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Enlightened Absolutism

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Presentation on theme: "Enlightened Absolutism"— Presentation transcript:

1 Enlightened Absolutism
Prussia, Austria, Russia

2 Absolutism vs Constitutionalism
Absolutism common Exceptions: England and Dutch Republic Enlightenment…challenges to traditional authority “Enlightened Monarchs” or “Enlightened Despots” emerged

3 Enlightened Monarchy Most philosophes supported a monarch who would protect the liberties of the people Religious toleration, freedom of speech, private property, etc. Monarchs had to be strong in order to impose such reforms….hence the term Enlightened Absolutism Frederick II of Prussia Joseph II of Austria Catherine the Great of Russia

4 Frederick II Frederick the Great (ruled 1740-1786)
Lover of French culture, poetry, music Fan of Voltaire His father, Frederick William I, disapproved Saw his son as a wimp and sissy Frederick William had strengthened the Prussian government and improved the military

5 Frederick II Ruled with absolute power, but with some enlightened reforms Religious toleration Outlawed torture except in cases of treason or murder Codified laws Limited freedom of speech and press Increased power of Prussian military He did not, however, do much to improve the lives of peasants Peasants carried the tax burden while nobles often paid very little

6 Maria Theresa 1740, Charles VI died without a male heir
Pragmatic Sanction allowed female to inherit throne Violated Salic Law, a tradition which prohibited females from ruling His daughter, Maria Theresa, ascended to the throne Other rulers saw this as a weakness and attempted to take land from Austria

7 Maria Theresa War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748)
Prussia attacks Austria, attempting to take land while Austria is “weak” France also attacks Austria (old rivals) British allied with Austria to prevent French from gaining in power France and Britain were fierce rivals and were on the verge of war with each other Result: Maria Theresa is recognized as the ruler of Austria Prussia keeps Silesia, which increases the power of Prussia

8 Maria Theresa Ruled Austria from 1748-1780
Centralized and strengthened the Austrian government Enlarged the Austrian military More efficient tax collection NOT a fan of religious freedom Very Catholic Famous children Joseph II and Marie Antionette

9 Joseph II Co-ruler with his mother from 1765 until her death. Implemented more reforms after her death Freedom of speech and reduced censorship Religious toleration (Edict of Toleration) Banned torture, reduced death penalty, and applied laws equally to all social classes Abolished serfdom Land reforms making it easier for peasants to buy land Made land owners pay taxes

10 Joseph II Although his reforms benefitted the people, he was not a popular ruler Did not consult advisors before making policies Landowners and nobles disliked him Dissent led him to tighten restrictions. He began to increase censorship again and tighten royal control After his death, many of his reforms were changed back to original policies

11 Catherine the Great Westernization in Russia (Peter the Great)
Catherine continues his reforms Ruled from Catherine was a German princess, married Peter III Peter III died (or was killed) and she took over Absolute ruler who supported some ideas of the Enlightenment

12 Catherine the Great Catherine’s reforms Brutally suppressed rebellion
Encouraged westernization among boyars Expansion of territory Ex: Partitions of Poland (Prussia and Austria also benefit from the partitions) Improved education Brutally suppressed rebellion Ex: Pugachev’s Rebellion…Rugachev was captured and quartered body publicly displayed

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