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Absolutism in Europe Chapter 7, Section 3. What is Absolutism? Absolutism is a system in which the ruler holds total power Tied closely with the divine.

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Presentation on theme: "Absolutism in Europe Chapter 7, Section 3. What is Absolutism? Absolutism is a system in which the ruler holds total power Tied closely with the divine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Absolutism in Europe Chapter 7, Section 3

2 What is Absolutism? Absolutism is a system in which the ruler holds total power Tied closely with the divine right of kings – God determines king, king only answers to God Were our three branches of government rolled into one – Legislative, Executive, Judicial Best example of absolutism is France under Louis XIV

3 The Cardinals Remember, France was almost 50%/50% Protestant (Huguenots)/Catholic Cardinals, serving as royal ministers (and employees of the Church) presided over the kingdom if the king was too young to inherit the throne Louis XIII had Cardinal Richelieu Louis XIV had Cardinal Mazarin

4 Louis XIII Inherits the throne in 1601 at age 8 from his father, Henry IV, or Henry of Navarre Cardinal Richelieu holds power while the king is young – Took away political and military rights of Huguenots – Set up spy networks to catch plots of nobility to harm throne King during the Thirty Years’ War – Joined Protestants in fight against rival Hapsburgs

5 Louis XIV Inherits the throne in 1643 at age 4 Cardinal Mazarin holds power for the young king – Negotiated the Peace of Westphalia to end the Thirty Years’ War – Ended a revolt to overthrow the crown known as the Fronde Nobles wanting to protect feudal aristocracy from centralized government With his passing in 1661, Louis XIV took supreme power

6 Louis XIV Comes to Power Louis XIV wanted to be a close, personal king – Ordered nothing to be signed without asking Established a royal court at Versailles – Personal household of the king – Chief offices location – Powerful allies and enemies had to come here to see Louis XIV If enemies emerged within his council, Louis XIV removed them – Ensured royal ministers obeyed his every command – Gave him control of foreign policy, the Church, and taxes Louis XIV would become known as the Sun King – A source of light for all of his people

7 Power at the Local Level Absolute power could only go so far…what about the local level? – Local politics controlled by nobles, local officials, and councils How would you reach areas controlled by nobles, local officials, and town councils? – Louis XIV used bribes to ensure he controlled local politics Religious control (Remember Philip II??) – Louis XIV destroyed Huguenot churches, closed their schools, and drove them out of France – Wanted no objection to his authority

8 Funding the Kingdom Jean-Baptiste Colbert was controller-general of finances – Responsible for funding for wars, building palaces, and maintaining the court Followed practices of mercantilism to bring in money to throne – Export more than you import Because of this, Louis XIV could hold a standing army – Waged four wars throughout his reign

9 Legacy of Louis XIV Louis died in 1715 at the age of 76 Creates an absolute kingdom in France Added to the kingdom through war Left France with a great debt

10 Absolutism in Prussia The Thirty Years’ War created several new Central European states…among them Prussia and Austria Frederick William the Great Elector was leader Known for large standing army – 40,000 men (4 th largest in Europe) Made money through taxes levied by the General War Commissariat – Eventually became a part of the government – Made up of nobility known as Junkers

11 Not-So-Absolutism in Austria Led by the Hapsburg family of the Holy Roman Empire Started small, but gradually grew through conquest Never reached true absolutism – Too many different groups of people to govern – Each region had its own laws and regulations

12 Peter the Great and Russia Czar is the Russian word for caesar – Ivan IV ( ) Crushed the Boyars, or Russian nobility – Michael Romanov ( ) Chosen after the “Time of Troubles” – Peter the Great ( ) Peter the Great claimed the divine right to rule – Made Russia an absolutist state

13 Military and Government Military – European and Russian officers – Drafted peasants into 25- year military service – Increased the army to over 200,000 men – Constructed Russia’s navy Government – Divided Russia into “provinces” – Hoped to maintain rule through police states – Had administrators that ruled each state

14 Cultural Changes Wanted to “westernize” Russia – A book of etiquette was written to tell people how to act – St. Petersburg is created as a “window to the West” Dress and appearance was changed to fit European standards – Cutting of beards on men – Removal of women’s facial shrouds – Trimming of traditional clothing

15 Impact of Peter the Great Introduced Russia to the West – Traveled and visited with leaders of European nations Introduced the West to Russia – Changing of customs and clothing The “window to the West” was opened – St. Petersburg

16 Exit Slip How did absolutism change Central Europe? Did it affect all of the nations in Central Europe? How did Peter the Great rule Russia differently than his predecessors? Would you consider Peter the Great an absolutist ruler? Why or why not?


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