DW: Frederick and The Empress

Prussia was the preeminent illiberal Protestant state.

Frederick William I, the Great Elector, was the stern Calvinist ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia. I’ve been reading about the relationship he developed with the Lutheran Pietist August Hermann Francke and how he endorsed the Halle Pietists and how the two began the long tradition of providing Christian military chaplains for the Prussian army.

“FW: What do you think of war?

AHF: Your majesty is obliged to defend the country, but I am called to preach that God blesses the peaceful.

FW: This is certainly good. But does He not forbid His people from taking part in war?

AHF: Students of theology are suited, as your majesty knows, to fill positions in church and school.

FW: But does He not tell His people that if they become soldiers they will become the devil’s prey?

AHF: I know many Christian soldiers. I have more supporters among soldiers than among the clergy.”

The following excerpt comes from Eric W. Gritsch’s book A History of Lutheranism:

“Halle pursued the conversion of pagans and Jews. But the whole missionary and ecumenical program was hampered by the strong political link to the Prussian kings. They viewed Pietism as an ideology used to enhance Prussian military nationalism. Their large military orphanage in Potsdam as well as the military academy in Berlin became the Prussian version of Pietism. Pious edification was used in military handbooks to create “Christian soldiers,” exemplified by the treatise, printed in Halle and distributed in the army, “The Pious Soldier, That is, a Thorough Instruction for the True, Blessed and Christian Men of War.”

Frederick I had been a pious Calvinist monarch in a Lutheran country.

Frederick the Great, however, was an aesthete who fell under the spell of the Enlightenment. He was a friend of Voltaire. He was rumored to be a homosexual. Still though, he continued the work of his father in expanding Prussian military strength and power. I’m going to chill this evening and watch this documentary on the contest between Frederick the Great of Prussia and Maria Theresa and the Habsburgs of Austria over supremacy over the German world.

About Hunter Wallace 9536 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

43 Comments

  1. I’m going to chill this evening and watch this documentary on the contest between Frederick the Great and the Hohenzollerans of Prussia and Maria Theresa and the Habsburgs of Austria over supremacy over the German world.

    There are worse ways to spend your time, I guess.

    Does this mean you’re done with larping as a Lutheran theocrat and you’re about to start larping as a Germanic enlightened despot?

    • No, it simply means that I am interested in Early Modern Europe, which I have studied since I was in college. I reviewed several books here last year about that time period. I’m simply continuing my current project of tracing Lutheranism from the Reformation down through the Enlightenment and studying how liberalism gained traction and became more influential.

      • Yes, I’ve followed those posts of yours in which you excitedly report that religious tolerance was unknown in Reformation Europe – as though that were some huge revelation. And you’re already on record as a defender of slavery. So I somehow doubt your exploration is going to do justice to the historical progression towards liberalism. Well, whatever the case, I’ll still be interested to see what you come up with.

        • I’ve heard a million times in the comments that Protestantism is the cause of liberalism.

          There was no such thing as liberalism though in Luther or Calvin’s time. Lutheran Europe definitely was not “liberal” in any sense of the word for centuries afterwards either. Not until well into the 19th century. The roots of liberalism trace back to England and the Netherlands in the 17th century and from what I can tell there were at least three causes of it:

          1.) First, England and the Netherlands were seafaring empires engaged in international trade and because of their commercial dominance were developing an educated middle class. They were the first “modern” societies in Europe. London and Amsterdam had become large cities by 1700.

          2.) Second, Calvinism failed to establish its dominance in England and the Netherlands, which uniquely became pluralistic societies. This didn’t happen in the Lutheran world, Calvinist Scotland, Spain or other places.

          3.) Third, the single most important cause was modern science, which was based on naturalism, materialism and empiricism, which discredited the old Aristotelian science and the Augustinian worldview which was dominant in the West among educated elites whether Catholic or Protestant until the 17th century. Modern philosophy of which liberalism is a branch (one secular ideology among others) is at bottom an attempt to build a social order on top of the new science and that was true from Descartes and Hobbes forward.

      • Christy,

        I enjoyed your video of the Austrian couple separated by war.

