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FREDERICK WILLIAM I OF PRUSSIA

In 1713, Frederick William I became king of Prussia, and ruled until 1740. Two big achievements marked Frederick William's reign which were to form the basis of a strong state. First, he developed the Prussian government into an efficient, centralized organization, personally taking charge of the chief offices of central and local government. Secondly, he created a powerful Prussian regular army, which he doubled in size to 80,000 soldiers, making it one of the largest in Europe. Frederick also introduced measures to improve the Prussian economy by actively reforming agriculture, and made education compulsory for children.

King Frederick William held smoking parties, to which he invited Prussian army officers and other important people. They were forced to sit smoking and discussing policy, although many of them actually hated tobacco.



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