Modern World History: Chapter 5 Absolute
Monarchs in Europe
countries in Europe come under the control of
absolute monarchs, and Parliament challenges the monarch's authority in Great Britain.
Age of Absolutism (1500-1800): Time period when absolute monarchs are ruling the major countries of
Three major types of
Autocracy: Rule by one person.
Dictatorship: a government with a single
ruler who holds ALL the power and is not responsible to the people for
Monarchy: a government ruled by a
single person (who is royalty) called a king/queen, emperor/empress, or
czar/czarina. His/her power is
hereditary in nature.
- 2 types
Absolute monarchs: A single ruler who has unlimited power and
rules through the power of Divine Right.
The title is hereditary.
Right: the idea that God created
the monarchy and that the monarch acted as God’s representative on earth. An
absolute monarch answered only to God, not to his or her subjects.
Constitutional monarchs: A single ruler whose power is limited by
law. He/she rules with elected legislators. Mostly ceremonial leaders.
Oligarchy: a government ruled by a few powerful people
whose source of power is wealth, military strength, social position, religion
or any combination of these.
Claim the group rules for the people.
May have elections, but they are “fixed” so the outcome is what the
May have a legislature, but it is just a “rubber stamp” of want the
Suppresses ALL political opposition.
The people have no direct control in their government.
Democracy: a government that is ruled by the people.
Majority rule with respect
to minority rights
Competing political parties
Direct democracy: a type of democracy in which all
citizens discuss and vote on everything. (Not very practical in
large societies today.) Ancient
Athens is the only true direct democracy in history.
democracy: a type of democracy in which the citizens
delegate authority to elected representatives.
Representatives are most commonly chosen in elections by
a plurality of those who are both eligible to cast votes and actually do so.
Absolutism: is the political doctrine
and practice of unlimited, centralized authority and absolute sovereignty,
especially as vested in a monarchy. Its
essence is that the ruling power is not subject to regular challenge or check
by any judicial, legislative, religious, economic, or electoral agency.
it has been used throughout history, the form that developed in early modern
Europe (16th – 18th century) became the prototype; Louis XIV is seen as the
epitome of European absolutism. Religious authority was assumed by the monarch,
who became the head of the church as well as the state, on the basis that the
right to rule came from God.
What was the Age of Absolutism?
- Period of time when
Europe’s monarchs got stronger.
- Caused by the
Reformation & Age of Exploration.
- Reformation weakens churches;
Age of Exploration brings in lots of money (mercantilism).
- Monarchs ruled with
- It was background to
French Revolution and also to the Enlightenment.
- Absolutism was very practical - it developed state bureaucracies
and standing armies to make its claims work.
Absolutism was by and large motivated by the
crises and tragedies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Reformation had led to a series of violent
and cruel wars of religions; states erupted into civil war and thousands of
innocents met their deaths in the name of national religions.
ABSOLUTISM: the idea that God created
the monarchy and that the monarch acted as God’s representative on earth. This
individual answered only to God, not to his or her subjects.
Religious and territorial conflicts created fear and uncertainty.
The growth of armies to deal with conflicts caused rulers to raise taxes to pay
Heavy taxes led to additional unrest and peasant revolts.
Rulers regulated religious worship and social gatherings to control the spread
Rulers increased the size of their courts to appear more powerful.
Rulers created bureaucracies to control their countries’ economies.
monarchies were originally proposed as a solution to these violent situations,
and Europeans were more than willing to have local autonomy (independence)
taken away in exchange for peace and safety.
Absolutism in Europe
The Theory of Absolutism
- Rulers want to be absolute monarchs—rulers with
- Believe in divine right—idea that monarchs
represent God on earth
Growing Power of Europe’s
- Decline of feudalism, rise of cities help
monarchs gain power
- Decline in Church authority also increases power
Crises Lead to Absolutism
- The 17th century (1600s) is period of great
- Monarchs impose order by increasing their own
Section 1: Spain's Empire and European
During a time of religious
and economic instability, Philip II rules Spain with a strong hand.
