Friedrich II. (Prussia)

this article is concerned with the Prussian king, for the warships designated after it sees SMS Friedrich the large one (term clarifying).
Friedrich II. von Preußen (der Große)
Friedrich II. of Prussia (the large one)

Friedrich II., also Friedrich the large one or that Old Fritz mentioned, (* 24. January 1712 in Berlin; † 17. August 1786 in potsdam) was since 1740 king in Prussia and since 1772 king of Prussia. It was the fourth child king Friedrich of William Prussiaand its wife Sophie Dorothea of Hanover.

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Friedrich II. of Prussia as a young man

Friedrich became of its father Friedrich William I., „the soldier king “, authoritarianly, hard and militarily educated. it undertook 1730 together with his youth friend Hans Hermann of Katte onepossibly consciously dilettante planned escape attempt to England, which was however already defeated in its beginnings. Both were arrested in the fortress Küstrin, where Katte - which was executed according to disputed excessive quantity - before the eyes Friedrichs. Close friendships connected Friedrichlikewise with Peter Karl Christoph of Keith and Hans's Karl von Winterfeldt.

On pressure of its father, who affects William of Grumbkow and Jacob Paul von Gundling, who were located in Austrian pay, again of members of the yard such as Friedrich, married he was Elizabeth Christine relatives of the house having castle distant from Braunschweig Bevern . The marriage remained childless. Friedrich lived mostly separately from it and pointed themselves with its wife only to Galafesten. Not to offend its wife,he had had to promise its father still briefly before its death. Only the Rheinsberger years of the two (1736-1740) could have been lucky marriage years, however it is not safe whether its behavior was genuine or one intended theatre performance for the distrustful father „“.


Standbild auf der Hohenzollern-Burg
fixed image on the Hohenzollern castle

immediately after its coronation/culmination in the year 1740 it began the 1. Schlesi war, in which it for strongly dismembered and Prussia poor in nature goods conquer an economically strong region anda border to create wanted, which is to be defended more easily.

In the first war it conquered Christoph count von Schwerin Schlesien for Prussia with its general field marshal briefly. In 2. Schlesi war successfully defended it this conquest. In the seven-year-old war its troops marchedin course axles . Thus it forestalled a coordinated attack of an alliance practically all direct neighbours of Prussia including the great powers Austria, France, Russia around few months, that had been initiated by the Austrian chancellor count Kaunitz. The numerical ratio of the army of Prussiain relation to this alliance for instance 1:3 amounted to, that the pure total population of the States of for instance 1:20. Due to its strategic fate, which related serious tactical wrong decisions again, the surname was patriated „the large one “in for it.

Conquest Schlesiens in the first Schlesi war(1740-42) used the weakness of Austria, which resulted from the pragmatic sanction and only in the year 1739 the terminated Turk war. Standing the safety device of of the new Evangelist (Niederschlesien was German-language (about 95%), the several times on the dump, and predominantly Evangelist (68%)) and Schlesien in second (1744-45), following on it, and third Schlesi war, to which seven-year-old so mentioned war (1756-63, hand province) left Protestant Prussia the equal partner in the European Pentarchie (Leopold of climbs) to become. The little outstanding „strewing sand can “of theHoly Roman realm against the resistance from finally five European great powers (France, Austria, Russia, Sweden, Saxonia Poland) had maintained ground. Thus it provided for at that time most modern after certification of many spirit sizes of Voltaire and Mirabeau to roll ago Rathenau and Sebastian HaffnerStates of a safe existenzielle basis in the political contest. Beside Russia, Austria, France and England Prussia had been finally established as fifth European great power.

The first division of Poland (1772) went on an initiative Friedrich II. back. Austria and with Prussiasince 1764 allied Russia stood to that time at the border of an armed conflict. In the sense the Prussian king encouraged of strictly rationally proceeding, enlightened state and Machträson both contractors to satisfy their area hunger at expense of the been subject neighboring country. Prussia annektierteso-called Polish Prussia and/or.West Prussia. Since then it called itself Friedrich II., king of Prussia and no more, like its both predecessors, king in Prussia.

