Teutonic Order
Decline, 1409-1525

Duchy in Prussia, 1525-1618

In 1525, Grand Master ALBRECHT VON BRANDENBURG, a brother of the Duke Elector of Brandenburg, declared Lutheranism state religion throughout the territory of the Teutonic Order and transformed this state into a hereditary duchy, which he took as a fief from Polish King Sigismund I. The Duchy was to be called DUCHY IN PRUSSIA, for after all the Duke only ruled over the eastern half of what was generally referred to as Prussia - the western half, with the wealthy trading cities of Danzig, Elbing and Thorn, had seceded from the Teutonic Order in 1443/1466. The Samland Peasant Revolt of 1525 was rather a demonstration of force on the side of peasants who had seen their economic and social status reduced. The free peasants of Prussia over time were reduced to serfdom.
The capital of the Duchy in Prussia was Königsberg. In 1544 the University of Königsberg was founded. In 1550/1551, during the Siege of Magdeburg, Duke Albrecht sent Prussian troops in order to relieve the city. In 1618, the male line of the Prussian branch of the Hohenzollern dynasty ended, and the Duchy in Prussia joined the Duchy of Brandenburg in DYNASTIC UNION. The Dukes continued to reside in Berlin respectively Potsdam (both in Brandenburg). The Gregorian Calendar was introduced in 1610.

Timeline Northeast Prussia, from euronet
DOCUMENTS Image from Chronik 2000 Bilddatenbank : Albrecht Count of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Duke in Prussia

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 1st 2002, last revised on May 10th 2008

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