Talk:Frederick III, German Emperor/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

Hello. This article needs a bit of work before it should qualify, in my eyes, as worthy of GA status. I'm thus putting it on Hold. That said, it's a pretty good article, with solid prose, grammar, coverage and compliance with the manual of style. Good work!

Criticisms: First, I think the lede should be re-written to better summarise the article. Let it discuss some of the highlights of his personal life, for instance. POV seems to be a big issue in this article. I noticed, while reading it, a strong liberal leaning and a very apologist tone. Statements such as "his father's unusually long reign and longevity never let Frederick III capitalize on his military successes, popularity, and youth as emperor" are too common, and prevent the article from complying with WP:NPOV. The article also focuses quite heavily on Frederick's liberalism... are there other interesting characterisations of his short rule that might be discussed instead?

The referencing is generally very good; but there are some annoying holes. Ex.:

  1. paragraph at the end of ==Legacy==
  2. "He is buried in a mausoleum attached to the Friedenskirche in Potsdam."
  3. "One highlight during this period was the happy celebration of his silver (25th) wedding anniversary on January 25, 1883. "
  4. "As commander, Frederick also had great victories in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, where he commanded the III Army at Wissembourg, Wœrth, Sedan and during the Siege of Paris."
  5. "The rigorously educated Vicky, also known as the Princess Royal, shared her husband's liberal views. The couple had eight children during their marriage: William in 1859, Charlotte in 1860, Henry in 1862, Sigismund in 1864, Victoria in 1866, Waldemar in 1868, Sophie in 1870 and Margaret in 1872. Sadly, both Princes Sigismund and Waldemar died in childhood. Frederick's eldest son, William, suffered from a withered arm due to his difficult and potentially deadly breech birth. Relations between both parents and William would prove to be difficult throughout the years."

Also problematic is the article's very flat structure: there's only one subsection in the whole page. Perhaps you could split the article into two sections, "personal life" and "political career". In addition, I recommend you incorporate the "See also" section into the article. That one link does not warrant its own section. Fix these problems, and I'll re-review it. If you don't think you can do it in a reasonable amount of time (say, a few weeks), I can fail the article, and you can re-nominate it under no time constraints. Happy editing! -- Rmrfstar (talk) 22:57, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the review, I'll get to work and let you know what I've improved. --Banime (talk) 00:25, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Hey, I have a few quick questions on a few of your points. Some of the statements are linked to other pages within wikipedia that confirm what they assert, should those still be referenced or would it be too repetitive? For instance:

  1. "As commander, Frederick also had great victories in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, where he commanded the III Army at Wissembourg, Wœrth, Sedan and during the Siege of Paris."
  2. "The rigorously educated Vicky, also known as the Princess Royal, shared her husband's liberal views. The couple had eight children during their marriage: William in 1859, Charlotte in 1860, Henry in 1862, Sigismund in 1864, Victoria in 1866, Waldemar in 1868, Sophie in 1870 and Margaret in 1872. Sadly, both Princes Sigismund and Waldemar died in childhood. Frederick's eldest son, William, suffered from a withered arm due to his difficult and potentially deadly breech birth. Relations between both parents and William would prove to be difficult throughout the years."
  3. "He is buried in a mausoleum attached to the Friedenskirche in Potsdam."

Most of those are linked to other wikipedia pages which explain more in detail and confirm what is stated. Right now only Waldemar is unsourced as he does not have a wikipedia page, I'll look for a source for him. What do you think? --Banime (talk) 00:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm finding sources as we speak for most of these anyway, but if you think it will be too repetitive then please let me know and I'll remove them. --Banime (talk) 00:56, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Interesting question. I'd say "play it safe" and recommend you copy the inline citations from the linked articles. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 14:04, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


  1. I think his German full name should be before the anglicised.
  2. "His father lived to be almost 91 years old and had a long reign which did not let Frederick III assume the throne until late in his life." seems oddly worded to me. Perhaps could be reworded a bit. Grsztalk 20:25, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I tried to edit what you said, Grsz11. Is that what meant for the name change? Also, is the intro clearer now? Thanks. --Banime (talk) 20:42, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Now I'm seeing more of a content issue. Friedrich was 56 when he assumed the crown, which isn't very old. The reason he didn't reign long is not so much because his father lived to be 99, but because he died early. Grsztalk 20:55, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
True. However, his father was in his 70s when Germany was unified. No one expected him to live 23 or so years longer (I didn't look up exact dates/ages but these years are around the right amount). But you are correct also. It was a combination of both. He was a young (and healthy) crown prince, just came off military success in the wars, had liberal tendencies, and his father was old. Then his father kept living on and on, and he became sick. I guess I'm trying to figure out a good way to explain that in the introduction, do you have any ideas? Maybe I can focus on both factors in the intro, or simply his health if you think that would be best. --Banime (talk) 21:01, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I made a quick change which I think helps the introduction. --Banime (talk) 21:04, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Improvements[edit]

