Setting the Stage for Revolution Absolute Monarchies by wuzhenguang


									The Age of Absolutism
Absolute Monarchs in Europe
• A monarchy, (from the
  Greek "monos arkhein"
  -- "one ruler") is a form
  of government that has
  a monarch as Head of
• The position of monarch
  often involves
  inheritance in some
                              Henry VIII of
Three Models of European Development

Parliamentary Monarchy or Constitutional Monarchy in England
b)“Parliament” (House of Lords and Commons)

a)Tudors and Bourbons
b)“Old Regimes” Estates General
c)Cardinal Richelieu and Mazarin trained kings to be hard working and gain trust
from their people.

Enlightened Despots:
a)Frederick II, Maria Theresa and Joseph II, and Catherine II
b)Rejected Divine Right
c)Used absolute power to make much needed reforms for country
    Reasons Europe Developed Into
        Absolute Monarchies
• Feudalism had collapsed.
• National monarchies replaced.
• Intense competition for land and trade lead to
  many wars.
• Religious differences sparked civil wars.
• Absolute monarchy emerged to protect the
  nation and preserve order.
• “Gunpowder Revolution” began.
      Reasons Absolute Monarchies
• Centralizing authority was made easier because of
  the decline of feudalism, the rise of cities, and the
  expansion of national kingdoms.
• Monarchs were supported by a new middle class
  because they promised good conditions for
• For all of their ambitions, they used the colonies’
• Monarchs’ authority rose even more as the church’s
  authority decreased during the late Middle Ages
  and the Reformation.
      Reasons Absolute Monarchies
• Religious and territorial conflicts between states led
  to massive amounts of warfare.
• This warfare caused governments to build armies
  and charge extremely high taxes.
• In Europe, absolute monarchs could not completely
  break the power of the nobles, so they included the
  nobles into their new bureaucratic institutions.
• As the nobles revolted, absolute rulers increased
  their own power to try to restore order.
Connections between the Renaissance
      and Absolute Monarchs
• Rise of cities!
  –Means that trade and formation of
    towns produced wealth for the
    King. (Power for the King)
 Connections between the Protestant
 Reformation and Absolute Monarchs
• The Church lost power.
• Religious wars caused chaos.
• People wanted safe, stable gov’t
 Connections between the Age of
Exploration and Absolute Monarchs

  • Added wealth
    and power
  • Mercantilism
        Rise of Absolutism
             Rise of cities         Wealth of colonies
       Growth of national                Breakdown of Church
          kingdoms                            authority
  Growth of middle class                     Decline of feudalism
                                                   Economic and
                                                  religious crises


Reduced power of nobles and              Created new government
   representative bodies                      bureaucracies

 Regulated worship, social
                                          Increased size of court
 gatherings, and economy
     Characteristics of the New Absolute Monarchies
1. They offered the institution of monarchy as a guarantee
   of law and order.
2. They proclaimed that hereditary monarchy was the
   legitimate form of public power  all should accept this
   without resistance.
3. They enlisted the support of the middle class in the
   towns  tired of the local power of feudal nobles.
4. They would have to get their monarchies sufficiently
   organized & their finances into reliable order.
     Characteristics of the New Absolute Monarchies

