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to resist the barons, which saved industry and commerce to allow any intervention in their own affairs. Frederick from extinction at a time of unbridled lawlessness, when subdued the resistance of Berlin, among other towns, and the central power could do nothing for their aid. In the by a somewhat unwarrantable stretch of his prerogative pecuniary embarrassments of the margraves also originated erected a royal castle within its walls. He also regained the power of the Stände, or estates, consisting of the possession of the Neumark, which had been given in noblesse, the clergy, and the towns. The first recorded pledge to the Teutonic Order in 1402, and would have instance of a diet co-operating with the ruler occurs in added Lusatia and Pomerania to his domains if the emperor 1170, and in 1280 we find the margraves solemnly binding had not placed obstacles in his way. A long-standing themselves not to raise a “bede” or special voluntary con feud with the archbishop of Magdeburg was also finally tribution (like the English “benevolence”) without the settled in this reign. Under his brother and successor consent of their estates. By 1355 the estates had secured Albert (1470-1486), surnamed "Achilles” from his chival- Albert the appointment of a permanent councillor, without whose rous valour and military talent, the Franconian lands were (Achilles). concurrence the decrees of the margraves were invalid. again united with Brandenburg. Albert allowed his devoIn the century that followed the extinction of the Ascanians tion to the emperor to interfere to some extent with his liberty degenerated into licence, and the land was given own interests, but he carried on successful wars with over to an almost total anarchy. Only the most powerful Mecklenburg and Pomerania, and effectually resisted the towns were able to maintain their independence, and many attempts of the Teutonic knights to repossess themselves of them and of the clergy paid regular black-mail to the of the Neumark. His name is best remembered by the nearest nobles. Thus rotten within, it is no wonder that Dispositio Achillea, a family ordinance providing for the the electorate completely lost its independent political future separation of Brandenburg and Ansbach-Baireuth, importance.

and establishing the custom of primogeniture in each. The The Hohenzollerns. — The new ruler who had to face this According to Hallam, this was the first instance of the Hohen- state of affairs was a member of an old Swabian family, legal establishment of primogeniture, and, when we con

. which took its name of Hohenzollern from the ancestral sider the effect it had in keeping the Brandenburg possescastle in the Swabian Alb. Recent investigation has sions together, while those of Saxony (for instance) were traced back the line to Hunfrid, duke of Rhætia and Istria frittered away among younger sons and their descendants, at the beginning of the 9th century, a member of the we shall not fail to discern its importance in determining widely-spread family of the Burkardingians, while it finds Prussia's future. With the accession of John (1486-1499), John the actual progenitors of the Swabian branch of the family surnamed “Cicero” on account of his eloquence or of his (Cicero). in two Alemannian dukes of the 10th century. At a later knowledge of Latin, begins a short period in which the period the Hohenzollerns were conspicuous for their loyal rulers of Brandenburg take little share in imperial politics. services to the Hohenstauffen emperors, under whom they At home John found his hands full in repressing the disacquired extensive possessions in Franconia and Moravia, orders that had arisen through Albert's long absence from and also the office of burgrave of Nuremberg (1191). They the electorate, and he acted with such vigour and address were ultimately recognized as among the most powerful that he succeeded in obtaining from the towns an importprinces of the empire, and, though they never attained to ant excise on beer, frequently refused to his father. The the electoral dignity, they frequently exercised considerable old claim to feudal supremacy over Pomerania, dating influence in the transference of the imperial crown. Rudolf from the days of the Ascanians, was compromised in 1493 of Hapsburg owed his succession in 1273 to the exertions for an assurance of eventual succession on the extinction of one Hohenzollern burgrave, and Louis the Bavarian of the Pomeranian dukes. The next elector, Joachim I. Joachim owed the victory of Mühldorf (1322) to another. The two (1499-1535), acquired the surname of “Nestor” from his I. (Nessons of the first burgrave, Conrad and Frederick, divided encouragement of learning, which he showed inter alia by

