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Ch 15 Successful and Unsuccessful Paths to Power

17-18 cent GBrit, FRA, AUS, RUS, PRUS pow; SPN UniNED POL SWE, OEMP, HRE fall
Strong Countries

Weak Countries

strong central gov, standing army, tax structure, nobles

< suck at. Character, personality of monarch > failure

The Maritime Powers

Pow in West: SPN & UniNED > Brit, FRA
The Netherlands: Golden Age to Decline
7 provinces unite after revolting against SPN and signing TofWestphalia.
series of naval wars with ENG, Louis XIV invades. Will III come together w/Dutch->coalition vs FRA.
Republic: States Gen (Dominated by HOL) negotiate w/provinces
Distrusted H of Orange but when in danger go to them
Rel peace: Calvinist Ref church official. Rom Caths/Protestants. NED Became haven for Jews.
Urban Prosperity
NED had high econ, most ppl live in cities (Urbanization)


Drain sea land. Baltic trade

supplied steady grain. Tulip

fishermen dominate
Continents dry fish. Supply
textiles, shipbuilding

Capital easy to raise in
Amsterdam(bourse) econ
life outside borders too.

Oversea commerce empire

East Asia; Java, Moluccas,
Sri Lanka thanks to Dutch
Indies Company

Economic Decline (18th cent)

After Will III of Brit died> new stadholder rise> disunity
Naval supremacy goes to Brit. Econ declines fast. But still best at finance.
France After Louis XIV
Less pow; need pol leadership and less ambitious foreign policy.
Louis XV succeeds. duke of Orleans= regent.
John Law and the Mississippi Bubble
d of Orleans gave financial management to John Law (SCOT mathematician/gambler)
Want increase of paper $ to recover econ> establish bank> organize monopoly (Mississippi Comp) on
trading provinces w/Louisiana in NA
Price of stock rise. Smart investors sell stock for paper $ & exchange for gold but bank lacked it.
All payments halted. John fled. Missi Bubble burst. Brought disgrace to gov.
Renewed Authority of the Parlements
d of Orleans also attempt to draw nobles into gov.
- Set up system of councils. Bureaucrats/Nobles serve but lack talent and desire to gov>fail.
- parlements: could not legislate pow to recognize law made by monarch but Orleans allow Par to allow/
disallow laws> Par = center for aristocratic resistance to royal authority.
Administration of Cardinal Fleury
Fleury(realist) = chief minister of court.
Tried to reduce financial problems but could never draw enough tax to make state stable.
Fleury died and didnt teach Louis XV. Louis wanted to be absolute but was lazy and mediocre.
Great Britain: The Age of Walpole
Hanoverian Dynasty
like Act of Settlement, Hanoverians took over. George I faced probs. James Edward pretender son of James II
landed in SCOT marched southward=fail.

Whigs and Tories



want strong monarchy,low taxes, support Anglican church support monarchy but want Par to retain final sovereignty.
went to FRA> Stuart pretender

Went to Geroge I (Hanoverian)

doesnt have > Have access to public office and patronage

The Leadership of Robert Walpole

British version Mississippi Bubble made him famous.
Brit national debt was in hands of South Sea Company(Bubble). like FRA price of stock rose and crashed. Par
intervened under Walpoles leadership and tried to save financial debt.
George I support Walpole> prime minister of Brit/originator of cabinet system.
- wasnt chosen by majority of HofCom but supported by George I & II
Fave slogan: Quieta non movere (Let sleeping dogs lie). Pursued peace abroad and status quo at home.
Resemble Fleury.
The Structure of Parliament
Each county of Brit elected 2 membs but if the pow families agree on candidates then done.
Most members elected from boroughs.
Regard themselves as reps of econ and social interests.
Par gave Brit unity.
Brit/Par raise sums of tax revenue/loans to wage war; Brit credit secure through Bank of ENG.
Freedom of Political Life
Walpole had limits. Par couldnt ignore pol pressure.
Newspaper, public debate flourished. Freedom of speech and association.
Central Eastern Europe and Ottoman Empire
Cent/East Euro was econ less adv.
- Less cities more estates w/surfs. No sea trade. Military conflicts at home not sea.
- Princes/aristocracies unwilling to subordinate themselves to central mon authority.
Austria (Habsburgs)