5. They would break down the mass of feudal,
   inherited, customary, or “common” law in which
   the rights of the feudal classes were
6. The kings would MAKE law, enact it by his own
   authority, regardless of previous custom or
   historic liberties  What pleases the prince
  has the force of law!
What is an absolute monarch?
    • Rule by ONE PERSON—a monarch,
      usually a king or a queen—whose
      actions are restricted neither by
      written law nor by custom.
    • Absolute monarchy persisted in
      France until 1789 and in Russia until
    • Today only Swaziland and the
      Vatican are absolute monarchies
• The idea is based on that monarchs
  have divine rights and do not have to
  answer to any form of government
  and /or the people.
• So they didn’t take advice from
  Parliament, the Estates General, or
  from the Nobles.
• They regulated the taxation and
  national spending, government, and
  the religion.
• Would limit personal freedoms of
  certain groups ex. Jews or Protestants.
• They would also limit the power of the
  existing government bodies like the
  English Parliament, and the French
  Estates General.
• unrestrained or unlimited by a constitution,
  counterbalancing group, etc., in the exercise
  of governmental power, esp. when arbitrary or
• being above all others in character,
  importance, excellence, power, etc.
          Absolutist Theory
– There must be one - and only one - sovereign in
  every state (although it can be a body
  consisting of more than one person).
– The sovereign holds all legitimate power and
  should never be actively resisted.
– If the sovereign commands a contravention of
  God's law, disobey, but accept the punishment
  (= "passive obedience").
One theme = CONTROL!!!
  1. Control the government
    -Centralize & create bureaucracies
    -Reduce power of representative bodies
  2. Control the nobility
    -Increase size of court; regulate social gatherings
    -Reduce nobles’ power in the government
  3. Control economics
    -Great works
    -Economic policies centralized
  4. Control power
    -Divine right & regulate religion
England  stability under the Tudors
France  consolidation of power under
the Bourbons
Spain  unification by marriage under
the Habsburgs
Holy Roman Empire  different
model: the cost of decentralization under
the Habsburgs
government headed by a
dictator. Similar to an        Dictatorship
absolute monarch
•It is often equivalent to a
police state, but the term
"dictatorship" refers to the
way the leader gains and
holds power, not the watch
kept on the citizens.
•Some dictators have been
popular enough not to have
to employ many very
oppressive measures.
Examples: Julius Caesar &
Adolph Hitler
       Characteristics of Absolute Monarchs
  to be the
                          • They made all the laws
                    “I am the

                          • They were NOT subject
                            to the laws.
The Rise of Absolute Monarchies
            Divine Right
• The belief that certain Kings
  were chosen by God
• The Kings were only
  accountable to God and no
  one else
• This idea was reinforced by
  Bishop Jacques Bossuet.
    Divine Right of Kings

• Medieval belief that
  God gives power to the
  king; therefore, his
  actions are sanctioned
  by God
            Absolutism and Divine Right
• Divine right theory was a branch of absolutism
• Most divine right theorists thought that monarchy was the
  best form of government and that monarchs should never
  be resisted by the people.
• Divine right theorists insisted that the ruler's authority
  was from God alone (not from the community). They
  quoted Scripture in their support:
• Proverbs 8.15-16:
  By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me
  princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
             Divine Right Theory
• Proverbs 8.15-16
  – “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me
    princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.”

• Romans 13.1-2
  – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For
    there is no power but of God: the powers that be are
    ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resists the power,
    resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall
    receive damnation.”
They Ruled by “Divine Right”
                 • They believed
                   that they derived
                   their right to rule
                   directly from

                 • Accountable only
                   to GOD.

                 • Not the people!
              Divine Right and Hierarchy

 Sixteenth century western Europe expressed unfaltering
  loyalty to a patriarchal Christian God and to a view of the
  world as his creation.
 Hierarchy regarded as part of God’s divinely appointed plan
  and guarantor of stability.
 Reflected in belief in a Great Chain of Being.
 God had arranged the universe in a certain order, and so
  the structure of society should reflect this in its own
Great Chain of Being
          •   God
          •   Archangels
          •   Angels
          •   Kings
          •   Nobles
          •   Merchants & landowners
          •   Peasants
          •   Slaves
          •   Big predatory animals
          •   Plants
          •   Rocks
          •   Dirt
Great Chain of Being:
Rhetorica Christiana
 James 1: Patriarchy and Divine Right
• … Kings are not onely GODS Lieutenants upon earth,
  and sit upon GODS throne, but even by GOD
  himselfe they are called Gods.
  …Kings are also compared to Fathers of families: for a
  King is trewly Parens patriæ, the politique father of
  his people. (James 1 speech to Parliament: 1610)
• 1597–1598:The Trew Law of Free Monarchies
• Basilikon Doron
    Homily on Obedience (1559)
• In all things is to bee lauded and praised
  the goodly order of GOD, without the
  which no house, no Citie, no
  Commonwealth can continue and
  endure, or last. For where there is no
  right order, there reigneth all abuse,
  carnall liberty, enormitie, sinne, and
  Babylonicall confusion.
Earlier political thinkers like Bodin
         paved the way. . .
         • Jean Bodin (1530-1596)

