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Paths to Constitutionalism and Absolutism in England and France
EnglandEngland will develop in this unit into a parliamentary monarchy with a policy of religious toleration.Parliament composed of a House of Lords and a House of Commons will come to share responsibility for running the government with the Monarch.
FranceFrance will develop an absolutist, centralized form of government dominated by a monarchy that will share little power with any other national institutions. (i.e. no Parliament in France).Louis XIV will also abandon the religious toleration of Henry IV, revoking the Edict of Nantes and allowing only Roman Catholicism.
Louis XIVs genius was to make the Monarchy the most important and powerful political institution in France while also assuring the nobles and other groups of the social standing and political and social influence on the local level. Rather than destroying existing local social and political institutions, Louis largely worked through them.Once nobles knew the King would support their local authority, they supported his central Royal authority.
SovereignSovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. The current notion of state sovereignty is often traced back to the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which, in relation to states, codified the basic principles:
territorial integrity border inviolability supremacy of the state (rather than the Church) a sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.
Absolutisma form of government where the monarch has the power to rule their land freely, with no laws or legally-organized direct opposition in force.
Absolutism vs. FeudalismFeudalism had a decentralized government, where local nobles within a country exercised sovereignty apart from the KingTo create an absolutist state then the central government must take power from the local governments.The Central government must be sovereign, competing with no other entity for political power.
Henry IV 1589-1610Sought to curtail the privileges of the French nobility. His targets were the provincial governors and the regional Parlements, especially the Parlement of Paris.Parlements were Local French Courts, capable of resisting the King and were dominated by the Nobility
Apotheosis of Henry IV and the regency of Marie De Medici 1610 (By Rubens)
Louis XIII r. 1610-1643Cardinal Richilieu Prime Minister 1629- 1642
Richelieu-Foreign PolicyRichelieu pursued a strong anti-Habsburg policy.Although he supported the Spanish Alliance of the Queen and Catholic religious unity within France, he was determined to contain Spanish power and influence, even when that meant aiding Protestant Europe.Thirty Years War.
Richelieu-Domestic PolicyWithin France Richelieu pursued centralizing policies.Richelieu stepped up the campaign against separatist provincial govenors and parlements.He made it clear that there was only one law, that of the King and no one could stand above it.Disobedient nobles were arrested and even executed.
Intendant SystemCardinal Richelieu, Louis XIII's principal minister, in the early 17th cent.; used Intendants extensively to consolidate the country and undermine feudal authority. At first the intendant lacked power outside his specific commission from the king. Under Louis XIV's rule (16431715), however, the intendant became a vital permanent state official, appointed by the king. Granted full powers in the fields of justice, finance, and police in the provinces, the intendant often tried civil and criminal cases, suspended unsuitable judges, summoned special tribunals, regulated municipal government, stamped out banditry and smuggling, levied and collected taxes, and drew the militia by lot. Initially, intendants were non-nobles, dependent upon royal favor for advancement. As faithful instruments of royal centralization they aroused the hostility of the local authorities, notably the parlements and the provincial governors
Hueguenot revolt in La RochelleIn 1625, a new Huguenot revolt led by Duke Henri de Rohan and his brother Soubise led to the Capture of R island by the forces of Louis XIII. Soubise conquered large parts of the Atlantic coast, but the supporting fleet of La Rochelle was finally defeated by Montmorency, as was Soubise with 3,000 when he led a counter-attack against the royal troops who had landed on the island of R.
Huguenot uprising at La RochelleFollowing these events, Louis XIII and his Chief Minister Cardinal Richelieu declared the suppression of the Huguenot revolt the first priority of the kingdom. The English came to the support of La Rochelle, starting an Anglo-French War (1627-1629) This resulted in the Siege of La Rochelle in which Cardinal Richelieu blockaded the city for 14 months, until the city surrendered and lost its mayor and its privileges.
Peace of Alais 1629The Peace of Alais, was a treaty signed between the Huguenots and King Louis XIII of France on 28 June and was negotiated by Cardinal Richelieu, 1629. It confirmed the basic principles of the Edict of Nantes, but differed in that it contained additional clauses, stating that the Huguenots no longer had political rights and further demanding they relinquish all cities and fortresses immediately. It ended the religious warring while granting the Huguenots amnesty and guaranteeing tolerance for the group. Unfortunately for the Hugenots, the Peace nor the Edict of Nantes lasted very long. Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and began a brutal persecution of the French Protestants.
