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Lecture 7

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HIS244H1: Lecture #7 Wednesday June 6 /2012 The Rise of the Modern State (Part II) – Absolutist States th  Rulers extended their states and the power of their states at the turn of the 18 century  France, Prussia, Austria, Sweden: absolutist rulers, above their subjects and challenges within the state o Ex: Louis the Sun King – the most vital, and ideal, firm benevolent, unique only one sun o Nec pluribus impar / primus inter pares: without EQUAL th th  Late 17 -early 18 century: o Rule is based on their own ability to rally subjects o Loyalty to the King doesn’t necessarily mean being loyal to the state  Laid the foundations of the modern state – asserted their supreme right to create laws, extended ___ to carry out royal policies, brought towns under royal control (limited corporate privileges such as freedom from taxation), established monopoly over political legitimacy  Absolute monarchies are not  Theories behind absolutism: o Jean Bodin: very early theorists of absolute rule – the King can’t proclaim laws without consent of his people o Jacques Bossuet (mid. 17 cent.): the King rules by divine rights, authority derives from God not from a social contract o Thomas Hobbes: strong King is necessary if you want people to obey – they will only obey if they feel there are consequences, social contract – subjects  Fundamental laws that impose limits on the will of the King o Salic law: governed inheritance (women, bastards, heretics can’t inherit the throne), French King responsible for the crown lands, responsible for the maintenance of the Catholic faith  applies to Austria also (problem for Hapsburg in 18 century when Charles 6 has a daughter, not a son)  Characteristics of Absolute Rule: o #1: Usually have a strong and ambitious dynasty: dynasty actively sought through marriages, warfare o #2: Often rests on an alliance between the nobility and the monarchy – given royal authority if rights and privileges for the nobility – allies to absolute rulers o #3: Governing powers increasingly concentrated in the hands of the ruler – limited part in governance, little impact o #4: Structure of the States is expanding allowing the monarch to extend his authority – government officials more numerous o #5: Taxation – regular collection of taxes, and expansion of sources of revenue which allows rulers to have a bigger withstanding army, and grow in size – monarchy is no longer dependent on troops provided by the nobles and mercenaries, by 1690s 150,000 soldiers, 1789 – 200,000 soldiers in France and Austria, Hapsburgs 300,000, establish monopoly over legitimate force in their own kingdom (gets rid of nobles armies) o #6: Monarchy establishes a partnership to the Churches within the Kingdom (usually with Catholic church) – desire to eliminate challenges to authority, Catholic church helps to confirm the image of the king as a Catholic figure – serving God’s interes
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