A Powerful Spanish Empire and
a New Spanish Ruler
- In 1556, Philip II begins ruling Spain and
- Philip II was shy, serious, and—like his father—deeply religious. He was
also very hard working. Yet Philip would not allow anyone to help
him. Deeply suspicious, he
trusted no one for long.
Philip II's Empire
- Philip seizes Portugal in 1580
- Gold and silver from Americas make Spain
Defender of Catholicism
- Philip defends Catholicism against Muslims,
- Spanish fleet helps defeat Ottomans at Lepanto in
- Spanish Armada defeated by British in 1588
Golden Age of Spanish Art and Literature
El Greco and Velázquez
- El Greco uses unusual style to convey religious
- Domenikos Theotokopoulos, was
his real name but Spaniards called him El Greco, meaning "the Greek."
* His art:
1.) Often puzzled the people of his time.
2.) He chose brilliant, sometimes
3.) He distorted the human figure.
4.) He expressed emotion symbolically in his paintings.
5.) El Greco’s techniques showed the deep Catholic faith of Spain.
6.) He painted saints and martyrs as huge, long-limbed figures that have a
- Works of Velázquez show Spanish court life
Diego Velazquez’s painting reflected the pride of the Spanish monarchy.
Velázquez was the court painter to
He is best known for his
portraits of the royal family and scenes
life. Like El Greco, he was noted for using rich colors.
- In 1605, Don Quixote by Miguel de
Cervantes is published. It is about a poor Spanish nobleman who
went a little crazy after reading too many books about heroic knights.
- Critics: Some critics believe that Cervantes was mocking chivalry, the
knightly code of the Middle Ages.
Others maintain that
the book is about an idealistic person who longs for the romantic past because
is frustrated with his materialistic world.
- Novel marks birth of modern European novel
The Spanish Empire Weakens
Inflation and Taxes
- Inflation weakens Spain’s economy
- Taxes on lower class prevents development of
Making Spain’s Enemies
- Spaniards buy goods abroad, making Spain’s
- Philip declares bankruptcy three times due to
The Dutch Revolt
- Protestants in Netherlands win independence
o He tried to end Protestantism in all his domains
(Hence he was an enemy to all Protestants)
o Was married to Mary Tudor (Mary I of England)
o Known as the “Prudent King”
o Was cautious, hardworking and suspicious of others
o He made all decisions and signed all papers he
o Was concerned about the loyalty of the large religious
minorities in Spain
o He supported the Spanish Inquisition. He used the
Inquisition as a method of control, and thousands of Protestants were killed or
o He launched the Spanish Armada in 1588 against England.
This was a fleet of 130 ships and 33,000 men. Due to storms, English
pirates 40 ships and 15,000 soldiers were lost. This was an irreparable
disaster which inaugurated Spain's
The Independent Dutch
Prosper - A Different Society
- Netherlands is a republic and practices religious toleration
- In 1600s, Netherlands becomes center of
Famous Dutch painters
Rembrandt van Rijn (REHM•BRANT vahn RYN) was
the greatest Dutch artist of the period. Rembrandt painted portraits of wealthy
middle-class merchants. He also produced group portraits. Rembrandt used sharp
contrasts of light and shadow to draw attention to his focus.
Jan Vermeer(YAHN vuhr•MEER). Like many
other Dutch artists, he chose domestic, indoor settings for his portraits.
The work of both Rembrandt
and Vermeer reveals how important merchants, civic leaders, and the middle
class in general were in 17th-century Netherlands.
Dutch Trading Empire
- Dutch merchants engage in world trade
- Dutch have world’s largest trading fleet
- Dutch replace Italians as Europe’s
Section 2: The Reign of Louis XIV
After a century of war and
was ruled by Louis XIV, the most powerful monarch of his time.
