Europe’s nobility saw absolutism as a complete loss of political power and influence. Absolutism was the governmental principle that the reigning monarch has a great, divine power, which is hindered by no one else within the country they rule. The 17th and 18th centuries was period in which nobles once held power and influence over government was diminished to the precipice of oblivion. King Louis XIV in France, the Hohenzollerns of Prussia, and Peter the Great of Russia all sought complete control of their territories. Although their economic statuses remained, the power of the European nobles had weakened. After the Sun King stated, “I am the state,” the people of France knew that he was the only, divine ruler of their country, and were made to believe that anything he does is infallible. During his reign, the nobility didn’t have much say in the French laws, foreign policies, or commerce, but were house at Louis’ palace at Versailles to keep them close and happy. Most nobles were exempt from taxation and boasted great wealth, but had no political influence. A majority of Louis’s reign was spent in war, which forced many nobles to fulfill their obligation as soldiers. The French nobility preserved their privileged position under Louis XIV, but never obtained the political titles taken over by ministers, bishops, and France’s top thinkers
Russia’s Tsar, Peter the Great, had a great dominance of power during his reign and never distributed it with the nobility . St. Petersburg, a port city with western influence, became the new capital of Russia after its move from Moscow. The Tsar forced his nobles to cut off their beards (a sign of God’s favorability), wear common clothes, and live a western lifestyle as commoners. The creation of the Table of Ranks made sure that nobles who sought to serve high positions were “important” enough to do so. As is custom with most nobles, the Russian nobles owned vast amounts of land and serfs, much like the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document