        Have you seen the film “Cold Mountain ” about the Confederate soldier that does everything he can to return to his love? It is a good movie with an excellent cast and music.

    • November,

      You know me better than anyone on this website.

      Of course Maria Theresa and Austria were in the right against that Freemasonic Protestant Frederick. King Frederick was a homosexual. His lover was a lieutenant that was executed by King Frederick William I his father. I loathe Frederick.

      The Prussians tried to steal land that belonged to Austria and the wonderful Maria Theresa. We were about to win the 7 years war by sheer numbers until that fool Peter 3 of Russia decided to make peace and withdrew his wonderful Russian Army support for Maria Theresa.

      Catherine the Great led a revolt against her husband Peter of Russia and took over. Never never underestimate a woman!! Maria Theresa is one of my heroines. Isabella of Spain is another.

      I almost did not see your comment since I do not read every article or every comment on here, I have no time.

      Our Austrian Catholic general Von Daun defeated Frederick the so-called Great 2 battles out of 3 and barely lost the Battle of Torgau in 1760. As an aside my Germanic grandfather had a Von to his name before they dropped it in Mexico in the 20th century. So, yes I have noble blood and support monarchies.

      I love pre 19th century history. My best subject. My worse subjects are Math. I won’t have a Economics course until I enter the University-probably a Mexican one.

    • November,

      I can say some good things for Frederick. He had the best army in the world. He was a very competent ruler,

      Napoleon once said that Prussia was not a State with an Army but an Army with a State –kind of like Sparta.

        • November,

          Well, the art is impressive but it does look like something you might see in a horror movie,

      • Cristina,

        Even pos winston churchill said that “You haven’t been to war, until you’ve fought the Germans.”

      • Christina,

        I was reading about Empress Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (Hmm. That surname sounds familiar. I’m sure that I’ve heard it before somewhere. Ha. Ha.), and because she had ten children (six daughters, including the infamous Marie Antoinette and four sons) that she couldn’t always give her full attention to matters of state/empire.

        Nevertheless, she was a very impressive woman with an incredible monument dedicated to her in Vienna.

        These internecine brother Christian brother wars are so imbecilic. Nothing ever changed permanently. Look at the commentary on this blog for contemporary hostility between the different creeds and denominations of Christendom. Emperor Constantine was sage to get all the feuding sects together, so they could make nice. The brutality that the early Christians inflicted upon one another was the antithesis of ‘brotherly love.’

        • November,

          I do not think I was named after Maria Theresa but I will ask. Of course I have a sister named Maria but that is a common name.

          I think Christian religious differences allowed the Turks to expand into Europe and to fund Tatar invasions of Russia and Poland.

          Whites could easily dominate the world if they could get rid of liberalism, tame the Jews. and cooperate with each other instead of conflicting with each other. I believe the USA stirs trouble as well.

    • November,

      As an aside I believe I just read that a black also just won Miss World!!!! So now they have all 5 crowns—-Miss America, Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss USA. Now what are the odds?

      White people have to be dumb to show up and participate in this nonsense.
      Black people also have to be dumb not to know they are only getting the award because they are black.

      If I was a ruler of a country I would not let anyone go to such a contest. If they still go they are kicked out of the country.

      • Christina,

        These “beauty ” pageants have devolved into another mode of disenfranchising White heterosexual females and obliterate any legitimacy they possessed in the way of fairly gauging aesthetics.

        Overall, I think think this is a good thing. It is so blatantly obvious that these black women aren’t the most beautiful, most talented, or provide the most well thought out answer to the left’s carefully crafted questions.

        It’s a farce. It reminds me of the death throes and cackle of a dying creature, and indeed, that’s what it is.

        Along with just about every other television commercial, print ad, music video, and film promoting and “normalizing ” miscegenation and/or homosexuality, it shows a panicky desperation by (((TPTB))) that the landscape has shifted away from their narrative. In other words, ‘their mask has slipped’ and shown itself for those with just the minimum critical reasoning, and now (((they))) are launching barrages of talmudic propaganda to see what sticks and what fails.

