Absolutism notes - Western Civilization II I II III IV V VI...

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Western Civilization II I. Absolutism a. He who gave kings to men wished them to be respected as His lieutenants, reserving to Himself alone the right to examine their conduct.” -Louis XIV II. Absolutism as Theory and Practice - goes back to Medieval period a. Hierarchical society of “Old Regime Europe” b. Rural society with king- nobles-clergy-peasants c. Three ‘Estates’- First (clergy), second (nobility), third (everyone else)- mostly in France d. Except for Russia, all Estates had some rights although it varied place to place (extensive rights for nobles in Poland, less in France) e. In Prussia, king/czar owned all land, had right to take it away. i. Class based on achievements, money; rank based on birth ii. Prussia/France: new in 16/1700’s- kept same organizations, theory changed III. Louis XIV and Absolutism: Structure of Government a. King 1643-1715, ruled on his own from 1661- made himself prime minister b. Centralized bureaucracy: Intendants- appointed by king to oversee workers in France, not superior to nobles, took over for them c. Marginalized nobility: given honorary tasks and invited to live at Versailles- nothing
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