John George II - Encyclopedia




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JOHN GEORGE II. (1613-1680), elector of Saxony, was born on the 31st of May 1613. In 1657, just after his accession, he made an arrangement with his three brothers with the object of preventing disputes over their separate territories, and in 1664 he entered into friendly relations with Louis XIV. He received money from the French king, but the existence of a strong antiFrench party in Saxony induced him occasionally to respond to the overtures of the emperor Leopold I. The elector's primary interests were not in politics, but in music and art. He adorned Dresden, which under him became the musical centre of Germany; welcoming foreign musicians and others he gathered around him a large and splendid court, and his capital was the constant scene of musical and other festivals. His enormous expenditure compelled him in 1661 to grant greater control over monetary matters to the estates, a step which laid the foundation of the later system of finance in Saxony. John George died at Freiberg on the 22nd of August 1680.

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