tor). their inheritance between them, the former retaining the the foundation of a university at Frankfort-on-the-Oder. Franconian estates and the dignity of burgrave, the latter He also effected an important internal reform by the introthe ancestral possessions in Swabia. From the first of duction of Roman law, looking upon this as an easier way these descended the rulers of Prussia, while the other line of securing uniformity of procedure than by a codification also still exists in the person of the mediatized prince of of the heterogeneous common law of his dominions. The Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

inconvenience arising from the fact that the supreme court Elector Frederick (1415-1440), who as elector of Brandenburg followed the sovereign from place to place was now reFreder- assumed the style of Frederick I., showed himself equal to moved in Brandenburg, as a short time before in England, ick I.

the troublesome task before him, and would have been still by the establishment of a fixed and central court of final
more successful had his interests been limited to the elec- jurisdiction (Kammergericht). This court had its seat at
torate. By a prudent mixture of lenity and firmness, which Berlin, which had recently become the capital and resi-
did not shrink from actual fighting, he controlled the law-dence of the electors. In curbing the lawlessness of the
lessness of the Quitzows and other robber barons, restored nobles, who were yet far from being perfectly disciplined,
a fair degree of internal order, and made his subjects feel Joachim showed as strong a hand as his predecessors. He
that the central power was a fact that could not be ignored. adhered strenuously to his Roman Catholic belief in spite
While thus regulating the affairs of Brandenburg, Frederick of the fact that Protestantism had been embraced by his
was also a conspicuous figure in imperial politics, especially own family and by most of his subjects, and he regarded
in the Hussite wars. His candidature for the imperial with abhorrence the attitude of the Protestant princes
throne in 1438 may be regarded as the first occasion on towards the emperor.

In violation of the family law, which the houses of Hohenzollern and Hapsburg came into Joachim I. bequeathed the Neumark to his younger son Freder- competition. Frederick was succeeded in Brandenburg by John, and thus Joachim II. (1535-1571) succeeded to only Joachim ick II.

his son Frederick II. (1440-1470), and in his Franconian a part of the paternal possessions. John seems to have II. possessions by his son Albert. The former followed in his been the more vigorous and decided of the two brothers, father's footsteps by taking energetic measures to consoli- and led the way in announcing his transition to the Prodate his power and restore the electorate to its former testant faith, followed by Joachim in 1539. John also extent. His chief struggle was with the large towns, joined the Schmalkald League, but was induced to retire which had cordially welcomed the Hohenzollerns as cham- from it by his brother, who succeeded in conjoining an pions against the freebooting barons, but were unwilling I adoption of the Reformation in his own dominions with

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careful avoidance of conflict with the emperor and had been steadily deteriorating, and their personal rights oman Catholic party. The church ordinance which were already seriously encroached upon.

framed for Brandenburg was drawn up in such a Under Joachim's son, John George (1571.1598), who Jolin ay that the head of the state became likewise the head permanently reunited the Neumark with Brandenburg, the George.

the state church, and henceforth he regarded him- tendencies just noticed received emphatic expression. All lf, like Henry VIII. of England, as standing towards vacant official positions were filled with members of the is own country in the place of the pope. The public noblesse, who also received the right of exacting compultroduction of the new faith was accomplished without sory service from the peasants and other similar privileges. ifficulty, and the clergy witnessed the secularization of the elector, who acquired the name of Oekonom heir property with much equanimity. The funds thus steward from his admirable financial management, soon cquired by Joachim, a prince of maynificent ideas and of reduced the large debt left by his father, and, leaning on vish expenditure, were of great service to him ; but part the support he had earned from the barons, was able to f them he devoted to the encouragement of science and act with great independence towards the other elements rt. A compact of mutual right of eventual inheritance of the diet. During his undisturbed reign the material hade in 1537 with the duke of Liegnitz and Brieg was of prosperity of Brandenburg advanced considerably, and the reat ultimate importance as affording Frederick II. a population was increased by numerous Protestant refugees retext for his claims to Silesia. A still more useful from France and Holland. Joachim Frederick (1598- Joachim rrangement of a similar kind was carried out by Joachim 1608) had the good sense and resolution to oppose the Frederick. n 1569, when he secured the right of succession to the testament of his father, which had assigned the Neunark luchy of Prussia.

