Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a state in northwest Europe traditionally said to have been founded in 843, which joined with the Kingdom of England to form a unified Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Its territories expanded and shrank, but it came to occupy the third of the island of Great Britain. It suffered many invasions by the English, but under Robert I it fought a war of independence. In 1603, James VI of Scotland became King of England, in 1707, the two kingdoms were united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the terms of the Acts of Union. The Crown was the most important element of government, the Scottish monarchy in the Middle Ages was a largely itinerant institution, before Edinburgh developed as a capital city in the second half of the 15th century. The Scottish Crown adopted the conventional offices of western European courts, Parliament emerged as a major legal institution, gaining an oversight of taxation and policy, but was never as central to the national life as its counterpart in England.
In the 17th century, the creation of Justices of Peace, the continued existence of courts baron and the introduction of kirk sessions helped consolidate the power of local lairds. Scots law developed into a system in the Middle Ages and was reformed and codified in the 16th and 17th centuries. Under James IV the legal functions of the council were rationalised, in 1532, the College of Justice was founded, leading to the training and professionalisation of lawyers. David I is the first Scottish king known to have produced his own coinage, Early Scottish coins were virtually identical in silver content to English ones, but from about 1300 their silver content began to depreciate more rapidly than the English coins. At the union of the Crowns in 1603 the Scottish pound was fixed at only one-twelfth the value of the English pound, the Bank of Scotland issued pound notes from 1704. Scottish currency was abolished by the Act of Union, Scotland is half the size of England and Wales in area, but has roughly the same length of coastline.
Geographically Scotland is divided between the Highlands and Islands and the Lowlands, the Highlands had a relatively short growing season, which was further shortened during the Little Ice Age. From Scotlands foundation to the inception of the Black Death, the population had grown to a million, following the plague and it expanded in the first half of the 16th century, reaching roughly 1.2 million by the 1690s. Significant languages in the kingdom included Gaelic, Old English and French. Christianity was introduced into Scotland from the 6th century, in the Norman period the Scottish church underwent a series of changes that led to new monastic orders and organisation. During the 16th century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation that created a predominately Calvinist national kirk, there were a series of religious controversies that resulted in divisions and persecutions. The Scottish Crown developed naval forces at various points in its history, Land forces centred around the large common army, but adopted European innovations from the 16th century, and many Scots took service as mercenaries and as soldiers for the English Crown
James II of England
James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch of England and Ireland, the second surviving son of Charles I, he ascended the throne upon the death of his brother, Charles II. Members of Britains Protestant political elite increasingly suspected him of being pro-French and pro-Catholic and he was replaced by his eldest, Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. James made one attempt to recover his crowns from William. After the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamites at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 and he lived out the rest of his life as a pretender at a court sponsored by his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV. James, the surviving son of King Charles I and his wife. Later that same year, he was baptised by William Laud and he was educated by private tutors, along with his brother, the future King Charles II, and the two sons of the Duke of Buckingham and Francis Villiers.
At the age of three, James was appointed Lord High Admiral, the position was honorary, but would become a substantive office after the Restoration. He was designated Duke of York at birth, invested with the Order of the Garter in 1642, as the Kings disputes with the English Parliament grew into the English Civil War, James stayed in Oxford, a Royalist stronghold. When the city surrendered after the siege of Oxford in 1646, in 1648, he escaped from the Palace, aided by Joseph Bampfield, and from there he went to The Hague in disguise. When Charles I was executed by the rebels in 1649, monarchists proclaimed Jamess older brother as Charles II of England, Charles II was recognised as king by the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of Ireland, and was crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1651. Although he was proclaimed King in Jersey, Charles was unable to secure the crown of England and consequently fled to France, like his brother, James sought refuge in France, serving in the French army under Turenne against the Fronde, and against their Spanish allies.
