Foundations of Absolutism
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Foundations of Absolutism



This PowerPoint presentation was created to assist with an introduction to the rise of royal absolutism in early modern Europe. The bulk of the lecture focuses on the obstacles that monarchs faced when trying to create sovereign, absolutist states.



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  • Textbook Correlations: McKay, 523-34 Reader: Richelieu (11-14)

Foundations of Absolutism Foundations of Absolutism Presentation Transcript

  • Photo by chriskongs Photo by Chiew Pang
  • It’s not easy being KING Photo by jbelluch
  • CHECK! Medieval kings faced many challenges. Photo by Ahd Photography
  • CHECK! They competed in a real life game of chess. Some rights reserved by OmarC
  • CHECK! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Church Nobility Representative Bodies Towns Universities These groups kept medieval kings in check… Some rights reserved by OmarCabout the game of chess. think
  • The Church The Church was not just a religious institution in early modern Europe – bishops held considerable wealth and influence. Photo by angeloangelo
  • Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris Photo by Eivind K. Døvik
  • The Nobility Medieval kings were heavily dependent on the hereditary warrior aristocracy. Photo by DaleKav
  • Feudalism Lord/Vassal Contracts Some rights reserved by merwing✿little dear
  • The Feudal Contract The King provides LAND to his vassal. The Vassal swears FEALTY to his king.
  • Feudal France
  • Banners Medieval soldiers fought under the banners of their lords – not the king. Some rights reserved by foamcow
  • Castles The most powerful lords were protected behind the walls of fortified castles. Some rights reserved by Lee Jordan
  • CHECK! Representative Bodies Taxation by CONSENT A medieval depiction of a meeting of Parliament
  • CHECK! Representative Bodies England: Parliament France: Estates General Prussia: Junkers A medieval depiction of a meeting of Parliament
  • CHECK! Towns and Cities Independent Charters Special Privileges Royal charters granted privileges and exemptions from certain taxes and laws. Photo Credit: Sönke Rahn
  • WALLS Medieval towns often had fortifications.
  • CHECK! Universities Universities typically controlled by the Church. (NOT by the king)
  • Photo by Jonathan_W (@whatie)
  • Photo by Jonathan_W (@whatie)
  • The Absolutists Louis XIV Peter the Great The Fredericks of France of Russia of Prussia