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The Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire

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The Holy Roman Empire

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  1. The Holy Roman Empire • (know the Location) NOT Holy, NOT ROMAN, and NOT an Empire. • A loose collection of GERMAN Kingdoms, principalities, & church holdings. • About 300 in total • It is NOT the continuation of Rome and has NOTHING to do with that. However, Germany will eventually come out of it.

  2. more • Significance: Just when England, France, & Spain are becoming modern States (New Monarchies) by centralizing power from local nobles to a King, the H.R.E. fails to do this. • Thus, it fails to modernize and thus remains weaker than it should be compared to the emerging powers. • (A preview: When the Germans DO get their act together and unify to create Germany in 1871, they will be the most productive and populous country in modern Europe).

  3. REVOLT IN THE NETHERLANDS • Mid-sixteenth century Netherlands was very different from either France or Spain • 17 autonomous provinces, the most important being Flanders, Brabant, and Holland • Antwerp was the largest city and chief financial center of western Europe • 1506-1556 HRE Charles V was the ruler of the Low Countries 

  4. Control of the country was handled by the State-General with delegates from each province • The Low Countries was also a popular place for Protestants and religious toleration--Erasmus • Philip II inherited the dukedom of Burgundy in 1556 • Philip tried to introduce Spanish politics and religion to the Low Countries and encountered stiff resistance • He personally disliked the Low Countries and never visited after 1559 

  5. Calvinism • By 1560, Calvinism was a strong, militant minority in most of the cities in the Netherlands. • Lutheranism had posed no serious threat to Spanish rule. • Calvinism is what worried the Spaniards.

  6. In the provinces… • These provinces possessed a large middle-class population. • Calvinism appealed to the middle classes with an emphasis on any form of labor well done. • It took deep root among financiers in Amsterdam and people in the northern provinces. • Working-class people were also converted, partly because their employers would hire only other Calvinists.

  7. In 1559 Philip II appointed his half-sister, Margaret as regent of the Netherlands. • Background: Charles V had steadily increased taxes in the Low Countries • When Margaret raised taxes even more, fanatical Calvinists went on a rampage.

  8. Duke of Alva • Took a “get tough” approach against the rebellious Dutch. • Ordered to suppress the revolt and Calvinism • A reign of terror of six years • Several thousand rebels executed • Counterproductive in that it only unified the diverse Dutch people against Philip.

  9. 1579 • Spanish rule restored in 10 southern provincesCatholics • Seven northern provinces unite as Union of Utrecht (Calvinist) • Led by William of Orange (Silent Bill) • Silent Bill assassinated

  10. Keeps on keepin’ on • England and France assist Dutch • Spain’s preoccupation with France and England hurts them • Twelve Years’ Truce—north provinces virtually independent now.

  11. The Dutch Republic • After Dutch independence • Amsterdam becomes main European money market • Also, primary commodities market and chief supplier of arms • Dutch entrepreneurs produce goods at lower prices and marketed them effectively • Merchants favor free trade bec. Of their competitive advantage

  12. Open trade = tolerance? • Dutch trade w/ anyone anywhere, so more tolerant of religion • 1/3 Catholic could worship as they choose • Relatively large Jewish pop.—settled there after being driven out of Spain and Portugal • Open worship in synagogues

  13. Openness • Makes the Dutch Republic one of Europe’s chief intellectual and scientific centers in the 17th and 18th centuries