In the French army James had his first true experience of battle where, according to one observer, he ventures himself, in the meantime, Charles was attempting to reclaim his throne, but France, although hosting the exiles, had allied itself with Oliver Cromwell. In 1656, Charles turned instead to Spain – an enemy of France – for support, in consequence, James was expelled from France and forced to leave Turennes army. James quarrelled with his brother over the choice of Spain over France. In 1659, the French and Spanish made peace, doubtful of his brothers chances of regaining the throne, considered taking a Spanish offer to be an admiral in their navy. Ultimately, he declined the position, by the year the situation in England had changed. After Richard Cromwells resignation as Lord Protector in 1659 and the subsequent collapse of the Commonwealth in 1660, although James was the heir presumptive, it seemed unlikely that he would inherit the Crown, as Charles was still a young man capable of fathering children
The crisis facing the king came to a head in 1688, with the birth of the kings son, James Francis Edward Stuart, on 10 June. This changed the line of succession by displacing the heiress presumptive with young James Francis Edward as heir apparent. The establishment of a Roman Catholic dynasty in the kingdoms now seemed likely, stadtholder William, the de facto head of state of the Dutch United Provinces, feared a Catholic Anglo–French alliance and had already been planning a military intervention in England. After consolidating political and financial support, William crossed the North Sea and English Channel with an invasion fleet in November 1688. After only two minor clashes between the two opposing armies in England, and anti-Catholic riots in several towns, Jamess regime collapsed, this was followed by the protracted Williamite War in Ireland and Dundees rising in Scotland. In Englands distant American colonies, the led to the collapse of the Dominion of New England. By threatening to withdraw his troops, William in February 1689 convinced a newly chosen Convention Parliament to make him, the Revolution permanently ended any chance of Catholicism becoming re-established in England.
The Revolution led to limited tolerance for Nonconformist Protestants, although it would be some time before they had political rights. Internationally, the Revolution was related to the War of the Grand Alliance on mainland Europe and it has been seen as the last successful invasion of England. It ended all attempts by England in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century to subdue the Dutch Republic by military force, the expression Glorious Revolution was first used by John Hampden in late 1689, and is an expression that is still used by the British Parliament. The Glorious Revolution is termed the Bloodless Revolution, albeit inaccurately. Jamess greatest political problem was his Catholicism, which left him alienated from both parties in England. The low church Whigs had failed in their attempt to pass the Exclusion Bill to exclude James from the throne between 1679 and 1681, and Jamess supporters were the high church Anglican Tories. In Scotland, his supporters in the Parliament of Scotland stepped up attempts to force the Covenanters to renounce their faith, when James inherited the English throne in 1685, he had much support in the Loyal Parliament, which was composed mostly of Tories.
His Catholicism was of concern to many, but the fact that he had no son, Jamess attempt to relax the Penal Laws alienated his natural supporters, because the Tories viewed this as tantamount to disestablishment of the Church of England. The majority of Irish people backed James II for this reason, by allying himself with the Catholics and Nonconformists, James hoped to build a coalition that would advance Catholic emancipation. In May 1686, James decided to obtain from the English courts of the law a ruling that affirmed his power to dispense with Acts of Parliament. He dismissed judges who disagreed with him on this matter as well as the Solicitor General Heneage Finch, eleven out of the twelve judges ruled in favour of dispensing power
Anne, Queen of Great Britain
Anne became Queen of England and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death, Anne was born in the reign of her uncle Charles II, who had no legitimate children. Her father, was first in line to the throne and his suspected Roman Catholicism was unpopular in England, and on Charless instructions Anne was raised as an Anglican. Three years after he succeeded Charles, James was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Annes Dutch Protestant brother-in-law and cousin William III became joint monarch with his wife, Annes elder sister Mary II. Although the sisters had been close, disagreements over Annes finances and choice of acquaintances arose shortly after Marys accession and Mary had no children. After Marys death in 1694, William continued as sole monarch until he was succeeded by Anne upon his death in 1702, as queen, Anne favoured moderate Tory politicians, who were more likely to share her Anglican religious views than their opponents, the Whigs.
The Whigs grew more powerful during the course of the War of the Spanish Succession and her close friendship with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, turned sour as the result of political differences. Anne was plagued by ill health throughout her life, from her thirties onwards, she grew increasingly lame and obese. Despite seventeen pregnancies by her husband, Prince George of Denmark, she died without any surviving children and was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. Anne was born at 11,39 p. m. on 6 February 1665 at St Jamess Palace, the child and second daughter of James, Duke of York. At her Anglican baptism in the Chapel Royal at St Jamess, her sister, was one of her godparents, along with the Duchess of Monmouth. The Duke and Duchess of York had eight children, but Anne, as a child, Anne suffered from an eye condition, which manifested as excessive watering known as defluxion. For medical treatment, she was sent to France, where she lived with her grandmother, Queen Henrietta Maria.
