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Frederick William I (Friedrich Wilhelm I)

( Second in the history of King of Prussia)

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Biography Frederick William I (Friedrich Wilhelm I)
Improved, trained, and increased the army, with which his son, Frederick II the Great invaded Silesia and won it and made Prussia a great European power.
Friedrich Wilhelm, son of King Frederick I of Prussia and his second wife, Sophia Charlotte, was born in Kellne (now part of Berlin), August 15, 1688. Received a strict military upbringing and lifelong inclined to military life and discipline, which gave rise to the nickname 'soldier king'. In his youth participated in the War of Spanish Succession. In 1713, Frederick William ascended the throne after the death of his father and immediately took aggressive measures to reduce the very substantial costs of maintaining the court of Frederick and patronage of the sciences and the arts. Suffice it to compare that to the coronation of his father in 1701, spent 6 million. thalers, and his son missed the 2,5 thousands. Henceforth, all incomes of the poor and backward country directed to the needs of the army, which under Frederick William doubled, reaching by 1740 the number of 84 000.

Stern discipline, and subordinate to the King family. Over time, the system started to introduce the young son of King Frederick so hated that in 1730 he tried to flee to England. But the plan was uncovered, Frederick seized and nearly condemned to death, and his unfortunate companion, Lieutenant Cutty by royal instructions were executed in front of the Prince.

King at his discretion to intervene in the affairs of justice, especially in the case of theft, corruption and mismanagement. Noble birth did not save the guilty, the Queen's anger could incur and dignitaries, as Friedrich Wilhelm lifelong suspect know in laziness and self-will. Noblemen he compelled to hold public office, especially in the army, and their sons, they had to give in the fear-Cadet School, to obtain appropriate training.

Friedrich Wilhelm has forbidden the import of many products to support local industry. King was not interested in culture and did not encourage the development of science or art, but in 1717 primary education became compulsory in his dominions, and in Berlin, he built many fine buildings.

In his reign of Frederick William relied on the Director-General (established in 1723) - the highest organ of state administration with the appropriate military missions on the ground. The control system generally have rigid centralization. Revenues increased markedly, and the tax burden borne largely on the shoulders of peasants, sons who for years were called up for military service. However, in 1719 Friedrich Wilhelm completely abolished serfdom on the land belonging to him personally (which was about a third of the total area of the Prussian state). In 1733 it introduced another innovation - the cantonal system of manning the army, according to which the landlord became the captain of his peasants, a system that provided a third of the total number of recruits. Army absorbed about 70% of income, but has never been used in major battles for fear of the king that his favorite battalions will lose. Darlings of Friedrich Wilhelm and the object of his special pride stand in the famous Potsdam giants Grenadier, King has made tremendous efforts for the maintenance of their regiment, and, as far as he could not spare them the money.

Foreign policy of Frederick William was little success. At the very beginning of his reign he received as a reward for help in the War of Spanish Succession, the Spanish part of the Upper Geldern (Spanish Netherlands) and the canton of Neuchц╒tel (Switzerland), . and later - the western half of Pomerania with Stettin port (sovr,
. Szczecin), for which in 1720 paid Sweden 2 million. thalers. Friedrich died in Potsdam, converted them into the royal residence, May 31, 1740.

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Frederick William I (Friedrich Wilhelm I), photo, biography
Frederick William I (Friedrich Wilhelm I), photo, biography Frederick William I (Friedrich Wilhelm I)  Second in the history of King of Prussia, photo, biography
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