Frederick the Great
1712 - 1786
King of Prussia
Frederick II, the son of Frederick William I, was born in Berlin. His childhood was spent in rigorous military training and education.

As an adult he studied music and French literature, and himself wrote and composed. As king, he guided the growth of the provincial kingdom he inherited toward its place at the head of the German nations.

He fought to oppose Austrian ambitions, and earned a great reputation as a military commander in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740--8). He seized Silesia, and defeated the Austrians, and in the second Silesian War he gained further territories.

Frederick the Great skillfully employed the limited Prussian resources to make his kingdom the most powerful German state during the seven Years War (1756-63).
In 1772 he participated in the first partition of Poland, and by the time he died he had doubled the area of his country.

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