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Absolutism and the State Supreme

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

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

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 – 1598 - 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 Religion and nationalism - Fragmentation v. universalism - Appeal to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation

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

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. 1550-1598 Revolt of the Netherlands
The Spanish Armada (1588)

17 IV. Reason of state

18 A. France Henry IV d. 1610 Edict of Nantes 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 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 Science and the state - Académie des Sciences Royal Academy 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
2. Catherine “the Great” r un-Enlightenment revolt - southern, western expansion

29 D. Germany stirs HRE? Reformation Westphalia 1648 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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