The Magna Carta
…presented their demands to him in written form as the
Magna Carta (Great Charter).
• Served as the major source
of traditional English
respect for individual
rights & liberties…
• served as a contract
between the king & nobles
• It implied the idea that
monarchs had to govern
according to common law
not divine law
England from 1603-1688
• James I 1603-1625
• Charles I 1625-1649
• Civil War 1642-1649
• Oliver Cromwell 1649-1658
• Richard Cromwell 1658-1660
• Charles II 1660-1685
• James II 1685- 1688
• William & Mary 1689
• Ultimate victory of Constitutionalism over
James I 1603-1625
• Also James VI of
• Great Grandson of Henry
• Divine Right of Kings
• “King is from God and the
Law is from the King”
• England is the most
prominent example of
resistance to Absolute
Monarchy and the
• Clashed with Puritans who wished to
“purify” the Anglican Church
• Parliament resented James’ Divine Right
• Puritans were a powerful group in the
• Parliament controlled legitimate means to
• Trew Law of Free Monarchy
Charles I (1600-1649)
• Charles I becomes king after James dies in
• Also believed in divine right monarchy and
just as conservative on religious issues.
• Charles I was forced by Parliament to accept
the Petition of Right passed by Parliament
• The Petition of Right stated that the King
– impose cruel and unusual punishments
– impose military rule during peacetime
– require homeowners to shelter troops
– obtain taxes, gifts, or loans without the
consent of Parliament.
Charles I, son of James I
• Believed in Divine Right
• Still squabbled with Parliament and
• Had financial problems
– Demanded forced loans from his subjects
– Quartered troops in private homes at owners
Ship Money Tax 1634
• Charles actually ruled without calling
another parliament from 1629-1640
CI’s religious policies were unpopular
• Forced Puritans to conform to the Church of
• Charles I relaxed restrictions against Roman
• 1637 Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud,
tried to force Anglicanism on Scotland
• Charles had to summon Parliament in 1640 to
raise money for war preparation against the
Short Parliament 1640-1640
• Led by John Pym, Parliament refused
even to consider funds for war until the
King agreed to address Parliament’s
• The King in response immediately
dissolved the Parliament
• When the Scottish army defeated the
English at the battle of Newburn, Charles
• Laud tried and later executed
• No new taxes without consent of
• Parliament called at least every three
years (triennial act)
• December 1641 Parliament presents
Charles I with the Grand Remonstrance- a
list of grievances against the crown
• Puritans vs. Roundheads
• In January 1642, the King invaded
Parliament with his soldiers
• Pym and the other leaders had been
warned and they escaped
Parliament vs. the King
• Two factors led to Parliaments victory over
– Parliaments alliance with Scotland, John Pym
persuaded Parliament to accept the terms of
the Solemn League and Covenant. This
agreement committed Parliament to a
Presbyterian system of Church government.
– The reorganization of the Parliamentary army
under Oliver Cromwell-Independent
Victory over the King
• Cromwell’s New Model Army won a
decisive victory over the King at the battle
of Naesby 1645.
2nd Civil War
• In December 1648, Colonel Thomas Pride
of the New Model Army barred the
Presbyterians from the Parliament.
• After Pride’s Purge only a rump of 50
Independents remained in Parliament
• After a trial by a special court, the Rump
Parliament executed Charles-and
abolished the Monarchy, the House of
Lords and the Anglican Church
• 1649 Charles and his Cavaliers
are defeated by Puritan forces
led by Oliver Cromwell
• Beginning of period known as
– Charles is beheaded,
monarchy is abolished,
House of Lords is abolished
and England is proclaimed to
be a republic ruled by
• Cromwell ruled a Puritan Republic
• During this time Cromwell’s army
conquered Ireland and Scotland
• During this time OC also passed the first
• In 1653 the HOC considered disbanding
Cromwell’s expensive army, Cromwell
responded by marching in and disbanding
Parliament. He ruled thereafter as Lord
• Cromwell was as intolerant of Anglicans as
Charles had been of Puritans. The English
people resented his puritanical laws.
