Politics of the 18th century

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          Politics of the 18 century
Europe at War in the 1700s
o 1701-14 - 4th War “Spanish Succession
      Charles II of Spain died ; The Duke of Anjou (Philip), L’s grandson claims Spanish throne as
        Philip V, and is accepted by most Spaniards
      The problem: The Spanish Empire included not only the Kingdoms of Castille, Aragon and
        the other Iberian Kingdoms (although Portugal had achieved independence in 1640), but also
        the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Naples and Sicily), the Duchy of Milan, the Catholic
        provinces of the Netherlands (now modern Belgium), and vast American possessions. The
        possible combination of these thrones with that of France would have upset the maintenance
        of the delicate "balance of power" which had governed European relations since the peace of
        Westphalia in 1648.
      Again Grand Alliance (England, Holland, Sweden, HRE, Prussia/Brandenburg, Portugal, and
        Savoy vs. . . . . France.)
      Most of the fighting is in Italy, Netherlands and Germany
      Treaty of Utrecht
              Attempted to create a continental balance of power after all of Louis XIV’s wars.
              Philip can stay on the throne if the two crowns never unite.
              Spanish Netherlands to Austria
              British took control of a profitable slave trade route from Spain (Asiento) and got
                 colonial holdings
      Significance
              Put an end to French expansion, well at least under Louis XIV
              Signaled the rise of Britain as Europe’s primer power
              First time Balance of Power is mentioned.
o The War of Jenkins’s Ear
      1739 Great Britain and Spain clash over trading rights in the West Indies
      It got its name from an altercation between an English captain Robert Jenkins who got his ear
        cut off by a Spanish coastal patrol that was trying to protect their self proclaimed monopoly.
      Jenkins appeared before Parliament showing his ear to prove there were Spanish atrocities
        going on.
o The War of Austrian Succession
      Pragmatic Sanction 1740 – Charles VI had no male heir. Before he died in 1740, he got a
        regional agreement to recognize his daughter Maria Theresa as the rightful ruler of the
        Hapsburg domains
      Two months after Charles VI’s death Prussian King Frederick II attacked and captured the
        Hapsburg province of Silesia (northern Austria).
      This could have signaled open hunting season to pick apart Austria
      She is only 23 at the time. She promises the Magyars (Hungarian nobles) considerable local
        autonomy if they stay loyal
      France jumps in and supports Prussia. Great job France! You helped strengthen Prussia
        which will grow up to be Germany and fight you in not one but two world wars
      France’s involvement scares Britain
      It enters the war to make sure that the Netherlands stay in friendly Austrian hands and not
        fall back to the French
       France the supports Spain in the War of Jenkins’s Ear
       France is spread too thin and can’t win its war against Britain
       War ends in 1748 in a stalemate after ½ million deaths
       Treaty of Treaty of Aix Lachapelle
             The peace treaty called for the return of all captured territories worldwide
             Prussia refused to give back Silesia
             Britain kept the Asiento
o Diplomatic Revolution of 1756
      Britain signs a defensive alliance with Prussia aimed at preventing any foreign attack on the
        Germanies. Prussia was worried about a Russian or French attack.
      This meant that Britain, who had long been Austria’s ally, was now the ally of Austria’s
        biggest enemy, Prussia.
      As a result, France and Austria sign an alliance
o The Seven Year’s War
      Despite the Treaty of Aix Lachapelle France and Britain continue to clash over colonial
      1756 - Frederick II launched a preemptive attack against Saxony because he feared a Saxony-
        France-Austria invasion.
      1757 - an alliance forms between Austria-France-Sweden-Russia-and-Smaller German states
        to see to Prussia’s destruction
      Britain helps with financial aid
      Due to continued dynastic instability in Russia, Russia signs a peace treaty with Prussia
      Frederick II – afterwards known as Frederick the Great – was able to hold off Austria and
      Meanwhile British Secretary of the State William Pitt the Elder is using the continental war
        to divert French attention from the colonial conflict.
      He wants all of North America up to the Mississippi for Britain
      Sends 40,000 British & Colonial troops against the French in Canada.
             Largest colonial army to date
      France could not adequately provision its forces
      1759 – British forces capture Quebec
      Took the French West Indies and thus the sugar cane revenue
      Capture French Slave Trade routes and its revenue
      1755-1760 the value of the French colonial holdings dropped by 80%
      Would capture all of India
      1763 – Continental side of the war ends with Prussia keeping Silesia
      Britain wins a complete worldwide victory!!
      Treaty of Paris - 1763
             Britain gets all of Canada, Ohio River valley, and eastern half of the Mississippi
                River valley
             Prussia permanently wins Silesia
             France no longer a colonial power
             Due to the costs of the war, all the European powers need new sources of revenue
o The American Revolution and Europe
      Hence the Stamp Act, and the tax on tea.
      Blah Blah Blah … U.S. copies Locke and Montesquieu . . . Blah, Blah, Blah
      1778 France enters the war on the side of the Americans thus draining her reserves even
                        Enlightened Absolutism
Monarchial government dedicated to the rational strengthening of the central absolutist administration at
the cost of other centers of political power.

Did it to increase their military strength and look better in the world.

