William I, king of Württemberg

William I, 1781–1864, king of Württemberg (1816–64), son and successor of Frederick I. Before his accession he fought (1812) with the French emperor Napoleon I in Russia and later, when Frederick I had broken his alliance with France, William served with the anti-French forces (1814–15). As king, William granted a constitution in 1819, strove to protect the rights of the smaller German states against both Austria and Prussia, and promoted the Zollverein, the German customs union.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: German History: Biographies