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Frederick William III (German: Friedrich Wilhelm III) (3 August 1770 – 7 June 1840) was king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He ruled Prussia during the difficult times of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
and the end of the Holy Roman Empire. Steering a careful course between France and her enemies, after a major military defeat in 1806, he eventually and reluctantly joined the coalition against Napoleon
Napoleon
in the Befreiungskriege. Following Napoleon's defeat he was King of Prussia during the Congress of Vienna, which assembled to settle the political questions arising from the new, post-Napoleonic order in Europe. He was determined to unify the Protestant churches, to homogenize their liturgy, their organization and even their architecture. The long-term goal was to have fully centralized royal control of all the Protestant churches in the Prussian Union of churches.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Reign

2.1 Prussian Union of churches 2.2 Death

3 Issue 4 Ancestry 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit]

Friedrich Wilhelm and his mother (1775)

Frederick William was born in Potsdam
Potsdam
in 1770 as the son of Frederick William II of Prussia and Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt. He was considered to be a shy and reserved boy, which became noticeable in his particularly reticent conversations distinguished by the lack of personal pronouns. This manner of speech subsequently came to be considered entirely appropriate for military officers.[1] As a child, Frederick William's father (under the influence of his mistress, Wilhelmine Enke, Countess of Lichtenau) had him handed over to tutors, as was quite normal for the period. He spent part of the time living at Paretz, the estate of the old soldier Count Hans von Blumenthal who was the governor of his brother Prince Heinrich. They thus grew up partly with the Count's son, who accompanied them on their Grand Tour in the 1780s. Frederick William was happy at Paretz, and for this reason in 1795 he bought it from his boyhood friend and turned it into an important royal country retreat. He was a melancholy boy, but he grew up pious and honest. His tutors included the dramatist Johann Engel. As a soldier he received the usual training of a Prussian prince, obtained his lieutenancy in 1784, became a lieutenant colonel in 1786, a colonel in 1790, and took part in the campaigns against France of 1792–1794. On 24 December 1793, Frederick William married Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who bore him ten children. In the Kronprinzenpalais
Kronprinzenpalais
(Crown Prince's Palace) in Berlin, Frederick William lived a civil life with a problem-free marriage, which did not change even when he became King of Prussia
King of Prussia
in 1797. His wife Louise was particularly loved by the Prussian people, which boosted the popularity of the whole House of Hohenzollern, including the King himself.[2] Reign[edit]

Lenient and slow to recognize the growing French threat, Frederick's restrained entry into the war in 1806 ended in national humiliation.

Frederick William succeeded to the throne on 16 November 1797. He also became, in personal union, the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel (1797–1806 and again 1813–1840). At once, the new King showed that he was earnest of his good intentions by cutting down the expenses of the royal establishment, dismissing his father's ministers, and reforming the most oppressive abuses of the late reign. He had the Hohenzollern
Hohenzollern
determination to retain personal power but not the Hohenzollern
Hohenzollern
genius for using it.[citation needed] Too distrustful to delegate responsibility to his ministers, he greatly reduced the effectiveness of his reign since he was forced to assume the roles he did not delegate. This is a main factor of his inconsistent rule. Disgusted with the moral debauchery of his father's court (in both political intrigues and sexual affairs), Frederick William's first, and most successful early endeavor was to restore the moral legitimacy to his dynasty. The eagerness to restore dignity to his family went so far that it nearly caused sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow
Johann Gottfried Schadow
to cancel the expensive and lavish Prinzessinnengruppe project, which was commissioned by the previous monarch Frederick William II. He was quoted as saying the following, which demonstrated his sense of duty and peculiar manner of speech:

Every civil servant has a dual obligation: to the sovereign and to the country. It can occur that the two are not compatible; then, the duty to the country is higher.