Adolph of Menzel : Board round king Friedrich II. (center) in Sanssouci with Voltaire (left) andthe prominent heads of the citizens of Berlin academy, 1850, formerly national gallery, Berlin, 1945 in the Flakturm Friedrichshain burned.

As a young king it excited attention in Europe, because it abolished at least unofficially the torture (instruction of the 3. June 1740 to the Minister of JusticeCocceji, first still with the reservation the fact that torture with „large Mordtaten where many humans around the life brought “, can be still used; abolished without each reservation 1754; in the same year prohibition of the publication of the torture prohibition), the freedom of religion announced and tothere Austrian Schlesien incorporated. Its Wahlspruch: „I am a first servant of my state. “It made itself very earned around the development of the right, in particular the general Landrechts. As anecdote for handling of the king with the right gladly those becomesPutting one Mueller's von Sanssouci endeavors. Further its reign characteristic acts relating to domestic affairs were in the agriculture the introduction of the potato than food, as well as the dewatering of the Drömlings and the Oderbruches, reforms in the military and educating nature, as well as the creation onestrong official conditions, which were stopped to treat each citizen directly.

Not the tolerance and openness in relation to immigrants and religious minorities such as Huguenots and catholics, completely unselfish for Prussia in economic regard , is a firm size of its term of office. In A Protestant and a catholic church stand for forum Fridericianum in Berlin next to each other, a Unikum in 18. Century. Friedrich is after-said the sentence „to everyone is after its Façon blessedly to become “. In the discriminating treatment of the Jews Friedrich attached II. howeversmoothly to the policy of its predecessors on (revised general privilege 1750). Prussia was the first absolute monarchy of Europe, to which a at least limited Pressefreiheit was introduced.

In addition it was in Prussia Friedrichs II. for all citizens possible, itself brieflich orto turn even personally to the king. In accordance with his famous maxim „the king is a first servant of the state “tried he to large excrescences of the Feudalsystems to prevent. It was in particular distrustful opposite its own officials, who it inCase of doubt pronounced condition darkness for the disadvantage of the poorer layers subordinated.

Dead mask Friedrich II. decreased from Johann cornerstone to 17. August 1786 (wax drain of the original form, supplemented by piecing on to the head), as it was kept in the Hohenzollern museum in the former lock Monbijou(destroys).
„It displeases me much that with the poor people, which have to do in process things in Berlin, are so hard gone around and that one threatens them with detention, as for example with the Jacob turner from East Prussia happened,that a process because of in Berlin is and the police that wanted to lock. I already forbade and would like that you hereby to recognize to give that in my eyes a poor farmer applies just as much as the most distinguishedCount and the richest nobleman. The right applies likewise to distinguished as to small people! “ (Letter Friedrichs of the large one to its Minister of Justice, 1777)

the general abolishment lively wished by it and and/or. Moderating the body characteristic failed because of the substantial resistance of thePrussian land aristocracy, however on the royal crowning domains gradually one interspersed. In the again opened areas villages were established and free farmers were settled. It was usual with lining up extension of a lease for national reason that employee, farm servants, farmhands over its treatmentwere asked and exchanged with bad states of the tenants, also when successful managing.

Likewise during the regency Friedrich II. hundreds schools were built. The land educational system insulted however at the unsettled teacher training. Frequently former NCOs were consulted, those of reading, letterand counting were often only incompletely powerful.

