Christina Roderick

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 103
  • Published : April 11, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
In the seventeenth and eighteenth century, King Louis the XIV of France, Peter the Great of Russia, and Frederick the Great of Prussia knew how to successfully create a centralized government. Successful modern states developed a monopoly over the lawmaking process, the armed forces, and the bureaucracy to meet the needs of the state. Unlike the kings of Poland, the monarchs of France, Russia, and Prussia developed these features of the modern state.

The enormously diverse Kingdom of Poland remained an anachronism in the modern world. There was no trust between the nobility so they elected an outsider to be the ruler, but he failed to centralize the government and was weak. However the Polish nobles did have a central body of legislature but it too, was a failure. The legislative body, called a diet, had a practice called the liberum veto, which stated that one vote against an idea discarded the idea completely. This liberty of the nobles to veto anything and the requirement of unanimity led to the disappearance of Poland.

Peter the Great’s Russian empire rested on the marriage of autocracy and the nobility. Peter issued the Table of Ranks that said that prestige and status in society was dependent on ones service to the state, either through civil service or military. This limited and changed the power of the nobles. Unlike Poland’s idea of the liberum veto, Peter was in charge so more legislature got passed and things got done. Also, Peter the Great wanted to bring church under a more secular like many of the other monarchs in the eighteenth century.

Frederick the Great and the Hohenzollerns manipulated the machinery of government to serve the army and forge the Kingdom of Prussia. As great rulers should, Frederick had a strong army built up by his father who had ruled before him. Frederick the Great used this militaristic government to take pieces and parts of Poland until Poland was gone. Through the power of the government, Frederick...
tracking img