to his younger brother, and in the Gera Bond executed a Between the accession of the Hohenzollern dynasty and solemn ratification of the Dispositio Achillea. Ansbach and he period at which we have now arrived the area of Baireuth were formally relinquished to the younger line, Brandenburg had been increased to nearly 15,000 square and have never since, except from 1791 to 1806, formed niles, and its material prosperity had grown in at least an part of the Prussian dominions. This reign is memorable qual ratio. It was still, however, far from being a com for the establishment of a state council (Staatsrath), which pact or united state, nor had it as yet any pretension to served in some degree as a ministerial cabinet, and may be an independent part on the European stage. Perhaps the characterized as the nucleus of the bureaucracy of modern most marked internal change was the increase in the power Prussia. John Sigismund (1608-1619) does not seem to John of the estates, resulting in great measure from the financial have been a man of marked personal character, but his Sigisneeds of the electors

. Their gradual progress towards com- reign is of great importance in the history of Brandenbury plete recognition as a co-ordinate branch of government on account of the extensive territorial enlargement that may be said to have culminated in the formal declaration fell to its lot. The contingency which had been contemof Joachim II., that he would never undertake any action plated in the treaty with Prussia in 1569 was realized on of importance affecting the welfare of his suljects without the death of Duke Albert in 1618; and John Sigismund, first consulting the estates. Yet alongside of this growth whose title was strengthened by his marriage with the late of the estates there were other causes at work paving the duke's daughter, inherited the duchy. His marriage also way for the future absolutism of the rulers. Thus the brought him a claim to the cluchies of ('leves and Jülich new ecclesiastical constitution brought the elector, as head and other lands near the Rhine, but this title was disputed of the church, into immediate relation with all classes of by the count palatine of Neubury. The count was a the people, and the abolition of the distinction between Roman ('atholie, and his contest with the elector soon mediate and immediate subjects in the religious sphere became a mere incident in the great conflict that now broke prepared the way for a similar position in secular matters. out between the two religions. The disputed territories No too the introduction of Roman law accustomed the were occupied by Spanish and Dutch troops, and neither mind to dwell on the central authority and administration, claimant derived mich advantage from them till after the and its very terminology promoted the conception of the Thirty Years' War. For a time, however, the outlying elector as a "royal” ruler. A more important cause, possessions of John Sigismund touched on both sides the however, than either of these was the gradual decline of limits of modern Prussia. In 161.3 the elector, either from the power of the towns, with the accompanying revival of pure convietion or from a desire to conciliate the Reformed that of the nobles. The practical independence and com- liet of ('leves, announced his adoption of the Reformed parative wealth of the towns had been followed by intestine (Calvinistie) type of Protestantism, an action that gave feuds, in which the patricians were arrayed against the great offence in his older dominions. He inade, however, guilds

, and these not only weakened the towns directly, no attempt to induce his subjects to follow his example, but also gave the electors frequent pretexts to interfere and may be said to have inaugurate the policy of religious and curtail their privileges. At the end of the reign of toleration that has since been characteristic of Irussian Joachim II. the elector and the diet, the noblesse and the rulers. During his reign his territories were more than municipalities were still in a state of comparative and doubled in extent, covering at his death an area of 31,000 promising equilibrium. But it was evident that the power square miles; but the elector of Brandenburg could not of the diet was now almost wholly contined to its command yet claim to rank above those of Bararia and Saxony. of the purse, and that an elector who could make himself Duchy of Pruss7.1.— The duchy of Prussia, thus ar- Duchy of independent of its subsidies would be in a position to defy quired lay the elector, formed the castern hall of the ter. Pru-via. its claims ; while it was equally evident that the growing ritory bearing the name of Preil-se'n, and stretched along weakness of the towns was incapacitating them for any the Baltic Sea from the Vistula to the Memel. It still effectual resistance to an ambitious prince, who might remained a Polish fief

