AP euro first semester terms

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Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) had his own kind of monarchial absolutism. Peter was interested primarily in military power, not in some grandiose westernization plan. Peter was determined to redress the defeats the tsar's armies had occasionally suffered in their wars with Poland and Sweden since the time of Ivan the Terrible. Peter was equally determined to continue the tsarist tradition of territorial expansion. He gained a large mass of Ukraine from weak and decentralized Poland in 1667. He had ruled for 36 years yet there was only one year of peace. When Peter took control in 1689, the heart of the army still consisted of cavalry made up of boyars and service nobility. The Russian army was lagging behind the professional standing armies being formed in Europe in the seventeenth century. Maintaining an existing Russian alliance with Austria and Poland against the Ottoman Empire, Peter campaigned against Turkish forts and Tartar vessels on the Black Sea. Learning from his earlier mistakes, he conquered Azov in 1696. Fascinated by weapons and foreign technology, the confident tsar then led a group of 250 Russian officials and young nobles on an eighteen-month tour of western European capitals. Returning to Russia Peter made a fateful decision that would shape his reign and bring massive reforms. He entered into a secret alliance with Denmark and the elector of Saxony to wage a sudden war against Sweden. He went to war against the absolutist king Charles XII of Sweden and eventually won the Great Northern War. Since a more modern army and government required skilled technicians and experts, he created schools and even universities to produce them. He reformed the army and forced the nobility to serve in his bureaucracy. His new army numbered 200,000 plus consisted of another 100,000 special troops. Army and government became more efficient and powerful as an interlocking military-civilian bureaucracy was created and staffed talented people. Russian peasant life under Peter became harsher. People were drafted for the army as a form of taxation. Serfs were arbitrarily assigned to do work in factories and mines. Modest territorial expansion took place under Peter, and Russia became a European Great Power. Peter borrowed many western ideas.
The growth of population increased the number of rural workers with little or no land, and this in turn contributed to the development of industry in rural areas. The poor in the countryside increasingly needed to supplement their earnings from agriculture with other types of work, and capitalists from the city were eager to employ them, often a lower wages than urban workers usually commanded. Manufacturing with hand tools in peasant cottages and work sheds grew markedly in the eighteenth century. Rural industry became a crucial feature of the European economy. To be sure, peasant communities had always made some clothing, processed some food, and constructed some housing for their own sues. But in the High Middle Ages, peasants did not produce manufactured goods on a large scale for sale in a market. Industry in the middle Ages was dominated and organized by urban craft guilds and urban merchants, who jealously regulated handicraft production and sought to maintain it as an urban monopoly. By the eighteenth century, however, the pressures of rural poverty and the need to employ landless proletarians were overwhelming the efforts of urban artisans to maintain their traditional control over industrial production a new system was expanding lustily. The new system has had many names. It has often been called "cottage industry" or "domestic industry" to distinguish it from the factory industry that came later. In recent years, some scholars have preferred to speak of "protoindustrialization," by which they usually mean a stage of rural industrial development with wage workers had hand tools that necessarily preceded the emergence of large-scale factory industry. The focus on protoindustrialization has been quite valuable because it has sparked renewed interest in Europe's early industrial development and shown again that the mechanized factories grew out of a vibrant industrial tradition. However, the evolving concept of protoindustrialization also has different versions, some of which are rigid and unduly deterministic. Thus the phrase putting-out system, widely used by contemporaries to describe the key features of eighteenth-century rural industry, still seems a more appropriate term for the new form of industrial production.
