Frederick William IV

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Frederick William IV,

1795–1861, king of Prussia (1840–61), son and successor of Frederick William III. A romanticist and a mystic, he conceived vague schemes of reform based on a revival of the medieval structure, with the rule of estates and a patriarchal monarchy. During the revolution of 1848 in Prussia, which broke out in March, Frederick William was forced at first to accede to revolutionary demands. Later, however, he crushed the opposition, dissolved (Dec., 1848) the constituent assembly, and promulgated a conservative constitution, which, as modified in 1850, remained in force until 1918. Frederick William refused the crown of a united Germany offered him (1849) by the Frankfurt ParliamentFrankfurt Parliament,
1848–49, national assembly convened at Frankfurt on May 18, 1848, as a result of the liberal revolution that swept the German states early in 1848. The parliament was called by a preliminary assembly of German liberals in Mar.
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 on the grounds that a monarch by divine right could not receive authority from an elected assembly. Although unwilling to accept the crown from an elected assembly, Frederick William desired German unity under Prussian leadership and presented the Prussian Union plan for a confederation of Prussia and the smaller German states. Austrian opposition to the plan forced Frederick William to abandon it in the Treaty of Olmütz (1850). In 1848, Frederick William briefly supported the revolt in Schleswig-HolsteinSchleswig-Holstein
, state (1994 pop. 2,595,000), c.6,050 sq mi (15,670 sq km), NW Germany. Kiel (the capital and chief port), Lübeck, Flensburg, and Neumünster are the major cities.
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 against Denmark but yielded to British pressure for an armistice. In 1857 his mental condition necessitated a temporary (later permanent) regency of his brother, who succeeded him as William I.
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Frederick William IV

1795--1861, king of Prussia (1840--61). He submitted to the 1848 Revolution but refused the imperial crown offered by the Frankfurt Parliament (1849). In 1857 he became insane and his brother, William I, became regent (1858--61)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1844, with approval and support from Frederick William IV, Wichern launched the Inner Mission, an effort to recapture the lost hearts of German Christians who had been baptized but had fallen away from the faith.
Frederick William IV supported the Pennsylvania system enthusiastically and wanted to implement it throughout Prussia.
Frederick William IV accepted Wichern's recommendations and three days later decreed that the Pennsylvania system had to be instituted throughout Moabit by the beginning of 1857.
With the Brothers installed in Moabit, Frederick William IV approved Wichern's appointment to the Prussian civil service on December 3, 1856.
On October 6, 1857, Frederick William IV suffered a stroke, paralyzing him and rendering him unable to govern.
(76) During the 1840s, religion had become an increasingly political issue, as Frederick William IV, a pious man, embarked on a concerted effort to revitalize Christianity and strengthen the ties between monarchical power and religious belief.
In January 1861, Frederick William IV died, leaving Wichern without his greatest source of support.
The removal of the Brotherhood from the Prussian prisons thus signaled a temporary end to Wichern and Frederick William IV's "religious revolution." In 1857, with Frederick William IV active and the conservatives in power, Wichern and his Brotherhood seemed unstoppable.
(29) The best account of Frederick William IV and his reign is David Barclay's Frederick William IV and the Prussian Monarchy 1840-1861 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995).
21st: Frederick William IV issues his proclamation `To My People and the German Nation'.
8th: Frederick William IV regains control of Berlin.
3rd: Frederick William IV rejects the offer of the imperial crown.

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