• By 1658 the English were ready to end their
Puritan/republican experiment and bring back
Cromwell and the Republic
Cromwell soon finds Parliament inconvenient,
dispersed it, and created a military dictatorship
• He instituted puritan social policies in England
– censored the press, closed the theaters and
outlawed sports. Dancing and drinking were
considered socially unacceptable.
• When Cromwell dies in 1658, a majority in
England are ready to end the Puritan experiment
• Charles II, son of the slain Charles I, is invited in
1660 to take the throne and return England to
• The restoration of Charles II
did not immediately solve
problems that had caused
the civil war.
– Still had to work out state
attitude toward religion and
role of Monarch.
• Monarchy, Anglican
Declaration of Breda 1660
• Declaration from Charles II of England in which
he promised a general pardon for crimes
committed during the English Civil War and the
Interregnum for all those who recognized
Charles II as the rightful King.
• Also promised religious toleration
• The Declaration was written in response to a
secret message sent by George Monck who was
effectively in control of England in 1660.
• The Parliament passed a resolution that “gov’t
ought to be by King, Lords and Commons”
• The name given to a series of laws passed
by the restored Parliament that persecuted
• Anglicans dominated the restored Cavalier
• Out of a fear of social revolution, The
Anglicans passed four acts that created
the two worlds Anglicansim and non-
• Corporation Act 1661- limited municipal office to
• The Act of Uniformity 1662- reinforced the
prayerbook of Elizabeth I.
• The Conventicle Act 1664 penalized anyone
who attended a dissenters congregation.
• The Five mile Act 1665 attempted to force
dissenters out of towns where they ministered.
The act forbade them to teach.
Treaty of Dover 1670
• In 165 England became involved in a war
with the Dutch. The war did not go well,
and in 1667 the Dutch fleet defeated the
English Navy. Charles II feared the
weakened England was now likely to be
invaded by the French.
• Charles II, afraid of a French invasion,
sent his sister Henrietta to talk to Louis
Treaty of Dover
• Henrietta told Louis XIV that Charles II
wanted England and France to become
• Louis XIV indicated that he was willing to
help Charles II but he demanded that
Charles become a Catholic.
Treaty of Dover
• In 1670 Charles II and Louis XIV signed the
treaty of Dover.
• In the treaty, Louis XIV agreed to pay Charles II
an annual pension.
• Charles would get more money when he
announced to the English people he had
• Louis also promised 6,000 troops to protect
Charles II if the English rose against him.
Treaty of Dover
• Charles II agreed to help the French in
there war with the Dutch. (L XIV’s War
against the Dutch 1672-1678 ended by the
treaty of Nimwegen).
Declaration of Indulgence 1672
• Charles II’s attempt to extend religious
liberty to Protestant non-conformists and
Test Act 1673
• A series of English penal laws that served as a
religious test for public office and imposed
various civil disabilities on Roman Catholics and
• I do declare that I do believe there is not any
transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord’s
Supper, or in the elements of the bread and
wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any
• The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy
concocted by Titus Oates that gripped England,
Wales and Scotland in Anti-Catholic hysteria
between 1678 and 1681. Oates alleged that
there existed an extensive Catholic conspiracy
to assassinate Charles II, accusations that led to
the execution of at least 15 men and precipitated
the Exclusion Bill Crisis. Eventually Oates'
intricate web of accusations fell apart, leading to
his arrest and conviction for perjury.
• The Exclusion Crisis ran from 1678 through
1681 in the reign of Charles II of England. The
Exclusion Bill sought to exclude the king's
brother and heir presumptive, James, Duke of
York, from the thrones of England, Scotland and
Ireland because he was Roman Catholic. The
Tories were opposed to this exclusion while the
"Country Party", who were soon to become
known as the Whigs, supported it.
