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King of Prussia Frederick William III King of Prussia

King Frederick William III of Prussia, during the Napoleonic Wars, tried to maintain Prussia’s interests by steering a careful course between France and her enemies. Eventually, he joined the coalition against Napoleon after the latter had suffered a major defeat in 1806. At the Congress of Vienna, Frederick William III set out to secure several territorial increases for Prussia. Frederick’s ministers succeeded in multiple instances, although the annexation of all of Saxony failed. Under his guidance, Prussia formed the Holy Alliance together with the Austrian and Russian empires, and together they aimed to prevent revolutionary influence and Enlightenment thought to enter their states. In line with this, Frederick William abandoned his earlier promise of reforming politics and providing Prussia with a constitution. Instead, also partly influenced by Prince Metternich, he steered a reactionary course.

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