Chapter 8 Absolutism &
Divine Right in Europe
Spain, England, France, Germany, &
Chapter 8 : Royal Power and
• During the 1500s and 1600s, European monarchies created powerful central governments.
• Wars over religion and power engulfed many European countries, including Holland, Spain,
France, and Sweden.
• In England the Tudor monarchies brought England peace and stability, increasing royal
power but allowing Parliament a share in the government.
• England was building an overseas empire based on trade.
• The monarchs of Europe based their reach for expanded royal power on the theory of
absolute monarchy, which held that kings and queens ruled as representatives of God and
were responsible to God alone, not to parliaments and citizens.
• In Russia, rulers like Peter the Great were enhancing the country's military power and
increasing contacts with western Europe.
• Internally, however, they were increasing the gap between the upper and lower classes.
Chapter 8 Royal Power and
• Section 1: Spain
• Section 2: England
• Section 3: France
• Section 4: The German States
• Section 5: Russia
Philip II of Spain
Philip was the most powerful
monarch in Spanish history!
He was smart, handsome, well-
educated, hard-working, prudent,
cautious, and a devout Catholic—
Defender of the Faith.
He supported the arts, music, etc.
Well-connected—the son of Holy
Roman Emperor Charles V, great
grandson of Isabella and Ferdinand.
His capital was El Escorial, but he will
move it to Madrid.
He will feature Castile—most of his
advisors, etc. came from there and
Castillian will be the court language.
He will try to root out heresy in Spain,
and that includes the Protestant
minorities—Marranos and Moriscos.
He supported the Spanish Inquisition.
He was married four times:
a) Maria Manuela of Portugal
b) Mary Tudor of England
c) Elizabeth of Valois (in France) and
d) to Anne of Austria.
From 1550-1650 Spain’s Golden
Century—El Siglo de Oro
Spain will become embroiled in a
series of European wars, mainly
defending Catholicism vs. the
Philip’s successors will face Spain’s
ultimate decline—fiscally and
Philip II of Spain