At first Frederick William and his advisors attempted to pursue a policy of neutrality in the Napoleonic Wars. Although they succeeded in keeping out of the Third Coalition
Third Coalition
in 1805, eventually Frederick William was swayed by the attitude of the queen, who led Prussia's pro-war party, and entered into war in October 1806. On 14 October 1806, at the Battle of Jena-Auerstädt, the French effectively decimated the effectiveness and functionality of the Prussian army led by Frederick William, and the Prussian army collapsed entirely soon after. The royal family fled to Memel, East Prussia, where they fell on the mercy of Emperor Alexander I of Russia. Alexander, too, suffered defeat at the hands of the French, and at Tilsit on the Niemen France made peace with Russia
Russia
and Prussia. Napoleon
Napoleon
dealt with Prussia very harshly, despite the pregnant Queen's personal interview with the French emperor which was believed would soften the blow of defeat. Instead, Napoleon
Napoleon
took much less mercy on the Prussians than what was expected. Prussia lost many of its Polish territories, as well as all territory west of the Elbe, and had to finance a large indemnity and to pay for French troops to occupy key strong points within the Kingdom. Although the ineffectual King himself seemed resigned to Prussia's fate, various reforming ministers, such as Baron vom Stein, Prince von Hardenberg, Scharnhorst, and Count Gneisenau, set about reforming Prussia's administration and military, with the encouragement of Queen Luise (who died, greatly mourned, in 1810). In 1813, following Napoleon's defeat in Russia, Frederick William turned against France and signed an alliance with Russia
Russia
at Kalisz, although he had to flee Berlin, still under French occupation. Prussian troops played a key part in the victories of the allies in 1813 and 1814, and the King himself travelled with the main army of Prince Schwarzenberg, along with Alexander of Russia
Russia
and Francis of Austria. At the Congress of Vienna, Frederick William's ministers succeeded in securing important territorial increases for Prussia, although they failed to obtain the annexation of all of Saxony, as they had wished. Following the war, Frederick William turned towards political reaction, abandoning the promises he had made in 1813 to provide Prussia with a constitution. Prussian Union of churches[edit] Main article: Prussian Union of churches

Equestrian portrait of Frederick William III by Franz Krüger
Franz Krüger
(1831)

Frederick William was determined to unify the Protestant churches, to homogenize their liturgy, their organization and even their architecture. The long-term goal was to have fully centralized royal control of all the Protestant churches in the Prussian Union of churches. In a series of proclamations over several years the Church of the Prussian Union was formed, bringing together the majority group of Lutherans, and the minority group of Reformed Protestants. The main effect was that the government of Prussia had full control over church affairs, with the king himself recognized as the leading bishop.[3] In 1824 Frederick William III remarried (morganatically) Countess Auguste von Harrach, Princess of Liegnitz. They had no children.[2] Death[edit] Frederick William III died on 7 June 1840 in Berlin, survived by his second wife. His eldest son, Frederick William IV, succeeded him. Frederick William III is buried at the Mausoleum in Schlosspark Charlottenburg, Berlin.[2] Issue[edit]

Name Birth Death Notes

(daughter, no name) 1 October 1794 1 October 1794 stillborn

Frederick William IV of Prussia 15 October 1795 2 January 1861 married Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
(1801–1873), no issue.

William I, German Emperor 22 March 1797 9 March 1888 married Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
(1811–1890), had issue.

Princess Charlotte of Prussia 13 July 1798 1 November 1860 married Nicholas I of Russia
Russia
(1796–1855), had issue including the future Alexander II of Russia

Princess Frederica of Prussia 14 October 1799 30 March 1800 died in childhood

Prince Charles of Prussia 29 June 1801 21 January 1883 married Princess Marie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1808–1877), had issue.

Princess Alexandrine of Prussia 23 February 1803 21 April 1892 married Paul Friedrich, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1800–1842), had issue.

Prince Ferdinand of Prussia 13 December 1804 1 April 1806 died in childhood

Princess Louise of Prussia 1 February 1808 6 December 1870 married Prince Frederik of the Netherlands
Prince Frederik of the Netherlands
(1797–1881), had issue.

Prince Albert (Albrecht) of Prussia 4 October 1809 14 October 1872 married Princess Marianne of the Netherlands
Princess Marianne of the Netherlands
(1810–1883), had issue; married second to Rosalie von Rauch
Rosalie von Rauch
(1820–1879), Countess of Hohenau, had issue.

