“ Enlightened Despotism ”. Do you think a king or queen and be both Enlightened and a strong 18 th century ruler?. Definition .
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Do you think a king or queen and be both Enlightened and a strong
18th century ruler?
Painting titled “Frederick the Great and Voltaire.”
Joseph’s power and health both waned in succeeding years, and his reforms didn’t last long after his death in 1790.
RUSSIA: Remember Peter the Great (1682-1725) --- who loved England and opened up Russia to Westernization --- who made all men shave and wear “German clothes” when he returned from England?
Then there were the others…
Catherine I:1725-27 (Peter’s 2nd wife – he sent the 1st to a convent)
Peter II: 1727-30 (grandson of Peter)
Anna: 1730-40 (dominated by advisors)
Ivan VI: 1740-41 (overthrown)
Elizabeth: 1741-62 (youngest daughter of Peter the Great – golden age of aristocracy)
Peter III: 1762 (mentally unfit: deposed and killed-- -by his wife???)
But finally…an “enlightened” monarch appears…his wife…
Legislative Commission (summer 1767)– consultation…
Catherine realizes “Enlightenment philosophy” not practical – especially in Russia!
As Louis XIV reportedly said “I am the state.”
The state and its citizens exist to serve the monarch.
As Fredrick the Great said, a ruler is only “the first servant of the state.”
The monarch exists to serve the state and support citizen’s welfare.Changing Relationship Between Ruler and State
The democratic revolutions begun in America in 1776 and continued in Amsterdam, Brussels, and especially in Paris in the late 1780s, put every Western government on the defensive.
Reform, democracy, and republicanism had been placed irrevocably on the Western agenda.
New forms of civil society arose –-- clubs, salons, fraternals, private academies, lending libraries, and professional/scientific organizations.
19c conservatives blamed it for the modern “egalitarian disease” (once reformers began to criticize established institutions, they didn’t know where and when to stop!)
It established a materialistic tradition based on an ethical system derived solely from a naturalistic account of the human condition (the “Religion of Nature”).
Theoretically endowed with full civil and legal rights, the individual had come into existence as a political and social force to be reckoned with.