Friedrich II. König von Preußen
(24.01.1712 - 17.08.1786)
place of birth:  Berlin

Königreich Preußen:  Seine Majestät der König,  Chef der Armee


Friedrich II., also known in German as Friedrich der Gro
ße (Frederick the Great), ruled as King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. Also known as der Alte Fritz (Old Fritz), he was the eldest surviving son of Friedrich Wilhelm I, and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, daughter of George I of Britain. His upbringing and education were strictly controlled by his father, who was a martinet as well as a paranoiac. 

Friedrich II. became a brilliant military campaigner who, in a series of diplomatic stratagems and wars against Austria and other powers, greatly enlarged Prussia's territories and made Prussia the foremost military power in Europe. An enlightened absolute monarch, he also favored the French language. In 1740, Friedrich modified the name of an already existent medal for bravery to the Pour le Merite, the Blue Max.

In administrative, economic, and social policy Frederick's attitudes were essentially conservative. Much of what he did in these areas was little more than a development of policies pursued by his father. He justified these policies in terms of the rationalizing rhetoric of “enlightened despotism.”  The Seven Years' War, on which he embarked thus soon became a life-and-death struggle. In 1757 France, Sweden, Russia, and many of the smaller German states joined the ranks of his opponents, while the Prussian invasion of Bohemia collapsed after a serious defeat at Kolin in June. He died in August of 1786 in Potsdam.


König von Preußen  31.05.1740  -  17.08.1786

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