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Chapter Nov 9 readings

HIS109Y1 Chapter Notes - Chapter Nov 9 readings: Absolute Monarchy, Rein, Bourgeoisie


Department
History
Course Code
HIS109Y1
Professor
Kenneth Bartlett
Chapter
Nov 9 readings

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European)Monarchies)and)Absolutism,)166091725)
• In$south*central$France$called$the$Auvergne$in$1660’s,$the$Marquis$of$Canillac$had$a$
notorious$reputation$
• He$called$minor$taxes$on$special$occasions$but$he$insisted$that$these$small$privileges$be$
converted$into$annual$tributes$
• To$collect$these$payments,$he$housed$12$accomplices$in$his$castles$that$he$called$
apostles,$their$nickname$was$the$A&*+B(C1*&'$D"-.(
• The$marquis$imprisoned$those$who$resisted$and$forced$their$families$to$buy$their$
freedom$
• In$1662,$he$ran$up$against$the$authority$of$King$Louis$XIV$who$was$determined$to$
demonstrate$the$power$of$the$central$monarch$was$absolute$
• The$marquis$was$brought$up$on$charges$before$a$special$court$of$judges$from$Paris$
He$was$found$guilty$and$forced$to$pay$a$large$Oine$and$the$king$conOiscated$his$property$
and$had$the$marquis’s$castle$destroyed$
Louis$XIV’s$special$court$in$the$Auvergne$heard$nearly$thousand$civil$cases$over$four$
months$in$1662,$it$convicted$692$other$people$and$many$of$them$were$noble$
• The$verdicts$were$an$extraordinary$example$of$Louis$XIV’s$ability$to$project$his$
authority$into$the$remote$corners$of$his$realm$and$to$do$so$in$a$way$that$diminished$the$
power$of$other$elites$
He$asserted$his$power$over$the$nobility,$clergy,$and$the$provincial$courts$during$his$long$
rein$$
These$elites$were$forced$to$look$to$the$crown$to$guarantee$their$interests$and$their$own$
power$became$more$closely$connected$with$the$sacred$aura$of$the$monarchy$itself$
• His$model$of$kingship$was$so$successful$that$it$became$known$as$absolutely$monarchy$
• In$recognition$of$the$success$and$inOluence$of$Louis$XIV’s$political$system,$the$period$
from$around$1660$to$1789$was$known$as$the$age$of$absolutism$
• Absolutism$was$a$political$theory$that$encouraged$rulers$to$claim$complete$sovereignty$
within$their$territories$
• An$absolute$monarch$could$make$law,$dispense$justice,$create$and$direct$a$bureaucracy,$
declare$war,$and$levy$taxation$without$the$approval$of$any$other$governing$body$
• After$the$chaos$of$the$religious$wars,$this$was$seen$as$the$only$way$to$restore$order$and$
European$life$
• Absolutism$was$not$universally$successful$during$this$period$
• The$English$monarchy$was$restored$in$1660$after$the$Civil$War$and$attempted$to$impose$
absolutist$rule$but$this$became$a$point$of$resistance$
• Absolutism’s$promise$of$stability$and$order$was$an$appealing$alternative$to$the$disorder$
of$the$“iron$century”$that$preceded$it$
• Absolutist$monarchs$sought$control$of$the$state’s$armed$forces$and$its$legal$system$and$
they$demanded$the$right$to$collect$and$spend$the$state’s$Oinancial$resources$at$will$
They$needed$to$create$a$centralized$bureaucracy$that$owed$its$allegiance$directly$to$the$
monarch$
This$was$expensive$but$necessary$in$order$to$weaken$the$special$interests$that$hindered$
the$free$exercise$of$the$royal$power$
• In$most$Protestant$countries,$the$power$of$the$church$had$already$been$subordinated$to$
the$state$when$the$age$of$absolutism$began$
• The$most$important$potential$opponents$were$not$churchmen$but$nobles$due$to$
frequent$struggles$between$them$
The$nobility$did$not$surrender$social$and$political$power$entirely$
• The$social$order$was$still$hierarchical$and$noblemen$retained$enormous$privileges$and$
rights$over$local$peasants$within$their$jurisdiction$
• The$absolutist$system$forced$nobility$to$depend$on$the$crown$
• In$this$sense,$the$relationship$between$Louis$and$the$nobility$was$more$of$a$negotiated$
settlement$than$a$complete$victory$of$the$king$
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