, and was separated from the rest utilize the congenial support of the noblesse as a stepping of the electoral dominions ly West Prussia, which the stone to arbitrary power. The short-sighted and selfish Teutonie Order had been forced to resign to Poland a neglect of general questions now making way among the century and a half before. The native Prussians were of separate sections of the diet, and their increasing tendency a race akin to the Letts and Lithuanians, and their name to appear at those sittings only in which their own peculiar (Pruzi, Prutheni) was probalily derived from a Lettish interests were under discussion, also helped to free the rout meaning "intelligence."1' Towards the end of the hands of the electors. The condition of the peasantry 1 The traditionary connexion of the name with the preimits of

first century of the Christian era we find authentic accounts without and weakened by dissension within, the Order was of the importation by the Romans of amber from the at length compelled to succumb; and a war begun in 1454 Baltic coast, but the first mention of the Pruzi by name ended thirteen years later with the cession of West Prussia occurs in a document of the 9th century. Their first to Poland and an acknowledgment of the latter's feudal appearance in German history is connected with the attempt superiority over the remaining territories of the Order. made in 997 by Adalbert, bishop of Prague, to convert The knights turned to Germany for help, and endeavoured them to Christianity. But his efforts, as well as those of to persuade powerful German princes to undertake the office his successor Bruno, met with little success, and each of of grand master. In 1511 their choice fell on Albert, a these pious missionaries found a martyr's grave on the shore member of the Franconian branch of the Hohenzollerns, of the Baltic. The obstinate adherence of the natives to who undertook the task of reorganization with vigour and their paganism was strengthened by their natural suspicion attempted to dispense with the oath of fealty to Poland. of a political aim under cover of missionary enterprise, and But, failing to receive any adequate support from the they felt that they were fighting for their land as well as for emperor, he at length, acting on the advice of Luther, their religion. The next serious attempt at their conversion determined to embrace Protestantism and convert the was made two hundred years later by a Cistercian monk Ordensland into a secular and hereditary duchy. This named Christian, who at the outset had some success and momentous transformation was carried out in 1525 withwas appointed first bishop of Prussia. The Prussians, out interference from either the empire or Poland, and however, soon expelled Christian and his supporters, and Albert continued to be a vassal of the latter state as duke even invaded Polish territory, plundering and exacting of Prussia. The people of Prussia, many of whom had

tribute. In this extremity Christian and Conrad, duke of already gone over to the new faith, hailed the reform with Teutonic Masovia, applied for aid to the knights of the TEUTONIC great satisfaction, and most of the knights contentedly Order. ORDER (q.v.), who gladly embarked on this new crusade. changed their life-rents for feudal holdings, married, and