Ancestry[edit]

Ancestors of Frederick William III of Prussia

16. Frederick I of Prussia

8. Frederick William I of Prussia

17. Princess Sophia Charlotte of Hanover

4. Prince Augustus William of Prussia

18. George I of Great Britain

9. Princess Sophia Dorothea of Hanover

19. Princess Sophia Dorothea of Celle

2. Frederick William II of Prussia

20. Ferdinand Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

10. Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

21. Princess Christine of Hesse-Eschwege

5. Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

22. Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

11. Princess Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

23. Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen

1. Frederick William III of Prussia

24. Ernest Louis, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt

12. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt

25. Princess Dorothea Charlotte of Brandenburg-Ansbach

6. Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt

26. Johann Reinhard III, Count of Hanau-Lichtenberg

13. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg

27. Princess Dorothea Friederike of Brandenburg-Ansbach

3. Princess Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt

28. Christian II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld

14. Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken

29. Countess Katharina Agathe of Rappoltstein

7. Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken

30. Louis Crato, Count of Nassau-Saarbrücken

15. Countess Caroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken

31. Countess Philippine Henriette of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

See also[edit]

Preussischer Präsentiermarsch, a military march composed by Frederick William

References[edit] Notes

^ vgl. Franz Blei: Königin Luise von Preußen. In: Gefährtinnen. Berlin
Berlin
1931, S. 68 f. ^ a b c Feldhahn, Ulrich (2011). Die preußischen Könige und Kaiser (German). Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg. pp. 17–20. ISBN 978-3-89870-615-5.  ^ Christopher Clark, "Confessional policy and the limits of state action: Frederick William III and the Prussian Church Union 1817–40." Historical Journal 39.#4 (1996) pp: 985-1004. in JSTOR

Further reading

Clark, Christopher. "Confessional policy and the limits of state action: Frederick William III and the Prussian Church Union 1817–40." Historical Journal 39.#4 (1996) pp: 985-1004. in JSTOR

In German

Hans Haussherr (1961), "Friedrich Wilhelm III.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 5, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 560–563  v. Hartmann (1966), "Friedrich Wilhelm III.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 7, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 700–729 ; (Friedrich Wilhelm III. (König von Preußen).html full text online) Thomas Stamm-Kuhlmann: König in Preußens großer Zeit. Friedrich Wilhelm III., der Melancholiker auf dem Thron. Siedler, Berlin 1992. Dagmar von Gersdorff: Königin Luise und Friedrich Wilhelm III. Eine Liebe in Preußen. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2001. ISBN 3-499-22615-4. Claudia von Gélieu, Christian von Gélieu: Die Erzieherin von Königin Luise. Salomé de Gélieu. Regensburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-7917-2043-2. Carsten Peter Thiede, Eckhard G. Franz: Jahre mit Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Archiv für hessische Geschichte und Altertumskunde Bd. 43. Darmstadt 1985.

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Frederick William III, king of Prussia.

Media related to Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia at Wikimedia Commons

Frederick William III of Prussia House of Hohenzollern Born: 3 August 1770 Died: 7 June 1840

Regnal titles

Preceded by Frederick William II King of Prussia 1797–1840 Succeeded by Frederick William IV

Prince of Neuchâtel 1797–1806 and again 1813–1840 interrupted by the rule by Louis Alexandre Berthier

Elector of Brandenburg 1797–1806 Territory incorporated into the Prussian crown

New title Congress of Vienna

Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine 1815–1840

v t e

Princes of Prussia

The generations are numbered from the ascension of Frederick I as King in Prussia in 1701.

1st generation

Frederick William I

2nd generation

Frederick Louis, Prince of Orange Frederick William, Prince of Orange Frederick II Prince Louis Charles William Prince Augustus William Prince Henry Prince Augustus Ferdinand

3rd generation

Frederick William II Prince Henry Prince Emil Prince Henry Prince Christian Prince Louis Ferdinand Prince Paul Prince Augustus

4th generation

Frederick William III Prince Louis Prince Henry Prince William

5th generation

Frederick William III Frederick William IV William I Prince Charles Prince Ferdinand Prince Albert Frederick William II Prince Frederick Prince Charles Prince Tassilo Prince Adalbert Prince Tassilo Prince Waldemar

6th generation

William I Frederick III Frederick William III Prince Friedrich Karl Prince Albert Frederick William II Prince Alexander Prince George

