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Flashcards in European Powers in the Age of Enlightenment Deck (34)

What were the changes the 18th century saw with nation-states?

Prussia and Russia emerged as great powers while Austria, France, and Great Britain adjusted to changing political, economic, and social circumstances.


What were Enlightened Absolutists?

They were absolute monarchs who implemented some of the ideology of Enlightenment philosophes that met their desires or enhanced their power or personal authority. This Enlightenment could also be achieved at the expense of the nobility and the Church.


What are examples of Enlightened Absolutists?

Catherine the Great of Russia, Joseph II of Austria, and Frederick II of Prussia


Why was it surprising that Prussia became a dominant European power in the 18th century?

It was a poor German state that was devastated in the Thirty Years War. It had poor agricultural land and labor shortages that led to the establishment of serfdom.


Who were the Junkers?

The Prussian nobility. Rulers generally needed their support in order to govern.


Who was Frederick William?

Frederick William worked an agreement with the Junkers in which they provided him revenue in exchange for his acceptance of their control over the serfs in order to expand his army. The Junkers became deeply involved in the army. When Frederick William died, Prussia had a well-organized army, an expanded territorial base, and a very efficient civil service.


Who was Frederick the Great?

Frederick was the greatest Prussian ruler who was an enlightened absolutist fascinated by intellectual France. Frederick freed the serfs on royal estates but didn't do so on private estates to maintain the Junkers' support. He ended capital punishment, but did not emancipate Jews in his kingdom.


Who was Maria Theresa?

She was an Austrian empress who pushed a series of reforms that removed hardships off the serf population.


Who was Joseph II?

Maria Theresa's son, he was religiously tolerant and sought to remove the Catholic Church from Austrian lands, viewing them as a threat to centralized authority. He issued Edicts of Toleration granting Jews, Lutherans, and Calvinists freedom of worship; however, Jews were still discriminated against. He also raised taxes on the wealthy and abolished serfdom. After his death, Leopold II rolled back several of his reforms.


What was the Pragmatic Sanction?

It allowed Habsburg lands under the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV to remain intact under one ruler and pass the throne onto Maria Theresa.


What was the War of Austrian Succession? When was it?

It was a war (1740-1748) that occurred after Charles IV died; Prussia immediately seized Silesia from the Austrian empire. Despite losing Silesia, Maria Theresa remained on the throne. It quickly became a European war, with Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and Great Britain fighting Prussia, France, and Spain.


How was the War of Austrian Succession resolved?

It was resolved through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, where the Austrian throne was saved for the Habsburgs.


What were the results of the War of Austrian Succession?

Prussia emerged as a German state and a major rival to Austria. Additionally, the Diplomatic Revolution occurred wherein the Austrian Habsburgs allied with France, while Sweden and Russia made an alliance that was threatening to Prussia. Great Britain broke off ties with Austria and became allies of Prussia, which gave immense aid to Frederick to continue fighting.


What was the Seven Years War and when was it?

It was a war (1756-1763) where Frederick atempted to put down his enemies before a cohesive alliance was made against the Prussians; the Prussians were ultimately defeated by a large Russian army. Despite losing, the Prussian state was preserved, while the British had won French colonies in Canada and India.


What was Russian interaction like prior to the 18th century?

Russia was largely closed off to western Europe as a result of the Mongol invasions. Russia missed out on the humanistic culture of the Italian Renaissance.


What emerged as the primary Russian state? Who was it governed by?

The Duchy of Muscovy gradually became the dominant state in the Russian Steppe. Under the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the territory of Muscovy was greatly expanded. After the death of Ivan, Russia entered the "Time of Troubles" until a tsar from the Romanov family was selected.


Who transformed the Russian state into a major European power?

Peter the Great


Who was Peter the Great?

He was a Russian tsar who was determined to Westernize Russia. He imposed taxes on each serf while establishing monopolies on commodities like salt. Peter used this expanded revenue to create a centralized bureaucracy and implemented a merit system to control the nobility. Peter built the city of St. Petersburg that emulated France but cost the lives of countless serf laborers.