Thus the phrase putting-out system, widely used by contemporaries to describe the key features of eighteenth-century rural industry, still seems a more appropriate term for the new form of industrial production. The two main participants in the putting-out system were the merchant capitalist and the rural worker. The merchant loaned, or "out-out" raw materials to several cottage workers, who processed the raw materials in their own homes and returned the finished product to the merchant. For example, a merchant would provide raw wool, and the worker would spin and wave the wool into cloth. The merchant then paid the outworkers for their work by the piece and proceeded to sell the finished product. There were endless variations on this basic relationship. Sometimes rural workers would buy their own materials and work as independent producers before they sold to the merchant. Sometimes several workers toiled together to perform a complicated process in a workshop. The relative importance of earnings from the land and from industry varied greatly for handicraft workers, although industrial wages usually became more important for a given family with time. In all cases, however, the putting-out system was a kind of capitalism. Merchants needed large amounts of capital, which they held in the form of goods being worked up and sold in distant markets. They sought to make profits and increase the capital in their businesses. The putting-out system grew because it had competitive advantages. Underemployed labor was abundant, and poor peasants and landless laborers would work for low wages. Since production in the countryside was unregulated, workers and merchants could change procedures and experiment as the saw fit. Because they did not need to meet rigid guild standards, which maintained quality but discouraged the development of new methods, cottage industry became capable of producing many kinds of goods. Textiles; all manner of knives, forks, and house wares; buttons and gloves; clocks; and musical instruments could be produced quite satisfactorily in the countryside. Luxury goods for the rich, such as exquisite tapestries and fine porcelain, demanded special training, close supervision, and centralized workshops. Yet, such goods were as exceptional as those used them. The skill of rural industry was sufficient for everyday articles. Rural manufacturing did not spread across Europe at an even rate. It appeared first in England and developed most successfully there, particularly for the spinning and weaving of woolen cloth. By 1500, half of England's textiles were being produced in the countryside. By 1700, English industry was generally more rural than urban and heavily reliant on the putting-out system. Continental countries developed rural industry more slowly. Therefore, it was basically, a system based on rural workers producing cloth in their homes for merchant-capitalists, who supplied the raw materials and paid for the finished goods.
Although mercantilist policies strengthened both the Spanish and British colonial empires in the eighteenth century, a strong reaction against mercantilism ultimately set in. Creole merchants chafed at regulations imposed from Madrid. Small English merchants complained loudly about the injustice of handing over exclusive trading rights to great trading companies such as the East India Company. Wanting a bigger position in overseas commerce, independent merchants in many countries began campaigning against "monopolies" and calling for "free trade." The general idea of freedom of enterprise in foreign trade was persuasively developed by Scottish professor of philosophy Adam Smith (1723-1790). Smith, who's Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations established the basis for modern economics, was highly critical of eighteenth-century mercantilism. Mercantilism, he said, meant a combination of stifling government regulations and unfair privileges for state approved monopolies and government favorites. Far preferable was free competition, which would best protect consumers from price gouging and give all citizens a fair and equal right to do what they did best. In keeping with the "system of natural liberty" that he advocated, Smith argued that government should limit itself to "only three duties." It should provide a defense against foreign invasion, maintain civil order with courts and police protection, and sponsor certain indispensable public works and institutions that could never adequately profit private investors. Often lampooned in the nineteenth and twentieth century's as a mouth piece for business interests, smith was one of the enlightenment's most original and characteristic thinkers. He relied on the power of reason to unlock the secrets of the secular world, and he believed that he spoke for truth, and not for special interests. Thus unlike many disgruntled merchant capitalists, smith applauded the modest rise in real wages of British workers in the eighteenth century and went on to say, "No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable."
When Louis XVI accepted the final version of the completed constitution in September 1791, a young and still obscure provincial lawyer and member of the National Assembly named Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794) evaluated the work of two years and concluded, "The Revolution is over." Robespierre was both right and wrong. He was right in the sense that the most constructive and lasting reforms were in place. Nothing substantial in the way of liberty and useful reform would be gained in the next generation. He was wrong in the sense that a much more radical stage lay ahead. New heroes and new ideologies were to emerge in revolutionary wars and international conflict. The National Convention proclaimed France a republic in 1792. However, the convention was split between the Girondists and the Mountain, led by Robespierre and Danton. Robespierre established a planned economy to wage total war and aid the poor. The government fixed prices on key products and instituted rationing. Workshops were nationalized to produce goods for the war effort, and raw materials were requisitioned. Under Robespierre, the Reign of Terror was instituted to eliminate opposition to the Revolution, and some 40,000 people were jailed or executed. Robespierre cooperated with the san-culottes in bringing about a state-controlled economy--particularly fixing the price of bread. He was guillotined because Robespierre's Terror wiped out many of the angry men who had been criticizing Robespierre for being soft on the wealthy.