The Prussians made a desperate resistance; but the military became hereditary nobles. When it passed into the hands discipline and strength of the Teutonic knights were not in of the elector of Brandenburg, Prussia thus consisted of a the long run to be withstood, reinforced, as they were, by compact secular duchy, owing fealty to Poland, and poscrowds of crusaders and adventurers anxious to share in sessing the two well-defined estates of nobles and burghers, the pious work, and assisted on two occasions by the troops the first of which held the reins of power. of Ottocar of Bohemia. The knights entered Prussia in John Sigismund died in 1619, a year after his acquisi- George 1230, and after half a century of hard fighting found them- tion of Prussia, and left his territories to his son George William. selves masters of the entire country. They had previously William (1619-1640). This unfortunate prince may pertaken care to procure from the emperor and the pope à haps be described as the first utterly incompetent ruler grant of all the lands they should conquer, as well as of of his line, though due allowance must be made for the those offered to them by Conrad of Masovia. At first the extreme difficulty of his position. Succeeding to power government of the Order, though arbitrary, was not un at the outbreak of the great struggle between Catholicism favourable to the welfare of the land. The few native and Protestantism, he neglected the opportunity of joininy nobles who adopted Christianity were allowed to retain with Saxony in the formation of a strong league of German their privileged position, and the ranks of the noblesse Protestant princes, and by his temporizing policy converted were recruited by grants to German knights. Numerous his electorate into the common battle-ground. In the towns and villages were built; the place of the greatly language of Carlyle, “where the Titans were bowling thinned Prussians was taken by industrious German rocks at each other, George William hoped by dexterous colonists; agriculture and commerce were carried on with skipping to escape share of the game." His own irresoluenergy and success; and all aggression from without was tion was aided by the fact that his chancellor and chief vigorously repelled. The general plan of colonization was adviser, Schwarzenberg, was a Roman Catholic and of similar to that in Brandenburg, except that the place of strony imperialist sympathies, while the great bulk of his, the margrave was taken by a class of privileged nobles, subjects dreaded an increase of the power of Calvinism who divided the power of government among them. In almost more than that of Roman Catholicism. Branden1309 Pomerelia, to the west of the Vistula, was subdued, burg was overrun in turn by Mansfeld, Tilly, and Wallenand the headquarters of th Order were removed from stein, and suffered as much as if it had taken an active Venice to the fortress of Marienburg on the Vistula ; and part in the war. The Restitution Edict of 1628, however, before the end of the century the “Ordensland” of Prussia gave the elector serious cause of alarm, and the appearance is said to have contained about fifty walled towns, still of Gustavus Adolphus before Berlin in 1631 confirmed more numerous castles, and several hundred villages his faltering decision and made him for a time throw in and hamlets, while it extended from Pomerania to the his lot with the Protestant cause. After the death of western frontier of Lithuania. The active trade which Gustavus, Brandenburg followed the example of Saxony now flourished was carried on mainly with England and in negotiating a separate peace with the emperor (1635). the Hanseatic towns, As time went on, however, the But this apostasy brought little relief, as the emperor gave knights allowed their vows of temperance and chastity to no aid in expelling the Swedes from Brandenburg and sink into abeyance and became enervated by luxury and Pomerania, which they continued to occupy for several

Their old military skill declined, and they had years. In 1639 the elector removed his court to Königssunk to such a state of weakness that the single battle berg in Prussia, the only part of his realms in which he of Tannenberg (1410), in which they were defeated by was sure of comparative tranquillity, and there he died in the Poles, shook their power to its foundations. Their 1640, leaving a land devastated in great part by fire and arbitrary and exclusive rule now began to reap its reward : sword and at the lowest ebb of dignity and power. the Prussians took advantage of the weakness of the Order Frederick William (1640-1688), whom both his con- Great to claim a larger share in the government, and, as their temporaries and after ages have agreed to dignify with Elector. burdens continued to grow more oppressive, finally formed the title of the “Great Elector," was only twenty years an alliance with its arch-enemy Poland. Attacked from old when he succeeded to the throne, but he at once began

to manifest a decided and vigorous character different seems unfounded, and the form Borussia or Porussia, which

very has been adopted as the Latin appellation of the country, is used for from that of his father. He emancipated himself without the first time by a chronicler of the fifteenth century.

delay from the guidance of Schwarzenberg, and, in spite of




emperor's displeasure, concluded a peace with Sweden, rear in his war with the Turks. At his death, which took ich provided for the withdrawal of the Swedish troops place in 1688, he was engaged in helping the prince of m the electorate. During the following years of war Orange to prepare for his descent on England. ederick William preserved a strict neutrality and utilized The reign of the Great Elector forms one of the most Branden

opportunity to restore the material resources of his signal instances in history of the conquest of adverse cir- burg intry and reorganize and strengthen his army. The cumstances by personal energy and merit; and it is with under

the Great uits of this line of action were seen at the peace of reason that Prussian historians describe him as the second estphalia (1648), when Frederick William, as lord of founder of the state. At his accession the greater part of

