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Frederick William IV and the Prussian Monarchy 1840–1861$
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David E. Barclay

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204305

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204305.001.0001

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The Structures of ‘Personal Rule’, 1840–1846

The Structures of ‘Personal Rule’, 1840–1846

(p.49) 3 The Structures of ‘Personal Rule’, 1840–1846
Frederick William IV and the Prussian Monarchy 1840–1861

David E. Barclay

Oxford University Press

In the late summer of 1842, two years after his accession to the Prussian throne, Frederick William IV journeyed to the Rhine to celebrate the resumption of work on Cologne Cathedral. Frederick William IV understood that he lived in a different age, one which required new forms for the representation of monarchical values. These two incidents, the King's speech in Cologne and his conversation with Metternich at Burg Stolzenfels, vividly illustrate Frederick William IV's notions regarding his royal office and his royal mission. In his conversation with Metternich, Frederick William had identified the most complex aspect of what may be called his monarchical project. Frederick William IV was both a child of his times and Prussia's first modern king. Frederick William IV succeeded to the throne on 7 June 1840 under peaceful and non-dramatic circumstances.

Keywords:   nobility, Frederick William IV, monarchy, Prussian throne, Metternich

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