Absolutism in Europe

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Absolutism affected the power + status of the European nobility depending on the country in which they lived. In England the power of the nobility increases due to a victory in the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution of 1658. However, in France, Louis XIV¡¯s absolutist regime decreased the powers of the noble but heightened their material status. In Russia and in Prussia, the absolutist leaders of those countries modernized their nations + the nobility underwent a change, but it retained prestige + power.

Charles I considered himself to be an absolute monarch in England in the 1630¡¯s. A large portion of the parliament dislikes him because they wanted more of a say on the government and because the Protestant of the group disagreed with his Catholicism and ruling of the Anglican Church. The English Civil War crushed, + the parliament won, however, through Cromwell¡¯s Protectorate and the return of the Stuarts, Charles II and James II, it was not until 1688 that the Glorious Revolution placed William + Mary of Orange on the throne. They signed a Bill of Rights, which gave Parliament more power, and this gave the nobles a greater influence + responsibility in the government. It also stated that new tax could not be passed w/o parliamentary consent, another example of their increased power.

However in France, the absolutist regime of Louis XIV took power away from the nobles. Although the nobles were exempt from taxes, they had no responsibility or say in the government. Louis XIV and his ministers, particularly Colbert, ran the country. He built Versailles, a beautiful palace outside of Paris for his nobles. Lined with gardens and filled with fountains + opulent architecture + decorations Versailles was a veritable playground for the nobles. There were balls, fancy clothes + huge numbers of servants, and most of the nobles¡¯ incomes were spent on these luxuries. Thus, the status of the nobles was high and they were wealthy + lived an indulgent...
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