efficient army of 25,000 men, was able to secure a his territory was in the occupation of strangers and dedy hearing for his claims to territorial extension. He vastated by war, and in European politics Brandenburg cablished his right to the whole of Pomerania, but, as the was regarded as merely an appendage of the empire. Its edes refused to give up Western or Hither Pomerania army was of little value; its soil was poor; and its revenue orpommern), he received as compensation the rich was insignificant. To other sources of weakness were clesiastical principalities of Magdeburg, Halberstadt, and added the scattered nature of the clectoral possessions, Inden, in central Germany. In the second Swedish and their mutual jealousies, and their separate interests. At lish war, which broke out in 1655, he used his inter Frederick William's death the new north German state of ediate position with great skill and unscrupulousness, Brandenburg-Prussia was a power that had to be reckoned ying himself first with one and then with the other of with in all European combinations. Inferior to Austria e belligerents, as seemed likely to be most profitable. alone among the states of the empire, it was regarded as us the troops of Brandenburg took a prominent share in the head and patron of German Protestantism; while the e defeat of the Poles at the three days' battle of Warsaw fact that one-third of its territory lay outside the empire 656), in return for which service Sweden undertook to added to its independent importance. Its area had been cognize the elector as independent sovereign of the duchy raised to 43,000 square miles; its revenue had multiplied

Prussia. Scarcely, however, did the scale of victory fivefold; and its small army was nowhere surpassed in
gin to turn than the elector deserted his former ally, efficiency. The elector had overthrown Sweden and in-
nd in the treaty of Wehlau (1657) received his reward herited her position on the Baltic, and he had offered a

the formal relinquishment by Poland of its feudal rights steady and not ineffectual resistance to the ambition of
per Prussia, This important step, which added the France.
lectorate to the independent states of Europe and pre While thus winning for himself a position in the councils
ared the way for the growth of a great north German of Europe, the elector was not less active in strengthening
ower, was ratified three years later at the general peace of the central authority within his dominions, and the trans-
Pliva. In 1666 the long-vexed question of the inheritance formation effected during his reign in the internal govern-

the Rhenish duchies was settled by an amicable parti-ment of the state was not less striking than that in its
on, according to which Cleves, Mark, and Ravensbery external importance. Frederick William found Branden-
ell to the share of Prussia. When Louis XIV. attacked burg a constitutional state, in which the legislative power
Holland in 1672 Frederick William was at first the only was shared between the elector and the diet ; le left it to
erman prince to suspect danger in the ambitious designs his successor as in substance an absolute monarchy. Many
f the French monarch. In spite of tempting offers from circumstances helped him in effecting this change, among
rance, he concluded an alliance with Holland, and at the the chief of which were the want of harmonious action on
ead of Austrian and Brandenburgian troops joined the the part of the estates and the accelerated decline of the
Dutch in an ineffectual campaign on the Rhine. In 1673 political power of the towns. The substitution of a perma-
e was forced, through lack of sufficient support from the nent excise for the subsidies granted from time to time by
mperor, to make peace with France; but he joined the the estates also tended to increase the elector's independi-
riple alliance of Holland, Spain, and the empire in the ence, and the Government officials (Struerräthe) appointed
ollowing year and took part in an indecisive campaign in to collect this tax in the towns gradually absorbed many
Alzace. There he received intelligence that the Swedes, of the administrative functions of the local authorities
at the instigation of France, had broken into Brandenbury. The nobles and prelates generally preferred to raise their
lastening back to his own country without delay, he took quota accoriling to the old method of berle or “contri-
he enemy by surprise, and at the head of about 6000 bution,” and this weakened the last bond of common
nen gained a brilliant victory over twice that number interest between them and the estate of the burghers. In
» Swedish troops at Fehrbellin (1675), a small town to Brandenburg the elector met with little opposition in
the north-west of Berlin. This success over the hitherto establishing his personal sovereignty, and after 1653 no
invincible Swedes lent great prestige to the elector's arms, general diet of Brandenburg was held. In ('leves and Mark
and he followed it up by a series of rigorous campaigns, he gained his end simply by an overwhelming display or
in which, with the aid of Denmark, he swept Branden- force; but in Prussia, where the spirit of independence
burg and Pomerania clear of the invaders, capturing Stettin was fostereid by its history and by its distance from the
in 1677 and Stralsund in 1678. The invasion of Prussia seat of power, he found much greater difficulty. His
from Livonia, which formed the last effort of the Swedles, emancipation from the suzeraints of Poland gave him
was also triumphantly repelled, the most memorable inci- a great advantage in the struggle, though the estates
dent of the short struggle being the elector's forced march on their side averred that their relation with Poland was
over the frozen surface of the Frische Haff. At the peace one that could not be dissolveel excepit ly common con-ent.
of St Germain (1679), however, owing to the influence It was not until the elector had occupiel Königsberg with
of France and the lukewarm support of the emperor, an armed force, and imprisoned the one (Burgomaster
Frederick William saw himself forced to restore Hither Roth) and executed the other (Baron Kalkstein) of the
Pomerania to Sweden. The policy of the last years of the principal champions of independence, that he was able to
Great Elector may be described as an endeavour to hold bend the estates to his will. Arbitrary and unconstitu-
the balance between France and the emperor. At first tional as this conduct seems to us, we must not forget that
he joined in a somewhat unnatural alliance with Louis Frederick William's idea of the function of an absolute
SIT.. but after the rerocation of the Edict of Santes prince was very superior to the unijnalitie exotin of the
(1685) he drew nearer to Austria and covered the emperor's Freneli monarchs, and that, while he insisted on lacing