recognize weak HRE. Consolidate

pow outside of GER

emerge in North GER pol as challenge to


became military/naval powerful

achieve success thanks to defeat of SWE OEMP POL

Sweden: The Ambitions of Charles XII

Consolidated control of Baltic. Possess best armies. Econ based on export of iron (not stable)
Charles XII becomes king.
RUS tried to invade to get Baltic. In Great Northern War, Charles led campaign; lost cause dragged on too long
>RUS strengthen forces.
Led major campaign to RUS=fail cause winter. Fled to Turkey came back and died.
Great North War end 1721. RUS conquered large section of Baltic, PRUS part of Pomerania.
The Ottoman Empire
Baghdad across Arabian peninsula, Anatolia, Balkan peninsula, North Africa, Egypt to Algiers.
Largest most stable pol
Religious toleration Orthodox Rom Catholic Christians, Jews, Muslims.
Millets: gov units. Law applies to ppl in diff Millets rather than whole territory.
Dhimmis: Islamic religious tolerators, have restrictions:

- paid special toll tax (jizyah), X military/some colors , house size < Muslim house.
- had highest commercial skills
Devshirme: Otts recruit elite Christian community troops (usually in Balkans)
- Raised as Mulsim the turned into troop (Janissaries)
Ppl in outer regions slavesof sultan take gov posts. Believe slave> being free
Dynasty see themselves as Sharia (protector of Islamic law)
Ulamas (traditional life) vs Janisarries (resisted changes that might take privilege away)
Authority for grand vizier began to grow. Ppl fight
Ottomans fought league =fail signed Treaty of Carlowitz: give land to POL Habsburgs Venice.
Europe started to see Ottoman Empire as weak and Islam as backward looking religion.
Poland: Absence of Strong Central Authority
King John III Sobieski led army to rescue Vienna from Turks; example of dangers of aristocratic ind
Monarchy=elective but distrust/division in nobles prevent election of king by themselves.
Sobieski= exception
Sejm/diet: legislative body of nobles excluded reps of towns.
Liberum Veto: opposing person of single member bribed by foreign could cause exploding of diet.
- Usually group of opposing nobles cause this.
- This is all stumbling block of good gov.
The Habsburg Empire and the Pragmatic Sanction
Allied to SPN hoped to dominate GER return it to Catholic= fail
Habsburgs keep title as HREmp. pol depend less on arms forces
Consolidation of Austrian Power
Consolidate pow in Crown of Bohemia, St Stephen;get SPN NEDs Lombardy, Naples (TofUtrecht)
Each ruled by diff title and local nobility. no pol unity.
- Habsburgs establish central councils to chart common policies.
- Had to bargain w/ nobles in one part to keep pow in another
Most difficult was Calvinist Magyar nobility of HUN
Leopold I rallied domains to resist Otts/ Louis XIV and Otts recognize his sovereignty over HUN; began
suppression of Magyar rebellion. Conquered Balkan Peninsula/west ROM. allow trade over Trieste. Help
compensate for loss of domination of HRE.
Joseph I succeeds.
The Habsburg Dynastic Problem
Charles VI succeeds Joseph, no sons, fears SPN Habsburgs will get eaten.
Pragmatic Sanction: Charles VIs daughter Maria Theresa will inherit throne.
After Charles died, Fredrick II (PRUS) invade Habsburg Silesia and Maria had to fight.
Prussia and the Hohenzollerns
PRUS Hohenzollerns make army. Prussian: rigor and military discipline.
A State of Disconnected Territories
Hohenzollern fam have duchy of Cleves, East Prussia, Pomerania/counties of Mark, Ravensburg.
Territory lack good resources. Became 2nd biggest in HRE after Habsburgs.
Frederick William, the Great Elector
(Elector cause helped pick HREmp). United regions by:
1. breaking noble estates
2. royal bureaucracy
3. establish army