How did Peter increase the Russian military? What was its effect?

Peter initially conscripted serfs and built the first Russian navy. He expanded Russian territory while surrounding states were weakening. He defeated the Swedes in the Great Northern War.


Who was Catherine the Great?

She was an enlightened absolutist who applied the ideas of Montesquieu and Voltaire to the state. She codified Russian law but did little to actually reform. As a result of the Enlightenment thought, French culture and ideas spread among the Russian aristocracy.


How was Catherine the Great an example of an Enlightened Absolutist?

She implemented many ideas of Enlightenment philosophes like Montesquieu and Voltaire. However, she still maintained absolute power over Russia, seen by her brutal crushing of the Pugachev Rebellion.


Who was King Charles III of Spain?

He was initially the King of Naples who studied Benito Feijoo, Spain's foremost philosophe. He brought Feijoo's reforms to the more orthodox teachings of the Catholic Church, prompting conflict with the Catholic Church. He ultimately forced Pope Benedict XIV to tax church officials and hold them equal under the law. When he became ruler of Spain, he improved roads, limited bullfighting, and promoted free trade while limiting the power of the Church.


What was the early state of Poland called and what was its weakness?

The early state of Poland was called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was created to combat the threats from the crusades. The flaw of the Polish-Lithuanian state was the failure to establish a strong, centralized government, and soon nobles had sufficiently weakened the crown. While Jan Sobeski was Poland's greatest ruler, Poland was weak by the middle of the 18th century.


What was the first partition of Poland?

In 1772, Russia, Prussia, and Austria forced Poland to accept partition that cost Poland 30% of its territory.


What were the effects of the first partition of Poland?

The Polish-Lithuanian Parliament (Sejm), under the influence of the Enlightenment, created the first written constitution, although it was never fully implemented.


How did neighboring countries react to the Constitution?

Russia and Prussia insisted on the removal of the constitution and carried out the Second Partition in 1793. Despite a brief revolt by Tadeusz Kosciusko, the third partition of Poland wiped it off of the map.


Why was England the most stable nation in Europe during the 18th century?

The triumph of Parliament against Stuart absolutism put Great Britain in a position of political stability that would provide one of the foundations for an overseas empire and the industrial revolution.


How was Britain ruled after the Stuarts were deposed?

The throne passed to George I of Hanover and eventually to George II. Because both were less attentive to British politics, the government was run by Robert Walpole, who became the first prime minister. Walpole operated using patronage but was eventually forced out.


What were the two major parliamentary blocks in British politics?

The two major blocks were the Tories and the Whigs. The Tories supported the rights of the monarch and the Church of England, while the Whigs supported the power of the parliament and religious tolerance.


What was Edmund Burke's theory regarding political parties?

He said that they were essential to parliamentary government and a fundamental component of political stability.


Why did George III's rule change British foreign policy?

Even though the British benefited immensely from the Seven Years War, it had a large debt and raised taxes on different parts of the empire, especially on the American colonies, leading to the American revolution, which was aided by France and Spain as revenge for the Seven Years War.


How did George III's rule start conversation of British parliamentary reform?

The American struggle for independence inspired parliamentary reform, as only landowners could vote and there were many parliamentary anomalies. It emerged as a significant factor in the 1780s, but the stigma of the French Revolution created a backlash.


How did the backlash against absolutism in France develop?

An increasing number of French regarded the powers of the crown as increasingly despotic. A series of missteps by the monarch eventually emboldened the French people and aristocracy.


What role did the nobles play in challenging French absolutism?

The nobles constantly foiled the plans of the King int the regional parlements, which were law courts made of nobles who registered royal edicts before they were enforced. After the parlements ignored one of King Louis XV's orders, he dissolved them; however, they were brought back under Louis XVI to raise money for the Seven Years War debt.