Parents: William the Silent, stadtholder of Holland, and Louise de Coligny
Date of Birth: 29 January 1584
Spouse: Amalia, daughter of John Albert I, duke of Solms-Braunfels, and Agnes of Sayn-Wittgenstein
Reign: 1625 – 1647
Summary: The history of the Dutch Republic goes back to Frederick Henry's father, William the Silent, who led the rebellion of the Dutch from their Spanish overlord, Philip II. Enter Frederick Henry, the youngest child of William. His mother was the daughter of a Protestant Huguenot leader in France. He was born posthumously, his father having died over six months earlier in an assassination. His elder half-brother, Maurice, trained him in the military arts and he also forced Frederick Henry to marry against his will in 1625. Frederick Henry had an illegitimate son, Frederick Nassau de Zuylenstein, in addition to his many surviving legitimate children. Maurice died in 1625, the same year of Frederick Henry's marriage, and Frederick Henry became the hereditary prince of Orange and was granted the stadtholderships of Holland & Zeeland, Utrecht & Overijssel, and Guelders. He was also made captain- and admiral-general of the United Provinces.
The entirety of Frederick William's term in office was during the Eighty Years' War with Spain. While Maurice had been a military genius, Frederick William was that and a statesman. As stadtholder, his power was unsurpassed and it is during his term that the position gained truly regal status within European circles. In modern Dutch history, his term was considered the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic, due to its military and naval triumphs and worldwide commercial expansion. It was during this time that the Netherlands reached its post-Renaissance height in art and literature. Frederick Henry's success was aided by a long alliance with France which ended only because Frederick Henry sought a separate peace with Spain. Frederick Henry died before the treaty was signed and it was not until early 1648 that the Treaty of Munster ended the Eighty Years' War. He was succeeded by his only legitimate surviving son, William II.
Date of Death: 14 March 1647
Successor: William II
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