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9-28-10 History Notes - History 123 Notes Enlightened...

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9/28/2010 History 123 Notes Enlightened Despotism in Central and Eastern Europe The Enlightenment encouraged quality of life before the law (Bill of rights, etc) They also believed that it was not the role of an individual to establish the natural laws because those kinds of decisions are not capable of being made by 1 person. An enlightened despot should be a person responsible for establishing laws. A despot is a ruler who created just laws and to ensure justice for the people and was someone to promote education and the arts and sciences. The extent to which they followed the despot varied from kingdom to kingdom. FRANCE AND ENGLAND In France, Louis XIV was followed by Louis V and he was then followed by Louis XVI. None of these rulers were very decisive when it came to reforms and French governors and ministers resisted reform. Resistance to enlightenment ideals and growing debts in the kingdoms caused the citizens to become unhappy, which would boil over at the end of the 18 th century. In England, there was a glorious revolution and a balance of power but in the 18 th century, the balance shifted more towards the Parliament. Anne, who took over the throne after William and Mary, joined Scotland and England together to form Great Britain and when she dies, she leaves no heirs to the throne. After Anne died, Parliament wanted to ensure a good protestant king so they chose from the German state Hanover, a man named George I. George I was a descendant of the throne and neither him nor his son could speak much English and they also didn’t understand the English style of government either. Because of these two issues, more and more governing went to Parliament who made reforms as needed and prevented a revolution. PRUSSIA
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Friedrich Wilhelm I wanted to reform the civil bureaucracy and called for a general directory, which was a council that would execute all of the king’s orders.
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