Friedrich died to 17. August 1786 in lock Sanssouci in its armchair. Although it wanted to be buried beside its dogs on the terrace by lock Sanssouci, it became from its successor and nephewburied in a Gruft under the garrison church in potsdam. 1944 were brought the coffin into the Elizabeth church to Marburg and only 1952 on initiative to Louis Ferdinands on the castle Hohenzollern. Only to 17. August 1991, after which German reunification, becamethe large king again to potsdam brought and there, as he wanted it, in the Gruft already made during lifetimes buries. Thus Friedrichs became old Bonmot, in doubtful French, „Quand ever suis là, ever suis sans souci “(if I thereare, I am finite without concerns) to the truth.

field gentleman

Friedrich II. von Preußen als Feldherr
Friedrich II. of Prussia as a field gentleman

regardless of its outstanding achievements in non-military areas, Friedrich is II. also as an important field gentleman entered historical conciousness of with and future generations.

Friedrichwas master of the field battle. It struck 15 battles in eleven war years, triumphed twelve times (Mollwitz 1741; Chotusitz 1742; Hohenfriedberg 1745, Soor 1745; Lobositz 1756; Prague 1757; Rossbach 1757, Leuthen 1757; Anger village 1758; Liegnitz 1760; Gate gau 1760; Burkersdorf 1762), was subject three times (Kolin1757, Hochkirch 1758, Kunersdorf 1759). In the FE storage war it was far less lucky; three misses stand for a successful FE storage (Schweidnitz 1762) opposite (Prague 1757; Olmütz 1758; Dresden 1760). Its generals struck seven battles, were subject five times (large hunter village 1757; Breslau 1757; Kay 1759;Maxen 1759; 1760), triumphed to land hat twice (boiler village 1745 under general field marshal Leopold of notion Dessau, free mountain 1762 under lieutenant general prince Heinrich of Prussia). Friedrich lost the nimbus of the Unbesiegbarkeit by the defeat of Kolin, but he applied for his opponentsas very fast to defeat as incalculable and hardly. Since 1760 it could support itself on his fourteen years younger brother prince Heinrich, who it transferred the command on the theater subordinated in each case.

Over the strains and personal losses thatCampaigns was Friedrich II. early aged. The intellectual world openness of the young king yielded the Verbitterung and the cynicism. In the Bavarian succession war (1778/79), also as “potato war”, defeated Friedrich admits II. Efforts of the Austrian emperor Joseph II., Belgium against large parts of Bayernsto exchange. Austrian holding to the Bavarian-Belgian exchange project answered Prussia with the establishment of the Protestant dominated prince federation (1785).


Friedrich II. beim Flötenspiel(Gemälde von Adolph von Menzel)
Friedrich II. with the flute play
(painting of Adolph of Menzel)

some historians try to prove that Friedrich thatLarge one was homosexual, which is however disputed. It is indisputable that he had a very much dissociated relationship to women. The autopsy after its death did not result in referring to a physical explanation for this behavior, however there were information of its body physician JohannGeorge Carpenter had tightened itself, to their-according to to Friedrich briefly before its wedding a sex illness. Some the few Mrs., who it zollte respect, „the large land countess in such a way specified “Karoline and Katharina was the large one, to which it dedicated several poems andwith which it in one move correspondence. It expected the same beautiful-mental ESPRIT from women, for which its board rounds were praised.

Friedrich corresponded with Voltaire and received it longer time in potsdam. It wrote numerous works in FrenchLanguage. Its „anti- Macchiavell became European-wide famous “(1740), in which it subjected national political principles of the Machiavelli of a critical, enlightened analysis.

It was interested in art in each form, outlined for example even its Potsdamer lock Sanssouci and had it by Knobelsdorff implemented,if an important picture collection put on, very well transverse flute (flute teacher Johann Joachim Quantz) played and composed on elevated level. Its art taste was very much strengthened and static, so that it hardly considered European developments within many ranges. Is its meeting admits far awaywith Johann Sebastian brook in the year 1747 in Sanssouci. In the course of this meeting brook wrote its famous „musical victim “over „the royal topic “given by Friedrich.

