18th Century European States

					 18th Century
European States
  Enlightened Absolutism

Enlightenment idea of natural laws brings
discussion on natural rights
Rulers were obviously aware of the writings
of the philosophes
How enlightened they became debatable by
historians
               France
Louis XIV - enlarged territory, debt, unhappy
public dies 1715
Louis XV(1715-1774) - 5 yr old great-
grandson
 loss of empire 7 Yrs War, taxes, lavish
 lifestyle
Louis XVI (1774-1792) - 20 yr old grandson
 little gov. knowledge, lacked energy
 he & wife Marie Antoinette out of touch
       GB - Hanoverian

William & Mary - share power w/ Parliament
Parliament dominated by landed aristocracy
 H of Lords - traditional nobility
 H of Commons - landed gentry
Queen Anne no heir - passes to George I
(1714)
 German Protestant state of Hanover
    Enlightened Despots


3 associated w/ concept: Joseph II,
Frederick II, and Catherine the Great
Different degrees of attempted reform
**Desire to build stronger state superseded
Enlightenment in practice**
              Prussia

Frederick William I (1713-1740)
 General Directory - civil bureaucracy
 continued policy of supporting Junkers
 military expansion***
Prussia was not a country w/ an army but
an army with a country...
    Frederick II the Great
         (1740-86)

well educated, Voltaire spent time in court
Open to reform of philosophes
 single code of laws, eliminated use of
 torture
 granted limited freedom of speech & press
 complete religious toleration
    Fred the Great cont.
Militarist like predecessors, dependent on
Junkers
 did not interfere w/ serfdom
 reversed policies allowing commoners to
 rise to power in bureaucracy
Expansion gains him title “the Great”
 Silesia (War of Austrian Suc & 7 Yrs War)
 partitions of Poland
              Austria

Pragmatic Sanction keeps Maria Theresa in
line for crown (1740-1780)
Maria T - remained Catholic and
conservative - not open to major reforms but
son would be
 2 wars Austrian Suc & 7 Yrs War
1765 begins to let son Joseph II share
throne
   Joseph II (1780-1790)
Believer in Enlightenment, called for
reforms: abolished serfdom, equality before
law, religious toleration (Toleration Patent
1781)
Alienated nobility when freed serfs
 serfs unhappy as too drastic of change
Alienated Catholic Church
Alienated non-Germans w/ intro of German
as official language
                Russia


After Peter the Great, 6 bad successors
Last of 6 was Peter III w/ German wife
Catherine
 Peter assassinated 1762
 Catherine II the Great 1762-1796
              Catherine

Influenced by Enlightenment called for an
assembly to discuss reform but little to no
progress
Divided Russia 50 provinces, & smaller
districts
 local nobility in charge of day-to-day gov
 Charter of the Nobility 1785
Pugachev’s Rebellion 1773-4
 Gov tried to restrict peasants in boarder
 districts
 Cossacks - tribes of warriors initially fought
 for Russia against Turks, now fought
 against
 Emelyn Pugachev (cossack) led mass revolt
   issued a manifesto 1774 - calling for free
   all peasants from oppressive taxes and
   military service
        Rebellion cont.


Peasants killed 1500 estate owners and
families
Gov suppressed revolt - Catherine more
harsh
 serfdom expanded
               Poland


Good ex. of why strong monarchy
necessary in Europe 17th & 18th c
1772-1775 3 rivals split Poland: Austria,
Russia & Prussia
 Thaddeus Kosciuszko (Am Rev hero) tried
 to save but failed
Partition of Poland
   Failure of Enlightened
         Despotism

Did not remove basic causes of discontent
against absolutism
 Autocracy
 Class distinctions
 Unfair taxation
 Frequent Wars
   Failure of Enlightened
         Despotism


Could not assure good gov. by successors
In time European people rebelled against
royal absolutism, enlightened or not!
       War & Diplomacy


Philosophes condemned war as foolish
waste
International rivalry and centralization of
European states made war inevitable
International relations based on balance of
power - prevent one state dominating
War of Austrian Succession
        1740-1748

Habsburg emperor Charles VI (1711-1740)
no male heir - Pragmatic Sanction
Ignored by Fred II of Prussia looking to take
adv of Maria Theresa
 Invaded Austrian Silesia
War of Austrian Succession
        1740-1748

France (Austria enemy) entered on side of
Prussia
GB ally w/ Austria prevent French dominance
1748 all sides exhausted treaty of Aix-la
Chapelle
 return all occupied territory except Silesia
  The Seven Years’ War
       1756-1763

Maria Theresa not happy about Silesia loss
 Diplomatic Rev as she gets France to jump
 ship
 Russia not cool w/ Prussia also joins
Austria, France & Russia vs Prussia and GB
1st WorldWar...?
               Europe

Fred the Great (P) - early victories
 warn down by fighting on 3 sides (A,F,R)
 Russian withdraw - stalemate
Peace of Hubertsburg 1763
 return of occupied territory
 Austria recognized Prussia control of
 Silesia
   Anglo-French Struggle


Treaty of Paris 1763 left India to British
French & Indian War
  French/British Rivalry in Europe & Am
  Britain gained Canada and E of MS River
  and Sp FL, France gave Sp Louisiana

				
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posted:10/5/2012
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