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Aim: How should we remember the Age of Absolutism?

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Presentation on theme: "Aim: How should we remember the Age of Absolutism?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Aim: How should we remember the Age of Absolutism?
Do Now: Should a monarch ever have complete power? Why or why not?

2 I What was the Age of Absolutism?
A) European monarchs in the 16th and 17th centuries sought to have absolute, or unlimited power. B) Absolute monarchs claimed divine right: that they received their power directly from god. C) Supporters of absolute monarchs believed it is important to have great control and efficiency over one’s government.

3 II Who Were the Absolute Monarchs?
King Philip II of Spain King Charles I of England Queen Elizabeth I of England

4 II Who Were the Absolute Monarchs?
Peter the Great of Russia King Louis XIV “The Sun King” of France Catherine the Great of Russia Ivan IV “The Terrible” of Russia

5 II Absolute Monarchs Showed Their Power
Spain England Holland and Belgium (mostly Protestant) wanted independence from Catholic Spain. In retaliation for England helping Holland, a fleet of war ships (the Spanish Armada) sailed from Spain to England in July 1588 to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth I defeated the Spanish Armada in This led to England having the strongest navy in the world! It also allowed England to make more colonies in the New World (including the American colonies). In 1642 King Charles I refused to allow the British Parliament (law making body) to meet for 11 years! Recall that this went against the Magna Carta (written in 1215) which had limited the rights of Kings. His actions led to the English Civil War.

6 Defeat of the Spanish Armada

7 Absolute Monarchs Showed Their Power Continued…
France Russia 1667 – 1713 Louis XIV went to war with the Holy Roman Empire and Spain over border disputes, as well as his demand for his grandson to become the next king of Spain. The wars ended 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht. Louis’ grandson would become the king of Spain, but France and Spain agreed to never unite under one government – to help maintain their sovereignty (the right to self rule) In 1547 Ivan the Terrible proclaimed himself czar (after Julius Caesar). He conquered Mongol land, expanding Russian territory. He created the Oprichniki, the first official secret Russian police force (who rode on black horses and dressed all in black). Peter the Great built “his” city of St. Petersburg to be Russia’s “Window on the West”. It was designed to imitate the city of Amsterdam. Catherine the Great conquered Poland and divided it up with Prussia (eastern Germany). She defeated the Ottoman Turks for access to the Black Sea, so now Russia had a warm water port allowing for a year round navy!


9 III Absolute Monarchs And Money
Spain England France Russia King Philip II built his palace El Escorial (1563 – 1584). In November 1640, Charles I was forced into bringing back Parliament; they were the only ones who had the power to finance a war! (He wanted to go to war with the Scots) Louis XIV built his palace at Versailles near Paris. It was so expensive that it drained the French economy. Ivan the Terrible built St. Basil’s Cathedral (a Russian Orthodox Church) in Moscow. Catherine the Great built her palace modeled on Versailles, but grander!

10 El Escorial, Spain

11 Versailles, France

12 The Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, France

13 The Gardens at Versailles, France

14 St. Basil’s Cathedral

15 St. Basil’s Cathedral Interior

16 Amsterdam vs. St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, Russia Amsterdam, the Netherlands

17 Catherine the Great’s Palace


19 IV Absolute Monarchs Forced Reforms
England Unlike her father Henry VIII (who founded the Anglican Church), Elizabeth I allowed for some tolerance of Catholics. Peter the Great forcing Russian boyars (nobles) to trim their beards

20 Absolute Monarchs Forced Reforms Continued…
France Russia Louis XIV revoked the Treaty of Nantes, which had granted religious freedom to Protestants. As a result, almost 1,000,000 Huguenots (French Protestants) fled France. 1697 Peter the Great traveled to Western Europe to “borrow” ideas that would advance Russian society. He built Russia’s first navy, and schools specializing in math, engineering, medicine and science. He forced boyars (Russian nobles) to cut their beards in the style of Western Europe. Catherine the Great transformed St. Petersburg it into a center of arts, science and culture. She encouraged the boyars to speak French and adopt French culture. In return, she gave the boyars more control over their serfs. (Recall that at this time, serfdom was mostly a thing of the past in Western Europe!)


22 Summary Questions Fill in the Venn Diagram below comparing and contrasting absolutism in England, Spain, France, and Russia. Which absolute monarch do you believe abused their power the most? Explain. Which absolute monarch do you believe used their power in a positive way? Explain. BONUS QUESTION: Do you think an absolute monarchy would be a good type of government today? Why or why not?


24 Key Vocabulary Absolute monarch Boyars Catherine the Great Charles I Czar Divine Right El Escorial Elizabeth I English Civil War Ivan the Terrible Louis XIV “The Sun King” Peter the Great Philip II Spanish Armada Sovereignty St. Basil’s Cathedral St. Petersburg Treaty of Utrecht Versailles

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