7th generation

Frederick III William II Prince Henry Prince Sigismund Prince Waldemar Friedrich Wilhelm III Prince Friedrich Leopold Prince Frederick Henry Albert Prince Joachim Albert Prince Friedrich Wilhelm

8th generation

Wilhelm II Crown Prince Wilhelm Prince Eitel Friedrich Prince Adalbert Prince August Wilhelm Prince Oskar Prince Joachim Friedrich III Prince Waldemar Prince Sigismund Prince Henry Friedrich William III Prince Friedrich Sigismund Prince Frederick Charles Prince Frederick Leopold

9th generation

Wilhelm II Prince Wilhelm Prince Louis Ferdinand Prince Hubertus Prince Frederick Prince Wilhelm Viktor Prince Alexander Ferdinand Prince Oskar Prince Burchard Prince Wilhelm-Karl Prince Karl Franz Frederick III Prince Alfred Frederick William III Prince Friedrich Karl

10th generation

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Prince Michael Prince Louis Ferdinand Prince Christian-Sigismund Prince Frederick Prince William Prince Rupert Prince Adalbert Prince Stephan Alexander Prince Wilhelm-Karl Prince Oskar Prince Franz Wilhelm Prince Friedrich Christian Prince Franz Friedrich

11th generation

Prince Georg Friedrich Prince Christian Ludwig Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia Prince Alexander Prince Frederick Prince Christian Prince Frederick Nicholas Prince Oskar Prince Albert

12th generation

Prince Carl Friedrich Prince Louis Ferdinand Prince Heinrich

v t e

Monarchs of Prussia

Duchy of Prussia
Duchy of Prussia
(1525–1701)

Albert Albert Frederick John Sigismund1 George William1 Frederick William1 Frederick I1

Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
(1701–1918)

Frederick I1 Frederick William I1 Frederick II1 Frederick William II1 Frederick William III1 Frederick William IV William I2 Frederick III2 William II2

1also Elector of Brandenburg; 2also German Emperor

v t e

Napoleonic Wars

Third Coalition Fourth Coalition Peninsular War Fifth Coalition French Invasion of Russia Sixth Coalition Seventh Coalition

Belli- gerents

France, client states and allies

France Polish Legions Italy Holland Etruria Swiss Confederation Naples Confederation of the Rhine

Bavaria Saxony Westphalia Württemberg

Denmark–Norway Ottoman Empire Persia Spain

Coalition forces

United Kingdom Austria Russia Prussia Spain Portugal Sicily Papal States Ottoman Empire Persia Sardinia Sweden Netherlands Brunswick Hanover Nassau French Royalists

Major battles

Prelude

French Revolution First Coalition Second Coalition 18 Brumaire Planned invasion of the United Kingdom Duc d'Enghien Execution Coronation of Napoleon

1805

Diamond Rock Cape Finisterre Wertingen Günzburg Haslach-Jungingen Elchingen Ulm Verona Trafalgar Caldiero Cape Ortegal Amstetten Dürenstein Schöngrabern Austerlitz

1806

Gaeta Campo Tenese Maida Schleiz Saalfeld Jena–Auerstedt Erfurt Halle Magdeburg Prenzlau Pasewalk Stettin Waren-Nossentin Lübeck Greater Poland Uprising Hameln Czarnowo Golymin Pułtusk

1807

Mohrungen Stralsund Eylau Ostrołęka Kolberg Danzig Mileto Guttstadt-Deppen Heilsberg Friedland Copenhagen Invasion of Portugal

1808

Dos de Mayo Bruch Rosily Squadron Cabezón 1st Zaragoza Valencia Medina de Rioseco Bailén Roliça Vimeiro Pancorbo Valmaseda Burgos Espinosa Tudela Somosierra 2nd Zaragoza Sahagún Benavente

1809

Castellón Uclés Corunna Valls Tyrolean Rebellion Villafranca Yevenes/Yébenes Ciudad Real 1st Porto Medellín Bergisel Sacile Teugen-Hausen Raszyn Abensberg Landshut Eckmühl Ratisbon Neumarkt-Sankt Veit Dalmatian Campaign Ebelsberg Gerona Piave River Grijó 2nd Porto Wörgl Tarvis Aspern-Essling Alcañiz Sankt Michael Stralsund Raab María Graz Wagram Korneuburg Stockerau Gefrees Hollabrunn Schöngrabern Armistice of Znaim Talavera Walcheren Campaign Ölper Almonacid Tamames Ocaña Alba de Tormes

