guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com AP European HistoryEngland and the Aging EmpiresThe states insisted upon retaining their “German liberties,” which meant freedom from control byemperor or Empire. The German states did not give the imperial diet any authority either, fearingintrusion upon their own freedoms.POLANDPoland was made up of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, whose crowns hadbeen united through marriage. The Polish aristocracy, the
, made up 8% of the population.They were greatly interested in maintaining their “Polish liberties,” which included a suspicion of central authority. The monarchy was elective and the king, upon election, had to accept contractualagreements, known as capitulations (“to surrender”), to prevent accumulation of royal authority. Sincethe Poles were too untrusting of one another, they usually elected a foreigner as King. A notablenative Polish King was John Sobieski, who began a great crusade when the Ottomans were attackingVienna.The central Polish diet was largely ineffective. One of the liberties of the country proclaimed that thecentral diet could take no action to which any member objected. Any member, by stating opposition,could oblige a diet to disband. This was called the
, the free veto, and to use it to break upa diet was called “exploding” the diet. Government failed to develop in Poland, as the king of Polandhad no army, no law courts, no officials, and no income, since the nobility did not pay any taxes.Poland was a religiously tolerant country, where there was no fighting between the Catholics andProtestants. Expelled Jews, while ghettoized, were not persecuted. The Pale Settlement was a set-off agricultural area for Jews.THE OTTOMAN EMPIREThe Ottoman state was large and solidly organized. The Turks had a standing army of the janissaries,originally recruited from Christian children taken from their families in early childhood, raised asMuslims, reared in military surroundings, and forbidden to marry. They were ideal fighting material inthe hands of political leaders. While first a feared army, by the mid-17
century, refusal to change leftthem at a disadvantage when fighting the more advanced Christian armies.Turks generally did not care about assimilating subject people into their language or institutions. Lawwas religious law from the Quran, and there was no separation from religious and secular spheres. Thesultan was also the caliph, the commander of the faithful. There was a general toleration of non-Muslim subjects. Since people of other religions had to pay a tax to continue doing so, the Turks werenot eager to convert them.Under the pasha system, the sultan was able to control regions far away from the central government.Pashas were local rulers who had to answer to the sultan.