Absolutism in Eastern Europe

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How did the basic structure of society in eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? How and why did the rulers of Austria, Prussia, and Russia manage to build powerful absolutist states?. Absolutism in Eastern Europe. I. Geography of Eastern Europe.
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How did the basic structure of society in eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? How and why did the rulers of Austria, Prussia, and Russia manage to build powerful absolutist states? Absolutism in Eastern Europe I. Geography of Eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • 3 aging empires:
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Republic of Poland
  • Ottoman Empire
  • 3 emerging states:
  • Austria
  • Prussia
  • Russia
  • Russia become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? Prussia Poland Holy Roman Empire Austria Ottoman Empire A. Holy Roman Empire (after 1648) become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • never very strong
  • remember Voltaire?
  • 30 Years’ War delivered final blow
  • econ, arts, lit, science 
  • religious disunity
  • central authority 
  • Holy Roman empire in 1648 H.R.E. continued – become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?gov’t structure:
  • emperor
  • elected by 9 electors, leaders of imp. German states
  • Habsburg position – bargain w/ electors to keep it
  • imperial diet
  • authority to raise troops & taxes  lost after 30 Yrs. War
  • H.R.E. continued… become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? Brandenburg-Prussia
  • not able to become absolutist as a whole, but individual states could:
  • Brandenburg-Prussia (Hohenzollerns)
  • Austria (Habsburgs)
  • 1806 – HRE dissolved
  • Austria B. Republic of Poland (about 1650) become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Kingdom of Poland + Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • republic = elected king + constitutional liberties
  • weak central authority
  • real authority = szlachta (landed aristocracy) & regional diets
  • heterogeneous pop.
  • Catholic
  • Republic of Poland continued… become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • 1795 – end of republic: carved up by stronger, expansionistic states
  • C. Ottoman Empire (about 1650) become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • strongest of the 3 aging empires, BUT:
  • weakened gov’t
  • weakened military
  • once strong – janissaries, well-equipped, devshirme
  • feared – sieges on Vienna in 1529 & 1683
  • Muslim
  • religious toleration
  • heterogeneous pop.
  • Ottoman print of devshirme in Bulgaria. Every fifth Christian child taken.
  • 1923 – dissolution become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • II. West vs. East become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Similar paths of development up to 1300:
  • trade, towns, pop. 
  • expansion into frontier
  •  opportunities for socioeconomic advancement
  • EXPANSION & GROWTH!! West vs. East become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Diverged after 1300:
  • Serfdom in Eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? How did eastern European landlords return peasants to serfdom?
  • made rulers issue laws restricting peasants’ movement
  • hereditary subjugation = serfdom passes on through generations
  • took over peasants’ land and  labor obligations
  • growth of estate agriculture
  • Serfdom in Eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? How were eastern landlords able to enforce their changes to the condition of the peasantry? Controlled local justice. Serfdom in Eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? Why did serfdom reemerge in eastern Europe?
  • economic interpretation: 14th-15th c. agricultural depression & pop.   labor shortage  landlords tie peasants to land  16th c. prosperity returns but lords finish what they started
  • flaw in argument: Western Europe had identical economic development but did not reinstate serfdom
  • Serfdom in Eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? Why did serfdom reemerge in eastern Europe?
