. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel. Frederick the Great had abolished judicial torture, except flogging for desertion. Frederick the great's military conquests were idolized by German and French military dictators _____ and _____. his hard-working ethos of service to the state to fulfill the…. He was able to expand his kingdom at the expenses of his neighbours and he was to turn Prussia into a major European power. Finally, in 1730, at age 18, Frederick attempted to escape with childhood friend Hans Herman von Katte. Frederick wrote a history of the Great Northern Wars of Charles XII. In 1760, Austro-Russian forces occupied Berlin, and Frederick, reduced to despair, considered suicide. Without Frederick, Germany might never have become a world power. of Brandenburg. He is best known for his brilliance in military campaigning and organization of Prussian armies. Although Prussia had been an influential and important part of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries, under Frederick’s rule the small kingdom rose to the status of a Great European Power and had a lasting effect on European politics in general and … Frederick the Great had modernized Prussia by enlisting help from experts and strengthening the country’s economy by raising tariff. Author of Europe in the Eighteenth Century, 1713–1783 and others. Back in the 18th century, Frederick II of Prussia (also known as Frederick the Great) was looking for ways to feed his nation and lower the price of bread. Born in Berlin in 1712, Frederick demonstrated an early interest and talent in music and French literature that created strife with his Frederick was a talented musician and composed several pieces for the flute. Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great (1712–1786), king of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Born in 1712, Frederick William II, known as Frederick the Great, was the third Hohenzollern King of Prussia. ‘Der Alte Fritz’ (meaning ‘Old Fritz’) as often called by the people of Prussia, he was successful in reorganizing the Prussian army. True or False. © 2020 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. Born in Berlin in 1712, Frederick demonstrated an early interest and talent in music and French literature that … A devotee of the principles of the Enlightenment, Frederick attempted to portray himself as a benevolent tyrant, a man who brooked no argument with his authority but who could be relied on to better the lives of his people. Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II tried to strengthen the Habsburg empire with his enlightened reforms, but the changes he made were met with fierce opposition. His … 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.A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is popularly known as "the Great Elector" (der Große Kurfürst) because of his military and political achievements. Frederick forbade his brother to take the crown. Following the war, Frederick was hailed as a military genius and became known as 'Frederick the Great.' He reformed the military and government, established religious tolerance and granted a basic form of freedom of the press. He bolstered the legal system and established the first German code of law. Frederick II inherited the Prussian throne in 1740 and established control of Silesia in 1745. His Father Was the Worst. He is one of the most important European leaders in history, a long-reigning king whose personal beliefs and attitudes shaped the modern world. While he was undoubtedly brilliant as a tactician and strategist, his main impact in military terms was the transformation of the Prussian Army into an outsize force that should have been beyond the capability of Prussia to support due to its relatively small size. Frederick Russell Burnham, American scout and world-traveling adventurer known for his service to the British South Africa Company and to the British Army in colonial Africa, helped inspire the founding of the international Scouting Movement Frédéric Chopin, Polish composer, one of … He was officially known as King in Prussia, not King of Prussia, because he only inherited a portion of what was traditionally known as Prussia—the lands and titles he assumed in 1740 were actually a series of small areas often separated by large areas not under his control. He played the flute extremely well and composed many pieces for that instrument, and wrote voluminously in French, despising the German language and preferring French for his artistic expressions. By winning wars and expanding territories, he established Prussia as a strong military power. Frederick the Great was an absolute monarch, but not a typical one. Frederick the Great was known to be a great musician, Philosopher, and poet as well as a _____ leader. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. Though their relationship was strained due to the elder’s strict temperament, Frederick’s father was an extraordinary military leader, also known as the “Soldier-King.” Frederick William I was a brutal human being. Frederick the Great Frederick II, also known as Frederick the Great, was born in Berlin on 24 January 1712.When his father Frederick William ascended to throne in 1713, that made little Frederick the crown prince and next successor in line. He became known as Frederick the Great and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz ("Old Fritz"). Charles II was the monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland during much of the latter half of the 17th century, marking the Restoration era. The Warrior King of Prussia, Atheist and gay, Frederick the Great was more radical than most leaders today, How keeping it in the family spelled the end of the line for the Hapsburg royal dynasty, Frederick William I of Prussia, The Soldier King. Frederick William was authoritarian and quick-tempered; Sophia was well-educated and loved the richness of life. The couple enjoyed a political marriage and not much else. He frequently led his military forces personally and had six horses shot from under him during battle. It was often said that instead of Prussia being a country with an army, it was an army with a country; by the end of his reign Prussian society was largely dedicated to staffing, supplying, and training the army. Also, instead of creating an empire that was ideal for the monarch, he was a servant of the state, meaning he … During his time on the throne, Frederick increased Prussia's territories and military power. The king also composed some symphonies. Death penalty was only reserved … In 1733, Frederick married an Austrian Duchess Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Bevern. He spent his early years with tutors, learning poetry, French culture, and the Greek and Roman classics. Hohenzollerns became kings, dukes, and emperors in the region from the establishment of the dynasty in the 11th century until the overthrow of the German aristocracy in the wake of World War I in 1918. He became the head of an empire that was expanded by his son and successor, Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great served as king of Macedonia from 336 to 323 B.C. He is often admired as one of the greatest tactical geniuses of all time. During his time of leadership, he united Greece, reestablished the Corinthian League and conquered the Persian Empire. Frederick II, known as Frederick the Great, was Prussia's king from 1740 to 1786. Prussian … However, he is best known as a great military leader. The enemy were all asleep, but Frederick was not able to take advantage of his great piece of luck. Frederick the Great was the first ruler to be able to unify Germany. Frederick Wilhelm II The Great, also known as Old Fritz by his men, was the King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Frederick II (24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) was a King in Prussia (1740–1772) and a King of Prussia (1772–1786) from the Hohenzollern dynasty. Domestically, Frederick's Enlightenment influence was more evident. When their plot was discovered, King Frederick William threatened to charge Frederick with treason and strip him of his status as Crown Prince, and then had Katte executed in front of his son. True. 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