Friedrich preserved itself little, so that in particular the numerous war courses at thoseit personally participated, which with regents at this time not at all was natural, much in him lived. But not least carried this iron consequence „roi charmingly “from Sanssouci in the heavy times of the seven-year-old of war, those besides from deathclose friends like the general his sister Wilhelmine of Bayreuth or the field marshal Keith loved by Winterfeldt, were overshadowed, to its to today not faded fame. At this time often the monarch troubled by suicide thoughts held up to laboriousthrough and Prussia protected achieved victory occupation, division and a French-Austrian hegemony. Not only its battle victories, but also, although self-willed its character strength and staying power and never shrunk thereby, sense for justice and compassion made him„Large king “.

historical meaning

Der Stern des Schwarzen Adlerordens, den der König immer an der Uniform trug
the star of the black eagle medal, that the king always at the uniform carried

the efforts of the clear up-absolutist king for the development of the juridical system belonged to its time to the revolutionary on the European continentand imitators found such as Joseph II. (HRR). It proceeded quite inconsiderately, if it seemed necessary to it. That applies also to its European great power politics, to their penetration it under its father, for the soldier king in such a way specified, developed alreadyArmy began and for which it broke more war of the fence, as everyone its predecessor and successor.

The right reforms activated briefly before its end of life of it did not lead finally under the Prussian Reformern to the release of the farmers from the body characteristic,only on the public domains, but also on the large goods of the Prussian aristocracy frondierenden against it (see Friedrich August Ludwig of the Marwitz).

As earnings/services into the today's time the abolishment of the torture is considered to the large one by Friedrich, upwhich the population could not appoint itself however officially. The right understanding of this time did not come without adequate methods to the torture out (see.Abolishment of the torture), so that the meaning lies in the theoretical beginning. Basis for also material an effectiveHumanization were introduced 1779/80 in the large judicial reform and the release exerted by it of the low conditions from the arbitrariness of the aristocracy.„It must only to know that the smallest farmer, which still more is the beggar just as probably humansis like his majesty are, and which all law must happen; as before the law all people are equal, it may be a prince, that against a farmer complains or in reverse, then is the prince before the law the farmerdirectly, and at such opportunities must be happened to the person after the justice, without reputation. “

With its accession it already gave the order to professor Formey to create in Berlin a French newspaper for politics and literature. To the Minister v. Podewils was issued the instruction to waive the censorship for the not-political part of the newspapers. „Gazetten, if they should be interesting, may not become genius ore! “, so Friedrich in its Ordre.

Friedrich the large one is a typical representative of the so-called enlightened absolutism.It called itself as first servants of the state, to which the well-being of its subjects had to go before the own. Its Büste was set up to it in honours in the Walhalla. After its death numerous further thinking marks were established, the most important thingthe large rider fixed image is Friedrichs of the large one under the lime trees in Berlin. This statue was saved in the war and already put up at times of the GDR again.

sea protest

in the last two centuries was the myth approximately overFriedrich II a constant change subjected. „If the old person Fritz applied “until 1870 still as a founder of German dualism, then later generations used him shameless for their propagandistic purposes. Many politicians and Aristokraten late 19. and early 20. Centurytried it nachzueifern and stylized it to the Wegbereiter of Protestant Germany. An example of this sea protest are the Fridericus Rex films of the 20's 20. Century, Friedrich was thus one the first prominent ones, its lives for at that time straightin coming understood medium cinema was prepared. Also the Prussian people dear Friedrich second, it always compared the policy of the respective ruler with the peoplenear and the strategically ingenious former king. This Glorifizierung reached their high point however in thirdRichly under the leadership of the propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. The regime did not only call it „first national socialist “, Friedrich and its Gefolgsleute also for the epitome of German discipline, steadfastness and native country loyalty was high-stylized. Thus the Nazis e.g. justified. the summoning thatAlso 15-jährige of aristocracy sons would have raised Hitler boys to the people storm with the reason, Friedrich to second lieutenants. Thus the legend of the charismatischen Prussia king abused by political ruling powers, whether it was called in an un-German manner „“or „German national “, was subject with it to the respective spirit of the time for many centuries.


