The Enlightenment Enlightened Despots Why the Strange Bedfellows? Philosophes believed ~~~>...
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The EnlightenmentEnlightened Despots
Why the Strange Bedfellows?Philosophes believed ~~~> benevolent absolutism = best chance for improving societyThe rulers seemed to seek the philosophes' advice. The philosophes distrusted the masses and believed that change had to come from above. WHY THE TOP DOWN APPROACH?
Prussia in the Age of Absolutism
Frederick II (The Great) r. 1740-1786At war for the first half of his reign.Takes Silesia from Austria in the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748).Prussia is now the most powerful German stateSeven Years War (1756-1763) Militarily he fought alone against France, Russia & Austria
War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748)Frederick seizes opportunity of territoryBy invading Silesia he defies the Pragmatic SanctionPrussiaAustriaFrancevs.BritainSpain Dutch Republic
Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)Attempts to restore balance of power that was present after War of Spanish SuccessionEnd Result Prussia retains Silesia (all territory returned to former owners)Prussia emerges as great European powerStrongest German state
Diplomatic Revolution Uneasy peace after 1748.A diplomatic revolution took placeFEAR: Conflict between Russia and Prussia for control of the Baltic Sea & PolandFrederick the Great seeks alliance with BritainAustria hoping to retake Silesia are forced to ally with France (Ends hundreds of years of feuding between the Habsburgs & French) marriage of Louis XVI & Marie AntoinetteRussians soon join the Franco-Austrian alliance
Frederick as Enlightened DespotFirst servant of the state. Restructured industry and agriculture Allowed religious toleration Created compulsory elementary education for all citizens Allowed thinkers to be published (Kant loves him) Legal system as tool: laws codified, torture abolished, quick and impartial trialsWriting to Voltaire: I must enlighten my people, cultivate their manners & morals & make them as happy as humans can be
Frederick as not so enlighteningExisting social structure went untouchedSerfdom stayedExtended privileges of nobility (his ally)Jews in Prussia (as in other German states) were an oppressed group (Ghettos, excluded from jobs/business opportunities)
Compare Sans Souci, Versailles, and Escorial
Russia in the Age of Enlightenment
Catherine the Great 1762-1798How do we get from Peter the Great to Catherine the Great?
Peter the Great to Catherine the GreatPeter the Great (r. 1682-1725) abolished hereditary process of Succession (could name his own heirs)1725-1741 a Period of rapid turnover of Tsars1741- Tsarina Elizabeth (daughter of P.T.GElizabeth had a young nephew named PeterElizabeth chose a German princess for Peter to have as a wife in 1744Once in Russia: learned Russian, converted from Lutheran to Eastern Orthodox, read Bayle, VoltaireElizabeth dies in 1761, young nephew Peter becomes Tsar Peter III (r. 1761-1762)
Peter IIIWithdrew Russia from Seven Years War (1756-1763)Peter tries to make friends by freeing the service nobilityCoup detat occursPeter III was arrested and executed (1762)
Catherines Goals:Brings sophistication to Russian culture Domestic reformTerritorial expansion
Goal 1: Sophistication of CultureImported Western architects, sculptors, musicians, artistsPatron of Voltaire, DiderotOffered to publish Encyclopedia in RussiaWesternized Russian nobility as Peter I westernized the military
Goal 2: Domestic ReformBetter Laws1767- Committee to look into codifying lawsPractice of torture was restrictedAllowed limited Religious tolerationTried to improve educationTried to strengthen local government
The Pugachev Uprising1773-proclaimed himself to be true tsarEnd serfdom, taxes, army serviceThousands join in the slaughterCaptured & Executed
Why is the Pugachev uprising significant?
Turning point in the Domestic PolicyEnds the possibility of getting rid of serfdomConclusions:Peasants were dangerous Catherines reign rested on support of NobilityAfter 1775: Serfdom increased and spread into the Ukraine 1785-Freed Nobles from taxes & states service Confiscated lands of R.O. Church and gave them to favorite officials UnderCatherineNOBLES SERFS
Goal 3: Territorial ExpansionExtremely successful Between 1768-1772: many victories against the TurksAcquires most of the lands around the Northern coast of Black sea1783- Annexed independent Crimea
Partition of PolandStory of Poland: *Weak/decentralized government*all decisions needed unanimous votes by all nobles elected to Polish dietCatherine upsets E. balance of power with her military victoriesFrederick the great come forward with a dealSlice up and distribute Poland.WHY?
