Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg

Frederick William (German: Friedrich Wilhelm; 16 February 1620 – 29 April 1688) was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from 1640 until his death in 1688. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is popularly known as "the Great Elector"[1] (der Große Kurfürst) because of his military and political achievements. Frederick William was a staunch pillar of the Calvinist faith, associated with the rising commercial class. He saw the importance of trade and promoted it vigorously. His shrewd domestic reforms gave Prussia a strong position in the post-Westphalian political order of north-central Europe, setting Prussia up for elevation from duchy to kingdom, achieved under his son and successor.

Frederick William
Portrait by Frans Luycx, c. 1650
Elector of Brandenburg
Duke of Prussia
Reign1 December 1640 – 29 April 1688
PredecessorGeorge William
SuccessorFrederick I
Born(1620-02-16)16 February 1620
Stadtschloss, Berlin, Brandenburg-Prussia
Died29 April 1688(1688-04-29) (aged 68)
Stadtschloss, Potsdam, Brandenburg-Prussia
Burial
Spouse
Issue
Detail
HouseHohenzollern
FatherGeorge William, Elector of Brandenburg
MotherElisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
ReligionCalvinist
Signature

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