Erik Nitsche: Frederich the Great
Artist: Erik Nitsche
Frederick the Great (1712-1786) ruled the eastern German state of Prussia from 1740-1786. He remains one of the most famous German rulers of all time for his military successes and his domestic reforms that made Prussia one of the leading European nations. Frederick devoted himself to building Prussia into a strong state and that meant both expansion and reform.
As king, Frederick issued a series of domestic reforms that modernized Prussia and built her up from within. He continued the work of his predecessors to consolidate power by giving the territorial princes a place in the governmental bureaucracy. He established universal religious toleration and granted freedom of the press. He established individual protections against the law by speeding up the legal process, abolishing torture, and making sentences of death legal only with his personal sanction.
Frederick the Great skillfully employed the limited Prussian resources to make his kingdom the most powerful German state during the seven Years War (1756-63).
This painting originally appeared on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for Germany.
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