The 17th century: Absolute Monarchy and the Decline of the Hispanic Empire
THE 17TH CENTURY:
ABSOLUTE MONARCHY AND THE
DECLINE OF THE HISPANIC EMPIRE
DEMOGRAPHY: SLOW POPULATION GROWTH, DUE TO HIGH MORTALITY
RATES CAUSED BY WARS, EPIDEMICS AND FAMINES.
SOCIETY: STILL DIVIDED INTO ESTATES (PRIVILEGED AND UNDERPRIVILEGED)
INCREASING DISCONTENT OF THE BOURGEOIS (ECONOMIC POWER,
BUT NO POLITICAL POWER)
- AGRICULTURE CONTINUED TO BE THE PREDOMINANT ECONOMIC
- SOME CHANGES IN PRODUCTION ( MANUFACTORIES) AND TRADE
(NEW ROUTES AND TRADING COMPANIES).
Merchants concentrated tools and workers in big workshops. They provided
the raw materials and paid a salary to the workers. Finished products
belonged to the merchants, who could sell them directly in the market,
GOBELINS ROYAL MANUFACTORY, PARIS
In some kingdoms the State created
royal manufactories to provide the
royal palaces with tapestry, crockery,
glassware and so on.
COLONIAL EMPIRES . AMERICA IN THE 17TH CENTURY
Heavier ships and with more
CASTILIAN AND PORTUGUESE TRADE ROUTES
The Castilians controlled the precious metals route to America
The Portuguese controlled the spice route to Asia.
TRADE ROUTES IN THE INDIAN OCEAN
broke the Iberian
monopoly in colonial
trade. England and
colonies in Asia (India
It linked Europe, Africa and America.
EAST INDIA HOUSE IN LONDON
SEAL OF THE VIRGINIA COMPANY
LOGO OF THE HUDSON´S BAY
Companies dedicated to trade, whose
shareholders invested money in a commercial
business and received benefits in proportion to
Trading companies got the protection of the
States they belonged to.
THE THIRTY YEARS´ WAR
-Confrontation between the
Protestant kingdoms of Northern
Europe and the Catholic
kingdoms of Southern Europe.
- France fought for the
Protestants to defy the Habsburg
-The main battles took place in
the Habsburg Empire.
PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION LOSS IN THE EMPIRE DURING
THE THIRTY YEARS´WAR
PEACE OF WESTPHALIA (1648)
-End of religious wars
-Independence of the
Low Countries (United
Provinces of the
-End of the Hispanic
hegemony in Europe.
-Consolidation of the
State- nations and
-In theory the king concentrated all the
powers. His power was unquestionable,
because it was considered to be derived from
-But in practice there were some institutions
that limited the king´s power to a certain
extent: councils, Parliaments… Kings tried to
avoid calling the Parliament.
Louis XIV of France was the perfect example of an absolute monarch.
Louis XIV built the Versailles
Palace and organized parties
and meetings to entertain the
nobles and avoid revolts and
conspiracies against his power.
Versailles Palace is an example
of the king´s power.
CHARLES I OF ENGLAND (1600-1649)
He tried to rule as an absolute monarch,
without the control of the Parliament. He
arrested and executed those who opposed
him. The Parliament rebelled and a civil war
started. In 1649 Charles I was decapitated
and the Republic was proclaimed.
He was the strongest man of the
English Republic between 1649
and 1658. He acted as a dictator.
In 1658 he was appointed Lord
Protector. After his death,
monarchy was reestablished in
CHARLES II (1660-1685)
Charles II was Charles I´s son. He
had to accept the control of the
Parliament and the Habeas
Corpus, which prevented arbitrary
detentions and guaranteed
individual freedom. At his death
the Duke of York, his brother,
became the king. He reigned as
JAMES II (1685-1688)
He reigned only for three years. His
religious policy confronted him against
the Parliament. A new revolution
against absolutism started.
A group of nobles asked James II´s
son-in-law, the Dutch prince William of
Orange, to invade England. When
William of Orange invaded England
James II fled to France, where he was
hosted by Louis XIV.
WILLIAM OF ORANGE (1688-1702)
He accepted the proposition of
some English nobles to dethrone
James II and become the king of
England on the condition of limiting
his power. In 1689 he swore the
BILL OF THE RIGHTS, which
limited the king´s power and put
some decisions under the control of
England was the first country to
have a limited monarchy, with
separation of the executive (king)
and the legislative (Parliament)
PHILIP III (1598-1621)
He left the government in the hands
of two favourites:
DUKE OF LERMA DUKE OF UCEDA
- TWELVE YEARS TRUCE (1609-1621): the Northern Provinces of the Low
Countries became practically independent
- EXPULSION OF THE MOORISH (1609): more than 300,000 people were
expelled (20% of the population of the kingdom of Aragón and 33% of the
kingdom of Valencia). This strongly affected the Crown of Aragón´s
-DEVALUATION OF CURRENCY: gold and silver coins were mixed with
Expulsion of the Moorish
at Denia port
Thirty Years´ War (1618-1648)
The Hispanic Monarchy supported the Catholics. At the beginning the
Hispanic tercios conquered Breda (1634), but the intervention of France
changed the sign of war and the tercios were defeated in Rocroi (1643).
The Surrender of Breda
At the end of the war the United Provinces of the Netherlands became
independent and the Hispanic Monarchy lost the supremacy in Europe
Olivares´s project of the Union of Arms
provoked uprisings in different kingdoms in
1640. The most serious revolts took place in:
- Catalonia, supported by France. The
conflict ended with the Peace of the
Pyrenees (1659): Aragon lost the territories
of Roussillon and Perpignan.
- Portugal: the conflict ended with the
Treaty of Lisbon and the definitive
independence of Portugal (1668)
Count Duke of Olivares
Reapers´ war in Catalonia
CHARLES II (1665-1700)
FERNANDO DE VALENZUELA
Phisically and mentally disabled and constantly sick,
he was known as “the Hexed”.
Complicated situation and a powerful enemy: France
When he died without direct successors, a
succession war started, JUAN JOSÉ OF AUSTRIA
DEMOGRAPHY, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
-DEMOGRAPHY: population decreased due to bad harvests, wars, plagues,
migration to the Indies and the expulsion of the Moorish.
-ECONOMIC RECESSION: negative political decisions, inefficient farming techniques and
competition of cheaper and better quality foreign products
was the social model
and manual work was
considered to be
people wanted to live
without working. The
made the number of
beggars and rogues
Beggars and rogues,
painted by Murillo
The Lazarillo de Tormes (anonymous writer) and The Swindler
(written by Quevedo) reflected the society of the 17th century.
THE GOLDEN AGE OF LITERATURE
QUEVEDO CERVANTES LOPE DE VEGA GÓNGORA
CALDERÓN DE LA BARCA TIRSO DE MOLINA