Presentation on theme: "Philosophers and Prussians"— Presentation transcript:
1 Philosophers and Prussians The Enlightenment and the European State, c
2 Outline Searching for a New Order Enlightenment Rationality and European StatecraftThe Example of Prussia and Friedrich the Great
3 The Thirty Years’ WarA deadly mix: “power politics” + religious hostilities = disaster for Germany!Beginnings: the Bohemian disputeCatholic Ferdinand II (r ) elected as king of Bohemia, 1617Protestant counteroffensiveThe Battle of White Mountain (1620)Friedrich V and Protestant alliance defeated,The Danish phase ( )King Christian IV vs. Imperial commander Count Albrecht von WallensteinThe Swedish Phase ( )King Gustavus Adolphus ( ) invades GermanyFirst major Protestant victories: Breitenfeld, 1631; Lützen, 1632French phase and stalemate ( )France enters the war (1635), on the Protestant side!Fighting in the Spanish Netherlands, in the Empire, in the Atlantic, at home
4 The “Military Revolution” The “military revolution” (c )Portable firearmsCombined armsClose-order drill and battlefield disciplineNew fortifications (the trace italienne)Innovations in gov’t financeResult - one of the longest and most destructive wars until the First World War! ( )Swedish infantry brigade formation (pikemen and musketeers), depicted in 17th-century military guidebook
5 Above: “Star fort” in Groningen, Netherlands Above left: Re-enactment of TYW “musketeers”Left: Imperial formations advancing at the Battle of White Mountain (Bohemia, 1620)
6 The Cost of the War Mass death from violence, famine, and disease At least 8 million dead (most civilians)Over one-fourth of the entire population of the Holy Roman Empire!In 1600: 20.3 millionIn 1700: 15 million!Leading powers bankruptedPermanent religious divisionsHardships described in The Adventures of A Simpleton, by Hans Jakob von Grimmelshausen (1669)Above: Engraving from The Miseries of War, by Jacques Callot (1632)Left: Grimmelshausen in 1641
7 20-25 percent of Germany’s population dies as a result of the Thirty Years’ War!
8 Permanent divisions: Europe after the Thirty Years’ War (1648)
9 The Search for a New Order 1648 –The Peace of WestphaliaTreaty of Osnabrück (May)Treaty of Münster (Oct.)Key InnovationsReligious Peace of Augsburg accepted by all participantsToleration of minority religions requiredAfter 1648: New interest in “rational” statecraftRatifying the Treaty of Muenster, 1648
10 The Enlightenment and State Power Jean Bodin ( )– monarchical sovereignty the key to lasting orderHugo Grotius (1583–1645) “natural law” rather than religious law.Thomas Hobbes ( ) – Leviathan argues that an “absolute” ruler necessaryJohn Locke ( ) – Government a “social contract”Voltaire ( ) suggested that government should operate on experience,Jean-Jacques Rousseau ( ) believed that governments had the duty to promote the happiness of subjects! (The Social Contract)
11 The Absolutist Solution Key Concept: “Reason of State”Gustavus Adolphus explains his entry into the Thirty Years’ War (1630):Cardinal Richelieu describes France under Louis XIV“Absolutism”Monarchs recognize no legal limits on their powerThe royal state becomes the organizing structure for societyGrowth of bureacracy and institutions – tax offices, law courts, armies and navies!Proof: The Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and the “balance of power” systemReligion no longer determines alliances!Left: Gustavus Adolphus of SwedenRight: Cardinal Richelieu
12 “Absolute” Monarchs France - Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715) “L’État c’est moi” (The state, it is me!)Russia - Peter I (“the Great,” r ) and Catherine I (“the Great,” r )Replaced medieval Tsarist government with bureaucracyWesternized court culture (no beards!)Created Russian EmpirePrussia – Friedrich II (“the Great,” r )Louis XIV in 1701Tsar and Emperor Peter IFriedrich the Great in 1780
13 The Case of PrussiaBetween 1650 and 1800, the Kingdom of Prussia grew from a small German territory into a major European power!Friedrich Wilhelm I (“the Soldier-King”; r ) and rational reformsMilitary expansionCentralized and expanded state bureaucracy, (especially tax offices)Avoided warsSubsidies for farming and manufactureHis goal was to ensure Prussia produced everything it needed to defend itselfHis rule highly personal – concerned himself with every area of government and economyFreiedrich Wilhelm IMember of the “Potsdam Giants,” Friedrich’s personal guard
14 Friedrich the Great: an “Enlightened Monarch”? Friedrich the Great (r ) - son of Friedrich Wilhelm IPromoted education for the good of the statePersonal friend of VoltaireAgnostic , but encouraged his subjects to hold Christian virtues (esp. obedience!)Promoted economic and legal rationalismIntroduced reforms in agriculture (including cultivation of potatoes!)Cut costs wherever possibleEmphasized military strengthSaw no restrictions on his power!Friedrich the Great personally inspects the potato harvest in Brandenburg“The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in this world is to discover new truths; and the next is to shake off old prejudice” – Friedrich II
15 Friedrich’s Wars First Silesian War (1740-42); against Austria Second Silesian War ( ); against AustriaThe Seven Years’ War ( ) against Austria, Russia, FranceThe First Partition of Poland (1772)War of the Bavarian Succession ( ); against AustriaPrussian infantry advance in the First Silesian War
16 Rational or personal rule? The problem: Prussia’s success in the 1700s depended on the intense personal involvement of the king!Privileged military aristocracy over civilian administration“Junkers” = military nobilityPrussia’s strength did not last!Under Friedrich Wilhelm III ( r ), Prussia defeated by Napoleon!Legacy of Prussian militarism?Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Army enter Berlin, 1806
17 How modern? The Enlightenment and society How “rational” does society and political life become?Was the absolutism of Friedrich the Great an “Enlightened” form of government?
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