Why Is Frederick The Great An Enlightened Despot

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Frederick the Great Frederick II reigned for more than 45 years. During this reign he established a reputation as a brilliant military commander, played a key role in European politics, increased Prussia’s territory, and earned admiration of many European intellectuals, like Voltaire. He later earned the name Frederick the Great due to his many accomplishments. Frederick the Great is also known as an “enlightened despot” because he supported the progressive ideas and reforms of the period of history called the “Enlightenment.” Frederick II was the son of Frederick William, ruler of Prussia. At a young age, Frederick William made sure that his son was trained in the art of war, but Frederick II had little interest in learning. He preferred playing instruments like the flute and writing poetry. His father hated these ideas of the arts and he treated the young prince, Frederick II, very harshly. He was so mean to his son that Frederick II made an attempt to flee the county of Prussia with the help of his friend. Frederick William discovered these plans and situated his son in solitary confinement. At the age of 18, Prince Frederick II was forced to watch as his friend, who had helped him escape, was beheaded. In 1740, Frederick William died and Frederick II inherited the crown. Due to the military training he received…show more content…
He was into music, literature, and philosophy, and often wrote letters with many of Europe’s leading thinkers such as Voltaire. Frederick openly praised Voltaire’s work. The first actions he took as king were to reduce the use of torture and allow a free press. Most of Frederick’s reforms were in making the government of Prussia more efficient. In order to carry this plan out, he reorganized the government’s civil service and simplified

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