Frederick(redirected from Frederick (European rulers))
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Frederick, city, United States
In Denmark and Norway:
Frederick II. Born July 1, 1534, in Haderslev; died Apr. 4, 1588, near Antvorskov. King of Denmark and Norway from 1559. Member of the Oldenburg dynasty.
Frederick II’s policies, which were directed toward strengthening royal power, encountered growing opposition from the aristocratic oligarchy, particularly members of the State Council. Frederick seized Dithmarschen in 1559, and he initiated the war against Sweden known as the Seven Years’ War of the North (1563–70). He took part in the division of Livonia during the Li-vonian War of 1558–83.
Frederick III. Born Mar. 18, 1609, in Haderslev; died Feb. 9, 1670, in Copenhagen. King of Denmark and Norway from 1648. Member of the Oldenburg dynasty. Son of Christian IV.
Frederick III strove to regain lost Danish possessions in the Baltic. The war Denmark waged against Sweden in 1657 and 1658 ended in a severe defeat for the Danes (seeROSKILDE PEACE OF 1658). Another war, lasting from 1658 to 1660, was concluded by the Treaty of Copenhagen (1660), which was somewhat more favorable to Denmark. In 1660, relying on the support of the burghers and the army, Frederick staged a coup d’etat that made the monarchy hereditary rather than elective. Absolutism was established in Denmark by law in 1665.
Frederick VI. Born Jan. 28, 1768, in Copenhagen; died there Dec. 3, 1839. Regent of Denmark and Norway (1784–1808). King of Denmark and Norway (1808–14). King of Denmark (1814–39). Member of the Oldenburg dynasty. Son of Christian VII.
A proponent of enlightened absolutism, Frederick VI carried out a series of bourgeois reforms in Denmark. Between 1788 and 1800, for example, he abolished serfdom and established norms for corvée. In 1792 he abolished slavery in Denmark’s West Indian colonies. Allied with Russia, he waged war against Sweden from 1788 to 1790. He sided with France in the Napoleonic Wars, which resulted in a military defeat for Denmark and the loss of considerable territory, including Norway and the island of Helgoland. Under pressure from the bourgeois movement in the first half of the 1830’s, he consented to the establishment of representative provincial councils with consultative functions.
Frederick VII. Born Oct. 6, 1808, in Copenhagen; died Nov. 15, 1863, in Glücksburg. King of Denmark from 1848. Member of the Oldenburg dynasty. Son of Christian VIII.
Frederick VII suppressed the Revolution of 1848 in Schleswig and Holstein, but he suffered defeat in the war of 1848–50 against Prussia. During a period of intense class conflict in 1848, he abolished corvée. In 1849 he was forced to ratify a constitution that limited royal power and granted suffrage to men over age 30.
Frederick IX. Born Mar. 11, 1899, in Sorgenfri Castle; died Jan. 14, 1972, in Copenhagen. King of Denmark (1947–72). Rear admiral (1945). Member of the Glücksborg dynasty.
Frederick IX acted as regent on several occasions when his father, King Christian X, was ill—in particular, in 1942 and 1943, which were years of deep crisis in Denmark’s relations with the fascist German occupiers. After the death of Frederick IX, his daughter Margrethe ascended the throne.
In the Holy Roman Empire:
Frederick I (also Frederick Barbarossa). Born circa 1125; died June 10, 1190. King of Germany from 1152; Holy Roman emperor from 1155. Member of the Hohenstaufen dynasty.
Frederick I sought to strengthen the power of the king in Germany by partitioning the princely fiefs and promulgating in 1158 a law that required fief holders to serve in the imperial armed forces. He attempted to create a continuous royal domain in southwestern Germany. His main support came from the imperial ministerials.
Frederick strove to subjugate and tax the cities of Lombardy, and he led five military compaigns into Italy (1154–55, 1158–62, 1163–64, 1166–68, and 1174–78). At the Diet of Roncaglia in 1158 he asserted the right to appoint the podestas of Lombard cities, thus bringing the cities under his authority. The cities, however, united to form the Lombard League in 1167 and concluded an alliance with the pope; they dealt Frederick a shattering defeat at Legnano in 1176 and forced him to renounce his right to appoint the podestas [seeCONSTANCE, PEACE OF (1183)].
