Berlin Prussia. There was a time when Berlin was a capital of Prussia. For that there were special circumstances. We will touch upon them below.
Frederick the Great who is actually Friedrich... in German, was a very important person of that time. We will use "Friedrich", since as you start to look for places related to Frederick, people will not understand.
We will give you a brief idea of the period called Prussian because it was important for Berlin. And as a tourist you will come across of that time in Berlin history.
So, let's start from the beginning. In 1701 elector one of the dukes who could elect the Emperor of Germany Friedrich III announced himself the “King in Prussia Friedrich I”.
There was a difference between King of Prussia and King in Prussia.
The difference is when it is said King of Prussia it means that the whole Prussia was ruled by the King. King in Prussia meant just a part.
The ceremony of announcement was held in Koenigsberg in Eastern Prussia since Koenigsberg was not a part of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation.
The Austrian Emperor was elected as a head of the ancient Germany (the name is difficult to reproduce). This Austrian Emperor should not be faced with a provocation.
Son of Friedrich later on was called “Soldiers' King”. He was used to play with soldiers and to increase their number and equipment was his hobby No 1. All other things in the kingdom had to stay behind that. Berlin became the royal residence.
It was a hard time for tall guys since people of the king kidnapped such guys for the army special guard.
The biggest role as king in Prussian history played King Friedrich II who had been ruling and prevailing as king from 1740 till 1786, a really long time. He led war against half Europe starting with Austria using the military power his father created.
He had significant victories and was close to commit suicide after defeats. Finally he saved his kingdom due specific circumstances in Russia.
Berlin Prussia became one of the leading powers in Europe. Friedrich II was known as ”philosopher on the throne” since he exchanged letters with Voltaire.
His summer palace in Potsdam “Sanssouci” is well known all over the world.His slogan was “Jeder soll nach seiner Facon seelig werden” mordern interpretation for this is Every person can live his own way. But part which goes without saying is that he should not bother others. Very actual for our times as well!
The rulers after him did not have his power and knowledge. The result was the disaster of the battle of Jena and Auerstedt in 1806. Berlin was occupied by French troops.
The state Prussia with the capital Berlin was in a serious crisis. The period of the Prussian reformers started. Berlin Prussia got its autonomous administration not relying on the royal dynasty as before.
The university , now known as Humboldt University was founded in 1810. This time ended after the defeat of Napoleon's France. Time of political stagnation started.In the economy the industrial revolution played a significant role in Prussia and Berlin, too. First railway started in 1838. Berlin ranked as No 4 of the cities in Europe. It was industrially and economically growing city. That means that population also grew.
In 1848 there was the March democratic revolution which seemed to be a success at the beginning. But later the king Friedrich Wilhelm IV and the feudal system were more successful in counterrevolution. All the victims of revolution were for nothing and the result was to see later in following wars:
Danish-Prussian (1864), Austrian-Prussian 1866 as well as the German-French (1870/1871) wars.
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The consequence was the foundation of German Empire with the capital in Berlin.
Due to contributions paid from France an economic period of prosperity („Gruenderzeit“) started after the war followed by a crash („Gruenderkrach“). It was the time of Prussian and later on German chancellor Otto von Bismarck who is still considered to be one of the most successful and important persons of German history.
The Berlin canalization as well as water pipe system was constructed in this time. Cheap housing urban districts were built in Wedding, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. The transport system was extended by tube and electrical railway.
So, now you have some ideas about Berlin Prussia period. About other periods in the history of Berlin you can read in our related to Berlin history pages. Please, note that we give just some information as a guide would give showing his city.
Return from Berlin Prussia's capital to HomePage
Or return from Berlin Prussia's capital to Berlin History
Or read also about Berlin History part about Thirty Years War
Sanssouci is also a great place to explore when coming to the capital of Germany