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master in his own house, it was that he might at the same territories in which he had no suzerain to acknowledge. time be the first servant of the state. In his eyes an Superficial as this incident may at first sight appear, it absolute government was the best guarantee of the common added considerably to the moral and political momentwelfare, and was not sought merely for the sake of personal um of the country, and its advantages were reaped by aggrandizement. It is not without significance in con Frederick's two vigorous successors.

About the same nexion with this that beyond his own territories he twice time (1697) the elector of Saxony also acquired the kingly espoused the cause of the people against an absolute ruler, dignity by his election to the throne of Poland, but in first in opposing Louis XIV., and again in aiding William doing so he had to become a Roman Catholic, and thus of Orange.

left the Hohenzollerns without a rival among the Protest-
In matters of general administration Frederick William ant dynasties of Germany. Frederick was an extravagant
showed himself a prudent and careful ruler, and laid the ruler, who lavished large sums in maintaining his personal
foundation of the future greatness of Prussia in almost state ; but his expenditure was not wholly of this profitless
every department. The military and bureaucratic systems nature, since he founded the university of Halle as a school
of the country both received their first important impulse of liberal theology, established academies of art and science
in this reign. The wounds inflicted by the Thirty Years' at Berlin, and patronized men of literary eminence. In
War were in a great measure healed, and the finances and this he was perhaps mainly inspired by his talented wife
credit of the state were established on a firm basis. Agri- Sophia Charlotte, a sister of George I. of England.
culture and commerce were improved and encouraged by The court of Vienna had consoled itself for the growing
a variety of useful measures, and education was not power of Prussia under the Great Elector by the reflexion
neglected. The elector even established Prussian colonies that it was probably of a temporary nature and due mainly
in Africa, and formed a small but efficient navy.

