The Hohenzollern Dynasty was a royal family that ruled the Kingdom of Prussia from 1701 to 1918, and the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, beginning with Frederick I (1701-1713) and ending with William II, who was both king of Prussia and emperor of Germany, whose defeat in World War I forced the last king and emperor to abdicate. The most prominent and renowned sovereign of the Hohenzollern Dynasty was Frederick II the Great, who participated in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War.
The origin of the House of Hohenzollern goes back to Burchard I, a feudal nobleman and owner of a castle in Swabia in the 11th century. By 1415, his descendants had become Electors of the March of Brandenburg, a Holy Roman Empire principality located on the eastern border. Over the years, its members divided into two branches: a Swabian Catholic branch and a Franconian Protestant one. After the Thirty Years War, Frederick William of Brandenburg, known as the Great Elector, created a powerful military machine, which would be strengthened by his successors, establishing a cult of order and discipline. In 1701, Frederick William’son, Frederick I, would found the Kingdom of Prussia.