         • Promoted royal power as solution
           to end the French civil wars of

         • Six Books of the Commonwealth,
           – sovereignty lies with the monarch
     Absolutism and Divine Right Theory
• More authoritarian views of government developed during
  16th century when France was torn apart by the Religious
  Wars between Catholics and Protestants.
• Some French writers began to argue that only a strong
  central government could prevent anarchy, and that
  resistance to the monarch was never legitimate.
• The most important French absolutist theorist was Jean
  Bodin (1530-1596), who in 1576 published Six Books of
  the Commonwealth.
• Bodin argued that the sovereign could not be limited by
  human laws - since whatever institution had the right to
  judge if the law were being infringed would itself be the
  real sovereign.
    Absolutism and Divine Right Justified
• 1st theorist
   – Bishop Jacques Bossuet Politics Drawn from the Very
      Words of Holy Scripture
• Government was divinely ordained
   – Matthew 22:21 “Render unto Caesar that which is
   – 1 Peter 2:13-17 [Obey the secular ruler]
   – Romans 13:1-2 "Let every soul be subject unto the
      higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the
      powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever
      therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of
      God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves
    Absolutist Theorists:
Bishop Bossuet (1627 – 1704)
      • “God is holiness itself, goodness itself,
        and power itself. In these things lies
        the majesty of God. In the image of
        these things lies the majesty of the

      • “The Prince is not a private person. . .
        All the state is in him. . . As all
        perfection and strength are united in
        God, all the power of individuals is
        united in the person of the Prince.
        What grandeur that a simple man
        should embody so much.”
     Jean Domat---Another Defender of
              Divine Right
•    “The sovereign power of government should be
    proportionate to its mandate, and in the station he
    occupies in the body of human society that makes up the
    state, he who is the head should hold the place of God. For
    since God is the only natural sovereign of men, their judge,
    their lawgiver, their king, no man can have lawful authority
    over others unless he holds it from the hand of God .... The
    power of sovereigns being thus derived from the authority
    of God, it acts as the arm and force of the justice that
    should be the soul of government; and that justice alone
    has the natural claim to rule the minds and hearts of men,
    for it is over these two faculties of men that justice should
    reign.” –Jean Domat, Jurist
“What is done for
the state is done for
God, who is the
basis and foundation
of it......Where the
interests of the state
are concerned, God       • What does this
absolves actions
which, if privately
                           primary source
committed, would be        quote mean?
a crime.”
 — Cardinal Richelieu
                         • What impact would
                           this have on a
     Divine Right and Patriarchialism
• Patriarchialism defended divine right theory.
• It rested on the widely-held belief that husbands
  had authority over their wives and fathers over
  their children.
• This power was held both to be natural (since every
  society in the world accepted it) and divine (since
  God endorsed it in the Bible).
• Some theorists argued that sovereigns as naturally
  held power over their states as fathers did over
  their families.
• A monarch was no more accountable to his subjects
  than a father was to his children.
Robert Filmer (1588-1653): Patriarcha (1631 pub.
Royalism, Absolutism and Thomas Hobbes:
• Royalists supported the King and principle of
  hierarchy against what they believed to be the
  threat of anarchy.
• Hobbes, a Royalist and defender of the King
  published two influential works of political
  thought De cive (1642, 1647) and Leviathan
What does Hobbes believe is the
  natural state of humanity?
What, for Hobbes, is the solution
    for a peaceful society?
      The Philosopher Behind the Age
• Thomas Hobbes
• 1660 – Wrote the Leviathan
• Discussed the perfect
• People first lived in
• Needed a “social contract”
• Required an absolute
  monarch to maintain order
• People retained the right
  only to maintain their lives.
   Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
“The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long,
  and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he can protect them.”

