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The Rise of Absolute Monarchs

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1 The Rise of Absolute Monarchs
Unit 5


3 Rise of Absolutism From weak king to absolute monarch
End of Middle Ages, kings of England, Spain, France, Russia, Prussia, Austria began to expand rule Factors strengthening royal power Crusades & other wars killed many feudal lords Rising middle class supported monarchs Reformation gave monarch powers formerly held by the Church Awakening spirit of nationalism made the monarch a symbol of national unity

4 England 1066 – William, duke of Normandy becomes king (Battle of Hastings) Strengthened royal power Hundred Years’ War spurred English patriotism War of the Roses – middle class supported Tudors – strong capable leaders

5 Tudors of England Henry VII, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I
Expanded central government; dominated Parliament Anglican Church (Protestantism) Furthered economic prosperity & transformed England into a world power Aroused nationalism Defeated Spanish Armada in 1588 Enjoyed immense popularity

6 France Hundred Years’ War
Spurred national pride; spurred by Joan of Arc Strengthened & enriched the crown Religious Wars – opposing Catholic and Protestant claims to the throne Bourbon kings emerge (Henry IV) Cardinal Richelieu – helps lead King Louis XIII Ignores the Estates General (Parliament) Leads France into Thirty Years’ War in support of Protestantism; emerges a leading power

7 France cont. Louis XIV – The Sun King; divine right, “L’etat c’est moi” I am the state Built palace at Versailles Economic Affairs Finance minister (Jean Baptiste Colbert) – furthered industry, built roads, canals, trading posts in India and N. America

8 France cont. Foreign affairs Acquired more territory through war
Placed a Bourbon relative on the throne of Spain. Upon his death, people were weary of wars, taxes, despotism – leads to French Revolution

9 Spain Ferdinand and Isabella united Christian Spain (1469)
Defeated Moors (Muslims) Absolutism – ruled without the legislature (Cortes); strengthened royal power Staunch Catholics – Inquisition hurt Spain Financed voyages of Columbus; eventually acquired a colonial empire

10 Spain cont. Charles V – Holy Roman Emperor – controlled Spain, Netherlands, Sicily, S. Italy, Austria; failed to halt Protestantism in Germany Son Philip II – “Most Catholic King” Failed to stop Protestant revolts Failed to halt English raids on Spanish ships Lost the Spanish Armada to England in 1588 Decline of Spain’s prestige and power

11 Russia Romanov family – czars ruled Russia for 300 years
Peter the Great Westernized Russia (modeled after Europe) in areas of science, education, military, industry Ordered males to shave long beards, discard Asian garments Gained seaports “windows” for the landlocked country

12 Russia cont. Catherine the Great
Greatly expanded Russia’s territory through war and agreements Most educated Russian leader Made 18th century Russia into a major power

13 Prussia Hohenzollern Rule (15th to 18th Centuries)
Autocratic government Expanded military Expanded territory Frederick the Great – aggressive foreign policy (7 Years’ War); seized much territory

14 Austria Hapsburg family – 18th C.
Maria Theresa – sought to govern efficiently and promote prosperity Joseph II Increased royal power; weakened nobles Seized Church lands; controlled Church Abolished local self-government

15 Summary of Absolute Monarchy
Achievements – weakened the nobles, provided strong central government, generally furthered growth of nation states Weaknesses – nation’s welfare depended on one person, sacrificed national well-being for personal or family interests, led nations into costly wars, disregarded the rights of the common people

16 Summary cont. Attacked by Intellectuals
Writers of the Enlightenment or Age of Reason believed monarchs Used brute force over reason Perpetuated despotic government Created legal and social inequality Promoted ignorance and religious intolerance Prevented progress

17 Enlightened Despots Frederick the Great, Prussia; Catherine the Great, Russia, Joseph II, Austria Supported literature, art, music, science, education, some reforms However, autocracy, class distinctions, unfair taxation, and frequent wars undid any reforms they made

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