ABSOLUTISM (1600-1770)

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, European History, War And Revolution (1914-1938), Russian Revolution
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ABSOLUTISM (1600-1770)

INTRODUCTION In

the Middle Ages, the power of kings had been limited by nobles, parliaments, and the Catholic Church The decline of feudalism, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Commercial Revolution all helped enrich European society and increase the power of European monarchs (hereditary rulers)

THE BIG QUESTION: How

did Europe’s rulers achieve absolute power?

WARS OF RELIGION During

the Reformation, most kings took control of religion within their own borders Religious wars provided kings with an opportunity to build large standing armies Introduced new government officials Allowed tax increases (resistance was put down by the king’s army)

CHANGING ROLES OF THE NOBILITY In

the Middle Ages, nobles had been independent sources of power In the 1600s, rulers began to “tame” the nobility by keeping watch over them. Nobles kept wealth and privileges, but had to obey the king’s command The growing urban middle classes often allied themselves with kings against the nobility

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR ROYAL POWER  “Reason

of state” – justified doing whatever was necessary for the survival of the state  Some thought that without a strong central authority to keep order, society would break down, so kings were justified in seizing absolute power in order to maintain order in society  Divine right of kings – the king was God’s deputy on earth, and royal commands expressed God’s wishes

ACTIVITY Complete

the chart of absolute rulers. Include the years the monarch ruled, the country the monarch ruled, and key legislations or policies.

LEFT SIDE ACTIVITY Choose

one of the justifications for royal power and create a cartoon describing or illustrating it.

ABSOLUTISM IN RUSSIA  By

the end of the 15th century, rulers around Moscow declared independence from Mongol rule (adopted the system of royal absolutism on a grand scale)  Conquered neighboring lands  The majority of population were serfs (just when serfdom was declining in Western Europe, it was increasing in Eastern Europe)  Russian nobility pledged absolute loyalty to the Tsar in return for their power over serfs

ACTIVITY Add

Peter the Great (16821725) and Catherine the Great (1762-1796) to your chart

Left Side Activity Create

a chart comparing absolutism in France and Russia. Include both similarities and differences

LIMITED MONARCHY IN ENGLAND

English

monarchs were never able to establish absolute rule as those in France, Spain and Russia did Checks had been placed on the English king’s power  Magna

Carta (1215) guaranteed that Englishmen could not be fined or imprisoned without process of law and new taxes had to be approved by the king’s barons  Parliament: established as a legislative body made up of nobles and elected representatives

ENGLAND’S ROAD TO LIMITED MONARCHY  Create

a flow chart describing the events leading to England’s Limited Monarchy:  Tudor

Monarchs: Henry VIII and Elizabeth I  Early Stuart Monarchs: James I and Charles I  English Civil War (1642-1649): Oliver Cromwell  The Restoration: Charles II  The Glorious Revolution: William and Mary and the English Bill of Rights

POLITICAL THINKERS IN THE AGE OF ABSOLUTISM 

Thomas Hobbes – Man was not naturally good and

was incapable of maintaining social order, therefore absolute rule was necessary  John Locke – believed rulers obtained power from the people, not God. Promoted the “social contract”. The purpose of government was to protect natural rights (life, liberty, property)  Sir William Blackstone – explained English common law (judges following precedents of other courts) and England’s “mixed monarchy” where power was shared by king and Parliament.

EUROPEAN SOCIETY IN THE 18TH CENTURY Social

Order – The “Old Regime” Society was aristocratic – people of noble birth were a race apart (superior to everyone else) Nobles owned the most land, served as army officers, became Church bishops, and held the highest government positions

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