Germany 1789 CE

Prussia has emerged to challenge Austria as the leading state in Germany.

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What is happening in Germany in 1789CE

The outstanding development of the last century or more has been the rise of the state of Brandenburg-Prussia. This state was, like much of Germany, devastated during the Thirty Years War (1618-48), under its very capable ruler, Frederick William (known to history as the Great Elector), it began its rise to power. He took every opportunity to strengthen the state economically, and was able to take advantage of Poland’s weakness to make himself sovereign duke of Prussia (1657).

A generation later, his son was recognized as king of Prussia (1701), and the state expanded again when it gained much of western Pomerania from Sweden, by the Peace of Stockholm (1720). The next ruler was the stern militarist Frederick William I (1713-40), who devoted his efforts to building up an efficient army, which has stood at the heart of the state ever since. His son, Frederick II, “the Great” (reigned 1740-86), occupied the Hapsburg territory of Silesia. In the great mid-century wars, Prussia managed, sometimes by the skin of its teeth, to keep its independence, retain its Silesian conquests – and add some other territories along the way.

Next map, Germany in 1837

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