William I

William I, 1781–1864, king of Württemberg (1816–64), son and successor of Frederick I. Before his accession he fought (1812) with the French emperor Napoleon I in Russia and later, when Frederick I had broken his alliance with France, William served with the anti-French forces (1814–15). As king, William granted a constitution in 1819, strove to protect the rights of the smaller German states against both Austria and Prussia, and promoted the Zollverein, the German customs union.

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