Frederick the Great Quotes

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Frederick II

Portrait of Frederick the Great;
By Anton Graff, 1781

King of Prussia
Elector of Brandenburg

Reign 31 May 1740 – 17 August 1786
Predecessor Frederick William I
Successor Frederick William II
Chief Ministers
Born (1712-01-24)24 January 1712
Berlin, Prussia
Died 17 August 1786(1786-08-17) (aged 74)
Potsdam, Prussia
Burial Sanssouci, Potsdam
Spouse Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern
House House of Hohenzollern
Father Frederick William I of Prussia
Mother Sophia Dorothea of Hanover
Religion Calvinist

An educated people can be easily governed.
The greatest and noblest pleasure which we have in this world is to discover new truths, and the next is to shake off old prejudices.
Frederick the Great
What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?
Don't forget your great guns, which are the most respectable arguments of the rights of kings.
Frederick the Great
My people and I have come to an agreement which satisfied us both. They are to say what they please, and I am to do what I please.
Frederick the Great
I begin by taking. I shall find scholars later to demonstrate my perfect right.
Frederick the Great
He who defends everything defends nothing.
A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.
It seems to me that man is made to act rather than to know: the principles of things escape our most persevering researches.
Frederick the Great
If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army.
Frederick the Great
Rogues, would you live forever?
Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand.
Frederick the Great
Every man has a wild beast within him.