• Sovereign free to rule- must act in interest of subjects
• Monarchy best form of govt.
    – All powerful, centralize state
• If ruler fails to ensure stability, society will
dissolve into a state of nature/chaos until new
‘contract’ is made
• Denies the people’s right to rebel in such
• Most famous work is Leviathan (1651)
    – response to English Civil War
• Wrote during the English Civil
  War                Thomas Hobbes
• Life is "solitary, poor, nasty,
  brutish, and short” .
• Man forms peaceful societies
  by entering into a social
• According to Hobbes, society
  is a group of individuals that
  give up just enough of their
  natural rights for the gov’t to be
  able to ensure internal peace
  and a common defense.
• This sovereign, whether
  monarch, aristocracy or
  democracy (though Hobbes
  prefers monarchy), should be a
  Leviathan, an absolute authority.
• Leviathan is a sea monsterr
        Royalism, Absolutism and Hobbes
• The most basic axiom of Hobbes' system of political thought was
  that everyone naturally aims at self-preservation.
• He argued that in "a state of nature" (i.e. where there was no
  government), life would be completely insecure.
• Without any protection against aggression, life would be miserable
  and dangerous.

• "No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual
  fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor,
  nasty, brutish, and short"
  (Hobbes, Leviathan, 1.18).
• Under such conditions, people would be willing to surrender their
  own powers to an absolute government that would protect them
  from everyone else.
• Hobbes argued that the sovereign's power was absolute - (s)he
  made the law, and no other law could limit sovereign power.
• The only right Hobbes left to subjects was the right to defend
  themselves against the sovereign's direct attack.
Imagine that you are a mid-17th-century
    ruler aiming at absolutist rule:
   What steps do you need to take?
                    • DO THIS ON YOUR LEFT
                      SIDE OF YOUR NOTES.
                    • THEN SHARE WITH
                      YOUR PARTNER.
                    • BE SURE TO EXPLAIN
Definitions for Historical Categories
•   Political:             •   Economic:
•   Government             •   Budget
•   King or President      •   Taxes
•   Parliament             •   Industry
•   Laws                   •   Agriculture
•   Military               •   Trade
•   Wars                   •   Transportation
•   Political Rebellions   •   Unemployment
                           •   Colonies
Definitions for Historical Categories
• Social:                    • Cultural:
• Religious Minorities       • Religious Majority
• Gender Roles               • Arts: Paintings,
• Social Classes: nobles,      Sculptures, Architecture,
  clergy, middle class,        Gardens, Music, and
  trades people, peasants,     Dance
  and serfs                  • Press
• Ethnic Minorities          • Education
                             • Healthcare
                             • Fashion
                             • Diet
          Political Aspects
• This refers to all changes pertaining to the government
  structures, laws, the role of the monarch, foreign policies,
  wars, and rights
• The monarch does not listen to parliament.
• Maintains a standing army.
• Limits the power of the existing legislative branch.
• Chief ministers directly responsible to the monarch.
• Monarch is the supreme lawgiver, chief judge, commander
  of military, and head of government.
• Acquisition of foreign territory is a main goal.
• Replaced local government officials with loyal nobles or
  royal governors.
               Absolutism and War
• Absolutism change how wars were fought.
• Prior to this, rulers raised temporary armies comprised of
  soldiers raised from feudal lords.
• When the war was over the soldiers would return to their
  regular jobs.
• Relying on the nobility for military support was risky:
  internal strife could result if the nobility decided to
  withhold support and challenge the monarchy.
• Absolute monarchy avoided this problem by creating
  standing armies where a person’s sole job was to be a
  soldier in service to the monarch.
• Absolute rulers were the living embodiment of the state.
  Nowhere is this best illustrated than through the reign of
  Louis XIV.
              Economic Aspects
• This refers to all the changes dealing with monetary
  issues, farming, industries, transportation, taxes, budget
  matters, loans and debt, workforce training, etc…
• Pursued a policy of mercantilism-expansion of trade and
  expenses due to wars encouraged this policy.
• Accumulate as much gold and silver bullion as possible.
• Maintain a balance of trade where you export more than
  you import.
• Used subsidies, charted monopolies, taxes, tariffs, harbor
  tolls and direct prohibitions to encourage exports and
  reduce imports.
• Monarchs standardized industrial production, regulated
  wages, set prices, and built roads, canals, and docks.
• Colonial empires were essential to a strong absolute
     Accumulated Vast Sums of Wealth
•   How…?
•   By seizing new territories in the New World and the Far East
•   Expanding trade overseas and within Europe
•   Taxing the growing wealth of their people
           Social Aspects
• This refers to all the changes pertaining to social
  classes like nobles, middle class, and serfs, gender
  roles, immigration and treatment of religious
  minority groups.
• French kings selected middle class men to run the
  government business, while Spain, having driven
  out most of the Jewish and Muslim middle class
  during the Inquisition, appointed nobles.
• The class structures of absolute monarchies were
  marked by clear distinctions, precisely defined by
• Hereditary feudal aristocrats lost status unless they
  acquired an official appointment from the