• 1685 Charles II dies without an
heir and the crown passes to
brother, James II,
– He is Catholic. Parliament is
• James II passes Declaration
of Indulgence 1687
– Suspended all laws excluding
Catholics and Puritans from
• Parliament does nothing.
• Why does James’ second
marriage and birth of a son
• James II Protestant
Daughter Mary is married
to William of Orange
• 1688 Group of prominent
English noblemen invited
them to invade England
and take the throne.
– James flees and England
has another revolution
with almost no bloodshed.
– “Glorious Revolution”
Bill of Rights
• 1689 Parliament offered the throne to William
and Mary as joint Monarchs on the condition that
they accept the Bill of Rights.
• Terms of Bill of Rights
– affirmed Parliament’s right to make laws and levy
– standing armies could be raised only with the consent
– citizens have right to petition government, keep arms,
have a jury trial and not be subject to excessive bail.
Act of Settlement 1701
• The Act of Settlement provided that the throne would
pass to the Electress Sophia of Hanover – a
granddaughter of James VI of Scotland and I of England,
niece of Charles I of Scotland and England – and her
Protestant descendants who had not married a Roman
Catholic; those who were Roman Catholic, and those
who married a Roman Catholic, were barred from
ascending the throne "for ever". Eight further provisions
of the act would only come into effect upon the death of
both William and Anne:
• The monarch "shall join in communion with the Church
of England." This was another provision to avoid a
Roman Catholic monarch. Along with James II's
perceived despotism, his religion was the main cause of
the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and the previous linked
religious and succession problems solved by the joint
monarchy of William and Mary.
Act of Union 1707
• The Acts of Union were two Parliamentary Acts
- the Union with Scotland Act passed in 1706
by the Parliament of England, and the Union
with England Act passed in 1707 by the
Parliament of Scotland - which put into effect the
terms of the Treaty of Union that had been
agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation
between commissioners representing the
parliaments of the two countries. The Acts joined
the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of
Scotland (previously separate states, with
separate legislatures but with the same
monarch) into a single, united kingdom named
The Birth of Modern Political
Some basic questions of political
• What is the origin of government?
• What is the purpose of government?
• What legitimates the power and authority
• What is the best form of government?
Overview & Background: the
Experience of England in the 17th
• English political tradition
– The Magna Carta (1215)
– Common Law
• The English Civil War (1642-49)
– Charles I vs. Parliament
– Influence on Thomas Hobbes
– Leviathan (1651)
• The Glorious Revolution (1688)
– James II vs. Parliament
– Influence on John Locke
– Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690)
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
• Wanted to construct a “science
of politics” based on an
• This principle must be based
on the strongest element in
• The strongest element was
passion, not reason
• The strongest passion is fear
of violent death
• This fear gives rise to the
natural right of self-
• The natural right of self-
preservation is the basis of
Hobbes’ thought Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
• In a state of nature there is a
war of every man against
• “No arts, no letters, and which
is worst of all, continual fear
and danger of violent death,
and the life of man solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
• To secure peace men make
contracts establishing a
sovereign power who is not
subject to civil law since by its
will it creates the law
• Of the three forms of
aristocracy, and democracy),
monarchy is the most effective
in securing peace
Thomas Hobbes (1588 –1679)
• English philosopher
• Wrote Leviathan – life
began in a state of
• Man is inherently
• Left on own, chaos
and conflict would
• Citizens need law and
to follow a sovereign
John Locke, Second Treatise of
Civil Government (1690)
• The state of nature is not
a state of perpetual war;
• All men are free and
equal; no man by nature
is sovereign over another
• The law of nature,
revealed by reason,
governs the state of
• Natural rights include the
right to Life, Liberty, and
John Locke (1632-1704)
John Locke (1632 – 1704)
• English philosopher
• Believed that over
time people would
join together to
• Through a Social
would remain with the
John Locke, Second Treatise of
Civil Government (1690)
• No one ought to harm another
in his life, liberty, or property; if
anyone does harm another,
the one he harms has the right
to punish him
• Through a social contract,
people create a government to
protect their natural rights of
life, liberty, and property
• The best form of government
to protect natural rights is a
government of limited powers
• If a government breaks the
social contract, the people
have the right to dissolve it
Two Treatises of Civil Government (1690)
New Government in England
• Constitutional monarchy-
– where laws limited the ruler’s power
– King ruling with Parliament
• In 1689 Parliament drafted the Bill of Rights
– No suspending of Parliament’s laws
– No levying of taxes without a specific grant from
– No interfering with freedom of speech in Parliament
– No penalty for a citizen who petitions the king about
Challenges in 17th Century
• 17th Century an age of many conflicts and crises
• Many causes:
– religious and state-centered warfare
– social unrest and widespread peasant revolts.
