16 February in German History

1620

Birth of Friederich Wilhelm in Köln, Germany. Friederich Wilhelm was the elector of Brandenburg in the Holy Roman Empire. A member of the Hohenzollern family, he rebuilt the family holdings after the devastation of the Thirty Years’ War and established control over Prussia. He built a strong and efficient army and established a strong economic infrastructure in his territories. His son, Friedrich I, thus had a strong basis from which to start his rule.

1799

Death of Karl Theodor, the Wittelsbach Elector (Holy Roman Empire) of the Palatinate. On 30 December 1777, the Bavarian line of the Wittelsbach family ceased and the succession went to Karl Theodor. The Palatinate was thus united with Bavaria. In reaction to the new size and troublesome strength of Bavaria, Austria laid claim to a number of the territories. In a complex series of intrigues, this led to the War of the Bavarian Succession which involved Austria, Bavaria, the Palatinate, and Prussia.

 

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