              Social Changes

The commercial revolution not only transformed the
medieval economy, it also reshaped medieval society.

The use of money undermined serfdom. Most peasants
became tenant farmers or hired farm    laborers.

In towns, a new middle class of merchants, traders, and
artisans emerged.

The Church forbade Christians from becoming
moneylenders. Since Jews were barred from
other professions, many took on this role.
           Social: Businessmen
• They became savvy businessmen
  and learned to deal with Italian
  moneylenders and bankers.
• The English, Belgians, Germans,
  and Dutch took their coal, timber,
  wood, iron, copper, and lead to
  the south and came back with
  luxury items such as wine and
  olive oil.
              Social: Tradesmen
• With the advent of
  trade and
  commerce, feudal
  life declined.
• As the tradesmen
  became wealthier,
  they resented
  having to give their
  profits to their
     Social: The Merchant Class
• The new merchant class
  included artisans,
  masons, armorers,
  bakers, shoemakers,
  ropemakers, dyers, and
  other skilled workers.
           Social: Urban Life
• Few serfs were left in Europe by
  the end of the Middle Ages, and
  the growing burgher class became
  very powerful.
• Hard work and enterprise led to
  economic prosperity and a new
  social order.
• Urban life brought with it a new
  freedom for individuals.
                                        MEDIEVAL LIFE
                                            Cooperation and Mutual


     FEUDALISM:                                                                     MANORIALISM:
      POLITICAL SYSTEM                                                               ECONOMIC SYSTEM
                                                Fief and Peasants                    Agriculture the basis for
      Decentralized, local
       government                                                                     wealth
                                            Loyalty        Military Aid              Lands divided up into
      Dependent upon the
       relationship between                 LORDS (VASSALS TO KING)                   self-sufficient manors
       members of the nobility                                                       Peasants (serfs) worked
      Lord and his vassals                                                           the land and paid rent In
       administered justice                                                           exchange for protection
       and were the highest                                                          Barter the usual form of
       authority in their land                                                        exchange

                                 Food                Protection           Shelter

                                         Homage         Military Service
                                     KNIGHTS (VASSALS TO LORDS)

                  Food                               Protection                        Shelter

                                 Farm the                                 Pay
                                 Land        PEASANTS (SERFS)             Rent
Feudalism Becomes Social System
    and No Longer Political
                • The kings had lots of land; he
                  gave land to lords in exchange
                  for protection and $.
                • Lords gave their land to knights
                  in exchange for protection, $.
                • Knights let serfs work the land
                  and he would protect them.
                • Serfs got food and shelter.
                • Thus, each person had rights
                  and responsibilities
Social: End of Traditional Feudalism

                  • The kings had lots of land; he
                    gave land to lords in exchange
                    for protection and $.
                  • Lords gave their land to knights
                    in exchange for protection, $.
                  • Knights let serfs work the land
                    and he would protect them.
                  • Serfs got food and shelter.
                  • Thus, each person had rights
                    and responsibilities
Nationalism in Europe                                          Section 4

 Agricultural Society
 • Much of population, serfs—workers considered part of land they worked
 • Like share-croppers or tenant farmers but not allowed to leave the land
 • Declined in Western Europe but continued in Russia