In to the vigorous individuality of that prince. The events
matters of religion Brandenburg stands out prominently of Frederick I.'s reign seemed to justify this view.
as the only country of the time in which all Christian accession Prussia might fairly claim to rank as the second
confessions were not only tolerated but placed upon an state of Germany and possessed considerable influence as a
equal footing. The condition of the peasantry, however, European power of all but the first order. This, however,
reached almost its lowest ebb, and the

or charter hail been changed before the death of Frederick. Bavaria,
of 1653 practically recognizes the existence of villainage. Saxony, and Hanover had all raised themselves to at least
While the barons had been losing power on the one side a level with Prussia, which now sank back into the posi-
as opposed to the elector, they had been increasing it on tion of a merely German state and loyal supporter of the
the other at the expense of the peasants. The Thirty empire. Frederick's preoccupation in the western wars
Years' War afforded them frequent opportunities of replac- had allowed Sweden to reassert her pre-eminence in
ing the village “Schulzen ” with manorial courts; and the northern Europe, and it was Russia and not Prussia that
fact that their quota of taxation was wholly wrung from now impeded her progress. The internal soundness of the
the holdings of the peasants made the burden of the latter country had also suffered : the finances were in a state of
four or five times as great as that of the towns. The state complete disorganization, and the burden of taxation was
of public morals also still left much to be desired, while almost insupportable. If Frederick's successor had not
the clergy were too much occupied with squabbles over been a man of vigorous character the downhill progress
Lutheranism and Calvinism to be an effective instrument might have continued until it had removed Prussia alto-
of reform.

gether from the list of important states. Perhaps the King The Great Elector's son Frederick I. (1688-1713) was an general estimate of Frederick's character is unduly low Frederick ostentatious and somewhat frivolous prince, who hazarded owing to the fact that he was followed as well as preceded

the acquisitions of his father by looking on his position as hy a ruler of unusual capacity.
assured and by aiming rather at external tokens of his His son Frederick William I. (1713-1740) possessed Frederick
dignity than at a further consolidation of the basis on administrative talents of no mean order and was singularly
which it rested. The Brandenburg troops showed all their painstaking, industrious, and determined in carrying out
wonted prowess in the war of the second coalition against his plans. Though marked by no great external achieve-
Louis XIV. and in that of the Spanish Succession ; but ments or exciting events, his reign is of the utmost im-
Frederick's interests were only mediately concerned, and portance in the Prussian annals from having checked the
neither the peace of Ryswick (1697) nor that of Utrecht threatened downfall of Prussia and paved the way for
(1713) brought him any very tangible advantage. Bran- Frederick the Great. By carefully husbanding his finances
denburg soldiers also helped the emperor in his wars with Frederick William filled his treasury and was able to keep
the Turks, and English readers should not forget that on foot one of the largest and best disciplined armies in
Frederick's action in covering the Dutch frontier with Europe, thereby securing for Prussia an influence in Euro-
6000 troops left William of Orange free scope in his pean councils altogether disproportionate to its size anıl
expedition to England. The most notable incident in population. In internal management he made Prussia the
Frederick's reign was, however, his acquisition of the title model state of Europe, though his administration was of a
of king of Prussia, which long formed the principal object purely arbitrary type, in which the estates were never con-
of his policy, and which led him to make important con- sulted and his ministers were merely clerks to register his
cessions to all whose co-operation was necessary. The decrees. The first act of the young king, who was as
emperor's consent was finally purchased by the promise of economical as his father was extravagant, was to institute
a contingent of 8000 men to aid him in the War of the a salutary reform in the expensive institutions of the court;
Spanish Succession, and on 18th January 1701 Frederick and some idea of the drastic nature of this change may be
crowned himself at Königsberg with accompanying cere- gathered from the fact that the annual allowance for the
monies of somewhat inflated grandeur. Elector Frederick salaries and pensions of the chief court officials and civil
III. of Brandenburg became henceforth King Frederick I. servants was at once reduced from 276,000 to 55,000
of Prussia, the title being taken from that part of his thalers. The peace of Utrecht (1713), which added
1 Strictly speaking, the title assumed was “king in Prussia” (König in free to turn his attention to the northern war then raging

Guelders to the Prussian territories, left Frederick William
Preussen), this apparently being meant to indicate that there was still
been votiveries Pratsiend, of which he was not king, though it has also between Sweden on the one side and Russia, Poland, znd



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