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The new monarchies. The Centralization of Political Power Creation of well-organized states built around strong central gov’ts New Monarchs of England.

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Presentation on theme: "The new monarchies. The Centralization of Political Power Creation of well-organized states built around strong central gov’ts New Monarchs of England."— Presentation transcript:

1 The new monarchies

2 The Centralization of Political Power Creation of well-organized states built around strong central gov’ts New Monarchs of England (Henry VII), France (Louis XI) & Spain (Ferdinand & Isabella) were successful in accumulating & centralizing power. *Marked an end to more than a century of political fragmentation All had opponents/problems to overcome and all did it differently

3 England Formed its state through administrative centralization Wars of Roses (1455-1485)—English Civil War—nobles caused chaos as they fought for control of throne Richard III (1483-85) of the House of York, the last Plantagenet

4 Henry VII (Tudor) & the Revival of Royal Power Came in as a usurper but restored order & increased the authority of the Crown 2 Biggest obstacles:  1. Poverty of the Monarchy  2. Power of the Nobility No secure monarch in 100 years Henry VII Tudor (1485-1509)

5 Limits on the Monarch’s Power Parliament  Consultative assembly  By 16 th cen. Began to be more important as chief representative body that could approve ruler’s actions, esp. when raising taxes Common Law  System of justice based on precedent & tradition that was common throughout England  Was an independent source of authority with which King couldn’t interfere

6 How Henry VII Began Centralization of England 1. Developed modern methods of accounting, record-keeping, & enforcement to make the monarchy solvent  Used fiscal caution  Determinedly collected royal revenues  Relied on the cooperation of the gentry at the local level to help administer the kingdom

7 How Henry VII Began Centralization of England 2. Asserted his authority over the nobles in both political and legal matters  Relied on the JPs to carry out the monarch’s will  Increased the authority of the Royal Council  Had his councilors serve on the Star Chamber (no jury, local leaders had no influence; decisions were quick & fair)

8 Henry VIII Cont’d What his Father Began 1513—defeated Scots which removed a threat Created an independent English Church which increased Parliament’s power Confiscated Church lands which increased royal revenue

9 Henry VIII Thomas Cromwell, Henry’s Chief Minister reorganized the administration of the country  Divided administration according to its function by separating departments of state. Each department was responsible for its own record-keeping, revenue- collection, and law enforcement.  Expanded power of the Privy council (King’s primary advisers), which became the King’s executive body, to direct the royal gov’t

10 Edward VI (1547-53) & Mary I (1553-58) Nobles tried to regain control of gov’t Mary I tried to reestablish Catholicism, which provoked 2 major revolts, but royal power survived Elizabeth I inherited a larger, wealthier, & more sophisticated administration at her disposal She didn’t have a large standing army (like on Continent), but she didn’t need one

11 France French centralization occurred because of good fortune Problems working against centralization:  1. Surrounded by large aggressive neighbors  2. French nobles were semi-independent princes  3. French people were provincial & loyal to local customs & institutions  4. Divided by regional differences, esp. north & south divided by culture and language

12 France 100 Years War (1337-1453)—France emerged intact, but monarchy was greatly weakened Threat posed by Charles the Bold of Burgundy  Had increased in size during the 100 Years War Charles the Bold of Burgundy


14 Louis XI (the Spider) of House of Valois (1461-83) Increased the territories under control of the Crown  Inherited Anjou, Maine, & Provence  Gained Brittany & Orleans through marriage Subdued the nobility

15 French Royal Power Royal Council in Paris was administrative center of gov’t Greatest court of law was Parlement of Paris Roman law, based on royal decree, dominated & allowed king to govern by issuing ordinances and edicts (had to be registered by parlements to take effect, but usually a formality) Estates—representative bodies that were in a number of provinces & King had to negotiate with them to support his income & army Estates General never attained the power and prestige of England’s Parliament *French King had more independence and power, esp. in finance than the English King did

16 Charles VIII (1483-1498) Wanted to expand his dynasty’s territory 1494—led army into Italy  Had some successes, but settled into a long struggle with Hapsburgs for control of Italy  *16 th Cen dominated by rivalry between France & Hapsburgs of Spain/Austria  Ended in 1559—Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis with French defeat (renounced any further claims to Italy)