Religious Wars and Power
Henry of Navarre
- Henry ascends to French throne in 1589 and adopts
- Issues Edict of Nantes—a declaration of religious
o Founder of the Bourbon dynasty in 1589. (This dynasty
ruled in to the 1800's)
o Was Protestant, but converted to Catholicism to please
o Issued the Edict of Nantes 1598, which granted partial
religious freedom to the Huguenots.
o Agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce were
o Introduced the silk industry into France.
o Repaired roads and bridges throughout France.
o Put all his policies into effect without the approval
of the Estates General, paving the way for other absolute French monarchs.
o Henry IV's genial informality, bravery, gallantry,
perseverance in adversity, and readiness to bend religious principle to
political advantage has earned him a special place in French history.
Louis XIII and Cardinal
- Cardinal Richelieu—Louis XIII’s minister who
- Increases power of the Bourbons by limiting Huguenots’
- Also weakens power of the nobility
o He was sensitive, quiet, not
intelligent, inclined to suspicion and loved working with his hands. He could
make a pair of shoes better than most cobblers and had his own forge, gun room,
printing press and carpenter's shop. He enjoyed cooking and had an ear for
o Ruled in a in a regency with his mother, Marie de
Medici, and then Cardinal Richelieu.
o He never truly ruled France on his own.
Cardinal Richelieu (regent for Louis XIII) - Quick facts
o By vigorous and effective measures, he succeeded in
breaking the political power of the great families of France—making
the king an absolute ruler—and in establishing France as the first military power
o In his role as chief of the Royal Council, and later
First Minister and Chief of State, had control of almost every facet of French
politics, from the daily activities of the court to foreign policy and affairs.
o Had a clear idea of how society should function.
Everyone played a specific role in the system, making their unique
contributions: the clergy through prayer; the nobility with arms under the
control of the king, and the common people through obedience.
o He believed in the divine right of the king, whose
role it was to promote peace and order in society.
o Insisted that the king apply the law with severity
otherwise the state could not survive. He emphasized that rigorous punishment
of even small crimes would forestall greater ones. Through this reasoning, Richelieu provided his sovereign a rationale for the
harsh rule he knew to be requisite with strengthening and maintaining the
authority of the French
o Set out to build a strong monarchy in France (with or
o Employed intendants
– non-noble special agents who would not challenge the king’s authority.
o Took away the Huguenots’ right to independent
fortified towns, but allowed them to keep their religious freedom.
o Strengthened the French army.
o Encouraged French exploration and colonization in Canada and the Indies.
o Supported French culture in an effort to strengthen
o Rebuilt the Sorbonne in Paris, supported
promising writers and organized the French
Academy in 1635, which
worked to make French the preferred language of European diplomacy.
Writers Turn Toward Skepticism
A New Attitude
- Skepticism—the idea that nothing can be known for
Montaigne and Descartes
- Montaigne explores ideas about life’s meaning in
- Descartes uses observation and reason to create
Louis XIV Comes to Power
A New French Ruler
- Louis XIV - the most powerful ruler in French
Louis, the Boy King
- Hatred of Cardinal Mazarin - young Louis’s
minister - leads to riots
Louis Weakens the Nobles’
- Louis takes control in 1661
- Appoints intendants -
government agents—to collect taxes
- Jean Baptiste Colbert -
finance minister - helps economy grow
- In 1685, Louis cancels Edict of Nantes; Huguenots
The Sun King’s Grand Style
A Life of Luxury
- Louis lives very well; with every meal a feast to
say the least
Louis Controls the
- Louis keeps nobles at palace to increase his
power over them
- Builds magnificent palace at Versailles
Patronage of the Arts
- Versailles is a center of arts during reign of Louis XIV
- Purpose of the arts is to glorify Louis
Louis Fights Disastrous
Attempts to Expand
- Louis fights wars in 1660s, 1670s to expand France
- In 1680s, many countries unite against him in
League of Augsburg
- France is weakened by poor harvests, warfare, high
War of the Spanish
- War of the Spanish Succession begins in 1701
- Attempts to prevent union of the French and
- Ends in 1714; France and Spain lose
Louis’s Death and Legacy
- Louis dies leaving mixed legacy
- Rule makes France a major military and
cultural power in Europe
- His wars and palace leave France
with heavy debts
o Know as "The Sun King" - his was the
longest reign in European history – 72 years.
