Absolute Monarchs in Europe, 1500-1800 Spain’s Empire and European Absolutism
Spain’s Powerful Empire • Philip II becomes king of Spain, the wealthiest, most powerful nation in Europe • He defends Roman Catholicism against Protestantism and Islam • Spanish riches help stimulate a golden age in the arts
Problems Weaken the Spanish Empire • Spain’s economy weakened due to inflation, noble’s not having to pay taxes, and spending too much money on imports • The Dutch revolt and break away from Spain to form a new nation
The Independent Dutch Prosper • Had religious tolerance • Dutch traders make the Netherlands a center of European trade & banking • Dutch art flourishes in a climate of prosperity
Absolutism in Europe • Absolute Monarchs: kings or queens who wanted all the power • They believe in divine right: the idea that God created the monarchy and that the monarch acted as God’s representative on earth • Centralized authority, colonial wealth, and warfare and unrest fuel the growth of absolute rule
Group Activity • Create an annotated brochure or poster promoting Spain or the Netherlands in the 1600s. • Include the attractions of life in that country, such as economic life, politics, art and culture, geography and resources, and social trends. • As always, creativity and neatness count.