Absolute RulersA How To Guide with examples from Russia…
Causes of AbsolutismReligious and territorial Which leads to…conflictArmies growing largerto deal with conflicts Which leads to…A need for cash to pay Where can a ruler getarmies. money from?
Absolutism, continuedTaxes! Right The Who pays Peasantry! the taxes? So they revolt, which causes more unrest…And the Monarch takes more and more powerto try and keep control. Eventually He/sheclaims to rule because God says he or sheshould, and he or she only answers to God…
Meanwhile, all the other monarchsAre taking note ofyour ever-strengtheningmilitary andgetting a wee bitworried about Well, thiswhat you plan to guy said hedo with it… WAS the state (L’Etat, C’est Moi), so maybe he didn’t worry about much…
Peace of WestphaliaWarfare in Europe 1648Sometimes Absolutism comesafter a war between sides. Most important from this treaty is that Europe is nowThe Thirty Years War is one ofthese conflicts, where made up of “sovereign”Catholics and Protestants inGermany fight each other for states.Thirty Years (hence thecreative name). This means that they are independent and equal;Other states get involvedseeking advantages. This is the origin of theUltimately it becomes aEuropean conflict that results modern nation-statesin a treaty. system we live in now.
Europe after the Treaty of WestphaliaNot very neat looking, is it? And each has its ownmonarch, enjoying sole control over his or herterritory…what’s likely to happen in the future?
Meanwhile…Russian Absolute Monarchs Crazy or just “Special”?
Ivan the Terrible• Not Terrible as in “Bad” but Terrible as in “Ferocious”• His dad claimed that his mom was a witch and had her put into a nunnery.• Made Tsar at age 16.• Ruled 1533-1584
Ivan• Ordered St. Basil’s Cathedral built in Moscow.• Then he ordered the architect to be blinded so he couldn’t make anything as beautiful ever again.
Ivan• Contracted a near fatal illness in 1553, but recovered.• Apparently was left mentally ill.• Waged war against Swedes, Lithuanians, Poles and Teutonic Knights.• Plague broke out in Russia. 600-1000 died a day in Moscow, food prices went up by a factor of 10.
Ivan• Ordered the destruction of Novgorod over a debt the city owed him.• 1581 Ivan beat his daughter in law for wearing indecent clothing (she was pregnant and lost the baby.• His son confronted him about it, and in a rage, he smashed his son’s head with a poker. Remaining son who inherited was mentally disabled.• Ivan died of either poisoning (mercury) or strangulation by a man whose wife he attempted to rape.
Peter the Great • Stood 6 ft 8 inches tall, but was thin with narrow shoulders and a small head for his body. • Likely had a form of epilepsy. • Ruled 1682-1725
Peter the Great• Became Tsar at 10 years old, with mommy as his regent• A dispute led to him sharing the throne with his mentally incompetent half-brother• Peter didn’t really want to be Tsar. He liked to build ships and play with toy soldiers.• He was forced to marry a woman at 16 whom he hated. After 10 years, he forced her to become a nun.
Peter the Great• Reformed Russia to • You could keep your become more modern beard if you paid 100• Wanted the army to Rubles (money) as a tax modernize and to build • Tried to form an alliance a navy. against the Ottoman• Required state officials empire, but no and military to shave European leader will go their beards and adopt along with him. modern clothing styles. • Changed the Russian calendar to match Europe’s
Peter the Great• Ordered his son tortured and killed for disobeying Peter’s orders and for disregarding official policies.• Changed tax structure, decreed that all children of nobility must have an education.• Died due to complications of a urinary tract infection that became gangrene of the bladder. – At one point had four pounds of urine drained from his body…• Had no sons left alive to inherit the throne, but had 11 children with two wives; the second, Catherine I, rules as Empress until her death.
Catherine The Great • Married Peter III at age 16. They were second cousins. • After the coup, she expands Russia’s borders and takes over Ukraine, Belarus, Lithua nia, and set up an agreement with Prussia. • Ruled 1762-1796
Catherine the Great• Took the title “Empress and Autocrat of all the Russias.”• Took power after her husband was deposed in a coup. (She wasn’t involved, though she did start sleeping with some of the members later.)• Did not care for the poor at all.• Created a system of states for Russia based on population.
Catherine• Waged a successful war against the Ottoman Empire to get port cities on the Black Sea.• Patronized artists of all types in Russia, lured scientists and thinkers to Russia from Europe.
Catherine—Hot or Not?• Caused lots of scandal all • He would select the men over Europe based on physical beauty• Took many lovers. When and intellectual capacity. she was done with them, • She apparently had an she “paid” them in land, insatiable sexual appetite. money and serfs. • Rumored to have involved• Her first lover became her horses, but no proof. “love advisor” • Succeeded by her nephew, Paul.