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Abstract

Empress Frederick of Germany (1841-1901) is known first and foremost as the liberal consort of Emperor Frederick, who died after a reign of only 99 days in 1888. A vast majority of her biographers believe that she converted her husband into a supporter of British-style liberalism, and that his premature death effectively ended prospects for liberal development in Germany. Yet historians have consistently overlooked her work to advance women’s causes, which left a far more tangible legacy than her involvement in politics. The essay discusses reasons why she embraced women’s causes and attempts to reassess her legacy. It also invites a critique of how political and social historians have viewed her accomplishments.

Note on the Author

Dr. Patricia Kollander received her PhD from Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island, USA), and is a Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.A). Her areas of teaching specialization include modern Germany and the history of European women. Her publications include two books: Frederick III:  Germany's Liberal Emperor and I Must be a Part of this War: A German-American's Fight against Hitler and Nazism, along with numerous scholarly book chapters, articles and reviews.

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