Set of 4 Prussian - coins, Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1841-1860)
Composition: Incl. box & certificate:
1 Pfennig, 2 Pfennig, 3 Pfennig, 4 Pfennig
Obv.: crowned coat of arms
Rev.: Nominal, year; Mzz.
Mintage period: 1841-1860
Frederick William IV (1795-1861) reigned as King of Prussia from 1840 until his death.
He is best known for his numerous buildings in Berlin and Potsdam and for the completion of the Gothic Cologne Cathedral.
The king also initially appeared to reverse his father's rigid policies by relaxing press censorship and reconciling with the kingdom's Catholic population. During the German revolutions of 1848-1849, he initially accommodated the revolutionaries, but later firmly rejected the liberal demands. This led to military confrontations, which finally culminated in the "March Barricade Battles" of 1848. These battles ended in a stalemate and the king was forced to make concessions to the revolutionaries. In 1849, the Frankfurt National Assembly was to prepare the foundation of a German national state with liberties and fundamental rights.
On 28 March 1849, the "Paulskirchenverfassung" (Paul's Church Constitution) came into being and the associated introduction of a constitutional monarchy with a hereditary emperor at its head. Frederick William IV, however, rejected the offered title of Emperor of the Germans and the associated imperial crown, as this was a "crown made of dirt and lettuce" and carried the "ludicrous smell of revolution".
Since the coronation of Otto I as emperor (965), it had been customary for the Pope to crown the German king as emperor by "God's grace" in Rome. By rejecting the imperial crown, the revolution of 1848/49 had finally failed.
In 1858, after several strokes, the childless emperor's health deteriorated to such an extent that his younger brother Wilhelm - later Wilhelm I - took over the government. On 2 January 1861, Frederick William IV succumbed to his serious illness at the age of 65.