  • political interpretation:
  • most convincing argument
  • Serfdom in Eastern Europe become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • political interpretation (continued):
  • III. Rise of Eastern Absolutism become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Monarchs vs. landlords  successful monarchs gained power in 3 key areas:
  • taxation
  • army
  • foreign policy
  • AUSTRIA become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? Austria become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Habsburgs
  • mostly in HRE, but also outside to SE
  • Austrian rulers = HRE emperors
  • Catholic
  • Habsburg domains to 1795. Austria – consolidation of power: become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • 30 Years’ War set stage:
  • Habsburgs (losers) turn inward and eastward to strengthen state
  • events in Bohemia (Phase 1) introduce new nobility loyal to Habsburgs  Habsburgs reestablish control over Bohemia
  • Austria – Bohemia & 30 Yrs War (1): become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Bohemian Estates (Protestant) revolt against Habsburgs (Catholic)
  • Battle of White Mountain (1620) – Bohemian Estates crushed
  • Habsburgs take land/power from Protestant Czech nobles and give it to Catholic Czech nobles = new Bohemian nobility loyal to Habsburgs
  • Austria – Bohemia & 30 Yrs War (2): become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Habsburgs reestablish control over Bohemia
  • Protestantism eliminated
  • peasants exploited even more: the robot  Personal note: It was in this era that my grandmother’s family converted from Protestantism to Judaism because they were persecuted for being Protestants and did not want to become Catholic – Judaism for them was the less detestable choice. Not a good decision in the long run.
  • Austria – Turkish wars & expansion: become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • 1529 & 1683 – unsuccessful Ottoman sieges on Vienna
  • Habsburgs acquire Hungary & Transylvania (Romania) from Ottomans
  • new Habsburg state = Austria, Bohemia, + Hungary Absolutism partially achieved become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • common Habsburg ruler but each state kept own laws/gov’t (Estates)
  • Pragmatic Sanction (1713) – Habsburg possessions are never to be divided and are to be passed to single heir
  • Hungary not fully integrated
  • Hungarian nobles revolted somewhat successfully
  • why and how: religion (Protestant Hungarians vs. Catholic Habsburgs), Hungarian nationalism, Ottoman military support
  • 1703 revolt under Rákóczy  Hungarians accept Habsburg rule & Habsburgs restore Hungarian nobility’s privileges
  • Austria – Habsburg rulers become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?(+ H.R.E. emperors):
  • Ferdinand II (r. 1619-1637)
  • crushes Bohemian Estates & creates new loyal Bohemian nobility
  • Ferdinand III (r. 1637-1657)
  • consolidates German-speaking provinces (Austria, Styria, Tyrol)
  • creates permanent standing army
  • Charles VI (r. 1711-1740)
  • Pragmatic Sanction (1713)
  • Rákóczy’s revolt
  • Prussia become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? Prussia become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period? Prussia become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Hohenzollerns = elector of Brandenburg & duke of Prussia
  • elector of Brandenburg – helps choose Holy Roman emperor
  • 1618 – Prussia became possession of elector of Brandenburg when junior branch of Hohenzollern family died out
  • Prussia become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Hohenzollerns had little power until 30 Years’ War
  • elector of Brandenburg = position bestowed no real power
  • Brandenburg: land-locked, no natural defenses, poor land
  • Prussia: separated from Brandenburg, basically part of Poland
  • 30 Years’ War weakened the Estates (rep. assemblies)  allowed monarchs to take more power
  • Prussia – Hohenzollern rulers: become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • Frederick William, the “Great Elector” (r. 1640-1688)
  • Frederick III, “the Ostentatious” (r. 1688-1713)
  • Frederick William I, “the Soldiers’ King” (r. 1713-1740)
  • Frederick William, the “Great Elector” (r. 1640-1688) become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?
  • strengthened central authority:
  • unified 3 provinces: Brandenburg, Prussia, lands along the Rhine
  • forced Estates to accept permanent taxation w/o their consent
  • created permanent standing army
  • factors enabling his success:
  • foreign invasions  Estates more willing to issue funds for army
  • Junkers did not support the towns  elector broke town liberties
  • Frederick III, “the Ostentatious” become different from that of western Europe in the early modern period?(r. 1688-1713)
  • weak
  • focused on copying Louis XIV’s style
  • Frederick III Louis XIV Frederick William I, “the Soldiers’ King” (r. 1713-1740)
  • most influential in est. Prussian absolutism
  • military obsessed
  • strengthened royal authority:
  • created best army in Europe
  • created strong, centralized bureaucracy
  • honest and conscientious
  • worked to develop economy
  • eliminated threat from nobility by enlisting Junkers in army (became officers)
  • almost always at peace
  • civil society became militarized – very rigid & disciplined
  • C. Russia 1713-1740)
  • Similar to W. Europe up to ≈1250:
  • Christian (though Eastern Orthodox)
  • territories unified (11th c.)
