During the Middle Ages, royal power was limited by – Feudal nobles – The Papacy
By the 17 th & 18 th centuries, feudalism had declined as had the Pope’s power. Mercantilism and Imperialism caused kings to want more power for their nations. Kings worked to make their power absolute.
Ways absolutists took more power: finances, religion, and nobility. Bigger standing armies/developed strong navies. government bureaucracy. territory
Justification The kings were able to persuade people that God had given them a “DIVINE RIGHT” to rule, basing their claims on Romans 13:1-4. They said they were not bound by man-made laws and only answered to God.
Read “Religious Defense of Absolutism” p. 357. How did Bossuet say a king should regard his authority?
Cardinal Richelieu Chief Minister of Government Strengthened the power of the king by – Destroying the Huguenots – Weakening the nobles
Cardinal Richelieu Persecution of Huguenots – Forced them to house French soldiers (Catholics didn’t have to.) – Took Huguenot children from their homes and sent them to be reared by Catholics. – Sent spies to Huguenot churches.
Huguenot Response to Richelieu Some left France. Some stayed and suffered persecution. Others engaged in uprisings but were unsuccessful. Some abandoned their beliefs under the intense persecution.
Thirty Years’ War Began in Bohemia Protestant nobles v. New Catholic emperor War spread to other parts of Europe
Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) The last great religious war fought in Europe. Oddly, Richelieu had France enter the war on the side of the Protestants in order to prevent the Holy Roman Emperor from solidifying his power in Spain and Austria (surrounding France). The Protestants and French won the Thirty Years’ War.
Treaty of Westphalia The Treaty of Westphalia ended the war and had important consequences for Protestants: – 1. recognized independence of Protestant provinces in Netherlands and Switzerland. – 2. recognized many German states as independent, politically fragmenting Germany. – 3. made France the strongest nation in Europe.
Louis XIV became king when he was 5 years old. France was ruled by Mazarin, the chief minister. When Louis was 18, Mazarin died, and he didn’t appoint another minister.
Louis XIV: Absolute Monarch One king One law One state “I am the state.”
Louis XIV’s Measures Set French finances in order (Colbert) Reorganize French army – loyal to king instead of their colonels. – Established lieutenants responsible to the king. – Required all his troops to wear identical uniforms. – “Well-trained, well-paid, and loyal troops”
Edict of Nantes Edict of Nantes in 1598 had given Huguenots freedom of worship, control of a hundred fortified towns, and the right to maintain their own army and navy. Louis XIV revoked this edict in 1685 in order to bring religious uniformity in France.
Louis forbade Protestant worship and Protestant education. Also destroyed Protestant churches and forced some Huguenots to serve as slaves aboard French ships.
Effects In response to Louis XIV’s persecution, ¼-1/2 million Huguenots left France (merchants, businessmen, craftsmen). Their services benefitted other countries.
Louis XIV’s Arrogance The Sun King: Everything revolved around him. Magnificent palace at Versailles “Elegance & grandeur were important; not utility.” “Everything in Louis’s life became a pompous ritual designed to make the king the absolute center of attention.” Immorality
Three absolutist territories Brandenburg-Prussia (Prussia) Austria Russia
Absolutism in Brandenburg-Prussia 30 years war left Germany fragmented in small, weak states. Few natural resources, but Prussia’s asset was her efficient bureaucracy and the Prussian nobility – Junkers.
Frederick William (1640-1688) The Great Elector Most powerful of German princes Unified Prussia’s scattered territory Established a strong Prussian army Militarism
Frederick I (1688-1713) Imitated Louis XIV New palace Beautified Berlin Established the title “King in Prussia,” increasing Prussia’s prestige
Frederick William I (1713-1740) Firmly established Prussian absolutism. Believed in discipline & routine. Strengthened Prussia’s military but didn’t want war. Edict of Potsdam – invited Huguenots to settle in Prussia
“Prussia is not a state with an army but an army with a state.”
Frederick II (a.k.a. Frederick the Great) Composer Flutist Poet One of Prussia’s greatest military heroes Abolished torture Recognized religious freedom for Catholics & Jews http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=foIIbU8qad Q&feature=player_emb edded http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=foIIbU8qad Q&feature=player_emb edded
Hapsburg Dynasty Held the title of Holy Roman Emperor Unable to create a strong absolutist state Obstacles that hindered them: – Roman Catholic Church & nobility – Defense against greedy neighbors required cooperation of nobility – Could not unify because of different nationalities, languages, etc that they governed
Joseph II (1765-1780) Tried to create absolutist state Forced Roman Catholic Church and nobles to pay higher taxes Reduced taxes on peasants Strengthened his central government, weakened local governments Dissolved monasteries Religious freedom to non- Catholics Sudden & drastic changes did not last after he died. Prussians paid 2X as much in taxes as the French. Militarism helped create a German national state.
Peter the Great (1682-1725) Of the Romanov Dynasty which ruled until 1917 Moved capital to St. Petersburg Westernized and modernized Russia Some Russians didn’t like the forced Westernization.
Peter also sought to expand Russian territory by accessing warm water ports (Baltic Sea- Sweden) Peter seized greater control of the Russian Orthodox Church and refused to fill the position after the Patriarch died.
Catherine the Great (1762-1796) Had her husband arrested & murdered Allowed nobles to keep privileges if they served the state. Exiled rebellious peasants to Siberia Savagely suppressed revolts
Catherine also encouraged education. She instituted government censorship. She took property from the church and made it government property. She continued to expand Russian territory. She took some territory from the Turks on the Black Sea. The desire of Russian czars to control the Black Sea led to international problems.
