Friedrich I

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Friedrich I was the first King of Prussia. In 1688, Friedrich Wilhelm I, the "Great Elector", died and his possessions passed to his son Frederick III (1688-1701) who became Friedrich I of Prussia (1701-1713). With the exception of Prussia proper, all of Brandenburg's lands were a part of the Holy Roman Empire, by this time under the all but hereditary nominal rule of the House of Habsburg. Since there was only one King of the Germans within the Empire, Frederick gained the assent of the Emperor Leopold I (in return for alliance against France) to his adoption (January 1701) of the title of "King in Prussia", based on his non-Imperial territories, and the title came into general acceptance with the Treaty of Utrecht (1713).

Sweden's defeat by Russia, Saxony, Poland, Denmark-Norway, Hanover and Prussia in the Great Northern War (1700-1721) marked the end of significant Swedish power on the southern shores of the Baltic Sea. In the Prusso-Swedish Treaty of Stockholm (January 1720), Prussia regained Stettin (Szczecin) and other parts of Sweden's holding in Pomerania. The Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg had held the reversion to the Duchy of Pomerania since 1472. (Further Pomerania had already been annexed to Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648 at the Peace of Westphalia).

During this time the trends set in motion by the Great Elector reached their culmination, as the Junkers - the landed aristocracy - were welded to the army which had gained so much influence in the previous fifty years.

Preceded by:
Friedrich Wilhelm

Elector of Brandenburg

King of Prussia


Succeeded by:
Friedrich Wilhelm I
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