          ┌──< Friedrich William (1620 - 1688)         │    Cure prince of Brandenburg         │    ┌──< Friedrich I. (1657 - 1713)    │    King in Prussia    │    │    │    └──< Louise Henriette of Oranien (1627 - 1667), │ ... │ ┌──<Friedrich William I. (1688 - 1740),  the soldier king │    King in Prussia │    │ │    │    ┌──< Ernst August (1629 - 1698), │ │ │ cure prince of Hanover, see below ││ │ │ └──<Sophie Charlotte of Hanover (1668 - 1705) │         ││         └──< Sophie of the Pfalz (1630 - 1714) │              see below │               …
│ Friedrich II. (1712 - 1786),  Friedrichthe large king of Prussia │ │         ┌──< Ernst August (1629 - 1698), │         │    Cure prince of Hanover, see above │         │ │    ┌──< George I. (1660 - 1727) │ │ king of Great Britain and cure princeof Hanover │ │ │ │ │ └──<Sophie of the Pfalz (1630 - 1714) │    │         see above │    │ └──< Sophie Dorothea of Hanover (1687 - 1757)    …
     │    │    ┌──< George William (1624 - 1705)    │    │    Duke by Braunschweig and Lueneburg in Calenberg and Lueneburg    │    │    └──< Sophie Dorothea of Braunschweig Lueneburg (1666 - 1726),  princess von Ahlden         …
          │         └──< Eleonore D' Olbreuse (1639 - 1722)              …

See also: The flute concert Friedrich of the large one in Sanssouci, list of the rulers named Friedrich

of works

  • {{#if:
| | * Literature of and over Friedrich II. (Prussia) in the catalog of the DDB


work on []


  • thought and memories of the Prussia king., ISBN 3-88851-167-4
  • Theodor Schieder: Friedrich the large one - a Königtum of the contradictions. ISBN 3-548-26534-0
  • Karl Otmar of Aretin (Mitverf.): Friedrich the large one. Ruler between tradition and progress. ISBN 3-570-05104-8
  • Oswald of houses (Hrsg.): Friedrich the large one in its time. ISBN 3-412-08186-8
  • Johannes Kunisch: Friedrich the large one. The king and its time. Beck, Munich 2004, 624 S., ISBN 3-406-52209-2
  • Ingrid center two: Friedrich II. of Prussia, Berlin, 1979
  • Dieter Wunderlich: Interlaced careers. Friedrichthe large one, Maria Theresia and Katharina the large one., ISBN 3-7917-1720-0
  • S. Fischer Fabian: Prussia Gloria
  • Peter Lill: Friedrich the large one, anecdotes. Ullstein publishing house 1991, ISBN 3-548-34865-3
  • Christian count von Krockow: Friedrich the large one. A life picture. Publishing house: Bastei Lübbe, ISBN 3-404-61460-7.
  • Wolfgang Venohr: The large king publishing house Gustav Lübbe 1995, ISBN 3-7857-0681-2
  • Wolfgang Venohr: Fridericus Rex, Friedrich large-haven-guesses/advises 1985 and 2000, ISBN 3-7857-2026-2 James R. to a Doppelnatur publishing house
  • Gustav Lübbe. Gaines: Evening into the Palace OF Reason.Fourth Estate, 2005, ISBN 0007156588 (brook meets Frederick the Great)


Heinz Erhardt sealed over it:

By the old person Fritz
of the old person Fritz, the Prussia king,
one knows much, but much too little.
So is for exampleit does not admit
that he invented the roasting potato!
Drum are called them also - that is not a joke
Pommes Fritz!

What wanted to say the poet us thereby? Clearly, the potato was introduced by the old person Fritz into Prussia. However with the attempt the silk crawler-type vehiclein Prussia to make domestic, he failed.

see also

Web on the left of

Wikiquote: Friedrich II. (Prussia) - quotations
This article was taken up to the list of the articles worth reading.

Friedrich William I.
List of the kings of Prussia successor
Friedrich William II.


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