1655-60 SWE, POL engaged in war; threat to Pomerania/East PRUS

- try to make taxes=nobles refuse, so just collected military taxes> made own army that didnt need
nobles approval but. . . in exchange for nobles obedience to Hohenzollerns, Junkers have right to demand
obedience from serfs.
- Will also chose local administrators of tax who wouldve been membs of nobles estates.
kept potential opponents in his service
- Taxes on peasants and urban classes
Fredrick William I, King of Prussia
Fred I: least Prussian of his family. Built palaces, Halle University, patronized arts, lived in luxury
Gave army to Habs HRE in exchange for King of PRUS passed title to son Fred Will I
Fred William I= most effective Hohen. Want consolidation of obedient bureaucracy and bigger army
Kabinett gov: low officials submit all relevant docs to him in his Kabinett(office) Then king made decisions and
issue orders= rule alone.
General-Ober-Finanz-Kriegs-und-Domanen-Direktorium (General directory)= bureaucracy
- imposed taxes on nobles, feudal/administrative loyalties > pol institution
The Prussian Army
39,000> 80,000+; 3rd-4th biggest when pop was 13th. Made districts provide quota of soldiers
army, Junker nobility, monarchy pol united.
Had best army but avoided conflict; only symbol of pow and unity.
Frederick II the Great inherited. Upset Pragmatic Sanction, invaded Silesia, halt AUS-PRUS rivalry for control of
Russia Enters the European Political Arena
Birth of the Romanov Dynasty
Nobles elect Michael Romanov as tsar after Ivan the Terrible
Romanov, successors Aleksei, Theodore II bring stability, bureaucratic centralization but weak.
Bureaucracy controlled by boyars (old nobility)
- barely suppressed peasant/Cossack revolt under Stepan Razin
gov/tsars faced danger of rebellion from streltsy, (Moscow garrison guards).
Peter the Great
Peter & Ivan V; co-rule
Dangers and fight of youth convince him of:
1. pow of tsar has to be secure from boyars and streltsy
2. military pow must be increased.
Resembled Louis XIV of FRA (Fronde> army to suppress)
Went to West Euro/told others to go to East>copy what he had seen to make RUS pow.
Taming the Streltsy and Boyars
Before Peter returned, Streltsy rebelled> Peter suppressed & public execution/displayed.
Army of 130,000 >300,000
planned attack on boyars. Shaved beards and cut shirts/sleeves
Peter received opposition from court nobles.
Always managed to balance both groups.
Developing a Navy
Peters way to secure warm ports & allow trade w/West.
Made ships to protect Black Sea from OEMP> Began war; captured Azov.
Construction of Baltic fleet on Finnish coast.

Russian Expansion in the Baltic: the Great Northern War

Rus invades SWE to get Baltic, (see Sweden: The Ambitions of Charles XII section)
Great Northern War: Charles SWE army defeats RUS (Battle of Narva) >Peter raises stronger army> defeats
SWE (Battle of Poltava)
War end with Peace of Nystad: confirmed RUS conquest of Estonia, Livonia, part of Finland.
Founding St. Petersburg
Founded capital city in Gulf of Finland. Built gov structures and order boyars to build town houses.
- Built mini Versailles as symbol of Peters determination to keep Baltic.
- Many thought buildings as illegitimate, rejection of traditional RUS
Reorganizing Domestic Administration
Created Senate of 9 membs replacing Privy Chancellery: direct gov when tsar was away w/army.
- Represented authority of tsar against intriguing court nobles
This and other groups purpose= bureaucratic structure that supports military.
The Case of Peters Son Aleksei
Not smart/ambitious. Peter feared that he would side w/nobles or foreign and rebel
- Nags at him; Peters opponents think of Aleksei as tool to rebel while RUS was in war w/ SWE.
Aleksei secretly went to Vienna, teamed up w/Habs emp Charles VI against Peter in GreatNorthWar but nothing
Peter investigated/interrogated Aleksei> condemned to death and died.
Reforms of Peter the Greats Final Years
Peter got more opponents and undertook radical administrative reforms to bring nobles & RUS Orthodox
Church more closely under authority of persons loyal to tsar.
Administrative Colleges
Peter had to fight rising corruption
colleges: bureaus of several persons operating according to instructions rather than departments headed by
single ministers
- look after matters (taxes,war etc)
- Receive advice from foreigner.
- Balanced influence of Senate.
Table of Ranks
Draw nobility into state service. Equated social status & privileges w/rank in bureaucracy/military.
social standing of boyar = willingness to serve .
Unlike Junkers, never became perfectly loyal to state.
Achieving Secular Control of the Church
Peter tried to suppress independence of RUS Orthodox Church.
There was a reformist movement led by Patriarch Nikon that wanted to change texts/ritual but Old Believers
opposed it. Church leaders just decided to adopt both but then moved to please tsar.
After Alekseis death, Peter tried to stop RUS Ortho Church from interfering in pol.
- Abolished patriarch & established Holy Synod (several bishops headed by procurator gen)
- govern church w/tsars secular rules.
Peters policy stood sharp in contrast to Otts sultans and Muslims Ulama.
Peter died w/no heir so left no line.