In the early 1740s King Friedrich the Great of Prussia (1712-1786) first tried to introduce the potato, which came from South America, as a staple food. In 1756 he issued a "circular-ordre" to cultivate the potato. After the Seven Years' War Friedrich undertook many inspection journeys to control the progress of agriculture. After the founding of the German Empire paintings of Frederick were very popular. The enthusiasm for the King became part of the Prussian national myth.


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