France and the 30 years warDuring the Thirty Years' War, in which various Protestant forces battled Imperial armies, France provided subsidies to the enemies of the empire. France generously supported a Swedish invasion of the Empire after 1630. After some early successes, the Swedish army was decisively defeated in 1634 by a combined Spanish-Imperial army in the Battle of Nordlingen, leading to a peace treaty favorable to the Emperor. Unhappy with this outcome, France's First Minister, Cardinal Richelieu, decided in 1635 to actively involve his kingdom in the fighting and declared war on Spain.
The open war with Spain started disastrously for the French. After an initial French attack and victory in the Battle of Les Avins in 1635, Spanish and Imperial forces, operating from the Spanish Netherlands launched in 1636 lightening campaigns through northern France and looked likely to invade Paris when the vast fiscal commitments of the Thirty Years War forced them to suspend their attacks.
This gave the French a chance to regroup and force Spanish forces back towards the northern border. The French also sent forces through Lorraine into the Alsace to cut the Spanish Road, the vital supply line connecting the Spanish Netherlands to Spain through the Mediterranean port of Genoa.
Treaty of the Pyrenees 1659France gained Roussillon, Artois, parts of Luxembourg and Flanders, and a new border with Spain was fixed at the Pyrenees. The treaty also arranged for a marriage between Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain, the daughter of Philip IV of Spain. Maria Theresa was forced to renounce her claim to the Spanish throne, in return for a monetary settlement as part of her dowry. This settlement was never paid, a factor that eventually led to the War of Devolution in 1668.
Richilieus Legacy Laid the foundation for expanded royal authorityCreated strong resentment for the monarchy by the nobilityAlexander Dumas the Three Musketeers
Louis XIV (mother Queen Anne)
The Fronde 1649-1652Series of widespread Noble rebellions Begun by the Parlement of Paris in 1649The chaos of the Fronde convinced most French people that the rule of a strong King was preferred
The FrondeThe original goal of the insurrection was not revolutionary; its aim was to protect the ancient liberties from encroachments by the royal power, to defend the established right of the parlements, which were courts of appeals rather than legislative bodies like the English parliaments, and especially the right of the Parlement of Paris to limit the king's power by refusing to register decrees that ran counter to custom. The liberties under attack were feudal. The Fronde provided additional incentive in France for the establishment of absolutism, since the disorders eventually discredited the older, feudal concept of liberty in France.
Louis personal rule 1661-1715Louis did not replace Mazarin after he died in 1661Strategies used by Louis to insure his power:Use of Propaganda sun KingEnsured French Nobles would benefit from the growth of his own authorityClaim Divine Right of KingsBishop Bossuet politics from the very words of Holy Scripture.Crush Religious DissentDomesticated the Nobility at Versailles
Divine Right of KingsThe divine right of kings is a political and religious doctrine of royal absolutism. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including the church. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute heresy.
Colbert Louis XIVs finance ministerCreated the economic base that Louis needed to fight his warsMercantilismLimit imports, maximize exportsAccumulate gold and silver
MercantilismMercantilism is an economic theory that holds that the prosperity of a nation is dependent upon its economic assets represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state.Bullion quantities are best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports). Mercantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals by playing a protectionist role in the economy by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, notably through the use of tariffs and subsidies.
JansenismJansenism was a branch of Catholic thought (condemned by Pope Innocent X in 1655) that arose in the frame of the Counter-Reformation and the aftermath of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). It emphasized original sin, human depravity, the necessity of divine grace, and predestination.Originating in the writings of the Dutch theologian Cornelius Otto Jansen, Jansenism formed a distinct movement within the Catholic Church from the 16th to 18th centuries, and found its most important stronghold in the Parisian convent of Port-Royal. The term itself was coined by its Jesuit opponents, who accused them of being close to Calvinists, as Jansenists identified themselves as rigorous followers of Augustinism.
The Wars of Louis XIVThe long-range objective of French foreign policy during the reign of Louis XIV was to achieve what he called the natural frontiers of France:the Pyrenees, the alps, and the Rhine river.To extend French power to the Rhine involved acquiring territories ruled by German Princes plus the conquest of the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces.French Foreign Policy from 1648 to 1715The French attempt to conquer the territories west of the Rhine involved France in four wars. France was opposed by a different coalition of European states in each war. These coalitions were trying to preserve the Balance of Power in Europe.
