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Terms in this set (124)

After fighting for and winning independence from Spain - confirmed in 1648 by the Peace of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War - Netherlands entered its "golden age." At home, the Dutch were known for thrift, frugality and religious toleration. Religious toleration made good business sense. Amsterdam became a big trading center for foreign capital and investment; the Bank of Amsterdam drew business from all races of people. Fishing industry exploded. Merchant marine largest in Europe. Dutch had 16,000 merchant ships, half the entire European total. Because the Dutch dealt in bulk, nobody was able to come in and make money by selling items for cheaper. The Dutch East India Company, a joint stock company, formed in 1602, cut into the Portuguese trade in India. The Dutch captured and set up trading posts in the Cape of Good Hope, Ceylon, and Malacca. Extremely profitable - investors got 35% annual return. In 1621, the Dutch West India company started trading with Africa and South America. Trading with these continents brought the Dutch tons of wealth, and they ended up having the highest standard of living in Europe. While rest of Europe suffered from severe food inflation, the Dutch had plenty to eat & few food riots. Although their initial goal was commerce - trade in silk & spices - the Dutch got themselves involved in imperialism. In 1652, they founded Cape Town, which was a port where ships fueled up to travel across the Pacific. Dutch imperialism would later lead to centuries of racial conflict in South Africa. War with France and England in 1670's hurt the United Provinces of Netherlands. The War of the Spanish Succession drained Dutch financial resources and led to the beginning of Dutch economic decline.
Absolutism is a form of government where all power is vested in one ruler, based on the notion of the divine right of kings. Sovereignty is embodied in the person of the monarch, who has both power (the ability) and authority (the legal right) to act. Absolute rulers attempt to control all competing groups within their territories - religious, political and social - however, they often lacked financial and military resources to do so completely. Therefore, absolutism is not the same as totalitarianism, a 20th c. phenomenon, where every aspect of state life is controlled by the government. Absolute rulers had to find ways to either suppress or work with the nobility, their greatest threat to power. Absolutist states were characterized by three things: centralized bureaucracies, professional standing armies, and state-directed economies. In centralized bureaucracies, civil servants reported directly to the monarch. Bureaucratic offices were owned by the state and temporarily bestowed on the holder, rather than private property or means of getting rich. Absolutist states maintained permanent standing armies, no longer disbanding them in peacetime. Absolutist rulers included Louis XIV of France, Peter the Great of Russia, Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire, and Frederick William I of Prussia. Louis XIV of France best personifies absolutism. For the first time in history, all the institutions and powers of the state were embodied in one person, the monarch, representative of God on earth.
The Habsburgs were a wealthy aristocratic Austrian family that fought in many wars and battles, and owned many territories throughout Europe roughly during the time of the sixteenth to seventeenth century. They were the hereditary emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, who desired absolutist Catholic rule over their sprawling territories. The most prominent of the Habsburgs resided in Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia. During the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), they failed in their attempt to impose Catholic rule over the HRE and turn it into a real, unified state; Germany was splintered into 300 principalities, many of them now Protestant. Having failed in their attempt to control Germany, they turned their state-building inward and eastward. Bohemia had already been firmly conquered and Catholicized; the Habsburg king Ferdinand II crushed a revolt by the (Protestant) Bohemian estates at the battle of White Mountain. The Habsburgs were in constant conflict with the Ottoman Turks over the territory of Hungary. In 1683, the Turks attacked the Habsburgs and the Habsburgs came out victorious.
In 1713, the Habsburg king, Charles VI proclaimed the Pragmatic Sanction, which attempted to hold together three distinct territories ruled by the Habsburgs - Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary. The Pragmatic Sanction stated that all Habsburg holdings must be passed down intact to a single heir, who could be a female. In the early 1700s, the Hungarians rebelled against Habsburg absolutist rule and were defeated. However, Charles VI restored many Hungarian rights and Hungary never fell under the Habsburg's absolutist rule.
Labor Shortages-when absolute monarchy took shape in Eastern Europe in 17th Century, it built on social and economic foundations Between 1400 and 1650, nobles and rulers reestablished serfdom in the eastern lands of Bohemia, Silesia, Hungary, Eastern Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Russia
In Eastern Europe:
the princes and the nobility reduced the importance of towns and the middle classes
The princes and the nobility, with the exception of the ottoman rulers the Balkans, rolled back the gains made by the peasantry in the High Middle Ages
The Princes and nobility reimposed a harsh serfdom on the rural masses
peasants lost their rights and freedom
1300's In Eastern Europe
a general improvement in peasant conditions had occurred in Eastern Europe; serfdom (slavery) all but disappeared
Peasants bargained freely with their landlords and moved as they pleased
social and economical developments headed in same direction through Europe in High Middle Ages
1500's In Eastern Europe
by 1500's in Eastern Europe, eastern peasants were well on their way to becoming serfs again
In Western Europe
Peasants won greater freedom
urban capitalist middle class continued its rise
many sided landlord reaction occurred as lords sought to solve their tough economic problems by more heavily exploiting the peasantry (Page 567) & this FAILED
by 1500, almost all of the peasants were free & in the rest of W Europe, serf obligations had declined
Labor Shortages
drop in population and process in 14th and 15th century caused labor shortages
Eastern landlords used political & police power to turn tables on peasants
lords made their kings issue laws that restricted the peasants time honored right of free movement = peasants could no longer leave to take advantage of better opportunity
lords took more of their peasants land and imposed heavier labor obligations
lords could command their peasants to work for them without pay as many as six days a week