o He was styled the Grand Monarch, and his brilliant
court at Versailles
became a model and the despair of other less rich and powerful princes who
accepted his theory of absolute monarch.
o He is quoted saying, "L’etat,
c’est, moi!" –
"I am the state!"
o Under his direction, France achieved unprecedented
dominance in Europe, and her culture
flourished. His court was renowned for its splendor and sophistication. He
helped advance the arts in every field through his enlightened patronage.
o Everything French was in vogue on the Continent.
o When he came to rule France in 1661, Louis decided to
build a royal palace away from Paris.
In 1682, he moved his government to Versailles,
13 miles southwest of Paris.
It had 10,000 rooms! - During his early years, France was dominated by a series of
rebellions known as the Fronde (1648-1653).
These rebellions took place mainly in major cities and consisted largely of
aristocrats attacking the government. The Fronde
made a lasting impression on Louis, creating a lifelong fear of rebellion. It
also left him with a distaste for Paris, the largest city in his kingdom and
the center of royal government.
o He had the nobility attend court at Versailles... so he could control them.
o Freed the nobility from paying taxes.
o Failed to adjust France's unfair tax system (the
clergy, nobles and government officials were tax exempt).
Section 3: Central European Monarchs Clash
After a period of turmoil,
absolute monarchs rule Austria
and the Germanic state of Prussia.
Central European Monarchs
- Tension rises between Lutherans and Catholics in
- Bohemian Protestants Revolt
- In 1618, Protestants revolt against Catholic
- Result is Thirty Years’ War—conflict over
religion, land, power
The Thirty Years’ War
- From 1618 to 1630, Hapsburg armies have many
- Troops plunder many German villages
- In 1630, tide turns in favor of Protestants
Peace of Westphalia
- War ruins German economy, greatly decreases
- Peace of Westphalia
(1648) ends war
- Treaty weakens Hapsburgs, strengthens France
- Treaty introduces idea of negotiating terms of
Beginning of Modern States
- Treaty recognizes Europe
as group of independent states
Economic Contrasts with
- Economy in central Europe
still based on serfs, agriculture
Several Weak Empires
- Landowning nobles in central Europe
block growth of kings’ power
- Ottoman and Holy Roman empires are also weak
Austria Grows Stronger
- Hapsburgs in Austria take more lands, rule
Maria Theresa Inherits the
- Maria Theresa becomes empress of Austria,
faces years of war
Maria Theresa - Quick facts
o She ruled under the Pragmatic Sanction.
Without money, a strong army, and knowledge of state affairs, Maria Theresa
knew she had to rely on her judgment and strength of character. This
attitude helped her become a clever and resourceful leader.
o She was courageous, generous and kind.
o Under her direction, the government accepted
responsibilities such as public health, prisons, and roads.
o Due to the threat of famine in the eighteenth century,
she introduced the potato as a new staple food.
o She ended the traditional tax-free status of the
nobility and clergy making them responsible for paying property and income
taxes like the rest of the people in Austria.
o She invited foreign businesses into the country to
help develop natural resources such as minerals and timber.
o She adopted a social legislation protecting workers
and ending child labor in Austria.
o To improve education, she established compulsory
schools in every locality.
o Made reforms in local universities and started
colleges for education and medicine.