Following her grandmothers death in 1669, Anne lived with an aunt, Henrietta Anne, on the sudden death of her aunt in 1670, Anne returned to England. Her mother died the following year, as was traditional in the royal family and her sister were brought up separated from their father in their own establishment at Richmond, London. On the instructions of Charles II, they were raised as Protestants, placed in the care of Colonel Edward and Lady Frances Villiers, their education was focused on the teachings of the Anglican church. Henry Compton, Bishop of London, was appointed as Annes preceptor, around 1671, Anne first made the acquaintance of Sarah Jennings, who became her close friend and one of her most influential advisors
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death. George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain, he was born, after the deaths of Sophia and Anne, Queen of Great Britain, in 1714, his father George I, Elector of Hanover, inherited the British throne. In the first years of his fathers reign as king, George was associated with opposition politicians, as king from 1727, George exercised little control over British domestic policy, which was largely controlled by the Parliament of Great Britain. As elector, he spent twelve summers in Hanover, where he had direct control over government policy. He had a relationship with his eldest son, Frederick. During the War of the Austrian Succession, George participated at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743, Frederick died unexpectedly in 1751, nine years before his father, and so George II was ultimately succeeded by his grandson, George III.
For two centuries after George IIs death, history tended to him with disdain, concentrating on his mistresses, short temper. Since then, most scholars have reassessed his legacy and conclude that he held and exercised influence in foreign policy and military appointments. George was born in the city of Hanover in Germany, and was the son of George Louis, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg, both of Georges parents committed adultery, and in 1694 their marriage was dissolved on the pretext that Sophia had abandoned her husband. She was confined to Ahlden House and denied access to her two children and his sister Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, who never saw their mother again. George spoke only French, the language of diplomacy and the court, until the age of four, after which he was taught German by one of his tutors, Johann Hilmar Holstein. In addition to French and German, he was schooled in English and Italian. Georges second cousin once removed, Queen Anne, ascended the thrones of England and Ireland in 1702, after his grandmother and father, George was third in line to succeed Anne in two of her three realms.
England and Scotland united in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, Georges father did not want his son to enter into a loveless arranged marriage as he had, and wanted him to have the opportunity of meeting his bride before any formal arrangements were made. Negotiations from 1702 for the hand of Princess Hedvig Sophia of Sweden, Dowager Duchess and regent of Holstein-Gottorp, the English envoy to Hanover, Edmund Poley, reported that George was so taken by the good character he had of her that he would not think of anybody else. A marriage contract was concluded by the end of July, on 22 August /2 September 1705O. S. /N. S. Caroline arrived in Hanover for her wedding, which was held the evening in the chapel at Herrenhausen. George was keen to participate in the war against France in Flanders, in early 1707, Georges hopes were fulfilled when Caroline gave birth to a son, Frederick
Act of Settlement 1701
Her mother, Princess Elizabeth Stuart, had been born in Scotland but became famous in history as Elizabeth of Bohemia. The line of Sophia of Hanover was the most junior among the Stuarts, Sophia died on 8 June 1714, before the death of Queen Anne on 1 August 1714, at which time Sophias son duly became King George I and started the Hanoverian dynasty. The act played a key role in the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Scotland had shared a monarch since 1603, but had remained separately governed countries. The Scottish parliament was more reluctant than the English to abandon the House of Stuart, English pressure on Scotland to accept the Act of Settlement was one factor leading to the parliamentary union of the two countries in 1707. Under the Act of Settlement anyone who became a Roman Catholic, or who married one, the act placed limits on both the role of foreigners in the British government and the power of the monarch with respect to the Parliament of England. Some of those provisions have been altered by subsequent legislation, the original documents are deposited in the Lower Saxon State Archives in Hanover, Germany.
During the debate, the House of Lords had attempted to append Sophia and her descendants to the line of succession, mary II died childless in 1694, after which William III did not remarry. In 1700, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, who was the child of Princess Anne to survive infancy. Thus, Anne was left as the last remaining heir to the throne. The Bill of Rights excluded Catholics from the throne, which ruled out James II, however, it provided for no further succession after Anne. Parliament thus saw the need to settle the succession on Sophia and her descendants, is are or shall be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or shall profess the Popish Religion or shall marry a Papist. Thus, those who were Roman Catholics, and those who married Roman Catholics, were barred from ascending the throne. Eight additional provisions of the act would only come into effect upon the death of both William and Anne, The monarch shall join in communion with the Church of England and this was intended to ensure the exclusion of a Roman Catholic monarch.
