Absolutism: Derived from the traditional assumption of power (e g. heirs to the throne) and the belief in “divine right of kings”



Download 164.88 Kb.
Page4/4
Date conversion29.04.2016
Size164.88 Kb.
1   2   3   4

1653, hereditary subjugation of serfs established as a way of compensating the nobles for their support of the Crown

  • Encouraged industry and trade

  • Imported skilled craftsmen and Dutch farmers

  • New industries emerged: Woolens, cotton, linens, velvet, lace, silk, soap, paper and iron products

  • Efforts at overseas trade largely failed due to Prussia’s lack of ports and naval experience

    • Frederick I (Elector Frederick III) “The Ostentatious” (1688-1713); 1st “King of Prussia”

    • Most popular of Hohenzollern kings

    • Sought to imitate the court of Louis XIV

    • Encouraged higher education

    • Founded a university and encouraged the founding of an academy of science

    • Welcomed immigrant scholars

    • Fought in two wars against Louis XIV to preserve the European balance of power:

    • War of the League of Augsburg (1688-97) and the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1713)

    • Allied with the Hapsburgs

    • Elector of Brandenburg/Prussia was now recognized internationally as the “King of Prussia” in return for aid to Habsburgs.

    • Thus, Frederick I was the first “king of Prussia”

    • Frederick William I (r. 1713-1740) “Soldiers’ King”

    • Most important Hohenzollern regarding the development of Prussian absolutism

    • Calvinist, like his father

    • Obsessed with finding tall soldiers for his army

    • Infused militarism into all of Prussian society

    • Prussia became known as “Sparta of the North”

    • One notable diplomat said, "Prussia, is not a state with an army, but an army with a state.”

    • Society became rigid and highly disciplined.

    • Unquestioning obedience was the highest virtue.

    • Most militaristic society of modern times.

    • Nearly doubled the size of the army

    • Best army in Europe

    • Became Europe’s 4th largest army (next to France, Russia & Austria)

    • 80% of gov’t revenues went towards the military

    • Prussian army was designed to avoid war through deterrence.

    • Only time Frederick William I fought a war was when Sweden occupied a city in northern Germany; the Swedes were subsequently forced out

    • Most efficient bureaucracy in Europe

    • Removed the last of the parliamentary estates and local self-government

    • Demanded absolute obedience and discipline from civil servants

    • Promotions based on merit

    • Some commoners were able to rise to positions of power

    • High levels of taxation

    • Junkers remained the officers’ caste in the army in return for supporting the king’s absolutism

    • Established approximately 1,000 schools for peasant children

    • Frederick II (“Frederick the Great”) – (r. 1740-1786)

    • Most powerful and famous of the Prussian kings

    • Considered to be an “Enlightened Despot” for his incorporation of Enlightenment ideas into his reign.

    • Instituted a number of important reforms

    • Increased Prussia’s territory at the expense of the Austrian Hapsburgs

    • Russia

    • Historical background

    • During the Middle Ages the Greek Orthodox Church was significant in assimilating Scandinavian ancestors of the Vikings with the Slavic peoples of eastern Europe.

    • In the 13th century, the Mongols from Asia invaded eastern Europe and ruled the eastern Slavs for over two centuries

    • Authoritarian Mongol rule, led by the Mongol khan, left a legacy of ruthless leadership that would continue in Russia in future centuries.

    • Eventually, princes of Moscow, who served the khan, began to consolidate their own rule and replaced Mongol power. (Ivan I and Ivan III were the most important)

    • Muscovy began to emerge as the most significant principality that formed the nucleus of what later became Russia.

    • However, the Russian nobles (boyars) and the free peasantry made it difficult for Muscovite rulers to strengthen the state

    • Ivan III (“Ivan the Great”) (1442-1505)

    • 1480, ended Mongol domination of Muscovy

    • Established himself as the hereditary ruler of Muscovy

    • This was in response to the fall of the Byzantine Empire and his desire to make Moscow the new center of the Orthodox Church: the “Third Rome”

    • The tsar became the head of the church

    • The “2nd Rome” had been Constantinople before it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453

    • Many Greek scholars, craftsmen, architects and artists were brought into Muscovy

    • Tsar claimed his absolute power was derived from divine right as ruler

    • Ivan struggled with the Russian boyars for power.

    • Eventually, the boyars’ political influence decreased but they began exerting more control of their peasants.

    • Ivan IV (“Ivan the Terrible”) (1533-1584)

    • Background

    • Grandson of Ivan III

    • First to take the title of “tsar” (Caesar)

    • Married a Romanov

    • Territorial expansion

    • Controlled the Black Sea region

    • Gained huge territories in the Far East

    • Gained territories in the Baltic region

    • Began westernizing Muscovy

    • Encouraged trade with England and the Netherlands

    • For 25 years, he fought unsuccessful wars against Poland-Lithuania

    • Military obligations deeply affected both nobles and peasants

    • These wars left much of central Europe depopulated

    • Cossacks: Many peasants fled the west to the newly-conquered Muscovite territories in the east and formed free groups and outlaw armies.

    • Gov’t responded by increasing serfdom

    • Reduced the power of the boyars

    • All nobles had to serve the tsar in order to keep their lands

    • Serfdom increased substantially to keep peasants tied to noble lands

    • Many nobles were executed

    • Ivan blamed the boyars for his wife’s death and thus became increasingly cruel and demented

    • Merchants and artisans were also bound to their towns so that the tsar could more efficiently tax them

    • This contrasts the emergence of capitalism in western Europe where merchants gained influence and more security over private property.