I've made many improvements to the article, based on your concerns. Here are the specifics:

  • Removed see also section, moved the link to a see also link in the family section.
  • Added more links to online versions of references.
  • Changed NPOV words throughout, rewrote prose throughout. I'll cite specific examples that you brought up.
  • Added a citation for his children's names and birthdates.
  • Removed the unsourced comment about celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary. Although it was his 25th anniversary I could not find any source saying it was celebrated.
  • Added better section organization.
  • Worked some more on the intro to meet your concerns.
  • Added citations for the battles he fought in and the army he commanded.
  • Worked on the legacy section to meet your concerns and added more citations.
  • Added citation for his burial in the Friedenskirche.
  • I think I did what Grsz11 asked above, but I'll wait for him to confirm.

Also, to address your concerns about the weight of the article focusing on liberalism, I tried my hardest to make sure everything met NPOV standards. However, historians today pretty much only talk about the potential effect that Frederick would or would not have had on German liberalism, and it is his most important aspect. I tried to adequately source it in the legacy section especially, as well as show both sides (some who thought he would have brought Germans to a more liberal path, and some who thought that he would not despite his liberal leanings). Basically his entire life is studied today based on his liberalism, so I don't think I can find anything else to focus on. He was the emperor who arguably could have ended the world wars before they began, but he died early. Obviously I did not want to make such a very strong claim in the article, that is what historians basically argue about and write about when it comes to Frederick III.If you have any more questions or concerns, or if I did not fix one of your concerns adequately, please let me know and I'll get to work on fixing them. --Banime (talk) 20:50, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I haven't had time to re-read the whole thing yet. But I wanted to ask... what would you say to creating a section "Liberalism", and moving all of the relevant material there? -- Rmrfstar (talk) 13:24, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
That could be possible though I'm not sure how it would affect the article yet (either good or bad). I'll play around with it and see, and if you think you want me to head that direction then its a possibility. I'll reread the article as you do and triple check that all of the comments about how he was liberal are npov. --Banime (talk) 18:14, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Re-review: Pass[edit]

Upon re-review, I deem this article worthy of GA status. Congratulations! I do think you should make the changes listed below:

  • Cite: "Frederick's eldest son, William, suffered from a withered arm due to his difficult and potentially deadly breech birth. Relations between both parents and William would prove to be difficult throughout the years."
Done. --Banime (talk) 10:02, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Link "deputize" in "There Queen Victoria allowed him to deputize for her on numerous occasions.[18]" Alternatively, you can explain, in article, what "deputize" means in this context.
Clarified. --Banime (talk) 10:24, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "Years later, Bergman tried to prove to his medical students that he could have saved Frederick III by removing his larynx. He attempted that operation, but his patient died under the knife." These sentences are confusing: is "the patient" Frederick III? Did Bergman do the operation on Frederick or some other person? When exactly does Frederick die?
Clarified. --Banime (talk) 10:04, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "...Germany's militaristic path towards war." Which war?
Most of the sources leave it as a general "militaristic path" type thing, however one said he could have prevented World War I, the formation of the Weimar government, and the current German Republic (It was written Pre-World War II) specifically. Unfortunately it is a loaded question, as many historians believe WW1 caused WW2, and there is plenty of evidence supporting that theory. Then wouldn't he be preventing both wars? However because the sources either vaguely mention war or say World War I and its effects, I'm going to leave it at war. I'll keep your suggestion in mind, however, and if any sort of consensus is reached or if during this articles peer review it is brought up I will look at it again. --Banime (talk) 10:28, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "...have accepted liberalization regardless of his efforts." There should be a comma after "liberalization".
Done --Banime (talk) 10:29, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • "...pushing Germany in a dangerous political, social, and military direction." Make this less poetic, ambiguous and POV.
Done. I mentioned World War I here since William II was obviously the leader of Germany during World War II. --Banime (talk) 10:41, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Reword "... Emperor continued to fulfill his obligations as Emperor".
Done --Banime (talk) 10:30, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

With the above fixes made, the article should fulfil all of the necessary criteria. The article is written in a clear and straightforward manner, though there is some pretty informal language in ===Early life=== (e.x. "His parents' marriage was also not a love match.") The article complies with the MOS well-enough, though I did not check minor stuff. The in-line referencing (with the above exception) is very good. The article seems to be comprehensive, given the short reign of the subject matter. That said, I am no expert in the relevant histories. Still, there are no glaring ommisions to my untrained eye. The article, after the changes made in response to my first review, is, I believe, neutral enough. The section on "legacy" provides balanced critiques of his reign and the strength of his liberal movement. This article is stable and is illustrated by a satisfactory portrait. The GA criteria are thus met. You've done a good job. -- Rmrfstar (talk) 23:55, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the review. I made all of the above fixes, and I'll keep looking through the article to improve the language. If you think of anything else please let me know as I'm going to keep improving this article. Thanks again. --Banime (talk) 10:42, 6 October 2008 (UTC)