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The Rise of the German States and Russia. The Thirty Years War, Austria and Prussia, and Russia. Thirty Years War 1618-1648. Peace of Augsburg of 1555 brought truce to warring religious factions in the Holy Roman Empire.

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The Rise of the German States and Russia

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The Rise of the German Statesand Russia

The Thirty Years War, Austria and Prussia, and Russia


Thirty Years War 1618-1648

  • Peace of Augsburg of 1555 brought truce to warring religious factions in the Holy Roman Empire.

  • The agreement only recognized Catholics and Lutherans (leaving out Calvinists).

  • Calvinists began to make gains in a number or states and began demanding rights.

  • Direct cause of the fighting was a conflict in Bohemia.


Four Phases of the War

  • Bohemian Phase (1618-1625)

  • Danish Phase (1625-1629)

  • Swedish Phase (1630-1635)

  • French Phase (1635-1648)


Bohemian Phase, 1618-1625

  • Calvinists in Bohemia concerned with the election of a Catholic King as Emperor Frederick II of the HRE.

  • Construction of Calvinist Churches is halted.

  • HRE is more divided by religion.


The Defenestration of Prague

  • On May 23, 1618, an assembly of Protestants tried two Imperial governors for halting the construction.

  • They were found guilty, and thrown out of the high windows of the Bohemian Chancellery.


The Defenestration of Prague

  • They fell some 50 ft, and they landed on a large pile of manure. They all survived.

  • Roman Catholic Imperial officials claimed that they survived due to the mercy of the benevolent angels assisting the righteousness of the Catholic cause.

  • Protestant pamphleteers asserted that their survival had more to do with the horse excrement in which they landed than the benevolent acts of the angels.


Danish Phase, 1625-1629

  • King Christian IV of Denmark intervened on the side of the Protestants against Ferdinand II.

  • Albrecht von Wallenstein defeated the Danes in 1626 with a independent army of 50,000 men.

Albrecht von Wallenstein


Swedish Phase, 1630-1635

  • Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus became the new defender of the Protestant cause.

  • In 1630, the Swedes invaded Germany.

  • Later that year, Catholic France signed a alliance with Protestant Sweden, entering the war against the Hapsburgs.

  • What had begun as a religious war now took political overtones.

Gustavus Adolphus


French Phase, 1635-1648

  • A settlement reached in the Treaty of Prague was wrecked by the French decision to directly intervene.

  • Cardinal Richelieu, Chief Minister of Louis XIII wanted to weaken Hapsburg power and gain territory.

Cardinal Richelieu


French Phase, 1635-1648

  • The war continued to ravage Germany, with no side gaining the upper hand until the French became more directly involved.

  • Ferdinand II died in 1637 and was succeeded by his son, Ferdinand III (r. 1637-1657).

  • Peace negotiations began in 1641, but made little progress until the death of Richelieu in 1642 and the French occupation of Bavaria in 1646.


Peace of Westphalia, 1648

  • Treaty of Westphalia ended the 30 yrs. War.

  • France, Sweden, and Brandenburg (Prussia) gained territory.

  • Settlement formally recognized the independence of Switzerland and Dutch Republic.

  • Granted German states the right to make treaties and alliances, further weakening the HRE. 300+ German states became sovereign.

  • Religious rights guaranteed in Peace of Augsburg expanded to Calvinists.


Political Changes in Eastern Europe

  • Three aging empires: gave way to new empires of Austria Prussia and Russia

  • Holy Roman Empire: religious divisions and war in 16th and 17th century

  • Ottoman Empire: could not maintain possessions in E. Europe and Balkans

  • Poland: liberum veto – voting in Polish parliament had to be unanimous (= weak gov’t)


The Austrian Hapsburgs

  • Multinational empire: Austrian, Hungarian, & Bohemian kingdoms (later expansion into Slavic lands)


The Austrian Hapsburgs

  • Charles VI

    • Pragmatic Sanction (1713) issued by Charles VI: Habsburg territories indivisible; only Habsburgs could rule (daughter Maria Theresa)

    • War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748)

    • Prussia, France, Bavaria & Spain vs. Austria and Russia

    • Prussia tool Silesia from Austria; Prussia now most powerful German state: “Great Power”


The Austrian Hapsburgs

  • Maria Theresa (r. 1740-1780): Wars of 1740s led to internal consolidation

  • Reduced serfdom


Hohenzollerns in Prussia

  • Frederick William, The Great Elector (r.1640-1688)

    • Rule consolidated after 30 Years’ War: military force & taxation

    • Junkers: nobility sided with king for stability; hereditary serfdom in 1653

    • Created most efficient army in Europe


Hohenzollerns in Prussia

  • Frederick I (r. 1688-1713)

    • (Elector Frederick III) “The Ostentatious” (1688-1713); 1st “King of Prussia”

    • Allied with Habsburgs in War of League of Augsburg and War of Spanish Succession.


Hohenzollerns in Prussia

  • Frederick William I (r. 1713-1740) “The Soldiers’ King”

    • Established Prussian absolutism

    • “Sparta of the North”: Largely a military state – best army in Europe

    • Junkers became officers caste in army in return for king’s absolutism


Hohenzollerns in Prussia

  • “Frederick the Great” (Frederick II: 1740-1786) of Prussia

    • At war for first half of his reign

    • Became a reformer during 2nd half of his reign – ruler was the “first servant of the state”


Peter the Great in Russia

  • Romanov Dynasty (1613-1917)

    • Michael Romanov (1613-1645)

    • Created Russian empire across Asia to the Pacific (largest nation by 1689)


Peter the Great in Russia

  • Peter the Great (1682-1725)

    • 1698, put down revolt by strelski (Moscow Guards)

    • westernization (modernization): mostly for military purposes

    • state-regulated monopolies created; industrial serfdom

    • Table of Ranks: educational training for new civil service (mostly of nobles)


Peter the Great in Russia

  • St. Petersburg begun in 1703 on Baltic; largest city in Northern Europe by his death.

  • “Winter Palace” sought to emulate Versailles.

  • Great Northern War (1700-1721)

    • Fought Charles XII, 18-yr-old Swedish king

    • Battle of Poltava, 1709: Peter defeated Sweden

  • Treaty of Nystad (1721): Peter gained Baltic states “window to the West”


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