If a person not native to England comes to the throne, England will not wage war for any dominions or territories which do not belong to the Crown of England, without the consent of Parliament. This provision has been dormant since Queen Victoria ascended the throne, no monarch may leave the dominions of England, Scotland, or Ireland, without the consent of Parliament. All government matters within the jurisdiction of the Privy Council were to be transacted there and this was because Parliament wanted to know who was deciding policies, as sometimes councillors signatures normally attached to resolutions were absent. This provision was repealed early in Queen Annes reign, as many councillors ceased to offer advice, subsequent nationality laws made naturalised citizens the equal of those native born, and this provision no longer applies. No person who has an office under the monarch, or receives a pension from the Crown, was to be a Member of Parliament and this provision was inserted to avoid unwelcome royal influence over the House of Commons
Jacobite rising of 1715
The Jacobite rising of 1715, was the attempt by James Francis Edward Stuart to regain the thrones of England and Scotland for the exiled House of Stuart. The Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 resulted in the Roman Catholic Stuart king, James II of England and VII of Scotland, James daughter and her husband, who was Jamess nephew, ascended to the British thrones as joint sovereigns William and Mary. In 1690 Presbyterianism was established as the religion of Scotland. The Act of Settlement 1701 settled the succession of the English throne on the Protestant House of Hanover, the Act of Union 1707 applied the Act of Settlement to Scotland. With the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the Elector of Hanover, George I, the accession of George I ushered in the Whig supremacy, with the Tories deprived of all political power. Bolingbroke became the Pretenders Secretary of State and accepted an earldom from him, the Pretender believed the Duke of Marlborough would join him when he landed in Scotland, writing to the Duke of Berwick on 23 August, I think it is now more than ever Now or Never.
Despite receiving no commission from James to start the rising, the Earl of Mar sailed from London to Scotland, on 6 September at Braemar Mar raised the standard of James the 8th and 3rd, accompanied by 600 supporters. Some of Mars tenants travelled to Edinburgh to prove their loyalty, in northern Scotland, the Jacobites were successful. They took Inverness, Gordon Castle and further south, Dundee, in Edinburgh Castle were arms for up to 10,000 men and £100,000 paid to Scotland when she entered the Union with England. Lord Drummond, with 80 Jacobites, tried under the cover of night to take the Castle, by October, Mars forces had taken control of all Scotland above the Firth of Forth, apart from Stirling Castle. However Mar was indecisive and the capture of Perth and the south by 2,000 men were probably decided by subordinates. Mars indecisiveness gave the Hanoverian forces under the command of the Duke of Argyll time to increase their strength, on 22 October Mar received his commission from James appointing him commander of the Jacobite army.
The Jacobite army outnumbered Argylls forces by three-to-one and Mar decided to march on Stirling Castle, on 13 November at Sheriffmuir, the two forces joined in battle. The fighting was indecisive but nearing the end of the battle the Jacobites numbered 4,000 men, compared to Argylls 1,000. Mars army began to close in on Argylls forces, who were poorly protected, on the same day as the Battle of Sherrifmuir, Inverness surrendered to Hanoverian forces, and a smaller Jacobite force led by Mackintosh of Borlum was defeated at Preston. Amongst the leaders of a Jacobite conspiracy for a rising in western England were three peers and six MPs, on the night of 2 October the government arrested the leaders and on the following day easily obtained Parliaments permission for these arrests. Included among those arrested was the head of the English Jacobites, the government sent reinforcements to Bristol and Plymouth to ensure they did not fall into Jacobite hands. A diversionary rising had been planned in Northumberland to accompany the main rising in the West, the rising in the West was forestalled by prompt Government action, but the rising in Northumberland went ahead on 6 October 1715
Frederick the Great
Frederick II was King of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. Frederick was the last titled King in Prussia and declared himself King of Prussia after achieving full sovereignty for all historical Prussian lands, Prussia had greatly increased its territories and became a leading military power in Europe under his rule. He became known as Frederick the Great and was affectionately nicknamed Der Alte Fritz by the Prussian, in his youth, Frederick was more interested in music and philosophy than the art of war. Upon ascending to the Prussian throne, he attacked Austria and claimed Silesia during the Silesian Wars, winning acclaim for himself. Near the end of his life, Frederick physically connected most of his realm by conquering Polish territories in the First Partition of Poland and he was an influential military theorist whose analysis emerged from his extensive personal battlefield experience and covered issues of strategy, tactics and logistics. Considering himself the first servant of the state, Frederick was a proponent of enlightened absolutism and he modernized the Prussian bureaucracy and civil service and pursued religious policies throughout his realm that ranged from tolerance to segregation.
