Great Elector

(Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg)


Frederick William, the Great Elector, is commonly attributed with facilitating the unification of Brandenburg-Prussia into a cohesive kingdom rather than a Duchy. His third son became Frederick William I of Prussia, first of the Prussian kings. During his reign, the Great Elector encouraged both trade and religious tolerance, which strengthened his kingdom more so than those countries who persecuted certain religious groups. The trade he encouraged both enriched his people and strengthened diplomatic ties with other powerful nations. By the time of his death, the Great Elector had set the stage for Prussia’s rise to power under the rule of his descendants, the House of Hohenzollern. This line of Prussian royalty was to remain in place until the end of World War I.

Key events during the life of Great Elector:

Born February 16th.
Thirty Year's War
Marriage to Luise Henriette of Nassau. They have 6 children, including the future Frederick I of Prussia.
Second Northern War. Prussia-Brandenburg forced to swear vassalage to Sweden.
Battle of Warsaw. Swedes turn on Prussians at the behest of Louis XIV of France.
Death of Queen Luise.
Second marriage to Sophie Dorothea of Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. They have 7 children.
The Great Sleigh Drive. Swedish forces cut off from their navy and defeated thoroughly.
Death of the Great Elector.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Kingdoms  in  Fifty Famous Stories Retold  by  James Baldwin
Rise of Prussia  in  Germany: Peeps at History  by  John Finnemore
Leopold I  in  The History of Germany  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall

Image Links

To what kingdom does this orange belong?'
 in Fifty Famous Stories Retold
Frederick, The Great Elector
Frederick, The Great Elector
 in Back Matter
The Great Elector withdraws from the association of the Dutch Nobility
The Great Elector withdraws from the association of the Dutch Nobility
 in Back Matter

The Great Elector in his tenth year.
 in  Youth of the Great Elector

Short Biography
Louis XIV French King who expanded the borders of France, and lived in great pomp and splendor.