Frederick William IV


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King of Prussia (1840–61). A patriarchal monarch by temperament, he was the champion of a united Germany, but could not accept the degree of democracy envisaged by the Frankfurt Parliament of 1848 (see Revolutions of 1848). He therefore refused (1849) the offer of a constitutional monarchy for the German Confederation. For Prussia he promulgated a conservative constitution allowing for a parliament, but with a restricted franchise and limited powers. This remained in force until 1918.

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