Absolutism in eastern europe
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Absolutism in Eastern Europe. Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Monarchs were in “control” up to 1918 These monarchs will have a powerful impact on culture Architecture Arts. Unlike the West. Powerful Nobility Unlike the West- Nobles were able to suppress the serfs Weak Middle Class

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Absolutism in Eastern Europe

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Absolutism in eastern europe

Absolutism in Eastern Europe

Austria prussia and russia

Austria, Prussia, and Russia

  • Monarchs were in “control” up to 1918

  • These monarchs will have a powerful impact on culture

    • Architecture

    • Arts

Unlike the west

Unlike the West

  • Powerful Nobility

  • Unlike the West- Nobles were able to suppress the serfs

  • Weak Middle Class

  • Oppressed Peasants-serfs

Lords and peasants in eastern europe

Lords and Peasants in Eastern Europe

Serfdom increases in the east

Serfdom increases in the East

  • Lords created laws that restricted the free movement of peasants – run-a-ways in Prussia had their ears nailed to a post and given a knife to cut themselves free

  • Landlords took more and more of their land and increased labor obligations

  • Local lords were judge and jury

Consolidation of serfdom

Consolidation of Serfdom

  • Poland – Lords could inflict death

  • Prussia (1653 ) Hereditary subjugation

  • Russia – (1649) 9 year time limit on runaways was lifted

Increase in agriculture

Increase in Agriculture

  • As European economy expanded, the price of food increased

  • More peasants meant a surplus of local products were sold to foreign markets

  • Was it simply to develop of export markets?

No effective central government

No effective Central Government

  • Political rather than economic factors were the difference in the status of serfs.

  • Identical developments caused opposite results in the west.

  • Local nobles held more power over weaker kings and increased their political demands

  • A king in the east was the first among equals

  • Nobles undermined cities power. Products were sold directly to foreign capitalists

  • Importance of urban middle class declined “ no more did town air make one free.”

East as least and west as best

East as least and West as Best

  • Because of social inequalities and harsher economic conditions, the west perceived the east as barbaric and uncivilized.

  • Therefore the east was considered morally inferior which was eventually tied to ethnicity

  • The Ottomans

The rise of austria and prussia

The Rise of Austria and Prussia

Toward a central government

Toward a Central Government

  • Monarchs gained power in three key areas

    • Imposed and collected taxes without consent

    • Created standing armies

    • Conducted relations with foreign states as they pleased

Austria and the ottoman turks

Austria and the Ottoman Turks

  • Devastated by the Thirty Years War

  • The loss made them turn inward

  • Established direct rule over Bohemia

  • The robot… 3 days a week of unpaid labor

  • Protestants were stamped out

  • 1683 – Ottomans are in retreat to the east the Habsburgs take Hungary

The pragmatic sanction 1713

The Pragmatic Sanction1713

  • Habsburg land was divided into three fragile political entities

    • Austria

    • Bohemia

    • Hungary

      • Rakoczy- Revolt

      • Defeated 1703

        All would be passed to a single heir.

        Hapsburgs . Hungary accepts Habsburg ruler but is never fully integrated into the Empire.

Prussia in the 17 th century

Prussia in the 17th Century

  • The Elector of Brandenburg – had prestige to elect the Holy Roman Emperor, but no military power

  • Estates of princes’ were weakened by the Thirty Years War

  • Frederick William the “Great Elector”

    • Comes to power 1640

Absolutism in eastern europe

Frederick William The Great Elector [r.1640-1688]

The junkers

The Junkers

  • Landowning nobles that had dominated Prussia

  • Frederick was not resisted in his drive toward absolutism by the nobles “they barked but did not bite”

  • Different than England which had moved to constitutionalism

Frederick the great elector

Frederick the Great Elector

  • Introduced permanent taxes without consent

  • Paid for a standing army

  • The size of the army grew ten-fold

  • Two major reasons for success

    • The invaders to the east demanded a consolidation of forces

    • Allowed the nobles to continue their rights and privileges over the peasants, but the royal authorities could tax the townspeople

Frederick the ostentatious 1688 1713

Frederick the Ostentatious1688-1713

  • Weak in mind and body

  • Man crush on Louis XIV

  • Luxury and petty tyranny

Frederick william i the soldier king 1713 1740

Frederick William I“ The Soldier King”1713-1740

  • Prussian war psychology- cult of the military- with the Junkers as officers

    • Best and strongest soldiers

    • “Dog eat dog” view of world politics

    • Violent temper – immediate and severe punishments

    • Obsession for tall soldiers

The prussian military

The Prussian Military

  • Grows from 38,000 to 83,000

  • Amazing discipline and precision

  • Although ready for war, he was usually at peace

  • Tall males were recruited

Replaces the estates with bureaucracy

Replaces the Estates with bureaucracy

  • Frederick was austere which made his country economically conscientious

  • Ministers were honest and fair



  • It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma … Winston Churchill

The mongol yoke

The Mongol Yoke

  • Russia was forced to pay tribute

  • The Greatest prince was the one that paid the most money

  • Ivan I – “money bags”(r1328-1341)

    • Collects taxes for the Mongols

    • Ivan III (r 1462 – 1505) Muscovite princes’ gain authority

    • Ivan III stops acknowledging Mongols

      • Fall of Constantinople – holy Russia 1480

Ivan the terrible iv

Ivan the Terrible(IV)

  • R. 1533-1584

  • Turns west against the Poland and Lithuanian state

  • Destroys leading Boyars with secret police

  • Purges many other elements of society

  • Greater oppression of the serfs

  • All were servants of the Prince

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