• Challenge to European governments:
– How to maintain order and give the nation sufficient
power to compete internationally?
• Most common response of European governments:
– seek more power to deal with the problems
– strengthen the king.
• European Rulers tried to attain absolute power and build
– Monarchs regulated religious sects
– Abolished many liberties long held by certain areas, groups or
– Created new state bureaucracies.
– Tried to eliminate control by nobles and traditional representative
bodies, such as parliaments.
• Absolutism meant that monarchs were claiming
absolute power; Divine Right of Kings.
Road to Louis XIV
• Louis XIV’s consolidation of
absolute power was a process
that started with grandfather,
Henry IV-(ruled 1593-1610)
• Issued Edict of Nantes- granted
religious liberties to Catholics
• Protestant king who became
Catholic -“Paris is worth a
• Ended religious wars in France.
• First, punished Huguenots
– Tear down fortified walls in their
• Second, weaken nobles power
• Goal: Make France strongest
state in Europe
– Hapsburgs would be in his way
(Thirty Years War)
– Three Musketeers
Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642
• Until Louis XIII comes of age his
mother led the government.
• In 1624 she appoints Armand
Jean du Plessis (Cardinal
Richelieu) to the council of
• As first minister, Richelieu
strengthened the power of the
• Oppressive policy toward Huguenots
• Moved to reduce the power of the French
– Large network of spies.
– Installed royal commissioners in each district.
– Richelieu wanted to destroy the fence of
Hapsburg territories that surrounded France.
– Thus, in the thirty Years War Richelieu
supported the Hapsburg’s enemies even
though they were largely Protestant.
• Laid the foundation for expanded royal
• Created strong resentment for the
monarchy by the nobility
The Practice of Absolutism:
France Under Louis XIV
• The Reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715)
most complete fulfillment of the idea of
absolute monarchy in 17th Century
• French policies and wars dominated
• Monarchs elsewhere used Louis as a
• Louis proclaimed himself the “Sun
• Refused to call Estates General
• He built magnificent palaces and courts
as symbols of his power and
• Reigned for 72 years (55 in his own right)
The Fronde 1649-1652
• Series of widespread Noble rebellions
• Begun by the Parlement of Paris in 1649
• The chaos of the Fronde convinced most
French people that the rule of a strong
King was preferred
Jean Baptiste Colbert
• Was Louis XIV’s Minister of Finance
• He wanted to make France self-sufficient
– Did not want to rely on imports
• High tariffs on imports to discourage.
• Helped make France wealthiest state in
Colbert Louis XIV finance minister
• Created the economic
base that Louis
needed to fight his
• Limit imports,
• Accumulate gold and
Louis’ personal rule 1661-1715
• Louis did not replace Mazarin after he died in
• Strategies used by Louis to insure his power:
– Use of Propaganda “sun King”
– Ensured French Nobles would benefit from the growth
of his own authority
– Claim Divine Right of Kings
– Crush Religious Dissent
– Domesticated the Nobility at Versailles
Louis XIV (1643-1713)
• Louis’ legacy;
• "Do not follow the bad example which I have set you; I have
often undertaken war too lightly and have sustained it for vanity.
