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“I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two hundred rats of my own species.” - Voltaire Absolutism and the State Supreme.

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Presentation on theme: "“I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two hundred rats of my own species.” - Voltaire Absolutism and the State Supreme."— Presentation transcript:

1 “I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two hundred rats of my own species.” - Voltaire Absolutism and the State Supreme

2 I. It’s good to be the king...sometimes The strange childhood of Louis XIV b r Era of Regents Cardinal Richelieu Anne of Austria Mazarin “foreigners”

3 Put away these childish things… The Fronde, Monarchy v. the Parlements Paris Nobles Peasants The lesson…?

4 L’etat, C’est moi!

5 II. Forging the Modern State

6 “Life is nasty, brutish and short” Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan, 1660 Absolutism “It is not wisdom but Authority that makes a law”

7 Perils of Progress Wars of religion & colonization Price Revolution Enclosure

8 III. Absolutism? Absolutely! A well conducted government must have an underlying concept so well integrated that it could be likened to a system of philosophy…All financial, political and military matters must flow towards one goal…the strengthening of the state and the furthering of its power. - Frederick II “The Great” d. 1786

9 Enlightened despotism King James (VI & I) True Law of Free Monarchies – material/spiritual well-being - sacred obedience - sovereignty lies in the monarch Joseph II of Austria Philosophes

10 “Servant of the state” Philosophes Frederick the Great Joseph II

11 A. The Renaissance Machiavelli The Prince 1513 How things are v. how they ought to be

12 B. The Reformation 1. Religion and nationalism - Fragmentation v. universalism - Appeal to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation 1521

13 C. Decline in Church Primacy 1. State Sovereignty - Henry VIII, Act of Supremacy Charles V, Peace of Augsburg Peace of Westphalia 1648

14 D. Decline of medieval “empires” 1. Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent r Battle of Lepanto 1571

15 2. Poland “elective monarchy” - frontier-less - anti-Semitism

16 3. Spain Philip II r Revolt of the Netherlands The Spanish Armada (1588)

17 IV. Reason of state

18 A. France 1. Henry IV d Edict of Nantes 1598 monopolies 2. Cardinal Richelieu d (Louis XIII) intendants Habsburg wars France before individuals, classes, or Church Mazarin

19 The Sun King Louis XIV 3. “I am the state” dismissed assemblies direct rule / appointments professional army Gallicanism Edict of Fontainebleau 1685 Jansenism

20 4. King’s Men bourgeois bureacracy Jean-Baptiste Colbert mercantilism

21 5. “I have loved war too much” Natural borders Alliances Habsburgs War of the League of Augsburg War of Spanish Succession

22 B. Cult of personality Versailles

23 Catherine Palace Sanssouci

24 When divas ruled Baroque / Rococo style

25 R & D 1. Science and the state - Académie des Sciences Royal Academy 1660 Christopher Wren. d. 1723

26 The Grand Embassy Peter Mikhailov

27 C. Czar of all the Russias 1. Peter I “The Great” Westernization - Baltic expansion St. Petersburg - state service of nobles - serfs as slaves Romanovs Eastern Expansion

28 2. Catherine “the Great” r un-Enlightenment 1773 revolt - southern, western expansion

29 D. Germany stirs 1. HRE? - Reformation - Westphalia Siege of Vienna 1683 Leopold I r Habsburg Dynasty

30 Austrian Habsburg Dynasty Maria Teresa Joseph II religious toleration - abolished torture - equality before the law - abolished serfdom

31 2. Hohenzollerns (Prussia) - militarism / state service Frederick William I

32 So…. Absolute rulers helped early modern states negotiate fundamental social and economic change… …but Absolutism itself would become the target of reformers.


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