Frederick William II


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Frederick William II,

1744–97, king of Prussia (1786–97), nephew and successor of Frederick IIFrederick II
or Frederick the Great,
1712–86, king of Prussia (1740–86), son and successor of Frederick William I. Early Life

Frederick's coarse and tyrannical father despised the prince, who showed a taste for French art and literature and no
..... Click the link for more information.
 (Frederick the Great). He had the power but lacked the ability of his distinguished predecessors. He joined the European coalition in support of Louis XVI and fought in the early campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars. Financial difficulties and the revolt (1794) in Poland against the Prussian and Russian occupiers of that country following the second partition of Poland (see Poland, partitions ofPoland, partitions of.
The basic causes leading to the three successive partitions (1772, 1793, 1795) that eliminated Poland from the map were the decay and the internal disunity of Poland and the emergence of its neighbors, Russia and Prussia, as leading European powers.
..... Click the link for more information.
) led Frederick William II to make a separate peace with the French at Basel (1795). Frederick William's extravagance left a ruined exchequer. He was a patron of the arts and an amateur cellist; Mozart dedicated three string quartets to him. His son, Frederick William III, succeeded him.