Frederick was famous for modernizing Prussia, religious tolerance, and being an advocate of the Enlightenment. Because they were army officers who had tried to flee Prussia for Great Britain, Frederick William leveled an accusation of treason against the pair. What was nasdaq index close on December 31 2007? The decisions he made throughout his lifetime were based on his belief in"enlightened despotism", or the use of rationality and reason. Frederick and his father were more or less reconciled at the latter's death, and Frederick later admitted, despite their constant conflict, that Frederick William had been an effective ruler: "What a terrible man he was. [72][73] He opposed attempts of political reform in Poland, and his troops bombarded customs ports on the Vistula, thwarting Polish efforts to create a modern fiscal system. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. These included Voltaire, whose friend the Marquis d'Argens, was appointed Royal Chamberlain in 1742, then Director of the Prussian Academy of Arts and Berlin State Opera.[139]. This action triggered the War of the Austrian Succession, which lasted eight years and brought Frederick’s diplomatic and military skills to the fore. Not only did Frederick the Great expand Prussia, but he also created many reforms that helped establish a more modern society. As an enthusiastic patron of the arts and sciences, a gifted musician and a correspondent with the top minds of the Enlightenment, Frederick sought to embody the Platonic ideal of a “philosopher-king.”. In 1744, Frederick also inherited the minor territory of East Frisia on the North Sea coast of Germany after its last ruler died without issue. The Seven Years’ War came to a formal end in 1763 and Frederick resumed his domestic programs, reorganizing the Prussian government into separate ministries to allow rational division of tasks and easy executive control. Naukowe, 2000, page 105. As a child, he spent most of his time in rigorous military training and education. Oscar winner sues union over 'barbaric' health plan Bach was employed as one of Frederick's court musicians. Later, his first active military service was with Austrian commander, Eugene of Savoy, against the French army in the Rhineland. However, he is best known as a great military leader. [9], In the mid-1720s, Queen Sophia Dorothea attempted to arrange the marriage of Frederick and his sister Wilhelmine to her brother King George II's children Amelia and Frederick, respectively. “The Flutist of Sanssouci: Frederick ‘the Great’ as Composer and Performer,” Flutist Quarterly 18 (Fall 2012): 19–26; a Dutch translation of the same article has been published in. It was under him that the Prussian army became one of the best in Europe. Frederick and Prince Henry marched the Prussian army into Bohemia to confront Joseph's army, but the two forces ultimately descended into a stalemate, largely living off the land and skirmishing rather than actively attacking each other. When Joseph tried the scheme again in 1784, Frederick created the Fürstenbund, allowing himself to be seen as a defender of German liberties, in contrast to his earlier role of attacking the imperial Habsburgs. After Russia occupied the Danubian Principalities in 1769–70, Frederick's representative in Saint Petersburg, his brother Prince Henry, convinced Frederick and Maria Theresa that the balance of power would be maintained by a tripartite division of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth instead of Russia taking land from the Ottomans. However, interest in foreign cultures was by no means an exception in Germany at that time. Young Frederick was a talented musician, a lover of philosophy and poetry, and an admirer of the French, whose language and culture would deeply mark his future reign. Frederick has been included in the Civilization computer game series, the computer games Age of Empires III, Empire Earth II, Empire: Total War, and the board games Friedrich and Soldier Kings. [76] All dissidents could own property, but Poland increasingly reduced their civic rights after a period of considerable religious and political freedoms. Because of these reforms judges in Prussia were highly respected and thought to be the most honest in all of Europe. [163][164] In the New Palace, his greatest place of residence, Frederick kept the fresco Ganymede Is Introduced to Olympus by Charles Vanloo: "the largest fresco in the largest room in his largest palace", in the words of a biographer.[165]. The Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) was triggered by the alliance formed among Russia, Austria, and France, with the aim of curbing the growing power of both Great Britain and Prussia. Frederick exploited this conflict as means to keep Poland weak and divided.[73]. His famous book, L’Homme-machine (The Human Machine) argued for a materialistic—and, some argued, an atheistic—understanding of human motivations. [113] In lieu of his military predilections, Frederick administered his Kingdom justly and ranks among the most "enlightened" monarchs of his era; this, notwithstanding the fact that in many ways, "Frederick the Great represented the embodiment of the art of war". He worked to economically consolidate Prussia, lowering internal duties, building canals to encourage trade and enacting protective tariffs. He called it "peopling Prussia" (Peuplierungspolitik). [142] His own court remained quite Spartan, frugal and small, restricted to a limited circle of close friends- a layout similar to his father's court, though Frederick and his friends were far more cultured than Frederick William. However, he is best known as a great military leader. He protected his industries with high tariffs and minimal restrictions on domestic trade. [34] Three days after this victory,[41] Frederick's troops were again on the march into the heart of central Bohemia. All rights reserved. [25] The ratio of one soldier for every 28 citizens was far higher than the one-to-310 in Great Britain, another great power of this period. [140] He discarded many Baroque era authors as uncreative pedants and especially despised German theatre. [14] When he was 18, Frederick plotted to flee to England with Katte and other junior army officers. [66], Like many leading figures in the Age of Enlightenment, Frederick was a Freemason, and his membership legitimized the group and protected it against charges of subversion. The king's criticism led many German writers to attempt to impress Frederick with their writings in the German language and thus prove its worthiness. [81] Frederick II settled 300,000 colonists in territories he had conquered, and enforced Germanization.[82]. In spite of his father's desire that his education be entirely religious and pragmatic, the young Frederick, with the help of his tutor Jacques Duhan, procured for himself a three thousand volume secret library of poetry, Greek and Roman classics, and French philosophy to supplement his official lessons. [123] He also accepted countless Protestant weavers from Bohemia, who were fleeing from the devoutly Catholic rule of Maria Theresa, granting them freedom from taxes and military service. The Protestant dissidents were still free to practice their religion, although their schools were shut down. After the Seven Years' War, the Prussian military acquired a formidable reputation across Europe. Frederick II or Frederick the Great was King of Prussia from 1740 until 1786. Wilhelmine recorded that the two "soon became inseparable. His nephew and successor Frederick William II instead ordered the body to be entombed next to his father in the Potsdam Garrison Church. An unabashed dog lover, Frederick II is credited with coining the phrase “man’s best friend” to describe one of his greyhounds. [63] He passionately hated everything associated with Poland, while justifying his hatred and territorial expansionism with the ideals of the Enlightenment. As a result, Germany was never unified, remaining a loose collection of principalities, and in the 20th Century there were no World Wars. "Frederick the Great, Guibert, Bulow," in Peter Paret et al. In 1772, he obtained all Polish Prussia, and a part of Great Poland.