Article

Frederick the Great

Patrick Shrier

in Military History

ISBN: 9780199791279
Published online April 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0094
Frederick the Great

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Frederick the Great (1712–1786) is one of the most fascinating figures of the Early Modern period. He cut a path across Europe both militarily and intellectually, although today he is mostly remembered for his military accomplishments after his ascent to the throne of Prussia in 1740. Frederick corresponded with the greatest philosophers of his day, most famously Voltaire, whom he hosted at his court for a short while. Militarily, Frederick took the army his father had spent thirty years building but never used and put it to use to expand his kingdom and then defend his gains and achieve victory against the combined weight of some of the greatest powers of Europe. Frederick arguably deserves the sobriquet “the Great”; he took Prussia from its status as a second-rate central European power to one of the great powers of Europe—a status Prussia, and later Germany, would not lose until 1945 and the final defeat of Nazi Germany.

Article.  5846 words. 

Subjects: Military History ; Pre-20th Century Warfare ; First World War ; Second World War ; Post-WW2 Military History

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