Hist1730Exam1 - Absolutism Kings have different personalities Peter the Great was 69 Napoleon was 53 but they were powerful for different reasons

Hist1730Exam1 - Absolutism Kings have different...

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Absolutism Kings have different personalities Peter the Great was 6’9”, Napoleon was 5’3” but they were powerful for different reasons Christendom (Christian Unity) is beginning to fragment with the emergence of the state (between 1400-1700?) Kings’ power in the middle ages was limited by: Church Church had tons of power and also tons of wealth Monasteries weren’t just places where people holed up to pray, they were functioning economic units Also, the church had it’s own law even Nobility/Nobles They really run the armies They control the land and all the serfs Feudalism Other monarchs Individualism didn’t really matter in the middle ages, what mattered was belonging to a group Contracts Whether it’s between kings and nobles or kings and kings Contracts can be broken Kings had to recognize local laws, local customs, etc. Cities/Towns Were being revived during the late middle ages Controlled by “small people” such as merchants and other people who “didn’t matter” Also had town/city walls, collect tolls that don’t go to the king, they go to the city Universities Even to this day, universities have their own police force and the regular police have to ask permission to come on campus So when people got rowdy, the king’s authorities couldn’t chase them onto the university campus...this is a limiting factor Geography Self-explanatory, geography simply limited everyone more back then Louis the XIV said “I am the State” (“L’Etat, c’est moi”) This is a pretty risky thing to say considering everything mentioned above. He didn’t actually say this publicly, of course Absolutism doesn’t really mean that the king controls everything (only means this in theory) Absolutism: uncontrolled monarchy, monarchy without the restraints of all the limiting things mentioned above Consecration of power in the king (unlike the medieval age) which signified the decline of the limiting government of the middle ages This shift began as early as the 15th century Most famous Absolutist Theorist: Thomas Hobbes (The Leviathan) Jean Bodin wrote about sovereignty Argued that the sovereign could make law but not be bound by it His power was absolute He must be able to tax without consent Should have their own permanent army, their own government (king’s men) Should share their judicial power with no one Might seek the advice of ministers or advisors, but the king’s decision was final Bishop Bosseut was also an absolutist writer
Absolutism is NOT the same as Authoritarianism Difference is that absolutist kings have “divine right” That is, they have been chosen by God to rule completely Decline of representative institutions In Spain, they were called “Cortes” and they completely disappeared Subjugation of the nobility (old and futile)

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