3 partitions = Poland is gone
FRQ: 2008 TestAnalyze the methods and degrees of success of Russian political and social reform from the period of Peter the Great (1689-1725) through Catherine the Great (1762-1796)
Maria Theresa 1717-1780At the beginning major powers ignore the Pragmatic Sanction and attempt to carve up a vulnerable AustriaStrengthened the bureaucracy and began to tax nobilityReduced the power of the lords over their serfs thus strengthening agriculture
Further ReformsDetermined to limit the influence of the church on her kingdomBrought relations between state and church under government control and limited the popes political influence in the countryEstablished a system of elementary education, the first in Europe
Joseph II r. 1780-1790Believed in the greatest good for the greatest number.Abolished serfdom, allowed freedom of press, freedom of religion, civic rights, more equitable justice systemMade German official language (to assimilate minorities)Increased control over Catholic education and expanded state schools
Josephs Reforms ReversedLeopold II rescinds many lawsReforms floundered due to resistanceThe nobles rejected aAbolishing serfdom and requiring payment and serfs rejected it because there was no money in their barter systemHe died leaving the Empire in economic and political turmoil
King Louis XV (r. 1715-1774)Great grandson of the Sun KingThe Duke of Orleans governed as regent until 1723Under him the nobility make a strong comebackRestored the right to the high courts (Parlements) to review royal decrees before they become lawCurbs absolute power of the monarch
Absolute power diminishes further1748- 5% income tax on all individuals regardless of status----repealed thanks to protests by the Parlement Wartime taxes after 7yr. War were repealed thanks to protests by the Parlement
Rene de Maupeou1768- Louis XV appoints a tough official named Maupeou to crush the judicial oppositionMaupeou abolishes the parlements At first seen well needed reformEventually seen as royal despotismErodes the foundation of authority of the monarch with scathing accounts of the king and his court (Common people in Paris begin to listen)
King Louis XVI (r. 1774-1792)Eager to please, he dismisses Maupeou and cancels many of his reformsReinstated the ParlementsThe country continues down the path of financial crisis and political upheaval
Despotic ResultsIn France, the rise of judicial and aristocratic opposition combined with liberalism put absolutism on the defensiveIn eastern Europe, the results of enlightened absolutism were modest and absolutism remained strongBy combining state building with the culture and critical thinking of the Enlightenment, absolute monarchs succeeded in expanding the role of the state in the life of society.
More Despotic ResultsImprovements made by Enlightened despots were few and did little for the peasantryAbsolutists more vigorously sought reforms to strengthen the state and allow them to compete militarily with their neighborsReforms included toleration of religious minorities, simplified legal codes, and promotion of practical public educationThey continued the nation-state building of their predecessors.
Questions to ConsiderDoes change come from above or below?What reforms did Catherine the Great attempt to initiate in Russia? Why did she change her attitude toward reform later on in her reign?Why was Joseph II considered to be the only real "enlightened" absolute monarch of the 18c?Why did most of Joseph IIs reforms fail?Why were monarchs and the nobility natural rivals?
Theistic ResistanceGerman pietism: argued need for spiritual conversion and religious experienceMethodism: taught need for spiritual regeneration and a moral life that would demonstrate reality of the conversionJohn Wesley (1703-91): Preached in fields all over England and spread MethodismJansenism in France argued against idea of an uninvolved or impersonal GodStarted out worse from Protestants and ended up gaining Protestant support and losing Catholic support to the point where Spain ignored good ideas.
The EnlightenmentNeoclassical Art
Principles of Neoclassical ArtHarkens back to severity of Roman artShows the triumph of reason over passionReaction against the emotional Baroque stylePortraits were popular formIts principles fit well with the Gestalt
Jacques Louis David: The Oath of the Horatti (1784)Commissioned by the king of France with the goal of promoting public morality. Three Romans--brothers--join in swearing to give their lives for their city. Virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice are conveyed in a direct and visually economical way