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William I of Württemberg

King of Württemberg

Died when: 82 years 272 days (992 months)
Star Sign: Libra


William I of Württemberg

William I (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Karl; 27 September 1781 – 25 June 1864) was King of Württemberg from 30 October 1816 until his death.Upon William's accession, Württemberg was suffering crop failures and famine in the "Year Without a Summer", in 1816.

After taking office, he initiated sweeping reforms, resulting in the approval of the Estates of Württemberg to a constitution on 25 September 1819.

In his 48-year reign, the kingdom moved from one that was created from different denominational principalities and a heterogeneous agricultural country, into a constitutional state with a common identity and a well-organised management.

In addition to his successful domestic policy, he pursued throughout his reign an ambition focused on German and European foreign policy.

Alongside the great powers of Prussia and Austria, he imagined a third major German power in the form of Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover and Württemberg.

Although this plan never succeeded, it ensured a consistent, coherent and targeted policy during his reign.William was the only German monarch who was forced to recognise the Frankfurt Constitution of 1848.

After the failure of the March Revolution of 1848, he pursued restorative policies that counteracted his liberal image from before the revolution.

He died in 1864 at Rosenstein Castle in Bad Cannstatt and is buried in the Württemberg Mausoleum.

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