1810

Cádiz Astorga Ciudad Rodrigo Barquilla Côa Almeida Bussaco

1811

Gebora Barrosa Pombal Redinha Casal Novo Campo Maior Sabugal Almeida Fuentes de Oñoro Tarragona Albuera Usagre Saguntum Arroyo dos Molinos Valencia

1812

Ciudad Rodrigo Badajoz Villagarcia Almaraz Maguilla Mir Salamanca García Hernández Saltanovka Ostrovno Vitebsk Klyastitsy Majadahonda Smolensk 1st Polotsk Valutino Mesoten Borodino Burgos Tarutino 2nd Polotsk Venta del Pozo Maloyaroslavets Chashniki Vyazma Smoliani Krasnoi Berezina

1813

Castalla Lützen Bautzen Tarragona Luckau Vitoria San Sebastián Pyrenees Sorauren Großbeeren Katzbach Dresden 1st Kulm San Marcial Dennewitz 2nd Kulm Göhrde Bidassoa Leipzig Hanau Nivelle Bornhöved Sehested

1814

Brienne La Rothière Mincio River Champaubert Montmirail Château-Thierry Vauchamps Garris Mormant Montereau Orthez Bar-sur-Aube Laon Reims Craonne Arcis-sur-Aube Fère-Champenoise Saint-Dizier Montmartre Paris Toulouse Bayonne

1815

Panaro Occhiobello Carpi Casaglia Ronco Cesenatico Pesaro Scapezzano Tolentino Ancona Castel di Sangro San Germano Gaeta Quatre Bras Ligny Waterloo Wavre Rocheserviere La Suffel Rocquencourt Issy

Info

French and ally military and political leaders

Napoleon Louis-Alexandre Berthier Joachim Murat Louis-Nicolas Davout Jean Lannes Auguste de Marmont André Masséna Michel Ney Jean-de-Dieu Soult Marshal Victor Jean-Baptiste Bessières Pierre-Charles Villeneuve Joseph I Louis Bonaparte Jérôme Bonaparte Prince Poniatowski Prince Eugène Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria Frederick Augustus I of Saxony Frederick I of Württemberg Frederick VI of Denmark

Coalition military and political leaders

Duke of Wellington Rowland Hill John Moore Horatio Nelson Thomas Cochrane Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor Manuel Lapeña Archduke Charles Prince von Schwarzenberg Archduke John of Austria Alexander I of Russia Mikhail Kutuzov Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly Count Bennigsen Pyotr Bagration Frederick William III of Prussia Gebhard von Blücher Duke of Brunswick Prince of Hohenlohe Ferdinand VII of Spain Miguel de Álava Maria I of Portugal Prince Regent John of Portugal Count of Feira William, Prince of Orange Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden Prince Charles John of Sweden Louis XVIII of France

Related conflicts

Anglo-Russian War Anglo-Spanish War Anglo-Swedish War Anglo-Turkish War English Wars

Gunboat War Dano-Swedish War

Finnish War Pomeranian War (Franco-Swedish War) Russo-Persian War Russo-Turkish War Spanish American Wars of Independence Swedish–Norwegian War War of 1812

Treaties

Campo Formio Lunéville Amiens Artlenburg Pressburg Finckenstein Tilsit Cintra Schönbrunn Paris (1810) Tauroggen Ried Chaumont Kiel Mantua Casalanza Paris (1815)

Miscellaneous

Bibliography Bourbon Restoration Casualties Congress of Erfurt Continental System England expects that every man will do his duty Grande Armée Longwood House

Portal Military History definition media quotes

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 50016770 LCCN: n81147121 ISNI: 0000 0001 0899 8205 GND: 118535986 SELIBR: 231953 SUDOC: 02759808X BNF: cb120234251 (data) MusicBrainz: 1f56b08a-a67a-4ded-9074-7bdcdbc5e0b4 RKD: 449

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