One passionate rebuttal came from a young writer in London, Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1707). Born into the middle class, Wollstonecraft was schooled in adversity by a mean-spirited father who beat his wife and squandered his inherited fortune. Determined to be independent in society that generally expected women of her class to become homebodies and obedient wives, she struggled for years to earn her living as a governess and teacher-practically the only acceptable careers for a single, educated woman-before attaining success as a translator and author. Interested in politics and believing that a "desperate disease requires a powerful remedy" in Great Britain as well as France, Wollstonecraft was incensed by Burke's book. She immediately wrote a blistering, widely read attack, a Vindication of the Rights of Man (1790). Then, fired up on controversy and commitment, she made a daring leap. She developed for the first time the logical implications of natural law philosophy in her masterpiece, A Vindication of the Rights of a Woman (1792). To fulfill the still-unrealized potential of the French Revolution and to eliminate the sexual inequality she had felt so keenly, she demanded that the rights of a woman be respected and there be justice for them. She advocated rigorous coeducation, which would make women better wives and mothers, good citizens, and even economically independent people. Women could manage businesses and enter politics if only men would give them a chance. Men themselves would benefit from women's rights
The control of the Convention was increasingly contested by two bitterly competitive groups-the Girondists, named after a department in southwestern France, and the Mountain, led by Robespierre and another young lawyer, Georges Jacques Danton. The Mountain was so called because its members sat on the uppermost left-hand benches of the assembly hall. A majority of the indecisive Convention members, seated in the "Plain" below, floated back and forth between the rival factions. The Girondists feared a bloody dictatorship by the Mountain. The petty traders and laboring poor were often known as the sans-culottes, "without breeches," because sans-culottes men wore trousers instead of knee breeches of the aristocracy and the solid middle class. The immediate interests of the sans-culottes were mainly economic, and in the spring of 1793 the economic situation was as bad as the military situation. Rapid inflation, unemployment, and food shortages were again weighing heavily on poor families. Moreover, by the spring of 1793, the sans-culottes had become keenly interested in politics. Encouraged by the so-called angry men, the sans-culottes men and women were demanding radical political action to guarantee them their daily bread. At first the Mountain joined the Girondists in violently rejecting these demands. But in the face of military defeat, peasant revolt, and hatred of the Girondists, the Mountain and especially became more sympathetic. The Mountain joined with sans-culottes activists in the city government to engineer a popular uprising which forced the convention to arrest thirty-one Girondists deputies for treason. All power passed to the Mountain. Robespierre and others from the Mountain joined the recently formed Committee of Public Safety, to which the Convention had given dictatorial power to deal with the national emergency. These developments in Paris triggered revolt in leading provincial cities, where moderates denounced Paris and demanded a decentralized government.
The control of the Convention was increasingly contested by two bitterly competitive groups the Girondists, named after a department in southwestern France, and the Mountain, led by Robespierre and another young lawyer, Georges Jacques Danton. The Mountain was so called because its members sat on the uppermost left-hand benches of the assembly hall. A majority of the indecisive Convention members, seated in the "Plain" below, floated back and forth between the rival factions. The Mountain was no less convinced that the more moderate Girondists would turn to conservatives and even royalists in order of retain power. The petty traders and laboring poor were often known as the sans-culottes, "without breeches," because sans-culottes men wore trousers instead of knee breeches of the aristocracy and the solid middle class. The immediate interests of the sans-culottes were mainly economic, and in the spring of 1793 the economic situation was as bad as the military situation. Rapid inflation, unemployment, and food shortages were again weighing heavily on poor families. Moreover, by the spring of 1793, the sans-culottes had become keenly interested in politics. Encouraged by the so-called angry men, the sans-culottes men and women were demanding radical political action to guarantee them their daily bread. At first the Mountain joined the Girondists in violently rejecting these demands. But in the face of military defeat, peasant revolt, and hatred of the Girondists, the Mountain and especially became more sympathetic. The Mountain joined with sans-culottes activists in the city government to engineer a popular uprising which forced the convention to arrest thirty-one Girondists deputies for treason. All power passed to the Mountain. Robespierre and others from the Mountain joined the recently formed Committee of Public Safety, to which the Convention had given dictatorial power to deal with the national emergency. These developments in Paris triggered revolt in leading provincial cities, where moderates denounced Paris and demanded a decentralized government.
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