Absolutism Defeated in England England did not become an absolutist state.
Parliament England’s parliament had gained rights it refused to give up. Magna Carta? Right to grand or deny a king’s request for tax increases. The Tudors (through Elizabeth I) had worked with Parliament and had its support.
James I (1603-1625) James I (King James IV of Scotland) succeeded Elizabeth. Raised Presbyterian, but opposed the Puritans efforts to purify the Church of England. Ordered a new English translation of the Bible: the Authorized version, a.k.a. The King James Version, 1611
James I Demanded conformity to the Anglican church Immoral private life “Divine right” Parliament questioned the extent of his authority. Had to ask Parliament for money. Dismissed Parliament when it refused.
Charles I (1625-1649) Intensified tension between king and Parliament. Persecuted Puritans. Didn’t have the army to force absolute authority.
Petition of Right (1628) No taxation without representation (Parliamentary consent to tax) No arbitrary imprisonment of subjects Charles signed the document, but continued to fight with Parliament. Charles tried to raise funds by selling knighthoods and by forcing loans.
Scots start a war to defend their religious freedom. Charles needs Parliament’s support and agrees to cede other powers to Parliament. – Parliament must meet every 3 years – Parliament cannot be dissolved without consent – Only taxes passed by Parliament are legal
Civil War: Roundheads v. Cavaliers Parliament & Puritans called Roundheads Nobility & Anglicans called Cavaliers Roundheads under Oliver Cromwell defeated Charles in 1645. Charles was beheaded in 1649.
Oliver Cromwell (1649-1660) Had no program Ruled by trial & error Dissolved Parliament “Lord Protector” Protectorate – ruled with a written constitution. Very religious but gained a bad reputation in governance
The Restoration Charles II, Charles I’s son becomes king at the request of Parliament 1660-1685 Called the “Restoration” because it restored the Stuart monarchy to power.
Habeas Corpus Act (1679) Government cannot hold someone without charging him with a crime.
James II, brother of Charles II, succeeded him. Faithful Roman Catholic Firm believer in absolutism Two protestant daughters Had a son by second wife People feared he would make England Roman Catholic again.
The Glorious Revolution (1688) Mary, daughter of James, was married to William of Orange. Parliament declared that James had overstepped his authority Parliament invited William & Mary to be co-regents.
The English Bill of Rights (1689) A condition Parliament put on William and Mary becoming regents. Limited royal power Established some civil liberties Forbade future kings and queens from being Roman Catholic
Act of Settlement (1701) Parliament had the right to choose the king/queen. England ruled by Constitutional Law No more “divine right of kings.”
Cabinet Government A cabinet to advise the king was set up under the reign of George I, who was a German and did not speak English, yet became king because he was a descendant of James I. Since he didn’t speak English, he had to rely on others to carry out the business of his government.
Robert Walpole – recognized as the first Prime Minister of Britain. Executive powers shifted from the king to the chief ministers of the king’s cabinet. Prime minister is the “First Minister.”
Territorial advances Alliances formed Maintain balance of power Changing alliances Constant enemies – Prussia v. Austria – England v. France
War of the Spanish Succession (1702- 1713) France claimed the Spanish throne – 1700. Grand Alliance: England & Netherlands Treaty of Utrecht 1713 No unity of Spain and France Spain surrenders possessions in Netherlands and Mediterranean to Austria. Britain takes Canadian territories from France. (England & Scotland had united to form Britain.)
War of the Austrian Succession (1740- 1748) Pragmatic Sanction- Royal decree signed by rulers agreeing to respect the territorial boundaries of Austria. Maria Theresa – Austrian empress
War of the Austrian Succession (1740- 1748) Frederick II of Prussia (Remember him?) had no intentions of abiding by the agreement. Invaded Austria and took Silesia, rich in resources. France attacked Austria. Spain attacked Austria. Britain defended Austria.
War of the Austrian Succession (1740- 1748) This war also reached the continents of North America and Asia. The British defeated the French in North America. The French defeated the British in India. Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle 1748 ended the war with a status quo ante bellum, except for Silesia which Frederick II kept.
Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) France versus Britain in the New World - a.k.a French & Indian War Frederick II of Prussia moves on Austria again. Diplomatic Revolution: France changed from opposing Austria to joining Austria to stop Prussian expansion. (Radical change in alliances)
Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) Frederick II had a defensive alliance with Britain. Britain funded Frederick’s war effort against France while Britain worked to destroy the French navy. With no French navy, France could not hold her New World colonies.
Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) In America, the British defeated the French and the Indians, taking many forts and capturing Quebec.
Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) Frederick II invaded Saxony which provoked his enemies Russia, Sweden, Spain, and many other of the German States, to join France and Austria against him. George III of England sent mixed signals. A new Russian czar withdrew from the war, which ended the war.
Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) Treaty of Paris 1763 signed by Britain, France, and Spain. France loses all territory in mainland North America to British & Spanish. France lost commercial holdings in India. Spain lost Florida to Britain but picked up New Orleans and the vast Louisiana territory, which lay west of the Mississippi River.
Partition of Poland Poland- no natural boundaries Government weak & inefficient Neighbors wanted Poland’s land Prussia, Russia, and Austria divided Poland among themselves (partition). After being divided 3 times, Poland disappeared from the map as a country until after WWI.