 • Controlled by lords, wealthy nobles who owned land
 • Technically not slaves; living conditions, lack of freedom, resembled slavery
 • Not allowed to leave property where born; did not own land they worked

 Societal Problem
 • Serfs had to make regular payments of goods, labor to lords
 • Some in government wanted to improve conditions, unable to make reforms
 • Russian serfdom way of life, a major problem in Russian society
Serfdom in Western
   Serfdom was not needed in Western Europe
     The west was affected by the Black Death and
      the labor shortages helped labor
     Eastern lords had more political power than
      the lords in the west
     Eastern kings had no power over the policies of
      the landlords
     Peasants were also weaker in the east which
      mean uprisings were usually unsuccessful
Nationalism in Europe                   Section 4

      • Unlike Western Europe, serfdom still
        existed in Russia and was very
         – Serfs could be bought and sold like slaves
         – Serfs could even be killed without
           punishment for the killer!!
         – Without the free movement of people, the
           nation could not become more urbanized
           and then industrialized
Serfdom in Eastern Europe
                  The Black Death greatly hurt
                   eastern Europe and created labor
                   shortages for the nobles
                  After 1300, lords in eastern Europe
                   brought back serfdom to combat
                   economic challenges
                  Kings and princes issued laws
                   restricting peasants’ rights of
                   moving freely
                  Lords confiscated peasant lands
                   and imposed heavy labor
                  In certain regions of Europe, even
                   non-serf peasants were affected
                  They were required to work 3-4
                   days without pay per week for
                   their local lord
Social: The Peasants
   At the lowest level of
    society were the
    peasants, also called
    serfs or villeins.
   The lord offered his
    peasants protection in
    exchange for living and
    working on his land.
Social: Hard Work & High
   Peasants worked hard to
    cultivate the land and
    produce the goods that
    the lord and his manor
   They were heavily taxed
    and were required to
    relinquish much of what
    they harvested.
Bound by law and custom…
    It is the custom in England, as with other
     countries, for the nobility to have great
     power over the common people, who are
     serfs. This means that they are bound by
     law and custom to plough the field of their
     masters, harvest the corn, gather it into
     barns, and thresh and winnow the grain;
     they must also mow and carry home the
     hay, cut and collect wood, and perform all
     manner of tasks of this kind.
                                 -- Jean Froissart, 1395
               Social Aspects: State Nobles vs the
                        Common People.
• State nobles owed their privileges to their political service rather than birth.
• State nobles often came from merchant families; indeed, the state often sold titles
  to wealthy commoners to provide income for the monarch.
• State nobles served in public administration, in the army, the church, or as
  attendants at court, where they accented the royal magnificence.
• State nobles usually received tax exemptions, pensions, titles, and honors. Their
  legal rights, dress, and way of life differed markedly from even wealthy non-nobles.
• Commoners, including middle-class townspeople, paid most of the taxes required
  by frequent wars and extravagant royal courts.
• Peasant landholders usually owed fees and labor dues to local aristocrats.
• The poorest peasants in the Western Europe were hired laborers or vagabonds; in
  eastern Europe, they were serfs.
• Slavery was rare in Western Europe, but provided a major labor force on overseas
                  Social Aspects: Treatment of
• While tightening legal class distinctions, absolute monarchies also
  further downgraded the status of women.
• The Reformation had offered some opportunities for self-expression
  among women, and before 1650 many women had assumed
  temporary positions of leadership.
• The situation changed after Westphalia.
• Although a number of queens and regents were able to rule as
  absolute monarchs, most aristocratic women could find recognition
  only as Catholic nuns, writers, artists, salon hostesses, court gossips,
  or royal mistresses, the latter gaining official status in this era.
• The status of commoner women did not fall as much or as quickly,
  but the advent of early capitalism and the decline of domestic
  economies was already excluding them from many industries and
  enterprises in the latter seventeenth century.
Cultural Aspects: Majority Religion
         • This refers to all the changes pertaining to the
           majority religion, education, architecture,
           clothing, healthcare, music, literature, and the
         • Organized religion remained important under
           absolutism but lost its independence of
           government. Instead of dominating politics, as
           they had done earlier, churches – Protestant and
           Catholic alike – now tended to become
           government agencies.
         • Even in Catholic countries, such as France, the
           king exerted more political control over the
           church than did the pope. Although this had been
           true of earlier secular rulers, they had faced much
           more religious opposition.
         • After Westphalia, monarchs could deliberately
           use their clergies as government servants, to
           enlist and hold popular support.
         • Such controlled churches exerted tremendous
           influence in support of absolute monarchies, not
           only in the formal services but also in their social
           and educational functions.
  The reality of absolutism
• Most kings were limited by:
   – Economics! (not enough gold to do what they wanted)
      • England’s Parliament controlled the wealth (as did private
      • Capitalism vs. mercantilism
      • Wars were expensive
   – Legislative bodies
      • England, Germany
      • Versailles exception (why did Louis move his court there?)
   – Power of neighbors
   – Their own intelligence!
      • Philip III (Spain)
      • Decline in Ottoman Empire (palace intrigue, killings, etc…)
  Absolute Monarchy’s Good Points