        • November,

          Yes, it is obvious. I was just shocked that the white groveling extended that far. For international beauty contests I think other places in the world are going to start pushing for their women to win. The politics will be amazing.

          It does seem like something is always happening nowadays.

          The Romans had a saying—-No News Is Good News!

  2. One thing to say, to the pacifists, old and new, historical and so called “christian”…..

    GATES OF VIENNA – September 1683

    All else to do with pacifism and Christian peace is MEANINGLESS and USELESS !!!!!!!!!!

    This is a WAR.

  3. Appreciate this earlier glimpse of a most capable and determined people which has been tarnished with so much negativity for the last half century by this Jewish controlled media.
    Thanks.

  4. Unfortunately there was a bit of a falling-out between Wilhelm II and the “Nazis”. His Excellency was hoping that after Hitler came to power he would invite the Kaiser back to Germany from his exile in Holland. One of the Kaiser’s sons even joined the Nazi party. But Hitler didn’t want any vestiges of the past in his New Germany. So when the German army liberated Holland in 1940 Wilhelm II stated that he didn’t want any Nazi regalia at his funeral service. He also didn’t want to be buried in Germany until the monarchy was restored. When he died in 1941 the Nazis forbade German officers from attending his funeral, but many did anyway.

  5. The era of Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa was a great time for music as well. CPE Bach was Frederick’s favorite court composer and Joseph Haydn was employed by Prince Esterhazy of Hungary.

  6. Cristina Romana,
    On my desk is a picture of Frederick the Great, whom I’ve always revered, so at last we have something to disagree about.
    Hunter, a book you might enjoy is The Rise and Fall of Prussia by Sebastian Haffner. it is a brief, wonderful account of Prussia. Haffner has a strong, journalistic prose and he gives a concise account of a much-misunderstood state.
    And he emphasizes Prussia was a state, not a nation. It was also, in the 18th century, considered very progressive and up to date, innovative, and offered many rights to its people…of course, emphasizing their duties as well.
    He also shows how the Teutonic Knights, while at first very repressive, opened the east to colonization, and there was much more Polish-German cooperation then you’d think.

    Prussia’s dilemma was how to keep a rising Germany in check and maintain it’s own independence. it failed.

    Cristina, while I’m a Frederician, i also admire Maria Teresa, especially how she turned the tables on her by the rulers of Austria. She was determined, a great mother, and yet I find myself on Frederick’s side. When he partitioned Poland, she protested, then took a slice. As he said, ‘she weeps but she takes.’ She always called him the marquis of Brandenburg, and he called her The Queen of Hungary (her using the Hungarian nobles to support her taking the throne).

    Frederick also wrote dozens of concertos, welcomed Bach, and gave him the theme used in The Musical offering.

    We’ll talk more on this.

    • Haydn’s symphony no.48 is nicknamed “Maria Theresa” in honor of his Empress. It was composed around 1765.

    • dargason,

      Well we can not always agree on everything. But it is interesting to hear from you.

      Better for Catholic Austria to get part of Poland and protect the Catholics in Poland than for a Protestant State to get it all. Russia grabbed a slice as well.

      If Maria Theresa does not rule part of Poland do you really think a small part of Poland could have survived without there being further Prussian aggression?

      I could not care less about music by Frederick. Also, I am not a progressive but a traditionalist. He attacked Catholic Austria in the 1740’s.

      If I would have been say Queen of Spain at the time I would have offered all my troops to Empress Maria to crush Prussia and hang Frederick to the nearest tree.

      Then WE partition Prussia between Austria, Russia, and Poland.

      • dargason,

        On further reflection I would not hang or hurt a reigning monarch crowned by a Christian church.

    • dargason,

      Maria Theresa was also strongly against the Jews. She expelled some from her kingdom and wished to expel more but Great Britain pressured her not to. Even then the British were bending over backwards for the Jews.

      Protestants generally and historically have favored Jews more than Catholics have.

      British visiting Austria wrote how intolerant it was while quite forgetting the disabilities Catholics had in Britain and Ireland at the time. Some people say that Jews have no ability for self reflection. Well they are not unique in that respect.