He reformed the system and made it possible for men not of noble stock to become judges. Frederick encouraged immigrants of various nationalities and faiths to come to Prussia, some critics, point out his oppressive measures against conquered Polish subjects during the First Partition. Frederick supported arts and philosophers he favored, as well as allowing complete freedom of the press, Frederick is buried at his favorite residence, Sanssouci in Potsdam. Because he died childless, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II, son of his brother, historian Leopold von Ranke was unstinting in his praise of Fredericks Heroic life, inspired by great ideas, filled with feats of arms. Immortalized by the raising of the Prussian state to the rank of a power, Johann Gustav Droysen was even more extolling. However, by the 21st century, a re-evaluation of his legacy as a great warrior, the son of Frederick William I and his wife, Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, was born in Berlin on 24 January 1712.
The birth of Frederick was welcomed by his grandfather, Frederick I, with more than usual pleasure, with the death of his father in 1713, Frederick William became King of Prussia, thus making young Frederick the crown prince. The new king wished for his sons and daughters to be educated not as royalty and he had been educated by a Frenchwoman, Madame de Montbail, who became Madame de Rocoulle, and he wished that she educate his children. However, he possessed a violent temper and ruled Brandenburg-Prussia with absolute authority. As Frederick grew, his preference for music and French culture clashed with his fathers militarism, in contrast, Fredericks mother Sophia was polite and learned. Her father, George Louis of Brunswick-Lüneburg, succeeded to the British throne as King George I in 1714, Frederick was brought up by Huguenot governesses and tutors and learned French and German simultaneously. Although Frederick William I was raised a Calvinist, he feared he was not of the elect, to avoid the possibility of Frederick being motivated by the same concerns, the king ordered that his heir not be taught about predestination
James Francis Edward Stuart
James Francis Edward, Prince of Wales, nicknamed the Old Pretender, was the son of the deposed James II of England and Ireland, VII of Scotland. As such, he claimed the English and Irish thrones from the death of his father in 1701, following his death in 1766, he was succeeded by his son Charles Edward Stuart in the Jacobite Succession. Had his father not been deposed, Great Britain might have had two monarchs during his lifetime, his father and himself. Instead there were seven, his father, William III, Mary II, George I, George II and their attempts are remembered in history as Jacobitism. Prince James Francis Edward was born 10 June 1688, at St. Jamess Palace. He was the son of King James II of England and Ireland, and his Roman Catholic second wife, Mary of Modena and her younger sister Princess Anne, had been raised as Protestants. As long as there was a possibility of one of them succeeding him, in an attempt to scotch this myth, James published the testimonies of over seventy witnesses to the birth.
On 9 December, in the midst of the Glorious Revolution, Mary of Modena disguised herself as a laundress, young James was brought up at the château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which Louis XIV had turned over to the exiled James II. Both the ex-king and his family were held in consideration by the French king and they were frequent visitors at Versailles where Louis XIV. On his fathers death in 1701, James was recognised by King Louis XIV of France, the Papal States and Modena recognized him as King James III of England and VIII of Scotland and refused to recognise William III, Mary II or Anne as legitimate sovereigns. As a result of his claiming his fathers lost thrones, James was attainted for treason in London on 2 March 1702, though delayed in France by an attack of measles, James attempted invasion, trying to land at the Firth of Forth on 23 March 1708. The fleet of Admiral Sir George Byng intercepted the French ships, James served for a time in the French army, as his father had done during the inter-regnum.