• Strong, Stable government is good
  for business and trade.
   –Louis XIV and mercantilism in
   –Peter the Great westernizing Russia
 Strong Army to Protect and add territory

• Peter the Great added new territory
• Louis XIV invaded the Netherlands
Quick decisions made and
Advantages and Disadvantages of Absolute Monarchies:

*At its best, it can be a relatively stable form of government.
*People know that one person, the monarch, will continue to rule for the rest of
his or her life. If the monarch is a capable leader and in good health, people are
assured of the benefits of good government for many years.

*On the other hand, when an absolute monarch dies, there can be much trouble
over the question of who will be next on the throne. At the time of the ruler’s
death, the appointed heir might be only a child. *Ambitious persons then have the
opportunity to challenge the young ruler. Rival contenders for the throne might
tear apart the kingdom in a civil war.
*Another disadvantage to absolute monarchy is that an absolute monarch cannot
be questioned.
*The freedoms of individual citizens are often limited.
  Rights that Americans often take for granted, like freedom of speech and
freedom of the press, are not guaranteed in an absolute monarchy.
*There are few checks on the authority of the monarch.
  What’s wrong with Absolutism?
• Monarch’s can be greedy and do
  things just for themselves.
   –Louis XIV = Versailles, clothes, art
   –Philip II = Escorial, art, religious
           Costly Wars use up
          the country’s money
• Philip II
• Louis XIV
• Peter the Great
  Nobody can stop their mistakes
• Philip II
• Louis XIV
     High Taxes always needed
• Philip II
• Louis XIV
• Peter the Great
• Absolute monarchies with centralized
  governments began to rise to power in Europe.
• The dominant forces in Europe were England,
  France, Prussia, Austria, and Russia.
• Religious divisions were evident Protestants
  (England + Prussia), Catholics (France + Austria),
  and Eastern Orthodox Christianity (Russia).
• Competitions formed between certain nations.
  -England v. France- in the new world
  -Prussia v. Austria over the German States
• Alliances were formed between these powers
  constantly to preserve a balance of power in
  Europe. These alliances would also shift
  depending on the goals of the leaders involved.
               Absolute Monarchies and
                Enlightened Despots in
France: Absolute Monarchs-Louis XIII & Louis XIV
Spain: Absolute Monarchs-Philip II
England: Absolute Monarchs and Development of a Constitutional
Monarchy-Tudors & Stuarts
Austria: Enlightened Despots---Maria Theresa & Joseph II
Prussia: Enlightened Despot- Frederick the Great
Russia: Absolute Monarchs- Ivan the Terrible & Peter the Great
Russia: Enlightened Despot-Catherine the Great
     Alternatives to Absolutism
  – Nobles use the absence of the king during warfare
    to reaffirm their power.
►United Provinces
  – Merchants and landowners in the Estates General
    held the House of Orange in check.
  – King was elected by nobles, who continued to
    hold the power.

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