Frederick I of Prussia was the first king of Prussia. Originally the Elector of Brandenburg, his nation, which was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, expanded enough and Frederick proclaimed himself king. He reigned for twelve years as king, from 1701 until his death in 1713, and before as Elector of Brandenburg from 1688 to 1701. Since the laws in the Holy Roman Empire restricted the usage of the term “kingdom”, Frederick was forced to call himself king in Prussia, lest he wished to go to war with the emperor, who at the time was the Austrian ruler. Therefore, he was not truly a king in the legal sense, but his subjects treated him as their ruler, not the emperor. His grandson, Frederick the Great, would be the first person to truly be king of Prussia. Frederick I died on this day in 1713, at the age of fifty-five.
“All in all, he was great in small matters, and small in great matters.”
-Frederick the Great, speaking of his grandfather