Frederick the Great

2 Jul, 2015 940 History of Europe

Frederick the Great ruled Prussia from 1740 until his death in 1786. Born in 1712, he increased the power of the state, he made Prussia the leading military power in Europe and his bold campaigns had great implications for the European political landscape. An absolute monarch in the age of enlightenment, he was a prolific writer, attracted figures such as Voltaire to his court, fostered education and put Berlin firmly on the cultural map. He was much admired by Napoleon and was often romanticised by German historians, becoming a hero for many in united Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries. Others, however, vilified him for aspects such as his militarism and the partition of Poland.

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  • Tim Blanning 9 episodes
    Emeritus Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge
  • Katrin Kohl No other episodes
    Professor of German Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Jesus College
  • Thomas Biskup 2 episodes
    Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull

Reading list

  • Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
    Tim Blanning (Allen Lane, 2015) Google Books →
  • Queenship in Europe, 1660-1815: The Role of the Consort
    Clarissa Campbell Orr (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2004) Google Books →
  • Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947
    Christopher Clark (Allen Lane, 2006) Google Books →
  • Frederick the Great
    David Fraser (Penguin, 2000) Google Books →
  • The Cultivation of Monarchy and the Rise of Berlin: Brandenburg-Prussia 1700
    Karin Friedrich and Sara Smart (Ashgate, 2010) Google Books →
  • Monarchy, Myth, and Material Culture in Germany 1750 - 1950
    Eva Giloi (Cambridge University Press, 2011) Google Books →
  • Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Memory of Ragnhild Hatton
    R. Oresko, G. Gibbs and H. M. Scott (eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 1997) Google Books →
  • Frederick the Great
    Theodor Schieder (eds. Sabina Berkeley and H.M. Scott) (Longman, 2000) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b060bctg

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Auto-category: 943.05 (Prussia - Frederick the Great, 1740-1786)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1740 in Berlin, Frederick II, the new king in Prussia, took an opportunity that earned him the title Frederick the Great.