|German name: Preussen a former German state in N and central Germany, extending from France and the Low Countries to the Baltic Sea and Poland: developed as the chief military power of the Continent, leading the North German Confederation from 1867--71, when the German Empire was established; dissolved in 1947 and divided between East and West Germany, Poland, and the former Soviet Union. Area: (in 1939) 294 081 sq km (113 545 sq miles)|
Former state in north-central Germany. At the height of its power, Prussia occupied more than half of present-day Germany, stretching from The Netherlands and Belgium in the west to Lithuania in the east.
Note: During the eighteenth century, Prussia established its independence from Poland, built up a strong army, and undertook a successful conquest of north-central Europe.
Note: In the nineteenth century, Prussia led the economic and political unification of the German states, establishing itself as the largest and most influential of these states, with Berlin as the capital of the German Empire.
Note: After Germany's defeat in World War II, Prussia was abolished as a state, and its territory was divided among East Germany, West Germany, the Soviet Union, and Poland.
Note: Prussians are often depicted as authoritarian, militaristic, and extremely orderly, a characterization based on the unswerving obedience of their army.