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DEMOCRACY is VERY NEW After the end of the Roman Republic, democracy disappeared for 18 centuries. There was no democracy in Medieval times. What was the.

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Presentation on theme: "DEMOCRACY is VERY NEW After the end of the Roman Republic, democracy disappeared for 18 centuries. There was no democracy in Medieval times. What was the."— Presentation transcript:

1 DEMOCRACY is VERY NEW After the end of the Roman Republic, democracy disappeared for 18 centuries. There was no democracy in Medieval times. What was the main form of government in late medieval Europe? ABSOLUTE MONARCHY. What was that? After the end of the Roman Republic, democracy disappeared for 18 centuries. There was no democracy in Medieval times. What was the main form of government in late medieval Europe? ABSOLUTE MONARCHY. What was that?

2 THE AGE OF ABSOLUTE MONARCHIES or ABSOLUTISM (1500 – 1800) Kings/monarchs in most European countries (France, England, Spain, Russia, Austria, Prussia) established complete/absolute rule over all people and over the aristocracy (nobility).



5 You live in France in 1500-1600s. What changes have occurred since 1100s? -Nomadic invasions have stopped and you feel secure. -Trade & money have become important part of your life. -Many knights & lords have gone and never returned from the Crusades (but do you really care?) -Nobles often fight between each other or rebel against the king. -Many serfs have moved to towns & now work in guilds. -You’re proud that the French royal army won the Hundred Years war against England. -The pope isn’t the highest authority any more. -The French people are split between Catholic & Protestant & there are frequent civil wars between the two. -France has become a global power & even has colonies in the New World but other countries in Europe compete with France. Would you prefer to have a strong king or keep the old system of a weak king & many feudal lords?

6 LOUIS XIV 1638-1715 Also known as the Sun King, Louis XIV is the symbol of an absolute monarch. He ruled France for 72 years. "L'État, c'est moi" ("I am the state")



9 Absolutism was justified by the Divine Right of Kings theory: What is it? Royal power comes directly from God (not from the will of people). The king is God’s representative on earth and accountable only to God. Any attempt to get rid of a monarch goes against the will of God.

10 Absolutism was justified by the Divine Right of Kings theory, formulated by the French bishop Bossuet: “ The royal authority is sacred. God established kings as his ministers and reigns through them over his people. For such a reason the royal throne is not the throne of man, but the throne of God himself... The person of kings is sacred and any attack on them is a sacrilege... One should obey the prince on grounds of religion and of conscience. Royal authority is absolute. The prince owes an explanation to no one for what he orders.”

11 CENTRALIZED ADMINISTRATION  Louis XIV appointed commoners as ministers and regional Governors (intendants).  He ruled with the help of a royal council of advisers – NOT nobles but commoners personally chosen by him.  NEVER called a meeting of the Estates General (council of nobles, middle class and clergy)

12 CONTROL OVER THE NOBILITY Louis XIV required nobles to spend a majority of the year under his close watch in his palace at Versailles instead of their manors. He spoiled them with extravagant parties and luxury. This brilliant plan achieved 2 goals:  The nobles were happy and dependent on Louis XIV (and didn’t fight against him).  The king’s own administrative agents controlled the country instead of the nobles.

13 ECONOMIC POLICY  Set up his own system of tax-collecting to increase the money in the royal treasury.  Raised tariffs (taxes) on imported goods.  Built strong marine to export goods.  Government control of the economy.

14 STRONG ROYAL ARMY OF 400,000 Louis XIV created the strongest and best trained army in Europe (paid professional army).

15 HOWEVER:  Huge spending on army, wars, Versailles & luxury for himself and his noble “guests”  The debt of the royal treasury increased 5 times during his reign.

16 Empress Maria Theresa (1717 – 1780) Habsburg dynasty Austria & Hungary



19 Her father Charles VI had no surviving sons, so he changed the Habsburg dynasty law to give his daughter the right to succeed to the Austrian throne and inherit his lands upon his death. She didn’t have real education and was only taught the proper etiquette and court manners that the ladies of her time learned. Maria Theresa became one of the greatest monarchs of the 18 th century.

20 Intelligent, affable, cheerful, pleasant, fond of music, and at the same time very moral and deeply religious.

21 HER CHARACTER Her warm personality and strength of will won her the loyalty of her subjects and troops. She appealed to them directly in moments of crisis, sometimes carrying her baby in her arms. She had 16 children, with 6 daughters (all of whom were named "Marie _______") and 5 sons surviving to adulthood. In the 1760s, smallpox claimed a few victims in the royal family. Even Maria Theresa got infected and she did receive the last rites in 1767, but she recovered. Afterwards, she became an outspoken advocate of vaccination and had all her children vaccinated.