Voltaire and Diderot did not wish to limit the power of monarchs. Rather they sought redirect that
power toward the rationalization of economic and political structures and the liberation of intellectual

Catherine the Great 1762-1796
         Russia after Peter the Great

         The Problem: Peter the Great decided that ascent to the throne would not be based on hereditary
         principles such as the rule of primogeniture (rule of inheritance whereby power descends to the oldest
         son) Instead, he said that the tsar would name his own successor. However, Peter died without naming
         someone to succeed him. This may have been because he found his son Alexis such an unworthy
         replacement that he killed the poor boy. When Peter the Great died in 1725 he was followed by a series
         of weak rulers.

         The Boyars and the Streltsy were deciding who the kings were.
              Catherine I 1725-1727
              Peter II ruled from 1727-1730.
              Anna I 1730-1740
              Anna II 1740-1741.
              Elizabeth I - 1741-1762 (Peter the Great's daughter)
                Ruled during the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years’ War. Under her reign St.
                Petersburg became a beautiful city. She hired an Italian architect who built some of Russia's
                most well known buildings. These include The Catherine Palace and the fourth Winter Palace,
                which is now the Hermitage museum.
              Peter III, who lasted only a few months. This was the guy who signed the peace treaty with
                Frederick II to help Prussia out with the Seven Years’ War. Probably saved him from defeat
                in the Seven Years’ War.Due to his unpopular actions and anti-Russian feelings, the military
                sponsored his wife in a coup that succeeded and Catherine the Great began her rule of Russia.

      Enlightened? Not really
          o Tried to look enlightened. Used to write to Voltaire and reference Diderot to make
              Russia look more western.
          o Catherine the Great confirmed authority of the nobles over their serfs in exchange for the
              landowner’s political cooperation
          o 1767 Held a legislative commission to advise her on laws (500 delegates). Didn’t get
              anything done
          o 1768 she canned the commission but not before she used it to learn a lot about the local
              state of Russia
          o 1762 Catherine the Great excluded Jews from a manifesto that welcomed foreigners to
              settle in Rusisa
          o But she did try to Westernize Russia
      Catherine strengthened her crown by making friends with the nobles
          o Kept local control in the hands of the Boyars instead of creating a bureaucracy since she
              had few well educated middle class to create one from anyway
          o 1785 Charter of Nobility guaranteed Nobility privileges.
      Continued the Russian drive for warm water ports
          o This meant fighting with the Turks
          o 1769 -1774 the two fight
          o Treaty of Kachuk-Kainardji
                   Russia got a direct outlet to the Black Sea
                   Created an independent Crimea Province which Catherine annexed in 1783
      Peasants not all that thrilled with Catherine
          o Fifty peasant revolts occurred between 1762 and 1769
          o 1773-75 Pugachev’s Rebellion – Leader promised serfs their own land ownership. All of
              Southern Russia was in revolts.
          o This was the biggest but not the only one:
                   1775 in Bohemia
                   1784 in Transylvania
                   1786 in Marovia
                   1789 in Austria
                   None in Western Europe but there were rural riots in England

Frederick the Great of Prussia (Frederick II (1740-1786)
 More Prussian Fredericks then you can shake a Junker at!
  Frederick William the Great Elector – (1640-1688)
        o Seen as the first to start to unify Prussia
        o Uses the taxes to build a large army to collect more taxes.
        o Junkers (Prussian nobility) had to be loyal to the state but in return they had complete control over their
            serfs. They passed the taxes onto the serfs.
        o The tax collectors were pulled from the nobility – they passed
        o Made the army the centralizing force – had to swear an oath to it.
  Frederick I (1688-1713)
        o Got the title King!
        o At the outbreak of the War of Spanish Succession he put his army at the disposal of the HRE and won the
            right to call himself king.
  Frederick William I (1713-1740)
        o General Directory – organized the bureaucracy along military lines –
        o Attempts to replace feudal sense of duty with a duty for the state.
        o Lower officials submitted all relevant documents to him in his office. He reviewed them
        o He ruled alone
        o Increased Prussian army from 39000 in 1713 to 80000 in 1740
        o 3rd/4th largest in Europe whereas the population was only 13 th
        o Had to supply a quota of soldiers
        o He always wore a military outfit
        o Military offices become the highest regarded social class
        o Sons of the Junkers became the army officers
        o The army, the Junker military, and the Monarchy are a single entity
        o Prussian Army possessed its nations
        o Did not go waging needless wars!
  Frederick II - Will be called Frederick the Great of Prussia (174-1786)
     Got Silesia from Austria in 1740
          o He wanted it to be a manufacturing district
     Religiously tolerant allowing Jews and Catholics in the workforce but still a predominantly
      Protestant cabinet.
     Legal reform aimed at making it more rational but also gaining more central control and
     Called himself the “first servant of the state”
          o State as an entity

Joseph II of Austria
     Co-ruled with Maria Theresa from 1765-1780
     Then alone until 1790
     Believed in Rationalism
     Had to deal with many Aristocratic and Peasant rebellions
     Some peasant reforms like when Maria Theresa decreased the amount of labor or robot
      landowners could demand from peasants
     Joseph wanted to reduce Hungarian autonomy but was forced to give up all his concessions by
     Toleration decree in 1781
     Made life better for the Jews by relieving taxes and certain signs of personal degradation
     Tried to control the church governance and closed monasteries
     Tried to moderate nobles’ control over their peasants
     Tried to make all sectors of society pay taxes. It failed.

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