The Rise of Absolutism How did the Age of Exploration lead to Mercantilism and Capitalism? How did the role of monarchs in Europe change in the 1600s?
Capitalism Emerges • As explorers brought back riches from the New World (the Americas) and traded with Asia and Africa, more money was in circulation • At the same time, prices rose in Europe • When these two things happen at once, it’s called inflation…this particular time that it happened in the 1500s it was called the Price Revolution. • This time period was a great chance for people to make money if they took a chance on a new business • Starting a business was a risk, but it could have a high reward • Entrepreneurs would invest in new business ideas and take the financial risk while others did the actual work of the business • Guilds could not stand up to this new system because they no longer controlled the manufacture of goods or the prices; they soon faded away • Mercantilism became the economic aim of European monarchs (kings and queens)… they believed • A nation’s wealth/strength relied on having physical supplies of gold and silver • Countries must export more than they import (sell more than they buy) • Colonies exist for the benefit of the mother country
The Age of Absolutism • General Ideas • From about 1550-1800, European monarchs became more and more powerful • Before this, local lords or princes had power over their individual areas and shared control with the monarch • During the Age of Absolutism, monarchs started to centralize their own power by taking power away from everyone under them • The most famous king during the Age of Absolutism was Louis XIV, who once declared “I AM the state”
Philosophical Support • The Divine Right of Kings • Idea that a king’s authority comes straight from God, so to question him (or his right to rule) is to question God • 1651: English Philosopher Thomas Hobbes: • “During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war. . . In such condition, there is no place for industry . . . No arts; no letters; no society; and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death. And the life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” –Leviathan • According to Hobbes, what would the world be like if we were all left alone to take care of ourselves, with no government at all? • Do you agree or disagree? Why? • What is his solution to this problem? • Is this a good solution? Why or why not?
Your Job: • You will now make a resume for one of the absolute monarchs during the Age of Absolutism • You must highlight the skills and qualifications that ruler had that made him/her a great (or not?) ruler • You must list his/her accomplishments while he/she was ruled • You must list the country and the time period he/she ruled • This will require using Microsoft Word and researching online. When you are done, you may email it to me or put it on a flash drive to print it out. • Work in pairs! • Websites: • http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Political-absolutism • http://www.biography.com/ • http://ph.infoplease.com/ • Rulers: • Elizabeth I - Phillip II - Louis XIV • Frederick William I - Peter the Great