The Rise of Prussia
- Hohenzollern rulers of Prussia build Europe’s best army
- Call themselves kings and become absolute
- Nobles resist royal power, but king buys loyalty
Frederick the Great
- Frederick the Great becomes king of Prussia
- Enforces father’s military policies but softens
some of his laws
Prussia Challenges Austria
War of the Austrian
- In 1740, Frederick
starts war against Austria
to gain Silesia
- Maria Theresa resists Prussian power but loses Silesia in treaty
- As result of war, Prussia becomes a major power
The Seven Years' War
- Austria allies with France against Britain
- In 1756, Frederick
attacks Saxony, launching Seven Years’
- France loses colonies in North
Frederick II (the Great) - Quick facts
o His coarse and tyrannical father despised the prince, who
showed a taste for French art and literature and no interest in government and
war. At the age of 18 Frederick,
who had been repeatedly humiliated and ill-treated, planned to escape to England. He was
arrested, imprisoned, and forced to witness the beheading of his friend and
accomplice, Lieutenant Katte. Frederick submitted to his father and was
Became one of the greatest military geniuses in
Studied philosophy, history, and poetry and
corresponded with the French philosophers, notably Voltaire.
Introduced new methods of agriculture and
Drained marshes, providing new lands for cultivation
Introduced freedom of the press.
Was a patron of the arts, of the sciences, and of
culture in general.
The institution of serfdom, while not abolished, was
Under his personal supervision the efficiency and size
of the army were increased. He reviewed the troops frequently, concerned
himself with the discipline of his officers and men, taught them to march in
unison, and wrote works for his generals on the science of warfare.
Gave 50% of the state's revenues to the army (a unique
feat at the time) and will start a new military tradition in Prussia.
Abolished the use of torture.
Enjoyed learning history, poetry and philosophy.
Was a musician, spending many hours with his flute.
in which he idealistically opposed the political doctrines of the Italian
statesman and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli,
favoring peaceful and enlightened rule.
Was one of the best examples of an "enlightened
despot" in history.
o His armies faced Austria, Russia, Sweden, Saxony,
and won against all of them.
o His Prussian army became the model admired and
imitated by other nations.
o Frederick the Great remains one of the most famous German
rulers of all time for his military successes and his domestic reforms that
one of the leading European nations.
Section 4: Absolute Rulers of Russia
Peter the Great makes many
changes in Russia
to try to make it more like western Europe.
The First Czar
Ivan the Terrible
- In 1533, Ivan the Terrible becomes king of Russia
- Struggles for power with boyars—landowning nobles
- Seizes power and is crowned czar, meaning
Rule by Terror
- In 1560, Ivan turns against boyars, kills them,
Rise of the Romanovs
- Ivan's heir is weak, leading to period of turmoil
- In 1613, Michael Romanov becomes czar
Ivan the Terrible -
o Was one of Russia's most brutal,
and notorious rulers.
o During his youth, Ivan is reported to have exhibited
numerous acts of extraordinary sadism, an inclination toward cruelty that was
displayed later in his reign.
o Was also paranoid about the thought that everyone was
out to destroy him - He thought everyone was a traitor.
o He had many of his closest advisors arrested, exiled,
or executed (He even killed his own son.). In 1581, Ivan killed his son
Ivan, the successor to the throne, in a fit of rage.
o Was the first Russian prince to take that title tsar (from
the Roman imperial title Caesar) to the traditional title of grand prince.
o Started the Oprichina
in 1565. The outward goal of the Oprichina was
to remove treason from Russia.
The real reason for the founding of the Oprichina
was to spill blood. This was Ivan's cruel side released from the bonds that had
held it in check for years. He wanted power, money and blood and he did
everything to get what he wanted.
o Set up the first printing press in Moscow in 1581.
o Brought skilled craftsmen to teach his people new
trades to help them into the modern world.
Peter the Great Comes to
The Rise of Peter
- Peter the Great becomes czar in 1696, begins to
Russia Contrasts with Europe
- Land of boyars and serfs
- Cut off geographically from Europe
- Culturally isolated, little contact with Western Europe
- Religious differences widen gap
Peter Visits the West
- In 1697, Peter visits Western
Europe to learn European ways
Peter Rules Absolutely
- Goal of westernization—using Western
Europe as model for change
- Brings Orthodox Church under state control
- Reduces power of great landowners
- Modernizes army by having European officers train
- Introduces potatoes to Russia
- Starts Russia’s first newspaper
- Raises women’s status
- Adopts Western fashion
- Advances education
Establishing St. Petersburg
- Peter wants a seaport that will make travel to
- Fights Sweden to win port on Baltic Sea
- In 1703, begins building new capital called St. Petersburg
- Building city takes many years; many serfs die in
- By the time of Peter’s death, Russia is
a force to be reckoned with in Europe
Peter the Great - Quick facts
o Was very tall, tremendously strong, fantastically
energetic, and an intellectually precocious child, he received no extensive
systematic education, barely being taught to read and write.