22 During her reign, Vienna increased its reputation as a center of the arts & music.

23 Peter the Great 1672 – 1725 Absolute monarch (tzar) of Russia


25 Peter Visits Europe Shortly after he took the throne, Peter took a long trip to Western Europe (disguised as an ordinary worker) to learn more about European customs and industrial techniques. Inspired by his trip, he resolved to make Russia strong enough to compete with European monarchies.

26 WESTERNIZATION – using Western Europe as a model for change to make Russia stronger. He commanded all of his courtiers and officials to cut off their long BEARDS and wear European CLOTHING. Boyars (nobles) who sought to retain their beards were required to pay a heavy annual tax. The rich had to pay much higher beard taxes than the poor. All government servants had to shave their beards and wear Western-style clothes. The shaving of beards came to symbolize Peter’s reign. He ordered many nobles to settle in the new capital of St. Petersburg. Modernized the army - hired European officers to train his soldiers in European tactics with European weapons.

27 St. Petersburg became the new Russian capital (oriented towards Europe). The most famous statue of Peter I in St Petersburg. In fact, the whole city may be considered as a vast monument to him.

28 St.Petersburg – Royal Palace

29 Peter the Great had his own son killed because of suspicion of plotting against him.

30 Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566) Sultan of the Ottoman Empire


32 Suleiman’s Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

33 Suleiman the Magnificent was the most powerful monarch of his time: His wealth surpassed that of any European monarch The Ottoman Empire became one of the most powerful empires in history, reached all the way to the border of Austria Istanbul became one of the most magnificent capitals Art and literature flourished Strengthened the legal system of the Ottoman Empire

34 Suleimaniye Mosque


36 There was NO democracy in medieval times What was the main form of government in late medieval Europe? Absolute monarchy Why did citizens accept this for so many centuries? Because they didn’t question the divine right of kings to rule.

37 In England, however, things began to change very early… LIMITED MONARCHY in England

38 THE MAGNA CARTA (The Great Charter) THE MAGNA CARTA (The Great Charter) KING JOHN was forced to sign it in 1215 (in England)

39 WHAT WAS THE MAGNA CARTA? The first legal document which limited the power of the king. Who limited the power of the king? A group of citizens (a council of nobles, church leaders & wealthy middle class people). This council later became known as the Parliament in England. The Magna Carta was a LAW that the king was forced to accept – a law that applied to ALL including the king himself. (The king is not above the laws.) Everyone has the right to be tried by a jury of his peers (equals). English kings could not impose taxes without the approval of the nobles. (the Parliament’s “power of the purse” & “no taxation without representation”)

40 Trouble began in the 17 th century: King Charles I tried to rule as an absolute monarch. Charles I denied Parliament’s power to limit his “divine right.” He dissolved Parliament, began imposing high taxes and imprisoning his opponents. What was the response of the English Parliament? They went to war with their king – the English Civil War broke out in 1642.

41 The English Civil War (1642-1645) Was between the army of Charles I and the army of the English Parliament, headed by Oliver Cromwell. Why were they fighting? Limiting the monarchy. Who won and who lost? Parliament won.

42 Charles I was beheaded. England was declared a Republic. Oliver Cromwell became a military dictator. After Cromwell’s death, Parliament invited Charles II to restore the limited monarchy.

43 King James II – tried once again to rule as an absolute monarch in the 1680s. Once again the English Parliament was ready to go to war to prevent that. The English nobles secretly offered the English crown to Mary (James’s daughter) and her husband William of Orange. When their army arrived in London, James II gave up his throne. William and Mary took the crown from James II in a bloodless way - this is known as the Glorious Revolution.

44 After the Glorious Revolution, before the nobles/barons gave the English crown to William & Mary, they asked them to sign the ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS (1689). What do you think it did? It limited the power of the monarch even more (ex. can’t decide on taxes) It gave more freedoms and rights to the common people – right of trial by jury, freedom to petition the king, freedom to elect representatives in parliament, etc.

45 THE ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS 1689  Kings cannot impose taxes without Parliament’s consent.  King can’t mobilize the army without Parliament’s consent.  People have the right to a trial by jury  Kings may not suspend laws or interfere with free Parliament elections.  No cruel & unusual punishment

46 CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY THE ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS turned England into a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY, where laws (constitution) passed by the Parliament limited the power of the kings. What is the form of government in Great Britain today? CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY

47 THE ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS is significant for US history in two ways. What are they? It applied to all territories ruled by England – and in 1689 this included its North American colonies. A hundred years later, the English Bill of Rights served as a model for the first Ten Amendments of the US Constitution – the US Bill of Rights.

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