Frederick the Great increased the size of Prussia’s army. It became Europe’s largest with 180,000 members. ⌂

Frederick the Great King Frederick II began his reign in 1740. He made Prussia a great military power, and it became the most important state in northern Germany. Frederick also ordered the construction of many grand Berlin buildings, even though he preferred to live in Sanssouci Palace in nearby Potsdam. He is known as Frederick the Great because of his achievements. 19th-century Berlin

The German Empire On 18 January 1871 Prussia joined the other German states to form the German Empire. The Prussian king William I became Kaiser (Emperor) with Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian prime minister, as Chancellor. The Prussian city of Berlin became the imperial capital.

In 1806 the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Berlin and stayed until 1808. In the following years workers in the many new factories called for better pay and conditions. People also began to demand a constitution and a parliament for the city. In 1848 there was a revolution, and from 1849 the king had to rule with a parliament.

William I was proclaimed German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France. This painting shows the dramatic scene.



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