      Based on my views I have to view Frederick the Pervert as a loathsome creature. I imagine it is him who is now weeping. Frederick was way more an unjust aggressor in war than Maria Theresa. And that means he is a mass murderer.

      Post Script—The Wikipedia article on Maria Theresa had to be written by a Jew or a Protestant liberal. It reads like an editorial from the New York Times

  7. Cristina, this is a quote from Nancy Mitford’s delightful biography about Frederick the Great, and here is what she said about Maria Theresa:
    ‘Maria Theresa, now aged twenty-three, was beautiful in a doll-like way-perfect complexion, golden hair, dark blue eyes and white, regular teeth; her demeanour was royal with a deceptive look of calm stupidity.She was neither calm nor stupid; besides a keen native intelligence, she had energy, courage, tenacity and a talent for making other people do their work. Her education had been extremely sketchy; she spoke most of the European languages, including Latin in which to communicate with her Hungarian subjects; but she had no knowledge of affairs and, oddly enough, she had never learnt to ride. She was without a sense of humour and during her lifelong struggle with Frederick, whom she never met, she probably minded his jokes and teasing and brazen lack of hypocrisy more then his aggression.’

    One film I liked was Der Grosse Koenig, made during WWII in Germany about Frederick. The battle scenes really have hundreds of extras, and you can hear the Austrians draw swords and shout ‘vivat Maria Theresa!’

    Hitler wasn’t fond of the Hohenzollerns. He hated any idea of restoring the crown, and one reason he cut the SA down to size was Rohm was a monarchist. Hitler saw himself as a revolutionary, although I think lacking a Kaiser might be one of modern Germany’s faults. The Germans, I think respond to a strong leader. Unlike the English (and Americans). As Nancy Mitford said, the English have a tepid relationship to the crown. Any dull German would do for them.

    Haffner argues Prussia was never in search of a great empire. That was Austria, and he recalls Schwartzenburg, one of Franz-Josej’s generals, who wanted a greater Austria with Germany included, and eastern territories…pretty much the Greater German Reich of Hitler. Hitler was, after all, an Austrian, and probably had that thinking imprinted into his mind.

    As some Germans said, Hitler was Austria’s revenge for losing the battle of Koeniggratz.

    • dargason,

      If Prussia never wanted a great Empire then why did they start and fight so many wars. —Austrian Succession, Partition of Poland as the aggressor, War of the Potatoes, Bavarian Succession etc.? War with the Danes 1864, War with Austria 1866, Franco Prussian War etc.

      And why did they end up with a huge Empire? Germany became united under Prussia which dominated Germany.

      The 7 Years War was Austria’s attempt to get back Silesia stolen from Frederick who broke his agreement and attacked and stole Silesia from Austria in the Austrian Succession War.

      Frederick gets accolades from Protestants and Jews historians because he was against Catholic Austria. You might try some contemporary and even modern Catholic/Austrian sources. That is why I consider living in the USA to be in enemy territory. But nothing I can currently do about it.

      I know my history class last year viewed Frederick quite with horror. The difference between the Catholic and the Prussian view.

      From our religious viewpoint it would have been better if Austria would have dominated Germany rather than Prussia.

      Hitler was ruler of Germany not Austria. You will be hard put to legitimately claim that Austrians were trying to take over Europe. Quoting Schwarzenberg to the contrary.

      Remember Bismarck’s blood and iron policy?

    • dargason,

      By the way do not think my previous posts were out of anger. No. They were only passionate based on religion and how I view things. I am usually calm until I have a cause.

      Let me see how I compare to Maria Theresa-

      she is 23, beautiful, perfect skin—I am younger, only pretty, with good skin
      she has royal demeanor, good teeth—I am reserved with good teeth
      Maris is looks calm but is not—–I look calm but am not either
      She has energy, courage, tenacity—-I have energy, courage, stubborness
      Her education is sketchy—–I am being well educated
      She speaks most European languages!!!!—-I only speak 3
      She has no knowledge of affairs—-I am being taught affairs
      She cannot ride a horse—–I can ride but I am not fond of horses
      She is without a sense of humor—-I do not much humor either

      That movie you mentioned sounds good. I will have to list it and watch it when I can. Thank you for recommending it for me.