    • Time of Troubles” followed Ivan IV’s death in 1584

    • Period of famine, power struggles and war

    • Cossack bands traveled north massacring nobles and officials

    • Sweden and Poland conquered Moscow

    • In response, nobles elected Ivan’s grand-nephew as new hereditary tsar and rallied around him to drive out the invaders

    • Romanov dynasty

    • Lasted from the ascent of Michael Romanov in 1613 to the Russian Revolution in 1917.

    • Michael Romanov (1613-1645)

    • Romanov favored the nobles in return for their support

    • Reduced military obligations significantly

    • Expanded Russian empire to the Pacific Ocean in the Far East.

    • Fought several unsuccessful wars against Sweden, Poland and the Ottoman Empire

    • Russian society continued to transform in the 17th century

    • Nobles gained more exemptions from military service.

    • Rights of peasants declined

    • Bloody Cossack revolts resulted in further restrictions on serfs

    • Old Believers” of the Orthodox Church resisted influx of new religious sects from the west (e.g. Lutherans and Calvinists)

    • In protest, 20,000 burned themselves to death over 20 years

    • Old Believers” were severely persecuted by the government

    • Western ideas gained ground

    • Western books translated into Russian, new skills and technology, clothing and customs (such as men trimming their beards)

    • First Russian translation of the Bible began in 1649

    • By 1700, 20,000 Europeans lived in Russia

    • By 1689, Russia was the world’s largest country (3 times the size of Europe)

    • Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725)

    • Background

    • His sister, Sophia, ruled as his regent early on.

    • Her plot to kill him failed and Peter had her banished to a monastery; his mother Natalia took over as his regent

    • Peter began ruling in his own right at age 22

    • He was nearly 7 feet tall and so strong he could bend a horse shoe with his bare hands

    • Revolt of the Strelski was defeated by Peter in 1698

    • These Moscow guards had overthrown previous leaders

    • The security of Peter’s reign was now intact

    • Military power was Peter’s greatest concern

    • Each Russian village was required to send recruits for the Russian army; 25-year enlistments

    • 75% of the national budget was spent on the military by the end of Peter’s reign

    • Royal army of over 200,000 men plus additional 100,000 special forces of Cossacks and foreigners

    • Established royal, military and artillery academies

    • All young male nobles required to leave home and serve 5 years of compulsory education

    • Large navy built on the Baltic (though it declined after Peter’s death)

    • Non-nobles had opportunities to rise up the ranks

    • Great Northern War (1700-1721)

    • Russia (with Poland, Denmark and Saxony as allies) vs. Sweden (under Charles XII)

    • Battle of Poltava (1709) was the most decisive battle in Russia defeating Sweden.

    • Treaty of Nystad (1721): Russia gained Latvia and Estonia and thus gained its “Window on the West” in the Baltic Sea.

    • Modernization and westernization was one of Peter’s major focuses

    • He traveled to the West as a young man to study its technology and culture

    • Military technology was his primary concern

    • He imported to Russia substantial numbers of western technicians and craftsmen to aid in the building of large factories

    • By the end of his reign, Russia out-produced England in iron production (though Sweden and Germany produced more)

    • Industrial form of serfdom existed in factories where workers could be bought and sold

    • State-regulated monopolies created (echoed mercantilist policies of western Europe)

    • Actually stifled economic growth

    • Industrial serfs created inferior products

    • Government became more efficient

    • Tsar ruled by decree (example of absolute power)

    • Tsar theoretically owned all land in the state; nobles and peasants served the state

    • No representative political bodies

    • All landowners owed lifetime service to the state (either in the military, civil service, or court); in return they gained greater control over their serfs

    • Table of Ranks

    • Set educational standards for civil servants (most of whom were nobles)

    • Peter sought to replace old Boyar nobility with new service-based nobility loyal to the tsar

    • Russian secret police ruthlessly and efficiently crushed opponents of the state

    • Taxation

    • Heavy on trade sales and rent

    • Head tax on every male

    • Turned the Orthodox Church into a government department in 1700

    • St. Petersburg

    • One of Peter’s crowning achievements

    • Sought to create a city similar to Amsterdam and the Winter Palace with the grandeur of Versailles

    • By his death, the city was the largest in northern Europe (75,000 inhabitants)

    • St. Petersburg became the capital of Russia

    • Cosmopolitan in character

    • Construction began in 1703; labor was conscripted

    • Peter ordered many noble families to move to the city and build their homes according to Peter’s plans

    • Merchants and artisans also ordered to live in the city and help build it

    • Peasants conscripted heavy labor in the city’s construction (heavy death toll—perhaps 100,000)

    • Peter’s reforms modernized Russia and brought it closer to the European mainstream

    • More modern military and state bureaucracy

    • Emerging concept of interest in the state, as separate from the tsars interest

    • Tsar began issuing explanations to his decrees to gain popular support



    Essay Question – Louis XIV declared his goal was “one king, one law, one faith.” Analyze the methods the king used to achieve this objective and discuss the extent to which he was successful.
  • 1   2   3   4


    The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
    send message

        Main page