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John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau.

John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (b. Dessau, 17 November 1627 - d. Berlin, 7 August 1693), was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau. A member of the Fruitbearing Society, he also served as a Field marshal of Brandenburg-Prussia.

He was the second (but eldest and only surviving) son of John Casimir, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, by his first wife Agnes, daughter of Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel.


After the death of his father on 15 July 1660, John George took over the government of Anhalt-Dessau. He also inherited his family's claim on Aschersleben, which had been controlled by Brandenburg-Prussia since 1648.

John George made his military career in the service of the Prussian army; the Elector Frederick William named him a Generalfeldmarschall in 1670. After France invaded Frederick William's Duchy of Cleves, John George negotiated a treaty in Vienna in June 1672 between Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Frederick William, by which each pledged to provide 12,000 troops to uphold the borders of the Peace of Westphalia in the face of French aggression. John George was chosen to lead the largely unsuccessful campaign, which led Georg von Derfflinger to temporarily resign in protest.

While campaigning against the French for control of Alsace in 1674, most of Frederick William's army went into winter quarters in Franconian Schweinfurt. As viceroy (Statthalter), John George commanded the troops remaining in Brandenburg. King Louis XIV of France convinced King Charles XI of Sweden to invade Brandenburg; after dispersing John George's small force, the Swedish troops went into winter quarters as well. The Prince of Dessau took part in Frederick William's retaliatory campaign in 1675, which resulted in the Battle of Fehrbellin.

In 1683 John George travelled to Passau, ostensibly to discuss Brandenburg's involvement in the Ottoman wars with the emperor Leopold, although his main aim was to advise against another French war. The prince reaffirmed Brandenburg's alliance with Austria.

Marriage and Issue

In Groningen on 9 September 1659 John George married Henriette Katharina (b. The Hague, 10 February 1637 - d. Schloss Oranienbaum, 3 November 1708), daughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. They had ten children:

  1. Amalie Ludovika (b. Berlin, 7 September 1660 - d. Dessau, 12 November 1660).
  2. Henriette Amalie (b. Cölln an der Spree, 4 January 1662 - d. Cölln an der Spree, 28 January 1662).
  3. Frederick Casimir, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (b. Cölln an der Spree, 8 November 1663 - d. Cölln an der Spree, 27 May 1665).
  4. Elisabeth Albertine (b. Cölln an der Spree, 1 May 1665 - d. Dessau, 5 October 1706), Abbess of Herford (1680-1686); married on 30 March 1686 to Henry of Saxe-Weissenfels, Count of Barby.
  5. Henriette Amalie (b. Kleve, 26 August 1666 - d. Oranienstein an der Lahn, 18 April 1726), married on 26 November 1683 to Henry Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz.
  6. Louise Sophie (b. Dessau, 15 September 1667 - d. Dessau, 18 April 1678).
  7. Marie Eleonore (b. Dessau, 14 March 1671 - d. Dessau, 18 May 1756), married on 3 September 1687 to Prince Jerzy Radziwiłł, Duke of Olyka.
  8. Henriette Agnes (b. Dessau, 9 September 1674 - d. Dessau, 18 January 1729).
  9. Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (b. Dessau, 3 July 1676 - d. Dessau, 9 April 1747).
  10. Johanna Charlotte (Dessau, 6 April 1682 - d. Herford, 31 March 1750), Abbess of Herford (1729-1750); married on 25 January 1699 to Philip William, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt.


This article incorporates information from the revision as of 3 December 2007 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
  • Citino, Robert M. (2005). The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich. University Press of Kansas. pp. 428. ISBN 0-7006-1410-9.  
  • Clark, Christopher (2006). Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600–1947. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard. pp. 776. ISBN 067402385-4.  
Preceded by
John Casimir
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Succeeded by
Leopold I


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