AP European History
Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great (Frederick II), the King of Prussia, was the leader necessary to take Prussia to a modern level. Under him, his country grew to a level equivalent to that of other top European countries of that time. Through his militaristic skills and his ability to lead, Frederick created a great power in Europe. Frederick accomplished establishing Prussia as a power through the acquisition of Silesia, creating a valuable silk industry, and the “Diplomatic Revolution”, which occurred during the war of Austrian Succession.
Frederick led Prussia in battle to conquer the Austrian region of Silesia. This region had many raw materials that helped to spark Prussian economy under Frederick. To keep these materials in Prussia to help further increase the economy, he put high tariffs and had low taxes with internal trade. This dissuaded those in possession of the materials to trade the materials out of Prussia in fear of revenue loss.
During the reign of Frederick the Great, the French dominated the silk industry. With the help of Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky, Frederick created a powerful silk factory, which employed more than 1,500 of his countrymen. Taxes in Prussia were also changed with the help of French experts. These experts helped to tax the silk and other valuable items like grain and helped to further increase Prussia’s power through the economy.
During Frederick’s reign, the “Diplomatic Revolution” took place. This completely changed the alliances in Europe and got Prussia into the state of being a European power. It began when France, England, and Austria went in separate directions because their nations sought different paths. When the Austrian region of Silesia was taken by Frederick, these powerful European nations finally viewed Prussia as a threat to them. Prussia chose to ally themselves with the powerful nation of England. This left them against the French, Austrians, and Russians....