George William, Elector of Brandenburg

George William (German: Georg Wilhelm) (13 November 1595December 1 1640) of the Hohenzollern dynasty was margrave and elector of Brandenburg and duke of Prussia (1619-1640). His reign was marked by ineffective governance during the Thirty Years' War.

Biography

Early life

Born in Cölln on the Spree, George William was the son of Margrave John Sigismund and Anna, Duchess of Prussia. His maternal grandfather was Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia.

In 1616 George William married Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate. Their only son Frederick William later became known as the "Great Elector".

Rule

In 1619 George William inherited the Margravate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia. During the Thirty Years' War, he tried to remain neutral between the Catholic forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Protestant principalities. As his sister Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg was queen of Sweden, George William had to maneuver between requests of assistance from his Protestant brother-in-law King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and his own Protestant counsellors on one side and his Catholic chancellor Count Adam von Schwarzenberg on the other.

Despite his attempts at neutrality, he was forced by Gustavus Adolphus to join the Protestant forces in 1631. His rule was largely weak and ineffective however, as much of Brandenburg-Prussia's government responsibilities were left with Schwarzenberg as the country suffered greatly during the war. Protestant and Catholic troops alike burned and plundered the region as the population was decimated. After the Swedish defeat at the Battle of Nordlingen on September 6 1634, George William withdrew Brandenburg from the war and signed the Peace of Prague with Emperor Ferdinand II on May 30 1635. Leaving Schwarzenberg in charge of the government, George William retreated in 1637 to the relatively safe region of the Duchy of Prussia where he lived in retirement until his death at Königsberg in 1640. He was succeeded by Frederick William.

Legacy

His great-great-grandson Frederick II the Great later wrote about him, that this was the unluckiest time, it is a shame that Georg Wilhelm did not put up an army, before the combatants of the Thirty Years War destroyed the land, where the ravages can still be witnessed so many years later.

Ancestors

George William's ancestors in three generations
George William, Elector of Brandenburg Father:
John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Grandfather:
Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John George, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Sofie of Liegnitz
Paternal Grandmother:
Catherine, Princess of Brandenburg-Küstrin
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Küstrin
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Catherine, Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Mother:
Anna, Duchess of Prussia
Maternal Grandfather:
Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Albert, Duke of Prussia
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Anna Marie of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Maternal Grandmother:
Marie Eleanore of Cleves
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Wilhelm, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maria of Habsburg, Archduchess of Austria

References

  • Wedgwood, Cicely V. The Thirty Years War, New York, 1961.
George William, Elector of Brandenburg
Born: 13 November 1595 Died: 1 December 1640
Preceded by
John Sigismund
Elector of Brandenburg
1619-1640
Succeeded by
Frederick William
Duke of Prussia
vassal of Poland

1619-1640
German language (Deutsch, ] ) is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages.
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November 13 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

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  • 800 - Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican.

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The House of Hohenzollern is a noble family and royal dynasty of electors, kings, and emperors of Prussia, Germany, and Romania.

It originated in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century.
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Margrave (Latin: marchio) is the English and French form (recorded since 1551) of the German title Markgraf (from Mark "march" and Graf "count") and certain equivalent nobiliary ("princely") titles in other languages.
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Prince-Electors (or simply Electors) of the Holy Roman Empire — German: Kurfürst ( listen   ), pl.
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Brandenburg
Flag Coat of arms

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Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
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The Duchy of Prussia (German: ) or Ducal Prussia (Polish: Prusy Książęce
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16th century - 17th century - 18th century
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16th century - 17th century - 18th century
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1637 1638 1639 - 1640 - 1641 1642 1643

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Thirty Years' War was fought between 1618 and 1648, principally on the territory of today's Germany, and involved most of the major European continental powers. Although it was ostensibly a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics, the rivalry between the Habsburg
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Cölln was the sister town of old Berlin located on the southern Spree Island in Germany's Margraviate of Brandenburg of the 13th century. Today this twin city zone is located in the center of modern Berlin in the vicinity of the Museum Island, then called Fisher's Island or Spree
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Origin Upper Lusatia
Mouth Havel
Basin countries Germany
Length ±400 km

Avg. discharge 36 m³/s
Basin area 10,105 km² The Spree (Sorbian Sprowja/Sprewja
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John Sigismund (German: Johann Sigismund; 8 November, 1572 – 23 December, 1619) was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg from the House of Hohenzollern. He also served as a Duke of Prussia.
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Duchess Anna of Prussia and Jülich-Cleves-Berg (3 July, 1576 - 30 August, 1625) was the daughter of Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia and Marie Eleanore of Cleves and became the wife of John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg.
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Albert Frederick (German: Albrecht Friedrich; 7 May, 1553 – 28 August, 1618) was duke of Prussia from 1568 until his death.

He was a son of Albert of Prussia and Anna Marie of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
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Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate (19 November 1597 – 26 April 1660) was the German wife of George William, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, and the mother of Frederick William, the "Great Elector".
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Frederick William (German: Friedrich Wilhelm; February 16 1620 – April 29 1688) was the Elector of Brandenburg and the Duke of Prussia from 1640 until his death.
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Prince-Electors (or simply Electors) of the Holy Roman Empire — German: Kurfürst ( listen   ), pl.
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The Margraviate of Brandenburg (German: Markgrafschaft Brandenburg) was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806.
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The Duchy of Prussia (German: ) or Ducal Prussia (Polish: Prusy Książęce
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Thirty Years' War was fought between 1618 and 1648, principally on the territory of today's Germany, and involved most of the major European continental powers. Although it was ostensibly a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics, the rivalry between the Habsburg
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Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Romanum Imperium, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero
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Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration
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Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg (11 November, 1599 – 28 March, 1655) was a queen consort of Sweden.

She was the daughter of Elector Johann Sigismund of Brandenburg and Anna, Duchess of Prussia, daughter of Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia.
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Sweden was, between 1611 and 1718, one of the great powers of Europe. In modern historiography this period is known as the Swedish Empire, or Stormaktstiden ("the era of great power").
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Gustav II Adolf
King of Sweden, the Goths and the Wends; Grand Prince of Finland; Duke of Estonia and Karelia; Lord of Ingria

Reign 30 October 1611 – 6 November 1632
Coronation 12 October 1617
Born 9 December 1594
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