Frederick The Great

A short biography

Frederick Wilhelm (Frederick the great) was born on January 24, 1712in Berlin Prussia. As son of Frederick Wilhelm, a Calvinist who ruled his household and kingdom"with a stern, Paternal intolerance of frivolity." (history.com childhood and education). When growing up Frederick showed talent towards languages and music and his father suggested military training. At age 18 Frederick attempted to escape to England where his maternal grandfather was king. When fought he was court-martialed and forced by hid father to watch his best friend be decapitated. After that Frederick continued his military studies, while writing flute sonatas and letters to Voltaire. In 1733 he married Elizabeth of Brunswick-Bevern in a political union. He took the throne on may 31, 1740 and immediately launched a unprovoked attack on the Austrian region of Silesia (which is now Poland), and started a 8 year war. Which the drilled army of his late father, he held Silesia and invaded Bohemia with a army of 140,000. He was driven back from Bohemia, but a series of quick Austrian defeats in 1748 led to the treaty negotiations. After the war he was halted for his military genius and was given the name "Frederick the great". He quickly moved his country into the enlightenment through several changes. But in 1756 Europe's longstanding alliances reshuffled burning the "diplomatic revolution which saw Austria sided with France and Russia as Prussia sided with England. Durning the years of peace Frederick had built and trained a army of 154,000. He took this army and lead a preemptive attack on Austrias ally Saxony in 1756. In the following years Frederick had many victories some at great cost to the dwindling Prussia forces. In 1762 Russia suddenly and unexpectedly withdrew. This event is now known as "miracle of the house of Brandenburg" the 7years war finally came to a end in 1763. 23 years later on August 17th Frederick the great died in his place in Potsdam outside of Berlin.

Image above is the place where Frederick the great's tomb is located

Frenderick's movement into the enlightenment

  • Over the next decade after the war Frederick enacted a number of major reforms and domestic projects.
  • He began to revamp and standardize Prussia’s justice system along Enlightenment lines
  • He started by banning torture and public executions
  • arguged for a uniform national criminal code
  • He liberalized control of the press and supported a moderate level of religious freedom
  • He worked to economically consolidate Prussia, lowering internal duties, building canals to encourage trade and enacting protective tariffs.
  • Frederick built up Berlin as a cultural capital with grand buildings and rejuvenated the scientific work of the Berlin Academy
  • In 1739 he wrote a short book names Anti-Machiavel in which he argued that the Italian philosopher's remorselessly pragmatic maxims were no longer suitable to a gentler, more enlightened age.
  • He ordered the development and colonization of unused land in his expanded kingdom, and introduced the turnip and potato as major food crops
Sense introducing the potato to Prussia it has become a tradition to place a potato in his tomb

Frederick the great's legacy

Frederick’s greatest admirers tended to be those with large continental ambitions. Napoleon made a special visit to Frederick’s tomb in 1806 after defeating Prussia’s army, and Hitler hid the king’s body in a salt mine during the allied bombings of World War II. Frederick the Great left a huge impact on Prussia. He was one of the country’s most important kings. One way Frederick left his mark on Prussia is by supporting the arts. Frederick II also left his mark through a legacy of great strength within the country. He set a precedent of military strength: By raising a great army, Frederick was able to keep his country safe and well protected, as well as being ready to go to war if necessary. He did end the War of Austrian Succession with the treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle, which granted him the province of Silesia in exchange for the fighting to end. Frederick also made allies with Britain during the Seven Year’s War.

Work cited page

"Legacy." Frederick the Great. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.

History.com Staff. "Frederick II." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.

"Frederick II." Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 06 Oct. 2015. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.

"Frederick II, the Great." Frederick II, the Great - Enlightenment Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.

"MightyHeaton.com." MightyHeatoncom. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.

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