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Chapter 17 Part 2

Chapter 17 Part 2

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Chapter 17 Part 2

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  1. Chapter 17Part 2 Eastern European Absolutism Prussia

  2. Prussia (the Hohenzollerns) • Brandenburg: Ruler of Brandenburg was designated as one of the 7 electors for the Holy Roman Emperor in 1417 • Was once called, “The Sandbox of Europe” • But over time, strategic marriages gave the Hohenzollerns control over much of central and western Germany • BUT the prince of Brandenburg had little power over the Nobility: Junkers

  3. Frederick William (1640-1688) • Called “The Great Elector” (could not be king or emperor because Brandenburg was inside of the HRE • Nephew of Gustavus Adolphus • Wife was granddaughter of William the Silent • Was well-educated…spoke 5 languages

  4. The Great Elector • Was a strict Calvinist BUT much religious toleration: Jews, Catholics and settled 20,000 Huguenots after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes • Encouraged Industry, Trade, settled Dutch farmers and foreign craftsmen • New industries: wool, cotton, velvet, lace, silk, soap, paper

  5. The Great Elector • The only one before Kaiser Wilhelm II to be interested in foreign trade • Built a canal linking the Elbe and Oder Rivers • Local governments in each province • Central government in Berlin

  6. Centralization • State of permanent crisis due to : • Ongoing struggle between Poland and Sweden over control of the Baltic states • Wars of Louis XIV • 1656-1657 Invasions by Tartars of southern Russia who carried off or killed 50,000

  7. Nobles were vulnerable so… • Nobles gave $ and power to the Elector for defense • Prussian nobles did not join the townsmen resisting royal power • The Great Elector: 2 times the taxes of France for standing army…Nobility taxed too

  8. The Great Elector • Believed he was guided by God (but not exactly divine right) • Oversaw Prussian militarism • Created the most efficient army in Europe • Soldiers were also tax collectors and policemen • Unified Brandenburg, Prussia, Rhine holdings into a single state

  9. Junkers • Dominated the Prussian military officer corps • Dominated the estates of Brandenburg and Prussia • 1653: hereditary subjugation of the serfs to compensate the Junkers for their support of the crown

  10. The Great Elector • Valued education • Built the Berlin Library • The University of Pufendorf • Established Berlin as the capital

  11. Elector Frederick III (1688-1713) • aka first “King” of Prussia (so Frederick I) • Aka “The Ostentatious” • Was the most popular of the Hohenzollerns • Emulated the court of Louis XIV: • Dinner announced by 24 trumpeters • White satin and gold trim for soldiers’ uniforms • Built elaborate palace, servants: blue satin uniforms

  12. Frederick I • Was at war throughout most of his reign • Fought in the War of the League of Augsburg • Fought in War of the Spanish Succession • Both against Louis XIV • Reward: “King” of Prussia in Treaty of Utrecht

  13. Frederick I • Encouraged higher education • Founded Halle University • Welcomed immigrant scholars • Founded an academy of science

  14. Frederick William I (1713-1740) • aka “The Soldiers’ King • Was most important of the Hohenzollerns in terms of building absolutism • Army went from 45,000 to 80,000 • Military cost 80% of royal revenue • Was obsessed with finding very tall soldiers • Avoided war • Was nephew and son-in-law of George I (England)

  15. Frederick William I (the Soldiers’ King) • Militarism was part of Prussian society • Prussia called, “The Sparta of the North” • Highest virtue: Unquestioning obedience • The most militaristic society of modern times • But avoided military conflict through deterrence

  16. Prussia • Had the most efficient bureaucracy in all of Europe • Local self-government and parliamentary estates forced out • Demanded absolute obedience and discipline from civil servants • Fiscals: King’s spies on civil servants • Promotions based on merit • Some commoners COULD rise to positions of power

  17. Prussia • High levels of taxation • Junkers still the backbone of the army • More control over the peasants given to the Junkers in exchange for support of King’s absolutism • DID establish 1,000 schools for peasant children (educated masses could better serve the state

  18. Frederick II (the Great) 1740-1786 • The most powerful and famous of all the Prussian Kings • Was considered an “Enlightened Despot” (later) for incorporating ideas of the Enlightenment into his reign • Will institute many reforms • Will increase Prussia’s territory at the expense of the Hapsburgs (Maria Theresa) and Poland

  19. Frederick the Great • Will nearly destroy Prussia in the War of the Austrian Succession • Will only be saved by actions of Peter III (Russia)

  20. Frederick the Great • Childhood a nightmare • Father (Soldiers’ King) micromanaged his son’s time • Frederick the Great’s day as a child was closely supervised from 6:00am) am to 10:30 pm • At age 5 he knew all 54 movements of the army’s drill

  21. Frederick the Great • As a young man, he and his best friend ran away • His father’s agents found them and brought them back • Frederick was forced to watch as his friend was tortured and killed.