Do not imitate me, but be a peaceful prince, and may you apply
yourself principally to the alleviation of the burdens of your
Allegedly these were Louis’ last words to his
• France emerged from Louis’ reign as the most powerful country
in Europe. It was a military and imperial power. It’s economy
was based upon manufacturing and trade. France had a rich
cultural society in which Louis had patronized art and music.
• However, she was also in debt, had suppressed the rights of
• Versailles served
– Seat of machinery of
– Meant that all noble
society was under
Palace at Versailles
• Cost over $2 billion in modern dollars
• 36000 laborers
• 6000 horses
• 15000 acres of gardens, lawns and woods
• 1400 fountains
• Palace itself was 500 yards long
• Small royal city
Louis Consolidates Power
• 1685 Louis revokes the Edict of Nantes.
• Forbids Huguenots to leave France, but 200,000
flee to other places in Europe and to America.
• This is why we have Huguenot Road and
Huguenot Bridge in the Richmond area. They
• Closes schools, destroys churches.
• Louis wanted to expand the boundaries
• 1667 - Invaded the Netherlands
– They gained several towns, but nothing else
– Many lesser countries joined together to
defeat the French
France at War
• Louis was almost constantly at war.
Waged four wars between 1667-1713.
• France most powerful country in Europe.
This led other countries to gang up against
France to keep France from dominating
• France had a standing army of 100,000
that expanded to 400,000 in times of war.
• Compare to U.S. Army today.
The Wars of Louis XIV
• The long-range objective of French foreign policy
during the reign of Louis XIV was to achieve what he
called the “natural frontiers” of France:the Pyrenees,
the alps, and the Rhine river.
• To extend French power to the Rhine involved
acquiring territories ruled by German Princes plus the
conquest of the Spanish Netherlands and the United
• French Foreign Policy from 1648 to 1715
• The French attempt to conquer the territories west of
the Rhine involved France in four wars. France was
opposed by a different coalition of European states in
each war. These coalitions were trying to preserve
the Balance of Power in Europe.
The War of Devolution 1667-1668
The war of Devolution 1667-1668
Louis XIV contended that the Spanish Netherlands
belonged to his wife by the custom of Devolution.
French armies invaded Flanders and Franche-
England, the United Provinces, and Sweden formed the
triple alliance to counterbalance France
Louis, wishing to avoid a prolonged war against a
coalition, arranged a compromise treaty, the Peace
of Aix La Chapelle
France received eleven border towns from the Spanish
Netherlands but abandoned Franche-Comte
The Dutch war 1672-1678
Followed Dutch boasting that they had defeated and
• Louis first isolated the Dutch diplomatically by bribing
the English to leave the triple alliance (Treaty of
Dover 1670) and arranging Swedish neutrality by
• The Dutch were divided internally by the debate over
whether the United Provinces should be a
decentralized republic or a centralized hereditary
monarchy ruled by William of Orange.
• As the Dutch were debating, Louis invaded. The
Dutch murdered the proponent of a Republic and
entrusted the defense of the country to William of
• Again the French invaded Flanders and Franche-
Comte and again the European powers formed an
alliance to check the French.
Dutch war, cont.
• The new alliance included: The Holy Roman Empire,
Denmark, Spain, and the Electorate of Brandenburg
• In 1677 William of Orange married Mary, the daughter of
King James II of England.
• Louis thought this marriage would draw England into the
war against France so peace negotiations were begun.
• Treaty of Nimwegen
• France received all of Franche-Comte and more border
towns in the Spanish Netherlands.
The War of the League of Augsburg
• The inexact terminology of earlier peace treaties left
the control of various territories in the vicinity of the
Rhine in doubt.
• Louis took possession of Alsace and Luxemburg.
• This spurred yet another alliance to protect the
European Balance of Power-the League of Augsburg
• Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Sweden and several of
the German States. When the English Glorious
revolution of 1688 placed William of Orange as the
King of England, England and the United Provinces
joined the League.
