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Kingdom of PrussiaTimeline: The Once and Never Kings
OTL equivalent: Prussia
Location of Prussia and its territories in green.
|Regional Languages||Polish, Prussian, Lithuanian|
|-||King||Frederick William V|
|-||Selling of Brandenburg to Frederick I||1556|
|-||Inheritance of the Duchy of Prussia by Brandenburg||1618|
The Kingdom of Prussia, more commonly referred to as Prussia, is a constitutional monarchy mainly in the eastern Holy Roman Empire. It borders the Hansa, Denmark, Magdeburg, Electoral Saxony, Austria, and the Commonwealth.
Brandenburg was founded as a Margraviate in 1157, a defense for the Holy Roman Empire against the then-pagan Slavic tribes. Initially held by the Ascanian dynasty, it fell to the Wittelsbachs after that family's extinction. The Wittelsbach rule of Brandenburg is often regarded as a poor one, and the Luxembourg Emperor Charles IV bought it from them in 1373.
Directly bordering the Luxembourg possession of Bohemia, Brandenburg was on the front lines of the Hussite wars. In light of the Kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary, also held by the Luxembourgs, Brandenburg was often regarded as a secondary territory. Their status as such lead some of the nobles to grow to resent the "foreign" Luxembourg rulers.
This became evident when Brandenburg became a majority Lutheran state early in the Reformation. At the time, the Luxembourg family was staunchly Catholic, and so attempted to eliminate Lutheranism in their lands. These attempts only rewarded them with numerous revolts. After the Schmalkaldic War left the Luxembourgs near bankruptcy, it was decided to sell Brandenburg to Fredrick von Hohenzollern, a Lutheran of his family. This loss to the Luxembourgs was offset by the raising of Brabant, a more recent Luxembourgish acquisition, to an elector. The Brandenburg Hohenzollerns were still vassals to the Luxembourgs, however.
That changed when Brandenburg sided with Austria during the War of Bohemian Succession. Following that war, Brandenburg was free of any fealty.
Joining the Protestant Union in the late sixteenth century, it became one of the leading challengers to the catholic emperors. The inheritance of the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 complicated its situation, as the Duchy was technically a Polish vassal. That in of itself might've started a war, had the Forty Years War not started almost immediately after. Pressed from the south by Austria, and from the east by Poland, it had entered into negotiations with Denmark for that kingdom to join the Protestant side. Several poorly thought out remarks, however, lead to Denmark instead joining the Catholics. Fortunately for Prussia, the military genius that was King Gustav of Svealand countered with a declaration of support for the Protestants. It and Lade effectively overran Denmark proper within weeks. With Svealandic support, Brandenburg-Prussia dealt several defeats to Poland at the Battles of Potsdam and Stettin.
By 1655, however, the Brandenburg-Prussian rulers were scraping the bottom of their coffers. Their previous victories over Poland ensured that Prussia would break its vassalage, but stagnant battle lines in Germany and Francia meant a victory over the Catholics was impossible. So in 1658, after failing to secure credit from friendly banks, Brandenburg and Sweden called for peace.
Brandenburg's secondary goal of ensuring a break of vassalage to Poland was achieved in the Peace of Hamburg. The Protestants primary goal of achieving supremacy of the Catholic faith was dropped however, and they settled for recognition of Calvinism. Brandenburg also settled a long standing dispute with the Duchy of Pomerania, whose native dynasty died out during the war. Sweden received a foothold in the Holy Roman Empire with its acquisition of Vorpommern, while Brandenburg proper finally gained sea access with its reward of east Pomerania.
With unimpeded sea access finally attained, Brandenburg-Prussia began looking into colonizing. While realizing it could never compete with the likes of Luxembourg, Brittany-Aquitaine, and Aragon, it managed to get quite established in the New World, setting up a territory in the Chesepiooc Peninsula called New Berlin. Prussian settlers and sailors would also take over Cubao from Portugal while that country had trouble dealing with succession crises.
The former began upon the death of King, and elector, Joseph III of Bavaria. As he had no legitimate children, the throne could've passed the either to the Palatinate Wittelsbach, at the time the Catholic Ferdinand IX, or to cousin through his aunt, the Protestant King Frederick II. Many in the Empire wished it to go to Ferdinand, as it would maintain the delicate balance of Catholic and Protestant electors, but Frederick had no desire to see 'his' territory given away to a heretic, and so announced his intention to challenge the succession. Most of the fighting took place in Austrian Silesia and Bohemia, and after a indecisive fourteen month war, sued for peace.
Ten years later, following a dispute regarding the border with Austria, Fredrick I invaded Austria with the intent to seize Silesia, what he called a 'rightful Prussian province'. He even took the title of "Duke of Silesia", trying to legitimize his aggression. Despite two years of battles, no headway into Habsburg territory could be made. The two sides agreed to a truce when Poland, in personal union with Electoral Saxony, began preparing to take advantage of the infighting, and take Silesia for itself, connecting Saxony with the Commonwealth.
Signing a treaty of alliance with Austria, later adding Luxembourg and the Hansa, the coalition managed to take Warsaw and huge swaths of Polish territories in seven weeks. Prussia's taking of Poznan and Gdansk, under the command of the new King Frederick IV, helped redeem Prussia in the eyes of the Empire. Aided by the Pragmatic Succession issue in Austria, and Luxembourg's relative problems with its Francian territories, Fredrick III would bring the Hohenzollern family to the imperial throne.
His grandson, Fredrick William II was Holy Roman Emperor when Tuscany fell into a revolution. Initially leaving the Italian states to deal with putting it down, it became involved when the Tuscan Republic, its armies lead by General Napleone di Buonaparte, annexed Lucca and Urbino after the first war. Prussia's intervention wouldn't make much a difference, and the Tuscan Republic annexed Ferrara, Modena, Parma, and Genoa. Following the War of the Second Coalition, Napoleon seized power, proclaiming an Italian Empire, with himself as Emperor. The proclamation prompted the Third Coalition, now joined by several German states.
While Prussia's main territories would escape the Napleonic Wars, its armies would be devastated in repeated defeats. Following the eventual (seventh) coalition victory, Prussia would drastically reform its training procedures, and despite other imperial states regarding Prussia as overbearing, it's genuinely recognized as having the best troops in Europe (though not having the numbers of Poland or Muscovy).