The Holy Roman Empire reached the height of its prestige and power under Frederick, but his policy of not taking sides among the rival groups of feudal lords in Germany helped strengthen the positions of the princes and weaken the power of the king. Frederick’s main adversary, Heinrich der Löwe, was condemned by the princes for refusing to take part in the Italian campaign in 1174. Frederick confiscated Heinrich’s holdings; the confiscated lands were not incorporated into the royal domain, however, but were distributed among some of the princes.
Frederick I was drowned in the Saleph River in Asia Minor during the Third Crusade.
REFERENCESHeimpel, H. Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa und die Wende der staufischen Zeit. Strasbourg, 1942.
Munz, P. Frederick Barbarossa. [London, 1969.] (Contains bibliography.)
Frederick II carried on the policy of the Norman rulers by striving to transform the Kingdom of Sicily into a centralized state. The policy was incorporated into law in the Constitutions of Melfi, which he issued in 1231. Frederick set up a state system of taxation, formed a mercenary army of Saracens, razed feudal castles, introduced state trade monopolies on many goods, and deprived the cities of their independence.
In Germany, on the other hand, Frederick’s policies contributed to the further division of the country into principalities. In exchange for the princes’ support of his imperial policies in Italy, he shared some of his power with the princes by an imperial law of 1220, and he banned alliances of cities by an imperial law of 1231–32. A movement in Germany from 1235 to 1237 against the dominance of the princes was suppressed by Frederick.
Throughout most of his reign, Frederick engaged in a bitter struggle with the northern Italian cities that he had attempted to subjugate and with popes Gregory IX and Innocent IV. Frederick organized the Sixth Crusade, which ended with the occupation of Jerusalem in 1229, and he harshly persecuted heretics. Nevertheless, he was excommunicated several times and consequently lost support in Germany and Italy. The Council of Lyon, which was convened in 1245 by Innocent IV, declared Frederick deposed. Frederick died at the height of a war with the Lombard League and the pope.
Frederick II was well educated for a man of his time; he spoke several languages and had an interest in the sciences, especially the natural sciences. He wrote the treatise The Art of Hunting With Birds, and he founded a number of schools and the University of Naples (1224), at which he allowed Arab and European scholars to teach.
REFERENCESKantorowicz, E. Kaiser Friedrich der Zweite, 4th ed. Berlin, 1936.
Fasoli, G. Aspetti della politica italiana di Federico II, 2nd ed. Bologna .
Gloger, B. Kaiser, Gott und Teufel. Berlin, 1970.
As emperor, Frederick III was totally dependent on the German princes, who in fact maintained sovereignty. He attempted to subjugate the feudal estates and cities in the Hapsburgs’ hereditary lands in Austria, and he conferred the title of archduke on the Austrian princes. In his struggle with King Mátyás Hunyadi of Hungary in the 1480’s, Frederick lost almost all the Austrian possessions, including Vienna.
Frederick I. Born July 11, 1657, in Königsberg; died Feb. 25, 1713, in Berlin. King of Prussia from 1701; elector of Brandenburg (as Frederick III) from 1688 to 1701. Member of the Hohen-zollern dynasty.
Frederick I obtained the royal title by pledging to raise a military contingent to aid the Holy Roman emperor in the approaching War of the Spanish Succession.
Frederick II. Born Jan. 24, 1712, in Berlin; died Aug. 17, 1786, in Potsdam. King of Prussia from 1740. Member of the Hohen-zollern dynasty; son of Frederick William I.
Frederick II was renowned as a military leader. In the interests of the Prussian Junkers, he undertook to acquire considerable territory. He obtained from Austria most of Silesia—an area with great economic and strategic importance—as a result of his successes in the First and Second Silesian Wars (1740–42 and 1744–45, respectively; seeAUSTRIAN SUCCESSION, WAR OF THE). After entering into an alliance with England, Frederick attacked Saxony, thus beginning the Seven Years’ War of 1756–63. He dealt the Austrian and French troops a number of defeats, but these successes were brought to naught by the victories of the Russian troops; it was only because of favorable political circumstances that Prussia escaped total defeat. Frederick persistently strove for the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita), and in 1772, when the first partition was made, Prussia annexed the lands along the lower course of the Vistula River. Throughout his reign, Frederick’s greatest concern was strengthening the army.