• The French were initially successful, but the French
could not match the combined English and Dutch
fleets. The league could not muster the strength
necessary to invade France. The Peace of Ryswick
(1697) resulted from this stalemate.
The war of Spanish Succession 1702-
• War fought to determine who would inherit the throne of
• Charles II would die without an heir
• The leading contenders were the Austrian Habsburgs
and the French Bourbons.
• When Charles II died in 1700 he left a will giving his
throne to the grandson of Louis XIV who was to become
Phillip V of Spain.
• Louis knew that war would follow if his grandson became
the King of Spain. If he refused the Crown, however
France would be surrounded again by Habsburg power.
Louis accepted the will.
• The Pyrenees exist no longer.
Spanish succession, cont.
• In this war France had only the slender aid provided
by Spain and Bavaria against the Grand Alliance-put
together by William of Orange.
• England, the United Provinces, the Holy roman
Empire, the Electorate of Brandenburg, and Portugal
• From 1702-1709 the French suffered one defeat after
another, but when Louis asked for peace terms, the
allies provisions were so harsh that the French and
Spanish carried on. In 1711, Archduke Charles
became the Holy roman Emperor Charles VI and the
English and French did not want one man to occupy
both the imperil and the Spanish thrones as Charles
V had done.
• Allied disunity allowed Louis XIV to negotiate an
acceptable peace settlement.
The Treaty of Utrecht 1713
• The English gained the most:
– Gibraltar, Minorca, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, the Hudson
Bay territory and the Asiento
• Austria received the Spanish Netherlands,
the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Milan
and the island of Sardinia.
• The elector of Brandenburg was recognized
as the King in Prussia
• The Duke of Savoy was recognized as the
King of Savoy and given the island of Sicily
which was exchanged for Sardinia in 1720
Treaty of Utrecht
• Louis is forced to sue for peace.
Treaty of Utrecht.
– France gives up Nova Scotia,
Newfoundland and area around
Hudson bay to English.
– Louis agrees that Spanish and
French crown will never be united.
– Austria gets Spanish Netherlands
– Spain gives England control of slave
trade from Africa.
• Completes the decline of Spain as a
major power in Europe.
• Expands the British Empire.
• Marks the end of French
• HOP to RAP
• Holy Roman Empire, Ottoman empire,
• Russia, Austria, Prussia
• Sharks and Jelly Fish
• Poland gets “pac manned” 1772-1795
• Ruling Family: Hohenzollern family
• Late 1600s: Hohenzollern family
• In 1640, Frederick William inherited the
titled of elector of Brandenburg
– Brandenburg (northern Prussian territory)
• Nickname: “Great Elector”
• Lead his family towards absolute
• 1640- 1688: Frederick William, the Great
Elector (Holy Roman Empire)
King’s of Prussia:
• 1688-1713: Frederick I
• 1713-1740: Frederick William I
• 1740-1768: Frederick II (the Great)
• Raised a great army
– Frederick would build it to one of the most
powerful in Eastern Europe
– Guides Prussia through the 30 years War
• First King of Prussia
• Tried to imitate Louis XIV lavish ways
Frederick William I
• Despised French ways
• Got rid of the luxury of his father.
• Doubled the Prussian Army
– Men 6ft-8ft tall – “regiment of giants”
Frederick William I and Frederick II
• Frederick William I worried that his son
was not military enough to rule
• Frederick II was a lover of music and
– He was once beaten in public and tried to
escape his father with his “friend” Han
• Frederick II was imprisoned and forced to watch
his “friend’s” execution
• These were attempts to toughen him up.
