Frederick William I, father to Frederick the Great, had a more or less wretched life, and in turn did his best to make life wretched for all those around him. He probably had some form of the disease that drove George III mad, making him prone to wild outbursts of anger and, in the latter parts of his life, long periods of unspeakably painful illness. His wife was constantly plotting against him with the help of his children. His best friends were being paid by the Austrians to screw him over.
So, he turned to what he understood: building his army, collecting giants, and making money. While his father, Frederick I, had pissed away the Prussian wealth in an attempt to rival Louis XIV, Frederick William I cut every luxury he could to build up his treasury for the day when Prussia would need to go to war. As it turned out, he used neither his magnificently trained army nor his stockpiled gold during his life. However, it could be argued that, without them, our Frederick could never have invaded Silesia, causing Prussia to remain a backwater kingdom of tertiary importance, with untold effects for the history of man.
The most important of which being that we’d have to pick somebody else to star in this comic, and Adlai Stevenson: A Most Lamentable Comedy Breaching Time and Space just doesn’t quite have the right ring to it… Thank you, Frederick William I.
– Count Dolby von Luckner