Frederick continued his father's fundamental domestic policies. His first care was the strength and discipline of his army. An "enlightened despot," he instituted important legal and penal reforms, set up trade monopolies to create new industries, forwarded education, and accomplished internal improvements such as drainage projects, roads, and canals. Though he improved the lot of his own serfs, the nobility had more control over their peasants after his reign than before.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.