History Unit 1 - Background to Revolutions Absolutism...

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III. The Ideology of the EnlightenmentToday’s QuestionsWhat is the role of absolutism, mercantilism, and the ideas of the Enlightenment in the Atlantic world around 1750? How did they shape the world in which British, French, and African people in the Americas lived?Mercantilism: A DefinitionA system that seeks to increase the wealth of one country at the expense of others. In a 17thcentury Atlantic world context, a system in which raw materials are extracted from the western hemisphere colonies to enrich European countriesFrench in Canada: beaver furEnglish in North America: agricultural goodsoTobacco in Virginia and MarylandoRice in South CarolinaCaribbean Islands: sugar1700-1775: Peak of Atlantic Slave Tradeo¾ of the 12.4 million slaves came during this timeoMercantilist system does not work without unpaid laborNeed slaves in order to make profitsSlaves are central to Mercantilism which is the point of colonizingVirginia and Maryland are the only places with self-producing slaveryLife expectancy in Caribbean for slaves was 3 yearsAbsolute Monarchy: A DefinitionAn absolute monarchy is one in which there are no formal checks on the power of the king or queen – all power flows from them, and they have the final word on absolutely everythingDifferent than the divine right of kings, which stated that God had ordained a king or queen to rule, but did not necessarily mean he or she did so as an absolutist. England believed in the divine right of kings but was not an absolute monarchyPrime example: FranceEarly 17thcentury, Louis XIII dissolves Estates General which doesn’tmeet again until 175 yearsoNo other government except for the king and his ministersoDoesn’t really interact with peasantsTotally disconnected

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