Ashley Rosario, Group#4, 2002 Exam. Thematic Essay: In what ways and to what extent did Absolutism affect the power and status of the European nobility in the period 1650 to 1750? Use examples from at least 2 countries.
Thematic Essay: In what ways and to what extent did Absolutism affect the power and status of the European nobility in the period 1650 to 1750? Use examples from at least 2 countries.
Critical Trigger Words: “ To what extent”, “Affect the power and status”, “1650-1750” and “At least 2 countries”.
Two Step Direction Phrase: Focus on not only on how Nobles are in general, but focus on the 2 countries you picked and how they are either similar in power or different. In this case, I used France and Russia.
Throughout the course of history, Nobles have been a the top of the hierarchy, overseeing the workers and the peasants. Why you may ask? Because with money comes power, position in government and an increase in profit. During the Age of Absolutism, nobles especially in France and Russia, have had benefits exclusively to benefit their own kind of status. As we progress, our main focus will be how nobles have been treated during history, what France and Russia did during the Age of Absolutism to affect the power and status of European nobility.
A noble, according to dictionary.com, is “belonging to, or constituting a hereditary class that has special social or political status in a country or state; of pertaining to aristocracy”. Nobles were always in power simply because of wealth; because of that, they were able to vote, own land and own their own business. The only problem with that was that ¼ of the people were nobles, which meant that most of the people were peasants that didn’t have money to buy food. In Europe not all Nobles were the same, but many nobles were treated differently. For example, France and Russia.
Louis XIV took the throne of France when he was young. Nevertheless, he was able to centralize the government and build a palace, names Versailles, which reflected his absolute power. The Nobles of France had and gained much power and social status. They controlled political bodies, regional parliaments, or courts but they had to get a decree from the king to get it into effect. Nobles were also encouraged to live on the grounds of Versailles live under the rule of kind Louis XIV. Many Nobles competed to participate in the ceremony of the kings waking, dinning and retiring to bed. As you can see, the Nobles of France are able to gain something out of their status in society.
During this time, Peter the Great was in charge of Russia. He sought to one, westernize Russia, two, strengthen the military, three, expand Russia's borders and centralize Russia's borders. Unlike France, in which the Nobles gained something of their status, Russian Nobles had to endure a new change that Peter has brought to them. Since Peter’s ultimate goal was to westernize Russia, he wanted everyone to cut their beards and wear western clothes. Not only that but for people to be ranked by service not by inheritance! Since this big change was talking place, it is brutally obvious that the Nobles would be against this type of lifestyle because their life and status depends on the money being profited.
Ultimately, the central theme on how Absolutism affected the life's of the nobility is expressed in this essay by explaining how essentially the Nobles lives were throughout history, and how France and Russia had a difference in which the Nobles either benefited or didn’t benefit from during the Age of Absolutism. As we fast forward through time, you will see that the lives of the Nobles start to diminish yet the term “High Class” is still there to differentiate the “Middle Class” and the “Lower Class”; yet without this hierarchy, there would be a classless society, which would eventually lead to the end of history.
Essay is really a three-step process:
Show how Nobles lives were the same but in some cases had more power than others
Demonstrate that the French Nobles and Russian Nobles don’t have the same power
And tie it together with modern society.