Already in 1731, when he was Crown Prince, and eight years before he wrote his Anti-M achiavel, Frederick realized the geo-political factors underlying his conception of the lines along which P russia’s foreign policy should be conducted. In his view a territorially fragmented kingdom stretching across the northern part of Central Europe had only two alternatives. The first was to live in harm ony with all its neighbours, which would be equivalent to a perm anent state of fearful impotence and mean a hopeless defensive position in case of conflict. The second alternative was to acquire, w ithout too much regard for existing dynasties, such territories as would consolidate and round off the territory of the kingdom. Heavenly retribution need hardly be feared as long as within the state the fear of God and a sense of justice reigned supreme over atheism, party faction, greed and selfishness. Territorial consolidation of the state outwardly, accord and harm ony within, were the determ ining principles of Frederick’s policy. From that position of strength the state could develop into a ‘refuge of the persecuted, the widows and orphans, the supporter of the poor and the terror of the un just’.