  8. Cristina Romana: So Occidental Dissent has its own la Pasionaria. I think you’re quite noble, in a way, your fervid defense of Catholicism and Maria Theresa. You would make a very good princess, and remind me of the TV series Queen of Swords. You need to get a copy and watch it. You remind me of Oriana Fallaci. Do you know her? An outspoken, quite emotional Italian journalist. Her book, The Rage and the Pride, is a hard, fist-shaking polemic against Muslims taking over Europe. You should read it. It Europeans only followed half of her urgings, its glory would be quickly restored.
    She interviewed Khomeini, forced to wear a hajab, then ripped it off in the middle, calling it a filthy Medieval rag.
    I could see you doing that.

    I can imagine you must despise Henry VIII and no doubt think better of Queen Mary then Elizabeth.

    In defense of Frederick, the Potato War was an attempt to keep Austria from taking over Bavaria in a dynastic struggle, which would have given it too much power in the Empire. Frederick didn’t fight much, and in fact his army could have taken Prague and marched on to Vienna, but he didn’t do it, preferring a peaceful resolution, which was reached, and a lesser branch of the Wittelsbachs kept control of Bavaria.

    Prussia actually kept the peace for much of its history. After the Seven Year’s War, Frederick fought no more, and after the Congress of Vienna, Prussia helped Austria maintain the peace.

    As for the wars of the 1860’s, that was Bismarck’s doing, and they were to unite Germany. Same with the Franco-Prussian war, and Napoleon III was hoping to take the left bank of the Rhine, always a constant in French foreign policy, even after WWII.

    Bismarck used wars that were brief, effective, and only part of a political process. He was a master of policy as defined by Clausewitz, who said war is only the instrument of policy.

    I tend to think WWII began as a local, Bismarkian war that got out of control, and of course the British had a very different war in mind, as did we Americans.
    I wouldn’t say Prussia was innocent, but all this maneuvering and power grabbing was what European states did in the 18th century. A Catholic dominated Empire was always opposed, since there were fears of the earlier Spanish/Imperial joining under Charles V.

    Austria’s solution was always to impose a sovereign and keep peace, whether a country wanted it or not. The Netherlands had no king, but after 1815, they got one.

    I must ask you how, as a Mexican, you feel about Maximillian being emperor of Mexico? Imposition or needed stability?

    I do think that the Spanish empire gets a lot of bad press from we English and northerners. It kept order and stability for almost two hundred years, and I think revolutionaries like Bolivar and Hidalgo were misguided. The more I read of Bolivar, the less I like him.

    A shame Latin America revolutionaries couldn’t have used Washington as an example instead of Napoleon, but I’m probably showing my northern prejudices here.

    • dargason,

      That was a very nice letter you wrote me. I thank you for your compliment.

      I will have to add Queen of Swords to watch and evidently to read. Also, Oriana Fallaci sounds very interesting as well.

      I like Queen Mary of England. Them calling her “bloody Mary” is laughable. Queen Elizabeth butchered way more people but since she is Protestant she gets a pass by most British and American histories.

      I think Frederick of Prussia is head and shoulders above Henry VIII. One was born a Protestant while the other became one and devastated the Church.

      I do like the Austrian and Prussian cooperation from the French Revolution until the 1866 War, then afterwards the alliance between them. Their Germanic Alliance was necessary since wars had become more ideological and widespread since the 18th century.

      I agree that Bismarck was a master at diplomacy and war and realized what could be accomplished and just as important what could not be accomplished given the resources available.

      i would have supported Spain against the revolutionaries in the 19th century Latin American wars of Independence. That is because a revolt against lawful authority is a mortal sin as a general rule. Exceptions exist like revolting against the Infidel—they cannot lawfully rule Catholics.

      As for Maximillian? That is a harder question. Juarez of Mexico was very anti Catholic. I do not like him. The Spanish and the British fought Juarez as well, but after they got what they wanted they left.

      The French decided to take the country. Probably Maximillian and the French were wrong but if they would have kept the country under French protection and rule I think in the long run Mexico would have been better off.

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