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Chapter 13

Textbook Notes - Chapter 13

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HIST 1010
Peter Goddard

History Chapter 13: European State Consolidation in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Overview The seven provinces that became the United Provinces of the Netherlands emerged as a nation after revolting against Spain in 1572. The United Provinces supported religious toleration and republican government. The constitutional crisis in England that followed Elizabeths reign and continued until the end of the seventeenth century had a lasting impact on Western political life. This struggle cost Charles I his head, and in the end, Parliament emerged the victor. Oliver Cromwell reinstated executive authority, though under a different title and only with military backing. With the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, Charles Is son Charles II ascended the bloodstained throne with Parliamentary sanction and initiated the Stuart Restoration. When his brother James II confirmed the familys Catholic sympathies, Parliament quickly and peacefully dispatched James and called upon his son-in-law and daughter, William of Orange and Mary, to be the sovereigns of England. Meanwhile, the French monarchy had achieved its goal, becoming the sole national institution. Royal ministers such as Richelieu and Mazarin wielded enormous power and left in their wake a well-ordered governmental structure ready-made for the absolutist training of Louis XIV, who then surrounded himself with capable advisers, military reformers, and financial experts. The resulting political centralization was exemplified by the Sun Kings palatial complex at Versailles, and Frances commanding position in the European international order. French military expansion in this era was, however, largely blocked by a combination of European states led by the Dutch United Provinces and England. At the time of Louis death in 1715, France remained a great power in an emerging European international order, but one whose future, largely because of the Sun Kings excesses, would eventually be changed dramatically by an unprecedented political revolution. Central and eastern Europe were economically much less advanced than western Europe. After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the Austrian Habsburgs recognized the basic weakness of the position of the Holy Roman Emperor and started to consolidate their power outside Germany. The emergence of Russia in the late seventeenth century as an active European power was a wholly new factor in European politics. Peter the Great had laid the foundations of a modern Russia, but not the foundations of a stable state. From the fifteenth century onward, the Ottoman Empire had tried to push further westward into Europe. The Ottomans made their deepest military invasion into Europe in 1683, when they unsuccessfully besieged Vienna. This was the beginning of a deeper decline for the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed completely at the conclusion of World War I. After reading this chapter you should understand: The origins and decline of the Netherlands' Golden Age. Factors behind the different political paths of France and England. The origins and consequences of the English Civil War. The development of Parliamentary supremacy in England, particularly after the Glorious Revolution. The rise of absolute monarchy in France, particularly under Louis XIV. The wars of Louis XIV and the development of a European diplomatic system. The sixteenth to eighteenth century developments and influence of the three monarchies of central and eastern Europe. Russia Enters the European Political Arena under Peter the Great. The factors behind the demise of the Ottoman Empire. Europe dominated other parts of the world politically, militarily and economically. This wasnt the case before these dates and would not be eh case after WWII. For about 3.5 centuries, Europe became the chief driving force in one world historical development after another. Dominance coincided with a shift in power within Europe itself from the Mediterranean., where Spain and Portugal had taken the lead in the conquest and early exploitation of the Americas, to the states of northwest and later north-central Europe. During the 17 and early 18 centuries, certain states in northern Europe organized themselves politically so as to be able to dominate Europe and later to influence and even govern other large areas of the world through military might and economic strength. By the mid-18 century, 5 major states had come to dominate European politics and would continue to do so until at least WWI. They were Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Through their military strength, economic development, and, in some cases, colonial empires, they would affect virtually every other world civilization. Within Europe, these states established their dominance at the expense of Spain, Portugal, the United Provinces of the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire. Equally essential to their rise was the weakness of the Holy Roman Empire after the Peace of Westphalia (1648). In western Europe, Britain and France emerged as the dominant powers. This development represented a shift of influence away from thain and the United Netherlands. Both of the latter countries had been powerful and important during the 16 and 17 centuries but they became politically and militarily marginal during the 18 century. Neither, however, disappeared from the map and both retained considerable economic vitality and influence. Spanish power declined after the War of the Spanish Succession. The case of the Netherlands was more complicated. The Netherlands: Golden Age to Decline The 7 provinces that became the United Provinces of the Netherlands emerged as a nation after revolting against Spain in 1572. During the 17 century, the Dutch engaged in a series of naval wars with England. Then, in 1672, the armies of Louis XIV invaded the Netherlands. Prince William III of Orange (1650-1702), the grandson of William the Silent (1533-1584) and the hereditary chief executive, or stadtholder, of Holland, the most important of the provinces, rallied the Dutch and eventually led the entire European coalition against France. As a part of that strategy, he answered the invitation of Protestant English aristocrats in 1688 to assume, along with his wife Mary, the English throne. During both the 17 and 18 centuries, the political and economic life of the Netherlands differed from that of the rest of Europe. The other major nations pursued paths toward strong central government, generally under monarchies, as with France, or in the case of England, under a strong parliamentary system. By contrast, the Netherlands was formally a republic. Each of the provinces retained considerable authority, and the central government, embodied in the States General that met in Hague, exercised its authority through a kind of ongoing negotiation with the provinces. Prosperous and populous Holland dominated the States General. The Dutch deeply distrusted monarchy and the ambitions of the House of Orange. Nonetheless, when confronted with major military challenges, the Dutch would permit the House of Orange and, most notably, William III to assume dominant leadership. These political arrangements proved highly resilient and allowed the republic to establish itself permanently in the European state system during the 17 century. When William died in 1702 and the wars with France ended in 1714, the Dutch reverted to their republican structures. Although the provinces making up the Netherlands were traditionally identified with the Protestant cause in Europe toleration marked Dutch religious life. The Calvinist Reformed Church was the official church of the nation but it was not an established church. There was always a significant number of Roman Catholics and Protestants who did not belong to the Reformed Church. The country also became a haven for Jews. Consequently while governments in other European states attempted to impose a single religion on their people or tore themselves apart in religious conflict, in the Netherlands peoples of differing religious faiths lived together peacefully. Stadtholder: The chief magistrate of the United Provinces of the Netherlands Urban Prosperity Its remarkable economic achievement was built on the foundations of high urban consolidation transformed by agriculture extensive trade and finance, and an overseas commercial empire. In the Netherlands, more people lived in cities than in any other area of Europe. Key transformations in Dutch th farming that served as a model for the rest of Europe made this urban transformation possible. During the 17 century, the Dutch drained and reclaimed land from the sea, which they used for highly profitable farming. Because Dutch shipping provided a steady supply of cheap grain Dutch farmers themselves could produce more profitable dairy products and beef and cultivate cash products such as tulip bulbs. Dutch fisherman dominated the market for herring and supplied much of the continents dried fish. Supplied textiles to many parts of Europe. Captains purchased goods that they transported and resold as a profit to other nations. Overseas trades also supported a vast shipbuilding and ship supply industry. The most advanced financial system of the day supported all of this trade, commerce, and manufacturing. Seaborne empire traders established major presence in East Asia, particularly in spice-producing areas of Java, the Moluccas, and Sri Lanka. Dutch East India Company (chartered in 1602), eventually displaced Portuguese dominance in the spice trade of East Asia and for many years prevented English traders from establishing a major presence there. Eventually, Dutch moved toward pro
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