The War of Devolution 1667-1668The war of Devolution 1667-1668Louis XIV contended that the Spanish Netherlands belonged to his wife by the custom of Devolution.French armies invaded Flanders and Franche-Comte. England, the United Provinces, and Sweden formed the triple alliance to counterbalance FranceLouis, wishing to avoid a prolonged war against a coalition, arranged a compromise treaty, the Peace of Aix La ChapelleFrance received eleven border towns from the Spanish Netherlands but abandoned Franche-Comte
The Dutch war 1672-1678Followed Dutch boasting that they had defeated and humbled Louis.Louis first isolated the Dutch diplomatically by bribing the English to leave the triple alliance (Treaty of Dover 1670) and arranging Swedish neutrality by similar means.The Dutch were divided internally by the debate over whether the United Provinces should be a decentralized republic or a centralized hereditary monarchy ruled by William of Orange.As the Dutch were debating, Louis invaded. The Dutch murdered the proponent of a Republic and entrusted the defense of the country to William of Orange.Again the French invaded Flanders and Franche-Comte and again the European powers formed an alliance to check the French.
Dutch war, cont.The new alliance included: The Holy Roman Empire, Denmark, Spain, and the Electorate of BrandenburgIn 1677 William of Orange married Mary, the daughter of King James II of England.Louis thought this marriage would draw England into the war against France so peace negotiations were begun.Treaty of NimwegenFrance received all of Franche-Comte and more border towns in the Spanish Netherlands.
The War of the League of Augsburg 1688-1697The inexact terminology of earlier peace treaties left the control of various territories in the vicinity of the Rhine in doubt.Louis took possession of Alsace and Luxemburg.This spurred yet another alliance to protect the European Balance of Power-the League of AugsburgHoly Roman Empire, Spain, Sweden and several of the German States. When the English Glorious revolution of 1688 placed William of Orange as the King of England, England and the United Provinces joined the League.The French were initially successful, but the French could not match the combined English and Dutch fleets. The league could not muster the strength necessary to invade France. The Peace of Ryswick (1697) resulted from this stalemate.
Cause of the War of Spanish SuccessionKing Philip IV of Spain died in 1665, leaving behind only one surviving son, Charles, who became Charles II. Charles II disfigured and mentally challenged ascended the throne at the age of 4, the last of the Spanish Hapsburgs. He came to be known as El Hechizado, "The Bewitched," because it was popularly believed that his disfigurement was caused by sorcery. (It was more likely caused by generations of inbreeding.) So as not to overtax him physically or mentally, he was left totally uneducated and not even expected to keep himself clean.
In his will, Charles II left all of his possessions to Philip, duc d'Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, King of France. When Charles II died in late 1700, Philip thus became Philip V, King of Spain.
The war of Spanish Succession 1702-1713War fought to determine who would inherit the throne of Spain.Charles II would die without an heirThe leading contenders were the Austrian Habsburgs and the French Bourbons.When Charles II died in 1700 he left a will giving his throne to the grandson of Louis XIV who was to become Phillip V of Spain.Louis knew that war would follow if his grandson became the King of Spain. If he refused the Crown, however France would be surrounded again by Habsburg power. Louis accepted the will.The Pyrenees exist no longer.
Spanish succession, cont.In this war France had only the slender aid provided by Spain and Bavaria against the Grand Alliance-put together by William of Orange.England, the United Provinces, the Holy roman Empire, the Electorate of Brandenburg, and PortugalFrom 1702-1709 the French suffered one defeat after another, but when Louis asked for peace terms, the allies provisions were so harsh that the French and Spanish carried on. In 1711, Archduke Charles became the Holy roman Emperor Charles VI and the English and French did not want one man to occupy both the imperil and the Spanish thrones as Charles V had done.Allied disunity allowed Louis XIV to negotiate an acceptable peace settlement.
Treaty of Utrecht 1713in January, 1712. Great Britain, France, Savoy, Portugal, the Emperor, Prussia, and the Dutch Republic were represented, and later Spain. In March and April, 1713, the main treaties were signed. France ceded Newfoundland, Acadia or Nova Scotia, the district around Hudson Bay, and St Kitt's to Great Britain, which had conquered them. From Spain Great Britain acquired Gibraltar and Minorca, as well as the monopoly of the slave trade with Spanish America, called the Asiento. Louis XIV recognized the Protestant succession in England, and promised to give no further aid to the Stuarts.
The crown of Spain, with its American possessions, was given to the French claimant, Philip V. It was stipulated, however, that the same person should never be king of both France and Spain. Philip's Austrian rival, the emperor Charles, was consoled with Naples, Milan, Sardinia, and the Spanish, henceforward called the Austrian, Netherlands. All these had been Spanish. Prussia was recognized as a kingdom, and received part of Gelder-land, while France promised to secure the title of king for the duke of Savoy, who received Sicily.
The Treaty of Utrecht 1713
The English gained the most:Gibraltar, Minorca, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, the Hudson Bay territory and the AsientoAustria received the Spanish Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Milan and the island of Sardinia.The elector of Brandenburg was recognized as the King in PrussiaThe Duke of Savoy was recognized as the King of Savoy and given the island of Sicily which was exchanged for Sardinia in 1720