08-absolutism_in_eastern_europe - AP European History Unit...

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© HistorySage.com 2012 All Rights Reserved This material may not be posted on any website other than HistorySage.com AP European History: Unit 3.3 HistorySage.com Absolutism in Eastern Europe: c. 1600-1740 I. Overview of Eastern Europe (“ HOP RAP ”) A. Three aging empires H oly Roman Empire, O ttoman Empire and P olish Kingdom gave way to new empires of R ussia, A ustria and P russia 1. Holy Roman Empire (HRE): religious divisions due to the Reformation and religious wars in 16 th and 17 th centuries split Germany among Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist princes 2. Ottoman Empire : could not maintain possessions in eastern Europe and the Balkans in the face of Austrian and Russian expansion a. Ottoman Empire was built on expansion The Sultan had absolute power in the empire After 1560 the decline in western expansion resulted in the gradual disintegration of the empire b. Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520-1566) was perhaps the most powerful ruler in the world during the 16 th century Nearly conquered Austria in 1529, captured Belgrade (Serbia), nearly 1/2 of eastern Europe including all Balkan territories, most of Hungary, and part of southern Russia. c. Highly talented Christian children from the conquered provinces were incorporated into the Ottoman Empire’s bureaucracy d. “Janissary corps”: those Christian slaves who were not selected for the Ottoman bureaucracy served loyally instead in the Turkish army e. Ottoman Empire was fairly tolerant regarding religion in its conquered provinces 3. Poland : liberum veto voting in Polish parliament had to be unanimous for changes to be made; thus, little could be done to systematically strengthen the kingdom Russia and Prussia encouraged certain members to invoke the liberum veto to weaken Poland. By 1800, Poland ceased to exist as a sovereign state; carved up by Russia, Austria and Prussia Use space below for notes
HistorySage.com AP Euro Lecture Notes Page 2 Unit 3.3: Absolutism in Eastern Europe © 2012 HistorySage.com All Rights Reserved B. Eastern European absolutism differed from French absolutism 1. Eastern absolutism was based on a powerful nobility, weak middle class, and an oppressed peasantry composed of serfs. 2. In France, the nobility’s power had been limited, the middle-class was relatively strong, and peasants were generally free from serfdom. Louis XIV built French absolutism upon the foundations of a well-developed medieval monarchy and a strong royal bureaucracy. C. Threat of war with European and Asian invaders were important motivations for eastern European monarchs’ drive to consolidate power. 1. Resulted in reduced political power of the nobility. However, nobles gained much greater power over the peasantry. 2. Three important methods of gaining absolute power: a. Kings imposed and collected permanent taxes without the consent of their subjects.

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