Special Sub-Topic: Prussia in the 18th Century
|In 1740, Prussia, led by Frederick II (the Great) invaded the Silesia igniting the 1st Silesian War against what great power?|
Austria. Frederick II (1740-1786) came to the throne in 1740 as did Maria Theresa in Austria as a result of the Pragmatic Sanction, which allowed for the succession of a female to rule the Habsburg Dynasty in case of no male in the line of succession. Frederick took advantage of the dispute by other states, namely Bavaria, and occupied Silesia in a two month campaign against Austria and then defended it for the next two years. Allied with France, Sweden and several smaller states, the war ended with the Peace of Breslau in 1742 which ceded most of Silesia to Prussia, although there would be two more wars in the 18th century over this territory.
|Which of the following was NOT a province of Brandenburg-Prussia when Frederick the Great became King?|
Saxony. The core territory of Brandenburg-Prussia, or Prussia as would become known as, was Brandenberg with the capital in Berlin. East Prussia with its provincal capital of Koenigsberg was added to the kingdom before the 18th century, and Pomerania was added in 2 stages, prior to Frederick's reign. Saxony on the other hand was its own soveriegn state, and would not be fully incorporated with Prussia until the creation of the North German Confederation in 1866, after the Austro-Prussian war.
|What was the primary Christian denomination of the Prussian monarchy in the 18th century? (Hint: This is different from the denomination of the majority of the population).|
Calvinist. While the majority of the population of Prussia was indeed Lutheran, the monarchy was decidedly Calvinist after conversion in the 17th century. After the Thirty Years' War, the Roman Catholic church would primarily be more dominant in the annexed Polish regions and parts of Silesia.
|King Frederick William I (1713-1740), was also referred to as who?|
The Soldier King. Frederick William I was nicknamed "the Soldier King" as it was he who was largely responsible for the building of a large army which his son Frederick the Great later used in the Silesian wars. Louis XIV was know as the "the Sun King", and Frederick the Great was sometimes refered to as "the Philosopher King". There may or may not have been a real Lion King, other than the Disney movie!
|The Seven Years' War in Europe(1756-1763) involved Prussia, with assistance from Great Britain, against France, Austria, Russia and Sweden. Which of the following statements is true reguarding Prussia in this war?|
Prussia won but was finanicially exhausted. With Britain's support and with the ability of Frederick the Great to annually be able to recruit an army and motivate it to continue to fight, the major powers by 1763 lost interest in continuing the fight. Prussia won, but Frederick the Great and Prussia's army went home to a finanically and physically weakened nation that took decades to recover. Prussia had come close to defeat in 1759, when the Russian army briefly occupied Berlin. Prussia benefitted from the accession, in Russia in 1762, of Peter III and then Catherine the Great. They decided that a devastating defeat for Prussia would mainly benefit Austria - something they did not want.
|What year did Frederick the Great's reign end?|
1786. Frederick the Great reigned from 1740 to 1786, as arguably the greatest monarch in Prussian history. He started the codification of Prussian law (completed in 1794, after his death) and encouraged education for all.
|Name the 18th century Prussian philosopher who stated that "Englightenment refers to man's departure from his self-imposed tutelage."|
Immanuel Kant. Prussia was greatly involved in the European enlightenment in the 2nd half of the 18th century led by the philosopher, Immanuel Kant, from the city of Koenigsberg who taught us to "Have the courage to use your own reason."
|Prussia was involved with Russia and Austria in several partitions of Poland between the years 1772 and 1795, which ended with the complete removal of the Kingdom of Poland from the map of Europe. How many partitions were there?|
3. Poland was partitioned in 1772, 1793, and again in 1795 with Russia and Prussia being involved in all 3 and Austria involved in the First and Third partitions. Poland's territorial status would change several times over the course of the 18th and early 19th centuries.
|Which answer best decribes the Prussian economy in the 18th century?|
Highly agricultural with urban areas of textile Industry. While Prussia's annexation of Silesia added siginicant coal deposits to the state the Prussian economy was heavily based on agriculture and the Junker/serf relationship. The economy was not not particularly strong as roads were still developing, and tariffs between neighoring states were complex.
|Who was the last Prussian king of the 18th and the first Prussian king of the 19th century?|
Frederick William III. After Frederick the Great died in 1786, Frederick William II took the throne for eleven years until 1797. Then Frederick William III saw the century out as King and was the reigning monarch throughout the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s.
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