In a way Joachim’s decision would be made for him by two historical precedents;
Firstly the fact that almost continuous war and strife, not only in Germany but across the European states led to large-scale poverty and hunger amongst the poor. During the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1713), Prussia suffered economically. Most devastating was the famine which struck the Duchy in Prussia 1709-1712 under King Friedrich I. (1688-1713, When Friedrich III. died in 1713, he left behind state debt. His successor, Friedrich Wilhelm, was thrifty to such an extent that he was called avaricious, and a Barbarian (for discontinuing to provide for lavish artistic entertainment at court). These conditions in the 17th and early 18th century Brandenburg was compounded by the fact that you could be impressed as soldier by any of the armies passing through the region. In 1740, Prussia's army was the fourth strongest, by numbers, in Europe (83,000 men).
When King Friedrich (Frederick) I. died in 1713; he was succeeded by Friedrich Wilhelm I. (1713-1740), nicknamed Soldatenkönig (soldier king). Like his grandfather, he focussed state policy, state spending, on the army. He was particularly fond of the Lange Kerls, a regiment of exceptionally tall soldiers. In order to recruit soldiers, trickery, deceit, pressure and violence were used, occasionally even abduction. Rigorous discipline was enforced, deserters treated barbarically. Friedrich Wilhelm treated his own son, the future Friedrich (Frederick) the Great, with a similar harshness; when young Friedrich, with a close friend, attempted to flee the country, the soldier king had the friend executed and had young Friedrich look on. During this period farmers that owned little or no land continued to search for work, often temporarily migrating to work elsewhere during the harvest season. Some were permanently attracted by the rural industries which flourished especially after 1750, whilst others came to live in large cities that, being centres of trade and administration, needed many employees.
Secondly; some 550Km away in Amsterdam the VOC started to experience problems with recruitment. The VOC was, without doubt, the largest private employer of the world in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The often cited data on the numbers of sailors, soldiers and others that sailed in the service of the VOC to Asia demonstrate the impressive size of its workforce. Between 1602 and 1795, nearly one million men went overseas of which only one third returned. The local and national labour market was far too small to provide sufficient workers for the Company. Sometimes the shipbuilding industry of the VOC competed with the shipping industry. For instance, in total the VOC fitted out some 4700 ships, nearly 1700 in the seventeenth century and a good 3000 in the eighteenth. When there were many ships to be built, there was much employment and this created a lack of sailors. Many came from Germany, but there were also many VOC-servants from Scandinavia, the Southern Netherlands, France and England. In the beginning of the 18th century only the officers on most VOC-ships were still Hollanders.
As the initial territory of the Brandenburg margraves, the Altmark is sometimes referred to as the "Cradle of Prussia". The Altmark is located west of the Elbe river between the cities of Hamburg and Magdeburg, mostly included in the present-day districts of Altmarkkreis Salzwedel and Stendal. In the west the Drawehn hill range and the Drömling depression separate it from the Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony; the Altmark also borders the Wendland region in the north and the Magdeburg Börde in the south. Adjacent east of the Elbe is the historical Prignitz region.
The population is small. The cultural landscape within the North European Plain is rural and widely covered with forests and heathlands. The largest towns are Stendal, with a present-day population of 39,000, and Salzwedel. The most famous native is Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, born at Schonhausen, in the Altmark, April 1, 1815.
The Altmark remained with the Brandenburg margraviate, since 1415 held by the House of Hohenzollern, and thereby became part of rising Brandenburg-Prussia and of the Kingdom of Prussia upon its creation in 1701.