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Frederick William IV

Frederick William IV. (1795-1861) was the eldest son of Frederick William III. He was carefully educated, and became a well-read man, with some taste for art and oratorical ability. When he came to the throne he called the constitutionalists Eichhorn and Boyen to his councils, but soon disappointed the hopes which the Liberals had formed of him. In 1847 he refused a written constitution, but yielded to the revolutionists of 1848. Next year he wisely rejected the Imperial crown offered him by the Frankfort Assembly. In 1850 he promulgated the Prussian Constitution, but alwaysevaded a liberal interpretation of it. In foreign affairs he leaned towards Russia, having a great regard for the Tsar Nicholas, his brother-in-law. In 1857 he became insane, and the Regency was entrusted to his brother William, afterwards King and Emperor.