In the area of domestic politics, Frederick, who publicized his friendship with such representatives of the French Enlightenment as Voltaire, introduced a series of reforms in the spirit of enlightened absolutism. He abolished torture, simplified legal procedures, and expanded elementary education; interested in attracting immigrants to Prussia, he implemented a policy of religious toleration. Many of Frederick’s measures, however, were empty words. Posing as a supporter of free thinking, for example, he proclaimed freedom of the press in 1740 but actually introduced very strict censorship. Frederick attempted to stop the flight of the peasants from the land by such measures as reducing both taxes and military conscription. He implemented a mercantilist and protectionist economic policy that generally aided industrialization but at the same time fettered the initiative of entrepreneurs with petty state regulation.
Under Frederick, Prussian territory was greatly expanded, and Prussia became a great power, establishing itself as a potent rival to Austria in the struggle for supremacy in Germany. In the words of K. Marx, however, Frederick’s regime was “a mixture of despotism, bureaucratism, and feudalism” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 23, p. 743, footnote). Backward and precarious, it was based on the stability of nobiliary privileges. These facts became evident soon after Frederick’s death, in the course of Prussia’s wars with revolutionary and Napoleonic France.
L. I. GINTSBERG
Frederick II was an important military figure and leader in the age of absolutism. His army, which numbered approximately 200,000 men, was the strongest in Western Europe and was also considered the best; its maintenance required two-thirds of the state budget. Under Frederick, Prussia was virtually transformed into a military camp in which most of the population worked to support the army. Recruitment was accomplished by forcible enlistment combined with compulsory furnishing of recruits by the peasants. More than a third of the army consisted of foreign mercenaries, including prisoners of war. The officers were exclusively noblemen. The instruction and training of the army were based on blind obedience, mechanical execution of orders, and the most severe discipline and regimentation. Frederick required of everyone from officer to lowest private that orders be carried out without argument.
Frederick’s strategy was based on complex maneuvering within the theater of operations. The object of the maneuvering was to deprive the enemy of his supply bases, fortresses, and territory and to cut him off from his lines of communication, thus making it possible both to avoid major battles in many instances and to achieve the conclusion of an advantageous peace treaty. In the area of tactics, Frederick perfected the linear battle formation; he reinforced one of the flanks with an extra line of infantry and transformed it into an offensive flank. In front of this flank he frequently placed an advanced line of grenadiers (the third line then filled the role of a reserve) and sometimes even a fourth line of hussars. Using what is called an oblique attack, Fredrick strove to envelop the enemy’s weaker flank, rout it, and then defeat the remaining forces. As F. Engels noted, this was the only conceivable method “by which it was possible to fling superior forces at any part of an enemy’s battle formation while preserving a linear system” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 14, p. 373).
Frederick reorganized the Prussian cavalry, and in its training he devoted the greatest attention to riding and fencing. In battle the cavalry rode into the attack at full gallop and was not permitted to open fire until both lines of the enemy’s formation had been broken. Following the example of the Russian Army, Frederick introduced a horse artillery into the cavalry regiments. During the Seven Years’ War, his army dealt the Austrian and French troops a number of defeats—for example, in the battles of Rosbach and Leuthen in 1757; these victories were due to the precise coordination of linear battle formations and to maneuvering on the battlefield, both of which were achieved through harsh discipline. Frederick’s army suffered great losses and defeats, however, in combat operations against the Russian Army, which employed more flexible tactics. These defeats included the battles of Gross Jägersdorf and Kunersdorf (1759).
The Prussian military system established by Frederick II lasted until the early 19th century and was imitated in Western Europe and Russia. It failed completely, however, in the wars against the French revolutionary and Napoleonic armies.
V. P. GLUKHOV
REFERENCESPertsev, V. I. Germaniia v XVIII veke. Minsk, 1953.
Epshtein, A. D. Istoriia Germanii ot pozdnego srednevekov’ia do revoliutsii 1848 g. Moscow, 1961. Chapter 5.