  • feudal (boyard nobility& peasantry)
  • political fragmentation at various times
  • 1250-1700: Russia becomes quite different from W. Europe
  • cause: Russia under brutal foreign rule (Mongols)
  • Largest contiguous empire in history!!! 1713-1740) Russia & the Mongol Conquest 1713-1740)
  • Chinggis Khan (1162-1227) & Golden Horde – great conquerors
  • Kiev (capital of Ukraine)
  • mid-13th c. – Mongols conquer KievanRus Mongol Yoke
  • Russia – The Mongol Yoke 1713-1740)
  • unified eastern Slavs
  • Allowed Russian princes who demonstrated good service/loyalty to retain some authority.    Muscovite princes served Mongols well  given more power. Over time Muscovite princes  territory and consolidate power.
  • Russia – rulers: 1713-1740)
  • Ivan I, “Ivan Moneybags” (r. 1328-1341)
  • Ivan III (r. 1462-1505)
  • Ivan IV, “Ivan the Terrible” (r. 1533-1584)
  • Michael Romanov (r. 1613-1645)
  • Alexis (r. 1645-1676)
  • Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725)
  • Ivan I, “Ivan Moneybags” (r. 1328-1341) 1713-1740)
  • stingy
  • made $$$ by lending $ to princes for Mongol tax collection
  • Mongols made him tax collector & great prince
  • Ivan III (r. 1462-1505) 1713-1740)
  • Muscovite power consolidated – no longer recognized leadership of Mongol khan   hello Russian absolutism!
  • Why did this happen?
  • Ivan III felt strong
  • tsars believed they had to carry on Byzantine legacy (Orthodox Xtianity ; Moscow as “Third Rome” after Constantinople)
  • monarchy became more powerful than nobility
  • boyard nobilitylost power in 15th c.
  • service nobility– new class loyal to tsar
  • Ivan IV, “Ivan the Terrible” 1713-1740)(r. 1533-1584)
  • 1st to take title of “tsar”
  • wars of expansion
  • successful in the E. – took Mongol land
  • unsuccessful in the W. (Poland-Lithuania)
  • subjugated boyars – reign of terror
  • service nobles demand more from peasants  peasants flee and form independent outlaw groups = Cossacks
  • urban traders & artisans bound to towns so Ivan could tax them
  • limited middle class (vs. W. Europe)
  • 1584-1682 1713-1740)
  • Theodore (r. 1584-1598)
  • “Time of Troubles” (1598-1613)
  • fighting over who would be tsar
  • unsuccessful Cossack rebellion led by Ivan Bolotnikov
  • Michael Romanov (r. 1613-1645)
  • elected by nobles – became new hereditary tsar
  • restored power of the tsar
  • 1584-1682 cont… 1713-1740)
  • Alexis (r. 1645-1676)
  • 1649 – peasants enserfed
  • social class gap widens
  • split in Russian Orthodox church: Nikon wants reforms along Greek Orthodox model vs. “Old Believers” want to stick to Russian ways  “Old Believers” persecuted & Russians alienated from church
  • 1670-71 – unsuccessful Cossack rebellion led by Stenka Razin
  • Alexis Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) 1713-1740)
  • What were his policies?
  • What made him “great”?
  • Was he really great?
  • Some Terminology 1713-1740)
  • tsar: term for the Russian ruler (like “king”)
  • autocracy: government in which one person possesses unlimited power
  • absolutism: government by an absolute ruler or authority, meaning a ruler completely free from constitutional or other restraint
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