La Prusse n'est pas un État qui possède une armée, c'est une armée qui a conquis une nation.note
— Honoré-Gabriel comte Mirabeau
Most nations arise from the coming-together of their people, or through some great revolutionary event. But Prussia was hatched from a cannonball.Prussia (Preußen in German), named after the duchy and former Ordenstaat but born of the margravate and electorate of Brandenburg (coincidentally by merging with said Ordenstaat, by then secularized), became the dominant state in Germany (having more than half of Germany's land area and population) by the time it was unified (by Prussia, incidentally) in 1871. From 1701 until the end of World War One in 1918, it was known as "The Kingdom of Prussia", and post World War One, "The Free State of Prussia". Because "republic" sounded too French. After World War II Prussia simply ceased to exist after being ethnic cleansed by an oddly similar sounding state note as part of its Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Any one you meet today of Prussian decent is either an immigrant or a descendant of an exile. For Hollywood though, Prussia, or rather, the Prussian stereotype, lives on into The Present Day as an alternative to Oktoberfest (which, incidentally, is Bavarian). The Prussians/Germans are depicted as all having bullet-shaped heads, crew cuts, Pickelhaube helmets, impressive mustaches, monocles, duelling scars, "corpse discipline" (the kind of discipline that would make a corpse jump up and stand to attention), "und veys hof makink hyu tok". Not to mention Nice Hats. Ironically some member of the old conservative, aristocratic Prussian officer class (who despised Nazism) were heavily involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler, but it doesn't stop Hollywood from confusing the two. Also ironically, the stereotype is to a certain extent a German invention, specifically, a southern and western (and often Roman Catholic, as opposed to the Lutheran north) German one note . The traits of militarism, arrogant aristocrats, duels, and "veys hof makink hyu tohk" (German has many strong dialects, so the silly Prussian accent can be invoked in German as well as English) were ascribed to the Prussian northerners by Bavarian, Rhenish, and Swabian (not to mention Austrian) southerners for a long time before the lands which form modern Germany were unified under northern leadership and the archetype went international. Wilhelm II, pictured, Kaiser (Emperor) of Germany and King of Prussia from 1888 to 1918 is probably the most famous Prussian in popular imagination, mostly for being the "bad guy" of WWI. Well, he did show up in The Simpsons once. Another notable Prussian was Otto Von Bismarck, a real-life Magnificent Bastard with a Magnificent Hat to prove it. He is at Number 9 on Germany's list of its top 200, because we all love a Magnificent Bastard. Despite his being deceased. This is undoubtably part of his plan. Just what part, we may never know. Earlier on, Prussia's dominance was built in the eighteenth century on its trademark militarism, which was summarised by Count Mirabeau as "some countries possess armies, but Prussia is an army that happens to possess a country." This reached its Crowning Moment of Awesome in the Seven Years' War, when Prussia essentially stood alone (though subsidied by Great Britain) against Austria, Saxony, Russia, France and Sweden. All at once. And not only survived, but kept all of its pre-war territorynote . That's why Frederick II is called the Great. Notably the country was completely smashed flat by Napoleon in 1806, but made a Back from the Brink rally, kicked ass at the Battle of the Nations and Waterloo (despite turning up late) and was set on the road to domination of Germany. With the proclamation of the German Empire in 1871 at the Palace of Versailles, Prussia became the part of the new Germany. Some scholars have argued that Germany was not unified at all, and merely "Prussianized." After World War II, all of Germany east of the Oder-Neisse, most of which was Prussia, was handed over to Poland, partly to compensate her for her own territorial losses to Ukraine and Russia. The Germans kept a claim on those areas until 1970, when it signed the Treaties of Moscow and Warsaw. This was again confirmed with the 1992 Treaty of Good Neighbourship, which formally and finally recognized East Prussia, along with Pomerania and Silesia, as part of Poland. The area remains a part of Poland to this day, and almost everyone is happy for it to stay that way. The northern half of East Prussia however outlasted the USSR and remains part of Russia as the Kalilingrad Oblast, where there is still talk by some to (despite by this point largely Russian) rename the titular city back to Konigsberg, See Prussian Kings for more info regarding Prussia's kings. Compare and contrast Imperial Germany. Also related to Father Land.
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