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Kingdom of Prussia

German state from 1701 to 1918 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Kingdom of Prussia[lower-alpha 1] (German: Königreich Preußen, pronounced [ˈkøːnɪkʁaɪç ˈpʁɔʏsn̩] ) constituted the German state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918.[5] It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1866 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918.[5] Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg. Its capital was Berlin.[6]

Quick facts: Kingdom of PrussiaKönigreich Preußen (Ge...
Kingdom of Prussia
Königreich Preußen (German)
Flag of Prussia
State flag
Coat of arms(1701–1871) of Prussia
Coat of arms
"Song of Prussia"

Royal anthem:
Heil dir im Siegerkranz
"Hail to thee in the Victor's Crown"
StatusKingdom[note 1]
Common languagesOfficial:
Neo-Latin (until 1806)
Polish (only in GD of Posen, 1815–1848)
Statewide majority:
Protestantism[1] (Lutheran and Calvinist; Prussian United after 1817 (state religion))
Majority in some territories:
Catholicism[note 2]
Other minorities:
 1701–1713 (first)
Frederick I
 1888–1918 (last)
Wilhelm II
 1848 (first)
A. H. von Arnim-Boitzenburg
 1918 (last)
Max von Baden
Historical era
18 January 1701
6 August 1806
 Formation of German Confederation
8 June 1815
5 December 1848
18 August 1866
18 January 1871
 Free State of Prussia proclaimed
9 November 1918
28 November 1918
1871[2]348,779 km2 (134,664 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag_of_Brandenburg_%281660%E2%80%931750%29.svg Margraviate of Brandenburg
Chor%C4%85giew_kr%C3%B3lewska_kr%C3%B3la_Zygmunta_III_Wazy.svg Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Flag_of_Ducal_Prussia.svg Duchy of Prussia
Brandenburg-Prussia.svg Brandenburg-Prussia
Flag_of_the_Principality_of_Neuch%C3%A2tel.svg Principality of Neuchâtel
Flag_of_Prussia_%281466-1772%29_Lob.svg Royal Prussia
Naval_Ensign_of_Sweden.svg Swedish Pomerania
Drapeau_de_Republique_de_Dantzig.svg Free City of Danzig
Coat_of_Arms_of_Duchy_of_Warsaw.svg Duchy of Warsaw
Flag_of_Hesse.svg Electorate of Hesse
Flag_of_the_Free_City_of_Frankfurt.svg Free City of Frankfurt
Flagge_Herzogtum_Nassau_%281806-1866%29.svg Duchy of Nassau
Flag_of_Hanover_1837-1866.svg Kingdom of Hanover
Merchant_Ensign_of_Holstein-Gottorp_%28Lions_sinister%29.svg Duchy of Holstein
Coat_of_arms_of_Schleswig.svg Duchy of Schleswig
Flag_of_Lauenburg.svg Saxe-Lauenburg
Flag_of_Bohemia.svg Lands of the Bohemian Crown
Banner_of_the_Duchy_of_Silesia.svg Duchies of Silesia
Grofschoaft_Glootz.gif County of Kladsko
Free City of Danzig Drapeau_de_Republique_de_Dantzig.svg
Duchy of Warsaw Coat_of_Arms_of_Duchy_of_Warsaw.svg
Canton of Neuchâtel Flag_of_Canton_of_Neuch%C3%A2tel.svg
Free State of Prussia Flag_of_Prussia_%281918%E2%80%931933%29.svg
Free City of Danzig Flag_of_the_Free_City_of_Danzig.svg
Second Polish Republic Flag_of_Poland_%281927%E2%80%931980%29.svg
First Czechoslovak Republic Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic.svg
Belgium Flag_of_Belgium.svg
Denmark Flag_of_Denmark.svg
Klaipėda Region Flag_of_the_Klaip%C4%97da_Region.svg
Territory of the Saar Basin Flag_of_Saar_1920-1935.svg
Today part ofGermany

The kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Brandenburg-Prussia, predecessor of the kingdom, became a military power under Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, known as "The Great Elector".[7][8][9][10] As a kingdom, Prussia continued its rise to power, especially during the reign of Frederick II "the Great".[11] Frederick the Great was instrumental in starting the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), holding his own against Austria, Russia, France and Sweden and establishing Prussia's dominant role among the German states, as well as establishing the country as a European great power through the victories of the powerful Prussian Army.[12][13] Prussia made attempts to unify all the German states (excluding the German cantons in Switzerland) under its rule, and whether Austria would be included in such a unified German domain became an ongoing question. After the Napoleonic Wars led to the creation of the German Confederation, the issue of unifying the German states caused the German revolutions of 1848–1849, with representatives from all states attempting to unify under their own constitution.[5] Attempts to create a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when the Austro-Prussian War ensued between its two most powerful member states.

Prussia was subsequently the driving force behind establishing in 1866 the North German Confederation, transformed in 1871 into the unified German Empire and considered the earliest continual legal predecessor of today's Federal Republic of Germany.[5] The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War but many of its laws were later used in the German Empire. The German Empire successfully unified all of the German states aside from Austria and Switzerland under Prussian hegemony[5] due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871. The war united all the German states against a common enemy, and with the victory came an overwhelming wave of nationalism which changed the opinions of some of those who had been against unification.

With the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Kingdom of Prussia was transformed into the Free State of Prussia.

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