Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia (1770-1840)
Friedrich Wilhelm III (Frederick William), King of Prussia (König von Preußen), 1797-1840, was born 3 August 1770, the eldest son of Friedrich Wilhelm II and Friederike Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1751-1805). He succeeded his father as king in 1797.
Friedrich Wilhelm III was one of the most peaceable of the rulers of Prussia, and for that reason friendly toward the Mennonites. But under his reign Prussia became involved in the most serious wars. Hence the Mennonites of Prussia not only shared the suffering of the entire country, but also had to struggle to preserve their nonresistance. More than once when this principle was threatened the king personally defended them. Nor did he overlook their voluntary offer of money and provisions to the utmost of their capacity, as well as their service in nursing care. In 1827 he issued the special law of 11 March, legally freeing the Mennonites from the obligation to swear an oath.
Friedrich Wilhelm died 7 June 1840 and was succeeded by his eldest son Friedrich Wilhelm IV.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 4.
Mannhardt, W. Die Wehrfreiheit der Altpreussischen Mennoniten. Marienburg, 1863.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 386. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Mannhardt, H. G. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia (1770-1840)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2007. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/F754283.html.
APA style: Mannhardt, H. G. and Richard D. Thiessen. (April 2007). Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia (1770-1840). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/F754283.html.