The New International Encyclopædia/Frederick I., William Charles

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

FREDERICK I., William Charles (1754-1816). Duke and subsequently first King of Württemberg. He was born at Treptow, Pomerania, and was a son of the famous Sophia Dorothea, niece of Frederick the Great. After serving in the Prussian and Russian armies, he in 1797 succeeded to the dukedom, and in 1803 was invested with the Electoral dignity. At the close of 1805, Napoleon, in reward for his alliance against Austria, erected his State into a kingdom, and on January 1, 1806, Frederick assumed the royal title. He soon afterwards joined the Confederation of the Rhine. Although the territory over which he ruled was greatly enlarged during his reign, his autocratic government and subserviency to Napoleon I. found little favor among his subjects, upon whom the oppressive conditions imposed by enforced conscription, excessive taxation, and other evils weighed most heavily. Frederick joined the league against France after the battle of Leipzig.