Enlightened Absolutism. Prussian, Russian, and Austrian Politics in the Enlightenment

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1 Enlightened Absolutism Prussian, Russian, and Austrian Politics in the Enlightenment

2 Politics Before Enlightenment Absolutism: traditional assumption of power (hereditary throne) and belief in divine right of kings Principles: Administrative Power Financial Power Religious Power Military Power Where? France (Louis XIV), Eastern Europe: Russia, Austria, Prussia (R.A.P) Constitutionalism: government power limited by law; balance between power of government rights of individuals Where? England and Dutch Republic

3 New Political Theories New political theories challenged absolutism Begin with Hobbes and Locke New political models based: 1. Natural rights: rights basic to all men because all have ability to reason 2. Social Contract: state originated in the consent of the governed rather than divine right or tradition 3. Society composed of individuals driven by self interest

4 Enlightened Absolutism: Political Application of Enlightenment Enlightened Ideals Enlightened Absolutism 1. Reason/Rationalism 2. Scientific Method 3. Progress Practitioners of Enlightened Absolutism called Enlightened Despots Absolute monarchs in Central (Germany) and Eastern Europe (Russia and Austria) took interest in ideals of Enlightenment, seeing in them opportunity to modernize and consolidate their states Goals of Enlightened Despots: Religious Toleration Free Speech and Press Private Property Rights Patronage of the Arts and Sciences

5 Absolutism Enlightened Absolutism

6 Frederick the Great, Frederick II( ) Goal: increase power of Prussian monarchy Territorial Est. Prussia as a great power of Europe Heavily emphasized military power, invaded Silesia, starting War of Austrian Succession ( ) Kept Silesia in Seven Years War ( ) Participated in first partition of Poland (1772) Used French consultants to reform direct taxation system established indirect tax that generated more revenue Tariffs to protect growing Prussian industries Agriculture: swamps drained for more farmable land - new crops like potatoes and turnips Religion Legal Financial Codification of Prussian law which improved legal procedures and abolished use of torture Civil service reform: men of non-noble birth to fill senior govt positions Prussia predominantly Lutheran Respected rights of predominantly Catholic areas like Silesia

7 Evaluating Frederick Religious Toleration Free Speech and Press Private Property Rights Patronage of the Arts and Sciences Monarch The sovereign is the representative of his State. He and his people form a single body. Ruler and ruled can be happy only if they are firmly united. The sovereign stands to his people in the same relation in which the head stands to the body. He must act on its behalf to the common advantage. If we wish to elevate monarchical above republican government, the duty of sovereigns is clear, they must be active, hard working, upright and honest and concentrate all their strength upon filling their office worthily, that is my idea of the duties of sovereigns. Source: Essay on Forms of Government, Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia

8 Catherine the Great of Russia ( ) Economics Continued Peter the Great s policies - reduced internal barriers to trade Increased exports of flax, fur, grain Expansion Acquire most of Ottoman lands on Black Sea Annexed Crimea in 1783 Partitioned Poland: Ukraine and Lithuania Reorganization of Local Government Rewarded supporters with state lands inhabited by serfs who became property of noble inheriting land After revolt by serfs and cossacks, sparked by Emelian Pugachev in 1773, reorganized local government creating 50 provinces Local nobility control government of provinces

9 Evaluating Catherine Religious Toleration Free Speech and Press Private Property Rights Monarch... Science and the arts will be encouraged to flourish in the empire, projects useful for the domestic economy will be undertaken. But her policies will be based on Machiavellianism... She will adopt the prejudices of her entourage regarding the superiority of her power and will endeavor to win respect not by the sincerity and probity of her actions but also by an ostentatious display of her strength... Cunning and falsity appear to be vices in her character; woe to him who puts too much trust in her. Source: French diplomat in Moscow, mid-18c Patronage of the Arts and Sciences

10 The Austrian Hapsburgs Maria Theresa ( ) Control Over Nobility and Church Create centralized bureaucracy, able to take much power from nobles and local diets (parliaments) Expand the role of the state Taxes on nobility and clergy German became language of Austria State control over Catholic Church

11 The Austrian Hapsburgs Joseph II of Austria ( ) Son of Maria Theresa, elected HRE after father s death (did not rule Austria until her death 1780) Peasants Abolished peasants from working on land, but they had to pay a tax Part of tax go to nobles, majority goes to state Church Reforms Generous religious tolerance as he issue private worship Catholics and Jews Abolished monasteries and convents, state seizure of church lands so revenues go directly to state Clergy become employees of state

12 Evaluating the Hapsburgs Religious Toleration Free Speech and Press Private Property Rights Patronage of the Arts and Sciences Monarch

13 Partition of Poland Poland divided up by Russia, Austria, and Prussia three times In the end, Poland disappear from the map as its territories divided between these 3 powers

14 Evaluation of Enlightened Absolutists

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