Frederick William II
1744-97, king of Prussia 1786-97.
* * *German Friedrich Wilhelmborn Sept. 25, 1744, Berlin, Prussiadied Nov. 16, 1797, BerlinKing of Prussia from 1786.He succeeded his uncle Frederick II. Prussia expanded under his rule, adding territories it gained in the second (1793) and third (1795) partitions of Poland and acquiring additional German lands. He entered into an Austro-Prussian alliance, chiefly in opposition to the French Revolution, but signed a separate treaty with France and withdrew from the alliance in 1795 after defeat in the French Revolutionary Wars. Cultural activities, especially music, flourished in his reign; both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven visited the king and dedicated music to him.
* * *▪ king of Prussiaborn September 25, 1744, Berlin, Prussia [now in Germany]died November 16, 1797, Berlinking of Prussia from August 17, 1786, under whom, despite his lack of exceptional military and political gifts, Prussia achieved considerable expansion.The son of Frederick the Great (Frederick II)'s brother Augustus William, he became heir presumptive on his father's death in 1758. He was intellectually receptive and devoted to the arts, but when he succeeded Frederick the Great as king, he was unable to perpetuate his uncle's system of personal government; the direction of the Prussian state fell to a few favourites. Nevertheless, Prussia grew: it acquired Ansbach and Bayreuth when the margrave Charles Alexander renounced his territories (1791), and it gained Danzig ( Gdańsk), Thorn ( Toruń), and a large part of central Poland (including Warsaw) in the Second (1793) and Third (1795) Partitions of that country.In foreign affairs Frederick William cooperated with the Holy Roman emperor Leopold II and entered into an Austro-Prussian alliance (February 7, 1792), chiefly because of a common opposition to the French Revolution. In the War of the First Coalition, Frederick William's preoccupation with getting his share of Poland led him to conduct the war halfheartedly, and in 1795 he withdrew from the coalition by concluding the separate Treaty of Basel. In domestic affairs the king gained easy popularity by abolishing the state monopoly on coffee and tobacco, although the loss of revenue had to be made good by increasing the excise duty on beer, flour, and sugar. Frederick William's most notorious domestic measure was the Religionsedikt (“Religious Edict”) of 1788, largely the work of his favourite, Johann Christoph von Wöllner. It gave legal recognition to the principle of toleration while restricting the freedom of religious instruction and binding the clergy to a narrow Protestantism. Although it was zealously enforced (Immanuel Kant (Kant, Immanuel) was reprimanded and several important journals moved abroad to avoid censorship), the act proved ineffective. A notable law code (Allgemeines Preussisches Landrecht) including various liberal statutes, however, was promulgated (1794).Under Frederick William cultural activities flourished, mostly in Berlin. Painting, architecture, and the theatre were encouraged, and especially music: Mozart and Beethoven visited the King and dedicated chamber music to him, and Frederick William himself played the cello.He contracted two dynastic marriages, the first of which was dissolved. During the lifetime of both his royal consorts he also contracted two morganatic marriages. His son by the second of these wives, Sophia Juliana, Gräfin Dönhoff, was the future statesman Friedrich Wilhelm, Graf von Brandenburg.
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FREDERICK WILLIAM° — (Ger. Friedrich Wilhelm), name of several kings of Prussia. FREDERICK WILLIAM III was king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. The defeats in the Napoloenic Wars at Jena and Auerstädt and the peace treaty of Tilsit (1807) brought Prussia heavy… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Frederick William — 1. 1620 88; elector of Brandenburg (1640 88): called the Great Elector 2. Frederick William I 1688 1740; king of Prussia (1713 40) 3. Frederick William II 1744 97; king of Prussia (1786 97) 4. Frederick William III 1770 1840; king of Prussia… … English World dictionary
Frederick William I — (German: Friedrich Wilhelm I. ) was used by two rulers of the House of Hohenzollern:*Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, the Great Elector of Brandenburg Prussia (1620 1688) *King Frederick William I of Prussia (1688 1740) … Wikipedia
Frederick William — The name Frederick William usually refers to several monarchs of the Hohenzollern dynasty: *Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (1620 1688) *Frederick William I (1688 1740), King of Prussia *Frederick William II (1744 1797), King of Prussia … Wikipedia
Frederick William — 1. ( the Great Elector ) 1620 88, elector of Brandenburg who increased the power and importance of Prussia. 2. 1882 1951, German general: crown prince of Germany 1888 1918 (son of William II of Germany). * * * German Friedrich Wilhelm known as… … Universalium
Frederick William IV — 1795 1861, king of Prussia 1840 61 (brother of William I of Prussia). * * * German Friedrich Wilhelm born Oct. 15, 1795, Cölln, near Berlin, Prussia died Jan. 2, 1861, Potsdam King of Prussia (1840–61). The son of Frederick William III, he was a… … Universalium
Frederick William I — 1688 1740, king of Prussia 1713 40. * * * German Friedrich Wilhelm born Aug. 15, 1688, Berlin died May 31, 1740, Potsdam, Prussia King of Prussia (1713–40). The son of Frederick I, he received valuable military experience in the War of the… … Universalium
Frederick William — Fred′erick Wil′liam n. 1) big (“the Great Elector”) 1620–88, elector of Brandenburg who increased the power and importance of Prussia 2) big Frederick William I, 1688–1740, king of Prussia 1713–40 3) big Frederick William II, 1744–97, king of… … From formal English to slang
FREDERICK-WILLIAM II — king of Prussia, nephew of FREDERICK THE GREAT (q.v. FREDERICK II2); succeeded to the throne in 1786, but soon lost favour by indolence and favouritism; in 1788 the freedom of the press was withdrawn, and religious freedom curtailed; he… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
FREDERICK-WILLIAM I — king of Prussia, born at Berlin, ascended the throne in 1713; in 1720, at the peace of Stockholm, he received part of Pomerania with Stettin for espousing the cause of Denmark in her war with Russia and Poland against Sweden; the rest of his… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia