Friedrich Wilhelm (Brandenburg)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Friedrich Wilhelm on a painting by Frans Luycx , around 1650.Signature Friedrich Wilhelm (Brandenburg) .PNG

Friedrich Wilhelm (* 6 February July / 16 February  1620 greg. In Cölln ; † 29 April July / 9 May  1688 greg. In Potsdam ) from the House of Hohenzollern was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia since 1640 .

In terms of foreign policy, in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 he laid the foundation for the rise of Brandenburg to a major European power and in the Peace of Oliva in 1660 secured sovereignty over Prussia. His victory over the Swedes in the battle of Fehrbellin on June 18th jul. / June 28,  1675 greg. earned him the nickname Great Elector . In terms of domestic politics, Friedrich Wilhelm implemented extensive reforms and built up a standing army. He confessed to the Calvinist faith and pursued a tolerant religious policy. His admission of about 20,000 persecuted Huguenots in theThe Edict of Potsdam in 1685 ensured an economic and cultural boom in Brandenburg-Prussia .


Childhood (1620–1634)

Friedrich Wilhelm as a child, 1626

Born in the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War as the son of Elector Georg Wilhelm and the Palatinate Princess Elisabeth Charlotte , Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg had his life from spring 1627 to summer 1634 behind the walls of the safe fortress Küstrin with his tutor Johann Friedrich von Kalkum called Leuchtmar spend. Before that, he was housed for some time in his father's newly built hunting lodge in Letzlingen . During this whole time he remained separated from his parents for most of the time, only in 1631 he was introduced to his uncle Gustav II Adolf in Berlin, who loved him from the beginning. He was mainly taught languages ​​and the evangelical reformed religion. His physical training was also encouraged, not least due to his frequent participation in hunts.

Apprenticeship in Holland (1634–1638)

Portrait of the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm von Adriaen Hanneman 1647

While the march itself was devastated by imperial and Swedish troops, the 14-year-old electoral prince was sent to the safe Netherlands in July 1634 , which was then experiencing its golden age . There he was supposed to perfect his education, learn the national language and escape the threats of the increasingly cruel war.

Friedrich Wilhelm came to the court of the governor Friedrich Heinrich von Oranien , his mother's uncle. A small court was established for him in Arnhem . In Leiden he attended courses at the university there . The experience gained during this four-year stay exerted a very great influence on the young prince and the actions of the future Elector of Brandenburg, as he found a highly developed state and a trading power in the Netherlands, which in many ways affected the impoverished Brandenburg should serve as a model. In Amsterdam he also got to know the shipbuilding trade. In the summer of 1638, at his father's behest, he was called back to the comparatively provincial Berlin against his will. There he found a ruined province, in which the Swedes ruled de facto .

Takeover of government until the outbreak of the Second Northern War (1640–1656)

After the death of his father, Elector Georg Wilhelm, on December 1, 1640, Friedrich Wilhelm succeeded him in his widely dispersed territory amid catastrophic political conditions:

Elector Friedrich Wilhelm with his first wife Luise Henriette von Nassau-Oranien
Painting by Gerrit van Honthorst (1647)
  • The Thirty Years War had devastated the country badly; whole areas were depopulated;
  • Brandenburg and Kleve were occupied by foreign troops ( Sweden );
  • Prussia was considered uncertain property, since the King of Poland could refuse the mortgage at any time ;
  • the government of the heartland was in the hands of an intimate enemy, Count Adam von Schwarzenberg . In addition, the finances of the state were shattered, so that the mercenaries also revolted.

The young elector first led his government from Kleve and cultivated relations with the Netherlands, where he had previously lived and studied. Friedrich Wilhelm appointed the builder Johann Gregor Memhardt (1607–1678), who had already served his father, as electoral engineer. His first order was to improve the fortifications of the Schwanenburg . The young elector's possessions had to be protected.

The first task was to break the influence of Count Adam von Schwarzenberg (1583–1641), who, as a secret council, had effectively directed the affairs of state of the Electorate of Brandenburg. Immediately after taking office, the elector dismissed the count. The following year he ordered his arrest. Schwarzenberg died just four days after his admission to the fortress Spandau on March 14, 1641. In order to gain freedom of action in the Mark Brandenburg, Friedrich Wilhelm concluded an armistice with the Swedes on July 14, 1641. However, the mark remained occupied by Swedish troops. On October 7, 1641, the elector was enfeoffed by the Polish king with the Duchy of Prussia.

In 1646 Friedrich Wilhelm returned to the Mark. After a hoped-for liaison with the Swedish royal family had not come about through a marriage with Christine of Sweden , Friedrich Wilhelm married the eldest daughter of the governor Friedrich Heinrich von Oranien , Luise Henriette von Oranien , with whom he was six on December 7, 1646 in The Hague Had children. In addition to the bride's lavish dowry of 120,000 Reichstalers in cash and jewelry valued at 60,000 Reichstalers, the new Electress was followed by Dutch artists, craftsmen, builders, farmers and merchants who brought modern techniques and production methods to the country that had been drained by the Thirty Years War. Soon the word about the "alteration" of the Mark Brandenburg made the rounds. In Berlin and Potsdam in particular, a "Dutch colony" established itself, which among other things was involved in the expansion and redesign of the fortifications, the expansion of the city palace and the construction of streets and canals.

In the course of the Westphalian peace negotiations in Münster and Osnabrück from 1645, Friedrich Wilhelm had to renounce the legal claim to Western Pomerania in favor of Sweden. The Roman-German emperor had already agreed with the major European powers that only Hinterpommern should remain with the elector, while Vorpommern, Rügen and Stettin as well as other parts of the area east of the Oder were added to the Swedish territory. In an agreement with Sweden on January 7, 1647, he was awarded the Halberstadt and Minden monasteries as compensation for Western Pomerania as well as the entitlement to the Archdiocese of Magdeburg . Nevertheless, the peace treaty of 1648 documented that the Elector of Brandenburg, compared to the European potentates in Vienna, Paris, London or Stockholm, was a ruler of lesser rank who was unable to achieve his political goals on his own.

Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen , governor of the Brazilian possessions of the Dutch West India Company from 1636 to 1644 , became governor of the West German possessions of the Great Elector in Kleve in 1649. In order to finance the construction of a standing army as the foundation for an independent foreign policy, the elector, after long negotiations during the state parliaments (estates' meetings) in 1653, obtained the promise of the estates to raise 530,000 thalers in taxes within the next five years. 41% of the taxes had to be raised by the landed gentry, 59% of the sum by the cities. In return, the elector confirmed privileges for the estates, which were primarily at the expense of the peasants. Unbearable compulsory labor , an intensification of serfdom and the plundering and subsequent buying up of farms were the result.

The Elector in the Second Northern War (1655–1660)

Elector Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg, with scepter, armor, electoral hat and cloak,
painting by Govaert Flinck , around 1652

In 1655 the Second Northern War broke out. The Swedes under King Karl X. Gustav invaded Poland from the Swedish Livonia and Western Pomerania . The Duchy of Prussia was in great danger, so that Friedrich Wilhelm gathered 18,000 men and led them into the Duchy, which the Swedes had already invaded. Militarily inferior, he recognized the factual suzerainty of Swedes over Prussia and concluded the Treaty of Königsberg on January 16, 1656 , through which he was enfeoffed by the Swedish king with the Duchy of Prussia.

Due to the worsened situation of the Swedes in Poland, the Swedish king needed new allies, so that on June 23, 1656 he concluded the Treaty of Marienburg with the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm. With all the forces at his disposal, Friedrich Wilhelm then united with the Swedes and defeated a Polish army as commander of the Brandenburg contingent in the three-day battle near Warsaw from July 28 to 30, 1656. In order to avoid a break with his partner, the Swedish King Karl X. Gustav finally recognized Friedrich Wilhelm's sovereignty over the Duchy of Prussia with the Treaty of Labiau on November 20, 1656.

In the Treaty of Wehlau on September 19, 1657, Friedrich Wilhelm managed to secure the sovereignty of Prussia for a change of alliance through Poland-Lithuania . The contract was brokered by the Habsburg Leopold , Archduke of Austria and King of Hungary. In return, Friedrich Wilhelm supported him in electing a king and emperor . The provisions of the Treaty of Wehlau were confirmed in the Peace of Oliva on May 3, 1660, with which the elector finally became sovereign over the Duchy of Prussia, which was a basic requirement for the later establishment of the Kingdom of Prussia.

Outer Peace - Concentration on Domestic Policy (1660–1672)

Berlin, pleasure garden on the Spree island, above the Great Elector and his wife, around 1670

The first task was to reconcile the rights and privileges of the estates in the individual regions with the general interests of the state (uniform, regulated finance, military affairs). The estates of the Mark and the neighboring countries submitted to each other most easily, while difficulties were caused by the estates of Cleves and Prussia, where the aspirations for independence were supported by the neighboring republics of the Netherlands and Poland. Prussia ( Königsberg uprising ) caused particular problems , where the strict Lutherans refused to recognize the reformed elector and asked Poland for help. It was only when the excesses of some members, such as the Königsberger Schöppenmeister Johannes Roth and the two Kalcksteins , weakened the unity of the class opposition that the elector succeeded in pulling the classes behind him in 1663 in Königsberg. Roth was arrested and died after 16 years in captivity. After Albrecht von Kalckstein's death, his son, Colonel Christian Ludwig von Kalckstein , fled to Poland, from where he was forcibly returned to Prussia and executed in 1672 for high treason.

At the summoning of Friedrich Wilhelm, the Berlin Religious Discussion between Lutheran and Reformed theologians of the Mark Brandenburg took place from September 8, 1662 to June 29, 1663 in Kölln Palace. Under the direction of First Minister Otto von Schwerin , it was intended to bring the two Protestant denominations closer together. After 17 meetings it was canceled without result. In 1664 the elector issued an edict of tolerance that forbade the Lutheran clergy from any polemics against the Reformed, as a penalty of impeachment. The Lutherans saw this as a questioning of the concord formula , which Johann Georg had made binding for the whole country in 1577 .

Dorothea Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

In 1668 Friedrich Wilhelm married the widowed Duchess Dorothea of ​​Braunschweig and Lüneburg, born Princess von Holstein-Glücksburg, and fathered seven children with her during the course of the marriage.

The levying of meal, slaughter and brewing taxes in all provinces enabled the elector to maintain a standing army that could be increased to 20,000 men in the event of a war. Friedrich Wilhelm began to promote the economy partly against fierce opposition by supporting agriculture and immigration ; In 1671, for example, he invited fifty wealthy Jewish families from Vienna to Brandenburg and, together with the later invitation to the Huguenots ( Edict of Potsdam , 1685), established the tradition of Prussian tolerance. He also freed trade and traffic from restrictions, promoted inland and maritime trade , had the Garbage Rose Canal built and set up its own postal service .

The Great Elector in the Dutch and Swedish-Brandenburg War (1672–1679)

Friedrich Wilhelm, the Great Elector in armor and with a sash, painting from 1663

In 1672 the French King Louis XIV attacked the Netherlands, which were under the Johan de Witts regime , and thus triggered the Dutch War . Friedrich Wilhelm, bound by contract, fulfilled his alliance obligations and sent an army of 20,000 men. The imperial generals Montecuccoli and Bournonville prevented any enemy clashes on the Rhine and in Westphalia and thus enabled the French commander Turenne to penetrate the Brandenburg provinces in Westphalia. On June 16, 1673, Friedrich Wilhelm concluded the separate peace at Vossem with France.

On July 1, 1674, Friedrich Wilhelm joined a new coalition against France after the Imperial War against France had been declared. Together with Bournonville he fought in vain against Field Marshal Turenne in Alsace in 1674/75. However, due to the Swedes invading the Mark Brandenburg at the end of 1674, he had to withdraw from the active war against France.

On June 25, 1675, a Brandenburg army under his personal leadership defeated the Swedes decisively in the Battle of Fehrbellin . After this victory, his contemporaries gave him the nickname “the Great Elector”. As a result of the victory, Brandenburg conquered all of Swedish Pomerania by 1678 . In the winter of 1678/79 he drove the Swedes invaded in the Duchy of Prussia, under the personal leadership of an army, in the famous hunt across the Curonian Lagoon to the Swedish-Livonia border.

On June 29, 1679, the Peace of St. Germain was concluded, in which Friedrich Wilhelm had to cede the conquered Western Pomerania to a small area east of the Oder because his allies, the Netherlands and the imperial court, abandoned him and he and Denmark were the only ones facing the overpowering France. Disappointed in particular by the behavior of Emperor Leopold, he now joined France closely, even undertaking in a secret treaty dated October 25, 1679 to give Louis XIV his vote in a new emperor election.

From peace in 1679 to his death in 1688

Friedrich Wilhelm around 1680 as a painting by Jacques Vaillant

In 1680/81 Friedrich Wilhelm carried out a pirate war against Spanish ships in order to collect outstanding subsidies from the Swedish-Brandenburg War .

In 1685, Louis XIV repealed the Edict of Nantes in order to suppress the Lutheran Protestants in his empire. That is why Friedrich Wilhelm allied himself with the States General and the Emperor by relinquishing his Silesian inheritance claims against the cession of the small Schwiebus district and even sending an auxiliary corps of 8,000 men against the Turks. By the Potsdam Edict of October 27th, Jul. / November 6th 1685 greg. he enabled 15,000 Calvinist Protestants from France to settle in his states. This led to an upswing in industry, especially in Berlin.

Influenced by his time in Holland, his efforts after the peace treaty were directed towards the acquisition of colonies and the construction of his own fleet, which, however, did not correspond to the real possibilities of Brandenburg-Prussia.

"Seafaring and trading are the most noble pillars of an estate, whereby the subjects obtain their food and livelihood both by water and by the factories on land."

- Friedrich Wilhelm (quote from an electoral edict of January 1, 1686)

In order to acquire and secure overseas colonies , he officially founded the Kurbrandenburg Navy in 1684 with the support of the Dutch merchant Benjamin Raule and had colonies established in Guinea by the Brandenburg-African Company founded in 1682 . Groß Friedrichsburg and Arguin became bases for the Atlantic triangular trade : Brandenburg traders delivered firearms, simple iron products and ruby ​​glass to Africa and exchanged them for ivory , gold and slaves . The latter were sold to the plantations of the New World, whose products - namely sugar, tobacco, cocoa and cotton - were delivered to Europe.

As early as 1643 he was accepted into the Fruit-Bringing Society under the name Der Untadeliche .

He died on May 9, 1688 in the Potsdam City Palace . The “Great Elector” has his final resting place in the Hohernzollern Crypt of the Berlin Cathedral .

Coat of arms and seal

The Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg had several different coats of arms:

  • Margrave of Brandenburg
  • Elector of Brandenburg (old and around 1648)
  • Arch chamberlain of the Roman-German Empire

Friedrich Wilhelm I had the throne seal and the newer coat of arms made shortly before the Peace of Westphalia so that the treaty should be sealed. The curious thing about both versions is that he had all the coats of arms of his ruled territories and rulers, but also those of the rulers claimed, engraved or drawn. An example of this is the coat of arms of the county of Gützkow, which fell to Sweden in 1648 and only came to Prussia in 1815.

Dutch culture

The elector, his first wife Louise Henriette, Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen and, last but not least, his mother, Elisabeth Charlotte, granddaughter of Wilhelm I of Orange-Nassau , mediated Dutch culture. Friedrich Wilhelm brought mainly portrait and flower still life painters from the northern Netherlands to his court, such as Willem van Honthorst , Rutger van Langevelt , Pieter Nason , Jacques Vaillant , Ottomar Elliger the Elder. Ä., Hendrik Fromantiou and Willem Frederik van Royen and acquired other pictures by Northern Dutch painters such as Willem van Aelst , Otto Marseus van Schrieck , Jan Weenix , Jan de Baen and Govert Flinck . The Atlas of the Great Elector is a giant atlas produced in the Netherlands, a gift from Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen in 1664.


For the listing of all genealogical data see: Stammliste der Hohenzollern

From first marriage

On December 7, 1646, Elector Friedrich Wilhelm married Princess Luise Henriette von Oranien in The Hague , daughter of the Dutch governor Friedrich Heinrich von Oranien and his wife, Countess Amalie zu Solms-Braunfels .

  • Wilhelm Heinrich (born May 21, 1648 - † October 24, 1649)
  • Karl Emil , Prince Elector of Brandenburg (February 16, 1655 - December 7, 1674)
  • Friedrich III./I. , Elector of Brandenburg, King in Prussia (* July 11, 1657 - † February 25, 1713)
  • Amalia (born November 19, 1664 - † February 1, 1665)
  • Heinrich (November 19, 1664 - November 26, 1664)
  • Ludwig , Prince of Brandenburg (July 8, 1666 - April 8, 1687)
From second marriage

On June 14, 1668, Friedrich Wilhelm married the widowed Duchess Dorothea of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, born Princess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, daughter of Duke Philip of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and his wife at Gröningen Castle in Gröningen near Halberstadt Princess Sophie Hedwig of Saxony-Lauenburg.

Electress Dorothea acquired the dominions of Schwedt and Wildenbruch to secure her sons . The descendants from this marriage were named Prince in Prussia, Margrave of Brandenburg from 1701 and were commonly referred to as Margraves of Brandenburg-Schwedt until this branch line ceased to exist in 1788 . Dorothea tried at times successfully to persuade the elector to divide the inheritance of the Brandenburg ancestral lands among her biological sons. This led to a dispute with Prince Elector Friedrich that lasted more than ten years.

  • Philipp Wilhelm , governor of the Duchy of Magdeburg, ruler of the Schwedt-Wildenbruch rule (* May 19, 1669; † December 19, 1711)
  • Maria Amalia (born November 26, 1670 - † November 17, 1739)
  • Albrecht Friedrich , Lord Master of the Order of St. John in Sonnenburg (* January 24, 1672; † June 21, 1731)
  • Karl Philipp (born January 5, 1673 - † July 23, 1695)
  • Elisabeth Sophie (April 5, 1674 - November 22, 1748)
  • Dorothea (6 June 1675 - 11 September 1676)
  • Christian Ludwig , governor in the Principality of Halberstadt (* May 24, 1677; † September 3, 1734)

Remembrance and commemoration

Remembrance and commemoration
Statue of the Great Elector in Berlin (copper engraving by Georg Paul Busch, before 1756)
Friedrich Wilhelm (Orig.:FRID.WILH) on a Brandenburg guilder, 1683
Elector monument in Minden , Westphalia
Monument in the Kurfürstenpark Fehrbellin , Brandenburg
Monument in Rathenow , Brandenburg
Prussian Column in Neukamp 1989
Statue in the Berlin Lapidarium from Siegesallee
Sarcophagus of the Great Elector in the Hohenzollern Crypt of the Berlin Cathedral
Postage stamp of the Deutsche Bundespost (1995) on the occasion of the 375th birthday

The death of the Great Elector was particularly mourned in Protestant Germany, and popular poets such as Johannes Riemer commemorated him in their publications.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Friedrich Wilhelm was often quoted as saying:

"Remember that you are a German!"

- The great elector

The request can be found as the title-like closing words of a larger, anonymous pamphlet from August 1658 to justify his change of alliance to the anti-Swedish coalition. It was published in Hamburg on the occasion of the march of the Brandenburg Army through northern Germany. The author was the Geheime Rat Daniel Weimann (1621–1661), who at that time was in the personal environment of Friedrich Wilhelm. The text, addressed to an "honest German", reminds us that the last wars "under the pretext of religion and freedom" only made "strange nationes ... wonderful" and that "Rhine, Weser, Elbe and Oderstrohm" now “prisoners of foreign nations” are and are calling for the elector to take sides, who wants to change this, at least as far as Pomerania is concerned, in the coming war. The “national political sentiment” that appears in the pamphlet, however, was not the mainspring of Brandenburg politics. The request did not have the programmatic, motto-like character that historians ascribed to it in the 19th century, but it showed that "the leadership group around the Elector had the importance of national feeling in the German-speaking and imperial area in mind."

The large equestrian statue of Schlüter stands in the courtyard of Charlottenburg . Until the Second World War it stood on the Long Bridge next to the Berlin Palace , was then stored in Ketzin / Havel and sank in 1946 when it was transported back into Lake Tegel . The statue was recovered there in 1950 and finally installed at Charlottenburg Palace in 1952. The Bode Museum has had a copy in the large domed hall at the entrance since 1904 without any secondary figures.

In honor of Friedrich Wilhelm there is a bust in the Walhalla , a statue on the Geneva Reformation Monument , a statue in Minden (1901) and Kleve and a statue on the Knock in Emden , for whose maritime trade the Great Elector made a great contribution. In 1901, Kaiser Wilhelm II had Fritz Schaper erect the central statue in Monument Group 25 on Siegesallee in Berlin's Tiergarten . Today this stands with other Victory Alley statues in the Spandau Citadel . A reproduction of the statue was placed on the Sparrenburg in Bielefeld in 1900 . A statue of Friedrich Wilhelm had been in Pillau since 1913. In 1955 it was re-erected in Eckernförde until we returned home . In 1854, a Prussian column was erected on Rügen in Neukamp to commemorate the landing of Friedrich Wilhelm .


Named after him were u. a .:



Pedigree of Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg

Elector Johann Georg (1525–1598)

Sophia (1525–1546)


Margrave Johann (1513–1571)

Katharina (1518–1574)


Duke Albrecht (1490–1568)

Anna Maria (1532–1568)


Duke Wilhelm (1516–1592)

Maria (1531–1581)


Elector Friedrich III. (1515–1576)

Marie (1519–1567)


Landgrave Philipp (1504–1567)

Christina (1505–1549)


Count Wilhelm (1487–1559)

Julia (1506–1580)


Louis III (1513–1582)

Jacqueline (1520–1561)


Elector Joachim Friedrich (1546–1608)

Katharina (1549–1602)


Duke Albrecht Friedrich (1553–1618)

Marie Eleonore (1550–1608)


Elector Ludwig VI. (1539–1583)

Elisabeth (1539–1582)


Prince Wilhelm I (1533–1584)

Charlotte (1546–1582)


Elector Johann Sigismund (1572–1620) ⚭ Anna (1576–1625)


Elector Friedrich IV. (1574–1610) ⚭ Luise Juliana (1576–1644)

parents 1616

Elector Georg Wilhelm (1595–1640) ⚭ Elisabeth Charlotte (1597–1660)

Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg (1620–1688)


  • Imprint of a Von der Churfürstl. Passage to Brandenburg our… Elector… To the Palatine Count of Newburg Fürstl. Drained answering letter through . Königsberg 1646. Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Church regulations, || The || Christian || Reformed churches, || in the countries || Gülich, Cleve, Berge and Marck: As well as comparisons of religions, and, secondary recesses, along with other useful pieces, which between The Prince and Lord, Mr. Friederich Wilhelmen, Margrave of Brandenburg, des Heil. Rom. Reichs Ertz Chamberlain and Elector, [et] c. [Etc. And the transitory prince and lord, Mr. Philipp Wilhelmen, Pfaltzgrafen bey Rhein, [et] c. [Etc. About the religious and ecclesiastical essence in unreported countries, [et] c. [Etc. Erected in 1666, 1672 and 1673 . Duisburg 1754. Digitized edition
  • Side recess between The Most Illuminated Prince and Lord // Mr. Friederich Wilhelmen // Margrave of Brandenburg // des Heil. Rom. Reichs Ertz-Cämmerern and Electors ... And The Most Illuminated Prince and Lord // Mr. Philip Wilhelmen // Pfaltzgrafen bey Rhein ... about the Punctum Religionis, and other clerical matters in the Gülischen Clevischen and associated countries . 1666. Digitized edition
  • Minor recess || Between || To the most brilliant prince and lord, || Lord || Friederich Wilhelmen, || Margrave of Brandenburg, of salvation. Rom. || Reichs Ertz Chamberlain and Elector… || And || To the most brilliant prince and lord, || Lord || Philipp Wilhelmen, || Pfaltzgrafen near Rhine, in Bavaria, to Gülich, || … || About the Punctum Religionis, and others || Spiritual things, || in which Gülichschen, Clevischen and related countries . - Printed after the copy in the year of Christ 1666. Ovenius, Duisburg 1753. Digitized edition
  • Additional recess between the most transparent prince ... Friederich Wilhelmen, Marggraffen zu Brandenburg, of H. Röm. Reichs Ertz-Cämmerern, and Electors, in Prussia, in Magdeburg ... And The Most Illuminated Prince ... Philipp Wilhelmen, Pfaltz-Graffen near the Rhine, in Bavaria, in Gülich, Cleve and Berge Hertzbogen ... About the Punctum Religionis and other spiritual people. Things in which Gülich-Clevischen and related lands . - Based on the copy from the year of Christ 1666. Stahl, Düsseldorf 1735. Digitized edition
  • In addition to the recess between the most lucid princes and lords, lords, Friederich Wilhelmen, Mraggraffen zu Brandenburg ... And the most lucid princes and lords, lords, Philipp Wilhelmen, Pfaltz-Graffen near the Rhine ... About the Punctum Religionis and other spiritual people. Things in which Gülich-Clevischen and related lands: after the copy from the year of Christ 1666 . Stahl, Düsseldorf 1753. Digitized edition
  • Provisional inheritance comparison in 1666. Between the most transparent prince and lord, H. Friderich Wilhelmen, Marggraffen zu Brandenburg ... and the most transparent prince and lord, Hn. Philipp Wilhelm, Pfaltz-Graffen bey Rhein .. . Stahl, Düsseldorf 1732. Digitized edition
  • Religious comparisons Which between The Most Illuminated Prince ... Friederich Wilhelmen Marggraffen zu Brandenburg ... and Dem ... Hn. Philipp Wilhelmen Pfalzgraffen bey Rheyn… about the religious and church essence In which Hertzogthumben Gülich / Cleve and Berg / also Graffschafften Marck and Ravenßberg… were erected . Beyer, Düsseldorf 1674. Digitized edition
  • Religious Comparison Which between the Most Illuminated Prince and Lords Hn. Friederich Wilhelmen Marggraffen zu Brandenburg, deß Heil. Rom. Reichs Ertz-Cämmerern and Electors ... And The Most Illuminated Prince and Lord Hn. Philipp Wilhelmen Pfaltzgraffen near the Rhine, in Bäyern, to Gülich, Cleve and Berg, Hertzieh ... about The Religious and Church Being In which Hertzogthumen Gülich, Cleve and Berg, also Graffschafften Marck and Ravenßberg respectively on April 26th 1672. to Cöllen the Spree, and erected on July 30th, 1673 at Düsseldorff . Schleuter, Düsseldorf 1695. Digitized edition
  • Religious comparison Which between ... Friederich Wilhelmen, Marggraffen zu Brandenburg, ... And the ... Messrs. Philipp Wilhelmen, Pfaltz-Graffen near Rhine ... About the religious and church essence In which Hertzogthumben Gülich, Cleve and Berg, also Graffschafften Marck and Ravensberg respectivè on April 26th, 1672. at Cöllen on the Spree, and on July 30th, 1673. at Düsseldorff . Stahl, Düsseldorf 1735. Digitized edition
  • Religious comparison Which between ... Friederich Wilhelmen, Mraggraffen [!] To Brandenburg ... And ... Philipp Wilhelmen, Pfaltz-Graffen near the Rhine ... About the religious and church essence In which Hertzogthumben Gülich, Cleve and Berg, also Graffschafften Marck and Ravensberg respectively on April 26th, 1672. at Cöllen on the Spree, and on July 30th, 1673. at Düsseldorff . Stahl, Düsseldorf 1753. Digitized edition
  • Dietrich Sigismund von Buch's (1674–1683) diary , editor Ferdinand Hirsch . Duncker and Humblot, Leipzig 1904/05. Publications of the association for the history of the Mark Brandenburg, 2 volumes, volume 1: .


  • Johannes Arndt : The Great Elector, a ruler of absolutism? About the possibilities and limits of monocratic rule in the 17th century. In: Ronald G. Asch , Heinz Duchhardt (Eds.): Absolutism - a myth? Structural change in monarchical rule in Western and Central Europe (approx. 1550–1700) . Cologne u. a. 1996, pp. 249-273.
  • Peter Bahl : The court of the great electors. Studies on the higher officials in Brandenburg-Prussia (= publications from the archives of Preussischer Kulturbesitz, supplement 8). Böhlau, Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-412-08300-3 .
  • Barbara Beuys : The Great Elector. The man who created Prussia. Rowohlt 1979, ISBN 3-499-17820-6 .
  • Bernhard ErdmannsdörfferFriedrich Wilhelm (Elector of Brandenburg) . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, pp. 480-497.
  • Hans-Joachim Giersberg , Claudia Meckel and Gerd Bartoschek. (Editor): The Great Elector. Collectors, builders, patrons. Elector Friedrich Wilhelm 1620–1688. (Catalog for the exhibition) Neues Palais in Sanssouci, July 10 to October 9, 1988. Potsdam 1988.
  • Bruno Gloger: Friedrich Wilhelm - Elector of Brandenburg. Biography. New Life Publishing House, Berlin 1985.
  • Gerd Heinrich (Ed.): "A strange light in Germany". Contributions to the history of the Great Elector of Brandenburg (1640–1688) (= Journal for Historical Research. Supplements 8). Berlin 1990.
  • Georg Hiltl : The great elector and his time. Velhagen & Klasing , Bielefeld / Leipzig 1880 ( digitized ).
  • Hans Huth: Otto Friedrich von der Groeben's adventure in Africa. On the first German colonial foundation under the Great Elector , in: Yearbook “The Bear of Berlin”, ed. v. Association for the History of Berlin , 25th year, Berlin 1976.
  • Ludwig Hüttl : Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg, the Great Elector 1620–1688. A political biography. Süddeutscher Verlag, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-7991-6108-2 .
  • Martin Lackner: The Church Policy of the Great Elector (= Studies on Church History, Volume 8). Luther-Verlag, Witten 1973, ISBN 3-7858-0166-1 .
  • Leopold von Ledebur : scene of the deeds or proof of residence of the Elector Friedrich Wilhelm the Great . Berlin 1840 ( e-copy ).
  • Jürgen Luh : The Great Elector: Friedrich Wilhelm von Brandenburg - A new look at his life. Siedler, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-8275-0096-0 .
  • Jürgen Luh, Michael Kaiser, Michael Rohrschneider (eds.): Power man family man. Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg . Aschendorff, Münster 2020, ISBN 978-3-402-13419-1 .
  • Gerhard Oestreich:  Friedrich Wilhelm. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 5, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1961, ISBN 3-428-00186-9 , pp. 495-501 ( digitized version ).
  • Ernst Opgenoorth : Friedrich Wilhelm, the Great Elector of Brandenburg , Volume 1: A political biography 1620-1660 , Volume 2: A political biography 1660-1680. Musterschmidt, Göttingen / Zurich 1971/1978, ISBN 3-7881-1668-4 .
  • Malte Stamm: The Colonial Experiment. The slave trade in Brandenburg-Prussia in the transatlantic region 1680–1718. Dissertation, Düsseldorf 2013 ( online ).

Web links

Commons : Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Calcum, Johann Friedrich von . Index entry: German biography, accessed on April 4, 2019.
  2. a b c Werner Schmidt: Friedrich I. - Elector of Brandenburg, King in Prussia . Diederichs, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-424-01319-6 , p. 11.
  3. a b Wernicke (1857), 166.
  4. a b Werner Schmidt: Friedrich I. - Elector of Brandenburg, King in Prussia . Diederichs, Munich 1996, p. 16.
  5. ^ Renate du Vinage: An excellent woman - The fate of Eleonore d'Olbreuse. Otto Meissners Verlag, Berlin 2000, p. 20.
  6. a b Werner Schmidt: Friedrich I. - Elector of Brandenburg, King in Prussia . Diederichs, p. 18.
  7. a b c Werner Schmidt: Friedrich I. - Elector of Brandenburg, King in Prussia . Diederichs, p. 19.
  8. ^ To the Schwiebuser district: The Brandenburger Landstreicher 1993: Schwiebus
  9. ^ From: Bruno Gloger: Friedrich Wilhelm - Elector of Brandenburg . Biography, 3rd edition, Berlin (GDR) 1989, p. 329.
  10. Clara Ervedosa: The May-Ayim-Ufer in Berlin . In: Jürgen Zimmerer (Ed.): No place in the sun: Places of remembrance of German colonial history . Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2013, p. 426 f.
    Michael Zeuske : Handbook History of Slavery. A global history from the beginning to the present. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2013, ISBN 978-3-11-027880-4 , p. 33 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  11. Jörg Kirschstein. In: ( Memento of the original from April 11, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  12. ^ Lieke Marije Janssen: Netherlands bloemstillevenschilders in Berlin. Nederlandse Hofkunstenaars in the service of keuvorst Friedrich Wilhelm van Brandenburg (1620–1688). (Dutch) 2015, p. 6.
  13. spectrum
  14. Ders .: New rising star orator after the regent orator enlightened / brought from the core of the German language ... Verlag Johann Gleditsch, Leipzig 1689, p. 255 ff .: Riemer 1689 mourning speech on the death of the great elector
  15. Quoted and explained in part in Hüttl (Lit.), pp. 238–242; there also the following
  16. Hüttl refers to Elisabeth Blochmann: The pamphlet "Gedencke that you are a Teutscher" A contribution to journalism and diplomatic files , in: Archive for Document Research, Vol. 8, Berlin, Leipzig 1923, pp. 328–366.
  17. ^ So Walter Hubatsch : The Age of Absolutism 1600–1789 . Westermann, Braunschweig 1970³, p. 60.
  18. ^ Gerd Heinrich : History of Prussia, State and Dynasty . Ullstein, Berlin 1984, ISBN 3-548-34216-7 , p. 102.
predecessor Office successor
Georg Wilhelm Elector of Brandenburg
and Duke in Prussia
Friedrich III.