A year however the British government pushed for Jamess expulsion from France as a precondition for a treaty with France. In accordance with the Treaty of Utrecht and Lord Bolingbroke, Queen Anne became severely ill at Christmas 1713, and seemed close to death. In January 1714, she recovered but clearly had not much longer to live, through de Torcy and his London agent, Abbé François Gaultier, Harley kept up the correspondence with James, and Bolingbroke had entered into a separate correspondence with him. They both stated to James that his conversion to Protestantism would facilitate his restoration, however James, a devout Catholic, replied to Torcy, I have chosen my own course, therefore it is for others to change their sentiments. In March, came Jamess refusal to convert, following which Harley and Bolingbroke reached the opinion that Jamess restoration was not feasible, though they maintained their correspondence with him. As a result, in August 1714, Jamess second cousin, the Elector of Hanover, George of Hanover, in the following year Scottish Jacobites started The Fifteen Jacobite rising in Scotland, aimed at putting James III and VIII on the throne
James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth
James Drummond, 1st Duke of Perth KT PC, 4th Earl of Perth and 7th Lord Drummond, was a Scottish statesman, and Jacobite. He was appointed Lord Justice General in 1682 and an Extraordinary Lord of Session on 16 November the same year and he introduced the use of the thumbscrew in Scotland. He was Lord Chancellor of Scotland,1684 -1688 and he was a partner with William Penn in the settlement of East New Jersey in 1681. As one of 24 proprietors of a parcel of property that took up much of what is now the State of New Jersey. In 1685 the 4th Earl of Perth converted to Roman Catholicism, along with his brother, in 1686, Perth and his brother opened a Catholic chapel in Edinburgh, and their public attendance there resulted in a riot. On 29 May 1687, nonetheless, he was made a Knight of the Thistle, in 1701 he was recognised as a Duke in France by King Louis XIV. On 14 February 1703, he was made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and he was afterwards Chamberlain to Queen Mary of Modena, and is said to have been created a Knight of the Golden Fleece by the King of Spain.
During Jamess exile, the Duke of Perth acted as the his ambassador to Rome, and after the Kings death, Perth erected a monument to him in Paris. The Duke of Perth married, Firstly,18 January 1670, Lady Jane, daughter of William Douglas, 1st Marquess of Douglas by his second wife Lady Mary, daughter of George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly. Lady Mary had been a Lady of the Bedchamber in Ordinary to Queen Mary of Modena and her heart was buried with her husband. He died at St Germain, was interred in the Scots Chapel, the Jacobite Peerage, Knightage, & Grants of Honour by the Marquis de Ruvigny & Raineval and Edinburgh,1904, p. 145-6
Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion
Sophia of Hanover
Sophia of the Palatinate was the Electress of Hanover from 1692 to 1698. As a granddaughter of James VI and I, she became heir presumptive to the crowns of the Kingdom of England, after the Act of Union,1707, she became heir presumptive to the unified throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain. She died less than two months before she would have become queen, and her claim to the throne passed on to her eldest son, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, Sophias brother Charles Louis was restored to the Palatinate as part of the Peace of Westphalia. Sophia married Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1658, despite his jealous temper and frequent absences, Sophia loved him, and bore him seven children who survived to adulthood. Initially a landless cadet, Ernest Augustus succeeded in having the House of Hanover raised to electoral dignity in 1692, Sophia became Electress of Hanover, the title by which she is best remembered. A patron of the arts, Sophia commissioned the palace and gardens of Herrenhausen and sponsored philosophers, such as Gottfried Leibniz, through her mother, she was the granddaughter of James VI and I, king of Scotland and England.
At birth, Sophia was granted an annuity of 40 thalers by the Estates of Friesland. Sophia was courted by her first cousin, Charles II of England, before her marriage, Sophia, as the daughter of Frederick V, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, was referred to as Sophie, Princess Palatine of the Rhine, or as Sophia of the Palatinate. The Electors of the Palatinate were the Calvinist senior branch of House of Wittelsbach, on 30 September 1658, she married Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, at Heidelberg, who in 1692 became the first Elector of Hanover. Ernst August was a cousin of Sophias mother Elizabeth Stuart. Sophia became a friend and admirer of Gottfried Leibniz while he was librarian at the Court of Hanover and their friendship lasted from 1676 until her death in 1714. This friendship resulted in a correspondence, first published in the nineteenth century. She was well-read in the works of René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza, together with Ernest Augustus, she greatly improved the Summer Palace of Herrenhausen and she was the guiding spirit in the creation of the gardens surrounding the palace, where she died.
After Sophias tour, she bore Ernest Augustus another four sons, in her letters, Sophia describes her eldest son as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters. In September 1700, Sophia met her cousin, King William III of England and II of Scotland and this happened just two months after the death of Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, nephew of King William III and son of the future Queen Anne. By this time, given the ailing William IIIs reluctance to remarry, the act restricts the British throne to the Protestant heirs of Sophia of Hanover who have never been Roman Catholic and who have never married a Roman Catholic. Some British politicians attempted several times to bring Sophia to England in order to enable her to assume the government immediately in the event of Annes death. It was argued that such a course was necessary to ensure Sophias succession, the Electress was eager to move to London, but the proposal was denied, as such action would mortally offend Anne who was strongly opposed to a rival court in her kingdom