Having witnessed the destruction of the 30 Years’ War on his beloved Berlin, Frederick William the Great Elector of Brandenburg, decided that since his territory possessed no natural barriers to defense, a large standing army was his only hope for survival.
Built up an efficient army of 40,000 men Created General War Commissariat to levy taxes for army and oversee its growth Commissariat soon became the chief agency of the civil government Junkers dominated Commissariat and Army
The War of Spanish Succession created the Kingdom of Prussia and Frederick III of Brandenburg became Frederick I of Prussia
With their defeat in the 30 Years’ War, the Hapsburgs realized that their dreams of a German Empire were gone. Thus in the 17 th century, the Hapsburgs created a new empire in the East.
The core of the new Austrian Empire included the Traditional Austrian lands in present-day Austria, Czech Republic, and Hungary After defeat of Ottoman Turks in 1687, Austria took control of All of Hungary Transylvania Croatia Slovenia
Although the Hapsburgs had gained an empire of considerable size, it never became a highly, centralized absolutist state because it was made up of so many different national groups. The diverse groups were held together by the Hapsburg Emperor. Each area had its own laws and political life. The only thing that tied these areas together was service to the emperor.
In the 15 th century, a new Russian state emerged under the leadership of the grand dukes of Muscovy. In the 17 th century, Ivan IV (Terrible) became the first ruler to be called czar. Expanded Russian territories eastward Created a police state Killed his own son
With Ivan’s death, Russia entered a period known as the “Time of Troubles. This period did not end until the Russian national assembly, the Zemsky Sobor, chose Michael Romanov as the new czar in 1613
The Romanov Dynasty lasted until 1917. One of its most famous rulers was Peter the Great.
From childhood, Peter was fascinated with the West. When he became czar, he went on a trip to the West. When he returned to Russia, he dedicated himself to westernizing Russia.
His first goal was to reorganize and westernize the army. He drafted peasants for 25 year stints and employed both Russians and Europeans as officers.
Peter borrowed Western technology to begin Russia’s first navy. Central to this navy was the possession of a warm water port. His “window on the west” will be realized with the construction of St. Petersburg
To impose the rule of the central government more effectively, Peter divided Russia into provinces. He hoped to create a “police state” or a well-ordered community governed by law.
Peter ordered his subjects to adopt Western customs. As a result: Ordered the preparation of first book of Russian etiquette Ordered Russian men to shave their beards and cut off their long coats Invited women to social gatherings and told them to leave their veils at home
Peter’s crowning achievement was St. Petersburg, his “window on the west”. To obtain land on the Baltic Sea, he engaged in the Great Northern War with Sweden. This great city was finished during his lifetime and it remained the capital of Russia until 1917.