17 The Italian Wars Role Played in the Centralization of France  Distracted the nobility & gave King opportunity to consolidate power at home  France’s financial & administrative machinery grew in size and effectiveness. But it was never enough.  Monarchs developed other ways to increase royal revenue Sale of Offices –sold offices in administration, the parlements, and every branch of bureaucracy  Gained tax exemption  Gained status & sometimes a title of nobility

18 The Italian Wars War years also established the principle of royal taxation (which fell mostly on 3 rd estate)  Taille—direct tax on property  Gabelle—consumption tax on purchase of salt  Aide-tax on a variety of commodities, including meat and wine French had a high degree of compliance French King was first to establish principle of a national army—directed from the center but quartered and equipped regionally  Nobility—cavalry and towns & country—infantry  Fortified towns gained privileges for service to the King

19 Louis XI & Charles VIII Neither was a nation-builder Both were very lucky! Had no grand designs & made many mistakes  Biggest—let Burgundy’s Low Countries go to Habsburg’s and not to France  This initiated a struggle for the low countries that would last 200 years Charles VIII

20 Louis XII (1498-1515) Expanded sale of offices By end of 16 th century, sale of offices provided Crown with 1/12 of its revenue.  Negatives: Stimulated social mobility by creating a new administrative class Caused a major expansion of bureaucracy Encouraged corruption

21 Francis I (1515-1547) Gained power over the Church  Successful in Italy early in his reign  1516 persuaded Pope to give French Crown the right to appoint all of France’s bishops and abbots. *King could now use Church patronage to reward servants or raise money* Unlike Henry VIII, he didn’t need to break with Rome to gain authority over clergy

22 Francis I 1520s Francis reorganized the gov’t  Legalized sale of offices  Formed an inner ocuncil to act as chief executive body of France (more management) 1527—last Bourbon lands fell to the King—France was unified Used lit de justice against parlements  He appeared in person before an assembly that was delaying registering of his edicts and declare them registered and law. Estates General did not meet between 1484 and 1560

23 Henry II (1547-59) Italian wars ended with French defeat  Damaged royal prestige and finances Reformation, esp. Calvinism caused social unrest and religious divisions  Almost destroyed what French kings had created in previous century

24 Spain Spain centralized through a dynastic marriage Problem before 16 th cen:  Moors in South, Portugal in west  Spain divided among separate states (2 biggest were Castile & Aragon)  Had 3 religions & 4 languages 1469—Ferdinand of Aragon & Isabella of Castile married—led to 10 year civil war 1479—2 Crowns united & they ruled jointly

25 Ferdinand & Isabella Spain wasn’t a single state—local provinces guarded their pwr  Cortes—representative assemblies 1 st they established order 2 nd tried to reduce the power of the nobles  Reduced the number of great nobles in the royal council  Overhauled the entire administration Ability, not status would determine appointments Hidalgos, lesser aristocrats, became increasingly important in gov’t They were essential figures in centralization and overseas because they served and wer dependent on Crown  Took over leadership of the aristocracy’s rich and powerful military orders

26 Reconquista 1482-92 Kicked Moors off Iberian peninsula and retook Granada  Helped to create a national identity for Spanish  1492—150,000 Jews were expelled Also made Castilian the official language of the country

27 The Church and the Inquisition For the successful Reconquista, the Pope granted them the right to make major ecclesiastical appointments there & in New World (Charles I was given complete control over Church appointments) 1478-gained permission to establish their own Inquisition  Wanted to root out converted Jews & Muslims who still practiced their religions in secret  Persecution fostered a religious unity that enhanced political centralization

28 Royal Administration Corregidors, minor royal officials, were given new powers and responsibilities within the administration  Became the chief executive and judical officer within a local region (like JP in England) Cortes didn’t restrict the Crown b/c Spanish taxes could be raised without consent Monarchs supervised the justice system  Had a Roman law system so monarchs could overrule the decisions of local courts  Developed a uniform code of law Increased royal income by establishing power over the alcabala, the sales tax

