Kingdom of Prussia


May 20, 2022

The Kingdom of Prussia (Königreich Preußen) was a German kingdom that included parts of present-day Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Denmark and the Czech Republic from 1701 to 1918. It was the leading power after German unification in 1871 into the German Empire until its defeat. in the First World War. The kingdom was named after the territory of Prussia, although the main base of the kingdom was in Brandenburg. The capital of the state was Berlin. Prussia has been a great power since the founding of the kingdom, although it became a military power as a duchy during the reign of Duke Friedrich Wilhelm.



In 1529, the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg secured the succession of the Pomeranian Duchy after a series of conflicts, gaining its eastern part after the Peace of Westphalia. From 1618, the Electorate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were ruled by members of the Hohenzollern dynasty ("Brandenburg-Prussia") through a personal union. Brandenburg was part of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Prussian Duchy was a Polish feud. During the Second Northern War, with the Treaty of Labiau and the Treaty of Vehlau-Bromberg, the Hohenzollerns gained sovereignty over the Duchy of Prussia. Therefore, in exchange for an alliance against France in the War of the Spanish Succession, the elect of King Frederick III was crowned "in Prussia" as Frederick I in 1701. Legally speaking, no kingdom could exist within the Holy Roman Empire except the Czech Republic. However, Friedrich, starting from the fact that Prussia never belonged to the empire and that the Hohenzollerns were completely sovereign over it, believed that he could elevate Prussia to the rank of a kingdom. The title "King of Prussia" was adopted to emphasize that elective princes are kings only in their former duchy. In Brandenburg and the parts of their domain that were still in the Empire, they were legally only the prince's electors. However, until this period, the authority of the emperor was only nominal. The rulers of various territories of the Empire acted as rulers of sovereign states, and only formally recognized the emperor's authority. Therefore, although Brandenburg remained part of the Empire until its end in 1806, from 1701 onwards it was treated as a de facto part of the kingdom. However, due to the legal fact that the Hohenzollerns were still the emperor's subjects in the territories that were part of the empire, they continued to use t