Bailey, Joe, Tucker
Brief History of Prussia
The original Prussians, mainly hunters and cattle breeders, spoke a language belonging to the Baltic group of the Indo-European language family. Attempts to convert the Prussians to christianity was unsuccessful. In the 13th century, the Prussians were conquered and Christianized by the German-speaking knights of the Teutonic Order. The majority of the inhabitants of Prussia were German-speaking, though the Old Prussian language did not die out until the 17th century. By the 17th century the indigenous population was thoroughly assimilated.
Important People and Terms to Know
Frederick II : Frederick the Great was the King of Prussia, he cared more about the arts, music, and philosphy than about warfare and liked to surround himself with French intellectuals. Under his leadership, Prussia became a major military power with many victories.
Timeline of Key Facts
1618 - Prussia merged with German electorate of Brandenburg under the rule of John of Sigismund, creating the Hohenzollern dynasty.
1660 - Under the rule of Elector Frederick William Prussia removed the last vestiges of Polish control through battles that ended with the Peace of Oliva
1701 - Frederick William II declared Brandenburg-Prussia the kingdom and crowned himself King. He embarked on a program of state-building by adding new territorial holdings that increased Prussia’s power during 1701 through 1750. He constructed an absolutist state around a strong military and centralized bureaucracy.
1740 - King Frederick II came to throne and inherited an efficient government with an abundant treasury. He introduced some judicial reforms, improved Prussia’s educational system, and encourage the growth of intellectualism. He tried to conciliate large numbers of Catholic Germans who was under Prussian control. He advocated some measure of religious toleration, although Prussia remained a Protestant.
Frederick II gained new territory to the Prussian kingdom and even Royal Prussia, which had been under Polish rule, through the War of the Austrian Succession, the Austro-Prussian War, and the first partition of Poland. He also gained the support and respect of powerful Junkers, who ruled over Prussia’s large serf population.
1786 - Following the death of Frederick II’s death the later rulers preserved the system that his father had created. The country continued to expand with military battles for the rest of the 18th century, but then fell at the hands of the French during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The French appended large segments of Prussia and forced King Frederick William III to pay allegiance to Napoleon I's French Empire.
1812 - The Prussian military was forced to serve as Napoleon's ally in his invasion of Russia. However the invasion failed and a wave of Prussian nationalism fueled the country's involvement in the War of Liberation. Prussia contributed to Napoleon's eventual defeat in 1814 and 1815, having been allied with the rest of Europe.
"Prussia." Britannica School. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/61665/media?assemblyId=194371>.
"List of Prussian Flags." MicroWiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015. <http://micronations.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Prussian_Flags>.
Supporters and Religion of Prussia
Prussia was the home of the pagan spiritual leader Krivis and the pagan center of Romuva that was dear to the Baltic people. In the 13th century the Prussians were conquered and Christianized by the German knights of the Teutonic Order, but they were originally protistan. The Teutonic Order which is also called the Teutonic Knights was a religious order that played a major role in eastern Europe in the late Middle Ages. The Teutonic Order’s last grand master in Prussia, Albert of Hohenzollern, became a Lutheran which broadened the citizens belief to Protestant, Christian, and Lutheran. The majority of the inhabitants of Prussia were German-speaking, though the Old Prussian language did not die out until the 17th century. Poeple who owned large land estates with serfs, were members of the nobility. Many of the land owners were the officers in the Prussian army, they had a strong sense of loyalty to the king or state. The officers believed in duty, obsedience, and sacrifice.
Changes During the Time Period
Rulers of the Country
Territory Prussia Took Over
Ethnicity of the Country
Religious Toleration in the country
Legacy of the Empire
Gained control of Swedish Pomerania
Won the Battle of Mollwitz, the Battle of Hohenfriedberg and the Battle of Kesselsdorf
Won the Battle of Liegnitz despite being outnumbered 3 to 1
Doubled army size in and became the the fourth largest army in Europe
Became thirteenth in population
Prussia became a major European power
Maintained a highly efficient bureaucracy
Abolished the use of torture except in treason and murder cases
Granted limited freedom of speech and press
Had greater religious toleration
- Seized Silesia during the War of the Austrian Succession
- The Prussian educational system was the best in Europe.
- Frederick William the first maintained a highly efficient bureaucracy of civil service workers.
- Frederick Williams other major concern was the army, by the end of his reign in 1740 he had doubled the army size.
- Frederick II, or Frederick the Great limited freedom of speech and press, as well as greater religious toleration.
1. Why was it so important that Peter the Great have a seaport on the Baltic?
Peter was trying to improve trade with Europe, a sea port with access to the Mediterranean Sea was something that Russia lacked. He took advantage of other conflicts in Europe at that time and made an attempt at a black sea port.
2. What did Russia gain by acquiring lands on the Baltic Coast?
Russia gained control over territory along the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea these land gave Russia a direct access by water to the rest of Europe. Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe and is bordered by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden, this means that Russia will have access to all of these places by sea. the estimated size of the Baltic is between 375,600 and 377,000 square kilometers. On average, around forty-five percent of the Baltic is covered by ice, so even with access through the baltic sea it is still hard to travel through the ice.
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"Prussia." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/high/article/61665>.
"Prussia." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.
"Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire: Crash Course World History #219."YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.
Spielvogel, Jackson J. Glencoe World History. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2005. Print.