29 Military and Diplomatic Achievements Regained 2 provinces on the French border Ferdinand entered the Italian War against France Reorganized Spain’s standing army Founded the finest diplomatic service of 16 th century  Was the best-informed and most effective maneuverer of his day

30 Charles I (1516-1556) 1520—Revolt of the Communes  He spoke no Castilian b/c educated in Flanders & gave Flemish ppl positions in gov’t  He was elected HRE  Spanish didn’t know him & feared he would be an absentee ruler Communes attacked the privileged orders of society, esp. nobles Nobles defeated them

31 Royal Gov’t under Charles Was away from Spain 2/3 of his 40 yr reign His representatives enlarged the bureaucracy & a system of councils  2 types of councils—1 for each department of gov’t and 1 for each territory the crown ruled  Council of State was principal advisory group at the head of the system  Created a vast federation, with Castile at center but the parts had considerable autonomy Viceroy was in charge of every major area & ran the administration under the supervision of an audiencia, a territorial council They could do as they wished but they had to report to Castile & refer major decisions to the central gov’t  Although corrupt and not always efficient, Spain’s administrative machine was one of the most detailed for ruling such a vast empire

32 Royal Finances Habsburgs were constantly fighting wars In Italy against France Against Turks Against Schmalkaldic League  Put a strain on Charles’ finances  New World treasure saved him from financial disaster He had to pay Italian & German financiers’ loans for his armies

33 The Splintered States of Central and Eastern Europe

34 Holy Roman Empire Weak institutions prevented strong central gov’t  1356—Golden Bull issued by Emperor Charles IV—established 7 electors to elect the HRE=weak  Emperors’ ability to exercise power effectively depended on their own family possessions  Ruled most areas and princes in name only 2000 imperial knights, 50 ecclesiastical princes, 30 secular princes, 100+ counts, 70 prelates, and 66 cities

35 Local Independence in the HRE Princes’ primary concern—increase their power Cities—had substantial wealth which the emperor couldn’t tap Only central institution—Imperial Diet  3 assemblies—reps of the cities, princes and the 7 electors  It became the instrument of the princes

36 Local Centralization Late 15 th cen.—princes had gained control over their individual territories Hapsburgs only controlled their own possessions (Austria, Low Countries, & Franche-Comte)

37 Attempts at Imperial Centralization 1495-HRE created a tribunal to settle disputes among local pwrs  Successful at restoring order  Princes were main beneficiaries Other attempts at administrative reform had little effect Reformation worsened the rivalries and further strengthened local independence

38 Hungary Late 15 th cen—dominant force in E. Eur. With a strong monarch similar to Eng, etc.  Matthias Corvinus After his death, royal authority collapsed  Lost land to Hapsburgs  Nobles forced King to dissolve the standing army  1514-imposed serfdom on the peasants  When Ottoman Turks conquered Hungary, nobles promised loyalty in exchange for their strengthened power

39 Poland Late 15 th cen. b/c king needed help, he issued a statute that strengthened lower aristocrats against ppl below them (peasants & townsmen) Then nobles united against king  Diet (made up of nobles) estab. Serfdom  No law could be passed w/o Diet’s consent By end of 16 th cen. Diet made succession to the crown dependent on noble approval

40 Ottoman Empire Only state in E. Eur. in 16 th cen. that maintained a strong central authority Sultan Suleiman II brought the empire to its largest size in first half of 16 th cen. Under his successor the empire began to decline

41 Italy Late 15 th cen. 5 major states—Naples, Papal states, Milan, Florence, and Venice—maintained a balance of pwr 1494—peace was broken when Milan invited Charles VIII of France for help against Florence & Naples  Began the Italian Wars (between Valois & Hapsburgs)  Fighting would end in 1559—Hapsburgs won and would control Italy for next century  By mid-16 th cen. Power had shifted from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic

42 Lesson Learned Small political units couldn’t survive in an age when gov’ts were consolidating their authority in large kingdoms No matter how brilliant and sophisticated, a compact city-state couldn’t withstand such superior force

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