George Wilhelm of Brandenburg . Father of the "Great Elector" Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg .
|Georg Wilhelm of Brandenburg|
|Successor||Friedrich Wilhelm I|
|Predecessor||Johann III Sigismund|
|Successor||Friedrich Wilhelm I|
|Birth||November 13, 1595 |
|Death||December 1, 1640 (aged 45)|
In 1619, George William took over the reins of the Elector of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia from the dying father Johann Sigismund . By this time, he had already gained some experience in public administration: after studying in Frankfurt an der Oder, his father sent him for five years with a staff hanger in Kleve. The main goal of George Wilhelm was to secure the boundaries of his possessions after the territorial acquisitions of his father.
When the king of Sweden, Gustav Adolf, married his sister Maria Eleanor on November 25, 1620, a diplomatic conflict arose, since the son of the king of Poland Sigismund III Waza and the ruler of the duchy of Prussia Vladislav IV Waza claimed the princess's hand.
In 1620, as a result of an accident, George Wilhelm injured his lower leg, the wound did not heal and caused the defeat of the second leg. This led to the fact that Georg William often moved on a stretcher. [one]
During the Thirty Years War, Brandenburg was plundered by both friendly and enemy forces due to the indecisive policy of George Wilhelm. In 1633, George Wilhelm capitulated to Wallenstein , however, the Swedes remained in the country. Brandenburg lost most of its population due to epidemics and famine. The aftermath of the Thirty Years War was felt in Brandenburg for another hundred years.
In terms of his human qualities, George Wilhelm was distinguished by his weak character and indecision, and often indulged in rampant entertainment and hunting, which could not but affect the state of affairs in the state. His foreign policy was also unsuccessful. At the same time, George Wilhelm refused to help his son-in-law, the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf , fearing his aggressive plans for Pomerania . Compelled to enter into an alliance with Sweden in 1631 , he was reluctant to wage war and already in 1635 entered into an alliance with the emperor, as a result of which the Swedes devastated his lands.
In August 1638, George Wilhelm, together with his entire court, moved to Königsberg in Prussia, which had not been destroyed. From October 1640, Elector Georg Wilhelm was constantly in bed. In addition to his chronic foot disease, he also suffered from dropsy .
Georg Wilhelm died after a long illness at the age of 45 on December 1, 1640. The cause of death was indicated dropsy and stroke . Georg Wilhelm of Brandenburg is the only representative of the Hohenzollern buried in Konigsberg in the local cathedral . The grave was destroyed during the Second World War .
His heir Friedrich Wilhelm devoted the first years of his reign to deal with the difficult legacy of his father's reign, with which, however, he managed successfully.
July 24, 1616 in Heidelberg, George William married Elizabeth Charlotte of Pfalz , daughter of Elector Frederick IV of Pfalz . The spouses were born:
- Louise Charlotte (1617–1676), married to Duke of Courland Jacob Kettler (1610–1681)
- Friedrich Wilhelm (1620–1688), Great Elector, married to Princess Louise Henrietta of Nassau of Orange (1627–1667), then Princess Dorothea of Sofia Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg (1636–1689)
- Gedwig Sofia (1623–1683), married to the Landgrave Hesse-Kassel Wilhelm VI (1629–1663)
- Johann Sigismund (1624)
- Hans-Joachim Neumann: Friedrich Wilhelm der Große Kurfürst. Der Sieger von Fehrbellin , Berlin 1995, p. 38
- Biography (German)