Frederick the Great
In Europe, the eighteenth century was a period of intellectual, social, and political development. It was not the time of absolute rulers anymore but it is becoming a time of Enlightened Despots, monarchs who rules with principles of enlightenment rather than absolute monarchy. Frederick the Great was the first Enlightened Despot of Prussia, along with the other rising Enlightened Despot of the time, Maria Theresa . Frederick the Great was one of the most influential kings in European history through his role in modernizing the culture of Prussia, in winning the War of Austrian Succession and in making domestic reforms that helped the people under Prussian rule.
Frederick the Great’s childhood was spent in rigorous military training and education and constant abuse from his father. Frederick the Great was born January 24, 1712 in Berlin, Prussia. The abuse Frederick suffered from by the hands of his father was both physical and emotional. Frederick the Great loved music and literature which caused for his father to be disappointed that his son did not like war, as he did. Throughout his entire childhood his father, Frederick William I would do retched things to him such as hit and spit on him when he did not approve of what his son had done. When Frederick was a teenager he decided to escape his torment by his father with his friend Katte. When Frederick’s father discovered his plan he thought it was a conspiracy on his life and put Frederick on house arrest and forced him to watch the execution of his best friend, Katte, as a punishment for attempting to leave Prussia. He told himself that when it was his turn on the throne that he would not be a ruler like his father. Although he faced many appalling things he his childhood they all lead to him being a strong king and ingenious military mind.
Frederick the Great made Prussia a more modernized country by adopting certain characteristics from the French culture. He made reforms to the Prussian government which ultimately strengthened it he said that “ a well conducted government must have an underlying concept so well integrated that it could be likened to a system of philosophy. All actions taken must be well reasoned, and all financial, political and military matters must flow towards one goal, which is the strengthening and the furthering of its power”. Frederick created a modern bureaucracy. A modern Bureaucracy is a group of specifically non-elected officials within a government or other institution that implements the rules, laws, ideas, and functions of their institution. Frederick exemplifies that by having himself as the head of the nation and state and only having certain merit officials making the government decisions. In addition Frederick expanded on education with use of more literature and philosophy and he reformed his court. Although his court and government resembled a barrack and they were ran with military precision. Even though he felt strongly against it serfdom due to his not wanting to affect the nobles and ultimately the economy of Prussia. Frederick as well encouraged religious tolerance and partitioned Poland even though he was a strong Calvinist. Frederick was a patron of the arts a philosophy, but most specifically partitioned Voltaire. The socially modernizing of Prussia was one of his main accomplishments.
Frederick the Great was known as great military leader. His army was a strong and disciplined one. He was the military commander in the War of Austrian Succession. The war began because Frederick did not like the fact that a woman was the leader of Austria. Aware of Austria’s economic and military weakness he decided that it was time to expand his rule and the territory of Prussia southward into Silesia. Silesia was quite advanced in industry, rich in agriculture and mineral wealth, and it was Protestant. Frederick wanted to be known as a powerful monarch and...
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