Prussia-Age of Absolutism
By Alan, Lauren, and Madison
Brief History of Prussia
Important Rulers in Prussia and When They Ruled
Frederick William of Brandenburg, the Great Elector reigned from 1640–1688
Great Elector’s son Frederick William I reigned from 1688–1713
Frederick William II reigned from 1786-1796
- Last grand master of Prussia, Albert of Hohenzollern, reigned from 1510- 1525
Some of the Major Accomplishments of Prussia
- Prussia became the fourth largest army in Europe with help from the Great Elector.
Centralized administration was set up in Prussia.
Intervention in the Swedish-Polish War by the Great Elector ended Poland having power over Prussia.
- Provinces in Prussia were able to develop through large scale colonizations.
Changes during the period
The Prussian language died in the 17th century
Came under German and Polish rule during the Middle Ages
Prussia and Austria emerged as great European powers in the 17th and 18th centuries
When Frederick William the Great Elector realized how defenseless their territory was, he built a large and efficient standing army that held 40,000 men which made the Prussian army the fourth-largest in Europe.
To maintain this huge army and his own power, Frederick William started the General War Commissariat to levy taxes for the army and oversee its growth.
- The Commissariat quickly became a new agency for civil government.
Legacy of the Empire
New Ideas Originated from the Empire
The state of Brandenburg of Prussia, remained under the influence of the Holy Roman Empire which was controlled by other German-states
Brandenburg- Prussia operated with a great deal of independency
Brandenburg’s ruler also served as one of seven electors of the Holy Roman Empire and that gave the state a significant measure of influence over the empire’s affairs
In 1701, Brandenburg- Prussia was declared the kingdom of Prussia
The incoming royalty started a program of massive state-building that dramatically increased Prussia’s power during the first half of the 18th century
- Since the Kingdom was a relatively new territory he also elevated an absolutist state around a strong military and an efficient centralized administration
What problems might Prussia have encountered in governing its territories?
Prussia was a small open territories with no frontiers for defense, so it sometimes had problems governing its territory.
What were some specific ways Frederick William used to maintain his power?
- He set up the General War Commissariat and built a large army to maintain his power.
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