o Instead, from an early age he began to absorb
information on his own and to pursue a variety of interests.
o Was very mechanically inclined.
o Chose to live in the quarter for foreigners in Moscow became his
favorite locale. There he learned from a variety of specialists what he wanted
to know most about military and naval matters, geometry, and the erection of
o Always judged people not by their background, but by
what they knew and what they were able to do. As a result, throughout his reign
his assistants constituted a remarkably diverse group, ranging socially from
the old, established Russian aristocracy to able newcomers from lower classes
and including a great variety of foreigners.
o His goal was to Westernize and modernize the entire
Russian government, society, and culture.
o Ordered member of his court to wear western style
clothing, and all men to shave their breads or pay a fine upon entering Moscow.
o Allowed women to attend social gatherings.
o Sent Russians to study abroad to study shipbuilding,
naval warfare, mathematics, and foreign languages.
o Invited foreign experts to teach the Russians.
o Built a new capital at St. Petersburg, located at the mouth of Neva River
near the Baltic Sea. This became his
"window to the west."
o Changed the calendar (Gregorian) to the same style
used in most of Europe (Julian).
o Through a series of military campaigns, and sweeping
reforms, and nearly single handedly thrust Russia to the forefront of European
o Increased the Russian military from around 30,000 men
in 1695, to nearly 300,000 men in 1725, and that included the newly formed
o Modernized the army and navy.
o Changed the tax laws to increase government income and
o Initiated the most profitable tax ,
ahead tax in which nearly every Russian male had to pay solely because they
lived in Russia.
o Made the nobles pay no taxes.
o Provided new production centers land, money, and
o Made workers tied to their trades for life.
o Peter the Great was virtually unconditionally admired,
almost worshipped, in his native country by the educated public during the Age
of Enlightenment, which followed after his death and which he had done so much
Catherine II the Great - Quick facts
o In 1762, with the support of the Imperial Guard, she
overthrew her husband Peter III. She was crowned Empress of All Russia on September 22, 1762.
Her rule was one of the most prosperous periods of the Russian Empire.
o Made her considerable mark in history by her extremely
successful and expansive foreign policy as well as by her energetic and
fruitful continuation of the process of Westernization in the footsteps of
Peter the Great.
o Truly earned the respect of her people.
o Was greatly influenced by the leading Western European
o She built and founded the Hermitage Museum,
commissioned buildings all over Russia,
founded academies, journals, and libraries.
o Although she considered freeing the Russian serfs, she
forced more peasants into serfdom than ever before, and the conditions for the
o Common people in Russia had fewer rights than
anywhere else in Europe.
o Brutally crushed peasant uprisings.
o Achieved the goal of securing a warm-water port on the
o Considered it her mission to civilize Russia.
o Established the beginnings of a more general
educational system for Russia,
although on a very small scale considering the needs of the country.
o Journalism, in which the empress participated
o Founded hospitals, led the way in the struggle against
infectious diseases, and decreed that Russia be equipped to produce its
own medicines and surgical equipment.
o Considered to be the last of the great absolute
monarchs of the 1700's.
o Left Russia
much stronger and more prosperous and beautiful than she found it.
Section 5: Parliament Limits the English Monarchy
Wars of the Roses & the English Absolute monarchs –
Welcome The Tudors
- War of the Roses - was a civil war in England
that is also an internal battle among members of the English Royal family.
