Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 28, 2011

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Emperor Frederick III

Frederick III (1831–1888) was German Emperor and King of Prussia for 99 days in 1888, the Year of the Three Emperors. Following the unification of Germany in 1871 his father, William I, then King of Prussia, became the German Emperor, and on William's death at the age of 90 on 9 March 1888, the throne passed to Frederick, having by then been the Crown Prince for 27 years. Frederick was suffering from cancer of the larynx and died on 15 June 1888, aged 56, following unsuccessful medical treatments for his condition. The timing of Frederick's death, and the length of his reign, are important topics among historians. The reign of Frederick III is considered a potential turning point in German history; many historians believe that if Frederick had succeeded to the throne sooner, he would have transformed Germany into a liberal state. They argue this would have averted the events preceding World War I. Other historians contend that Frederick's influence and political leanings were greatly exaggerated, noting that he tended to defer to his father and Bismarck when confronted, and would not have dared to challenge their conservatism even as ruler. (more...)

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