Prussia, also known as the Kingdom of Prussia, was a German kingdom originating from the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For most of its lifetime, the House of Hohenzollern was the rulers of Prussia, managing to expand its boundaries using a well-organized and effective, yet unusual army. Prussia influenced the history of Germany, with the capital located at Berlin in 1451.
Prussia got its name from the language of the Old Prussians in the 13th Century, which was once conquered by German crusaders, the Teutonic Knights. In 1308, they conquered Pomerelia and Danzig from the Poles. The theocratic state was mostly German since immigrants from central and western Germany moved there, though Poles from Masovia also settled the southern Prussian region. Since the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466, Prussia was divided into Western Prussia, a Polish province, and the Duchy of Prussia, the eastern part; which was a fief of the Polish Crown until 1657. After Brandenburg and Prussia united in 1618, the Kingdom of Prussia was proclaimed in 1701.
Prussia became one of the most important countries in Europe during the 18th and 18th Centuries. During Frederick the Great’s reign (1740-1786), it was one of Europe’s greatest countries. He helped annex vast lands from Poland who were persecuted and forced to assimilate with the Germans.
At first, Prussia was one of the states that fought against France, especially during the French Revolutionary Wars. However, it had to remain silenced from the issue due to the Peace of Basel in 1795. However, it waged war against France again in 1806, but it suffered a defeat in the hands of Napoleon during the Battle of Jenu-Auerstedt, forcing the Prussian Royal Family to flee to Memel. The Treaties of Tilsit in 1807 forced Prussia to lose a third of its area, including those from Poland, which was returned. Other terms of the treaties included the limitation of the Prussian Army to 42,000 men and to allow French troops in Prussia, making it a French satellite.
After the cease-fire, Prussia became independent from French influence. However, after the Second Napoleonic War, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of Prussia, thus annexing Prussia into France.