- A series of civil wars between the English houses
the Wars of the Roses derived its name from the crests designating both
sides -- the red rose for the House of Lancaster and the white rose for
the House of York.
- Both houses laid claim to the throne based upon
their common lineage from king Edward III was the last Plantagenet king.
(Plantagenet is a family name.)
- Edward has seven sons; two die early and are
therefore irrelevant. The remaining six are therefore have a claim to the
- Both the Lancasters and
Yorks are descended from Edward III's sons.
- The Wars of the Roses broke the feudal power of
the nobles and effectively marked the end of the Middle
Ages in England
Many of the ruling nobles had been slain during the wars, and their
estates were confiscated by the Crown.
- People longed for a strong government that would
bring peace and prosperity.
- Henry VII seized the opportunity to reestablish
the royal power and launch policies that marked the beginning of modern England.
o First Tudor monarch of England.
o Chose his advisors from the gentry and merchant
class. This way they were dependent upon (hence loyal to) the king.
o Helped rebuild England’s commercial prosperity.
o Encouraged the expansion of foreign trade.
o Promoted the improved collection of taxes.
o Was very careful with government spending.
o Avoided war.
o Used diplomacy and marriage to strengthen England’s
o The reorganization in 1487 of the Star Chamber was one
of several means by which Henry strengthened the royal power over the nobles.
Henry VIII of England
- Quick facts
o Most powerful Tudor monarch.
o Began making England a great naval power.
o Broke away from the Catholic Church and started his
own Protestant denomination.
o He was declared supreme head of the church in England, and
all of the payments normally made to the pope now went to the crown.
o His greatest achievement was to initiate the
Protestant Reformation in England.
o He ruthlessly increased the power of royal government,
using Parliament to sanction his actions.
o He was married six times in search of a male
heir. His daughters were the future Mary I and Elizabeth I.
o His wife, Jane Seymour, finally provided Henry with
his male heir, the future Edward VI, although she died in childbirth.
o Henry's next three marriages occurred in rapid
Mary I of England
- Quick facts
o The first child of Henry VIII, suffered through a
terrible childhood of neglect, intolerance, and ill-health
o Married Philip II of Spain in 1554, but they produce no
heir to the throne.
o Began her reign by sweeping away the religious
innovations of her father by restoring Catholicism as the official religion of England.
o Her major goal was the re-establishment of Catholicism
a goal to which she was totally committed. This persecution resulted more from
a desire for purity in faith, than from vengeance. Yet the fact remains
that nearly 300 people (including former Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas
Cranmer and many of the most prominent members of society) were burned at the
stake for heresy, earning Mary the nickname, "Bloody Mary."
o Most of these "heretics" were ordinary
villagers and not preachers or intellectuals. These simple people had been
confused by years of religions swinging back and forth.
o Involved England in a war with France and lost
control of the port
of Calais; England's only
foothold on the European continent.
Elizabeth I of England - Quick facts
o Her reign was one of the greatest cultural periods in
history (English Renaissance).
o Was the longest-reigning English monarch in nearly two
o Was the first woman to successfully occupy the English
o Called Glorianna, the Virgin
Queen, and Good Queen Bess.
o Enjoyed enormous popularity during her life and became
an even greater legend after her death.
o Her reign was marked by her effective use of
Parliament and the Privy Council, a small advisory body of the important state
officials, and by the development of legal institutions in the English
o Restored Protestantism in England -the Anglican Church.
o Was educated, shrewd, forceful/assertive.
o Used her authority for the common good.
o Earned the loyalty and confidence of her people.
o Sponsored William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlow.
o Created a very stratified society: Royalty, Nobility,
Gentry, and yeomen.
o Spent money lavishly.
o To raise funds, she sold off royal lands, offices,
licenses, monopolies, and the right to collect customs.
o Her government enacted legislation known as the Poor
Laws, which made every local parish responsible for it's own poor, created
workhouses, and severely punished homeless beggars.
o One of the queen's most important economic decisions
was to issue a new currency that contained a standard amount of precious metal.
