Modern History II Notes

Modern History II Notes - 1/19/07 I. The Great Chain of...

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1/19/07 I. The Great Chain of Being The basic world view accepted by most educated people in the early modern period (until the Enlightenment). World = a chain interlocked in a hierarchical fashion Highest being is God o Equality is not a virtue. All men aren’t created equally. o The higher you are on the chain, the more powerful, intelligent and virtuous you are because of your proximity to God. o It can’t be changed because God created it. Any attempt to change it will not be affective. Insult to God o It isn’t your place to try and change your status. God wanted you that way. No social mobility o Spiritual equality of all souls Every good person goes to heaven and everyone is equal II. Estates Clergy: Caring for souls o Top of hierarchy Nobles: formed secular authority o Judges, political leaders Everyone Else: make things (ex. Food, clothes) o No independent legal authority Formal legal entities. o Each estate had different legal codes III. The Monarchy Every modern European society was ruled by a King King = the most important noble Absolutism: consolidate power under the King o Administrative centralization Taxation by the King alone o Standing Armies Previously armies were independent. The King had to borrow troops from nobles o Raisand d’Etat – “Reason of State” The King identified his interests with those of the state o Increase the power and wealth of the state IV. Serfdom Details vary across Europe A system of formally unfree. Legal obligation to serve this.
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In return for living, your must give me most of your crops, etc. As much as 95% of the population V. Guilds Institutions for organizing artisan production o Rules for how to do work o Set prices o Admissions and training for people who want to join guild Hierarchy within the guilds Apprentice: young boy who is learning the trade Journeyman: go from town to town learning the trade Master: owns his own shop o Highly regulated, not a free market o Guilds ruled towns politically Citizenship: Keep out competition o Controlled town’s moral life Outside power limited They do things because they can o Moral, political, and economic power = all the same VI. Economic Traditionalism Not more work for more money Time o Goal to maintain standard of living, not to improve life. o Using the minimum amount of effort possible Risk Avoidance o Safety and reliability take preference over long-term profit None of these things are true anymore! 1/22/07 1776 The American Revolution Adam Smith (a Philosopher) wrote Wealth of Nations , an economic book Liberal Democratic Paradox o Equality: everyone believes that all people are created equal. However, the paradox is that there is too much inequality. o
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Modern History II Notes - 1/19/07 I. The Great Chain of...

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