• Eventually he would follow in his father’s
footsteps and become a good military
• War of Austrian Succession
– Frederick wanted the land of Silesia due to its
natural resources (Silesia east of Saxony)
– He felt he could easily defeat Maria Theresa,
Queen of Austria and Bohemia
– Austria loses war and ceded Silesia to
Expansion of Prussia
• Ivan III helped to free Russia from the
• Setup a centralized government
• He became known as “Ivan the Terrible”
– He came to the throne at the age of 3
• nobles (known as boyars) would fight over who
had control of him
At the age of 16 he seized power and became
First Russian ruler to use that term
Ivan the Terrible
• He would marry Anastasia, a member of the Romanov
• Early rule: Known as the “good period”
• Later Rule after Anastasia dies in 1560: “bad period”
– Accused the boyars of poisoning his wife
• Secret police (Oprichniks): hunted traitors to Russia
– They dressed in black and rode black horses
– They executed many of them and seized their land
Ivan the Terrible
• In 1581 during a argument
with his eldest son Ivan killed
– This left his second son to rule
– Russia would experience
“times of trouble”
Ivan the Terrible
• Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible; 1533-
1584) continued this process.
• Defeated the remnants of
Mongol power and declared
• Added vast new territories to
Russia in the east
• All nobles had to serve the tsar
and thus were under his
• Oppressed peasants, tying
them to the land as serfs,
perpetually bound to the
Times of Trouble
• Many noble families fought for control
• Romanov Family takes control: 1613
– Michael Romanov was chosen (he was the
grand-nephew of Ivan IV)
– They would rule Russia until the Russian
Revolution in 1917
Rise of the Romanovs
• After Ivan’s death in 1598 was a period of
• Nobles were able to regain some power.
• 1613 Russian assembly of nobles realized
that the chaos was putting them all at risk
• Appoint Michael Romanov as Tsar, and
the Romanov family rules Russia until
1917 when the Communists take over.
Peter the Great
• Wanted reform Russian society
• Wanted a warm water port
• He stood more then 6 ft
• By the age of 25 he ventured on a long
visit to Western Europe
– He wanted to keep his identity secret
• At one time he worked as a ship carpenter for 4
months in the Netherlands
Peter the Great (1672-1725)
• Peter the Great takes the throne in 1682
and transforms Russia, determined to
westernize it. Why?
– He wanted to import modern military
methods and technology and modern
governmental administration in order
to make his country more powerful.
– He wanted to adopt mercantilist
economic policies in order to
strengthen the tax base to support his
– This required modernizing
manufacturing and production.
– Attempting to catch up with the power
and strength of Europe.
Window on the West
• In war with Sweden, Peter captures modern Estonia and
Latvia from the Swedes,
• Gave Russia a port on the Baltic making it the dominant
power in the Baltic.
– “window on the west”
– Also eases travel between Russia and the rest of
– Builds St. Petersburg in NW Russia as a symbolic
window on the West, which remains the Russian
capital until 1917.
• Peter gained state control of the Russian Orthodox
Church in 1721 by abolishing the position of patriarch
and placing administration of the church under state
• Peter wanted Russia to act more like its
counterparts in Western Europe
– Took control of the Russian Orthodox Church
– Hired European officers to train his soldiers
– Beard Tax: “Beards are a ridiculous ornament”
– Ordered the nobles to wear Western fashions
• Introduced potatoes to Russia
• Would be the seaport Peter wanted
• “window to the west”
• Originally was a swamp:
– Along the Neva River (Baltic coast)
• Somewhere from 25,000 to 100,000
people died in the building of the city
Effect of Peter’s Policies
• As a result of Peter’s Policies:
– Western ideas and technology flowed into Russia and
Russians were exposed to Western culture.
– New class of Russian educated nobility emerged.
– Split between the nobility and the average citizen
widened and deepened.
– Russia became a major power, moved much closer to
Europe and was much more a factor in European
Catherine the Great
• Ascended to throne in
– Husband Peter III
• Ruthless and strong
• Gained land in the
• Partitioned Poland:
– Broken up between
Russia, Prussia and
Expansion of Russia, 1689 – 1796
• After 30 years war, Habsburgs began to
focus on Austrian Empire rather than Holy
• Defeated Ottoman Empire in 1697 at the
battle of Zenta, gaining Hungary.
• Charles VI –Pragmatic Sanction
• Maria Theresa becomes empress in 1740
• War of Austrian Succession