This raised confidence in the currency and also allowed businesses to enter
into long-term financial contracts.
o Built the strongest navy of the time period.
o Worked hard to ensure a balance of power between England and
other powerful nations.
o Supported the Dutch rebels in their struggle against
Philip II of Spain.
o Defended the nation against the powerful Spanish naval
force known as the Spanish Armada. The defeat of Spain established the glory of the
English navy and inspired merchants and explorers toward colonization of a
o Made Scotland
a Protestant ally of England.
o Appointed her cousin, Mary Stuart as Mary, Queen of
Scots. Later, under extreme pressure, had Mary Stuart executed for
o She was the last of the Tudor monarchs, never marrying
or producing an heir, and was succeeded by her cousin, James VI of Scotland, who
becomes James I of England.
Absolute rulers in England are
overthrown, and Parliament gains power.
Monarchs Defy Parliament
- James I of Scotland becomes king of England in
- Struggles with Parliament over money, Church
Charles I Fights
- James’s son, Charles I, becomes king in 1625
- Also fights with Parliament over money
- Parliament forces him to sign Petition of Right
- Petition limits Charles’s power, but he ignores
English Civil War... again
War Topples a King
- In 1641, Parliament passes laws to limit king’s
- Result is English Civil War (1642–1649) between
- In 1644, Oliver Cromwell becomes general on
- After Puritans win, Charles faces trial and
execution in 1649
- Oliver Cromwell occupies a unique place in
English history. Between 1653 and 1658 he ruled the UK, with
more or less the same powers as a monarch, but as he was 'Lord Protector'
of the Commonwealth, he had no crown.
- He was a skilled politician, with a strong
personal power base.
- He had the foresight, determination and strength
of will that carried the parliamentarian cause through the crucial trial
and execution of King Charles I and its messy political aftermath.
- He defended the rights of Parliament.
- He won all the battles he fought.
- He was responsible for the execution of the King.
- He allowed Jewish people to live in England
for the first time since 1291.
- He took land from the Irish and gave it to his
- He picked his officers because of their ability
- He ensured that England was a secure country
at a time when it was very vulnerable.
- He hated the Irish, largely because their loyalty
to the Roman Catholic Church.
- He also desired to exact revenge on the Irish for
a massacre of English Protestants that had occurred there in 1641.
- The two great battles of Cromwell's war in Ireland
were the Siege of Drogheda in September 1649 and the Siege of Wexford in
October. In both battles, Cromwell's forces behaved brutally, slaughtering
civilians as well as Irish soldiers. Cromwell condoned and even encouraged
this violence, which he viewed as just punishment for 1641. At Wexford,
over 2000 inhabitants were killed inside the city after resisting the
English for nine bloody days. The siege at Drogheda
was equally brutal. The town resisted for eight days before English
cannons brought down the steeple of Saint Mary's Catholic Church on
September 11. The first attempt through the breach failed, and Cromwell
himself joined in the second assault, which was successful. The English
army swept through the town, massacring its citizens. Among those whom
Cromwell specifically ordered to be killed were the members of Catholic
religious orders, priests, monks, and nuns.
- In 1649, Cromwell abolishes monarchy, House of
- Becomes military dictator
- Suppresses rebellion in Ireland
- Puritans abolish activities they find sinful
Restoration and Revolution
- After Cromwell dies in 1658, government collapses
- Next year, Parliament asks son of Charles I to
Charles II Reigns
- Restoration— the return of monarchy under Charles
- Habeas corpus—law requiring king to charge
prisoner with crime
James II and the Glorious
- Charles’s Catholic brother James becomes king in
- Glorious Revolution—bloodless overthrow of James
Limits on Monarch’s Power
A New Type of Monarchy
- Protestants William and Mary become rulers of England
- Agree to constitutional monarchy—legal limits on
Bill of Rights
- In 1689, Parliament drafts Bill of Rights
- Sets limits on royal power
Cabinet System Develops
- In 1700s, cabinet, a group of government
- Ministers link majority party in Parliament with