Frederick the Great

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Frederick the Great aka Frederick II (German: Friedrich der Große or Friedrich II.) (January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was king of Prussia from 1740 to 1786 after taking the throne after the death of his father, Frederick William I. His childhood had been spent in rigorous military training and education, an education he would put to good use.

He increased and modernized the Prussian army and turned Prussia into a world power. He fought to oppose Austrian ambitions, and earned a great reputation as a military commander in the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). The war netted him Silesia and some other smaller gains.

Frederick was involved in a huge conflict with the Seven Years War from 1756 - 1763, fighting multiple opponents who had larger populations. His only ally was Great Britain and one of his enemies was France. The war crossed continents where in the American colonies it was called the French and Indian Wars.

In 1772 Frederick participated in the first partition of Poland. By the time he died in 1786, he had doubled the area of his country.