AP European History http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.

com/ Enlightened Despotism Enlightened despots differed from other absolutists in their attitude. They still performed the same duties in government, but they justified their authority on the grounds of usefulness to society, and being the “first servant of the state,” as Frederick the Great said. It was secular and claimed no mandate from heaven, with no recognition of special responsibility to God or church. Consequently, enlightened despots favored toleration in religion. Enlightened despotism was also rational and reformist. Instead of depending on custom or past heritage, disparagingly referred to as “feudalism,” the enlightened despot was less willing to compromise and incorporate feudal liberties into their government. The old institution of monarchy rested on dynastic claim. Enlightened monarchs represented a modern idea of a changing state, where the king was only the highest of numerous public officers that served the state. The several European rulers that embraced many of the reforms set forth by the philosophes became known as enlightened despots. The Failure of Enlightened Despotism in France Louis XV was largely uncaring about conditions in France. However, the rest of the French government was enlightened, as many capable officials worked all throughout the century. The main problem was how the French monarchy raised revenues. It derived some income in the sale of offices and privileges, and peasants were made to pay the taille, a type of land tax. The church, which owned between 5% 10% of the land, said its property was not taxable by the state. Under pressure of wars, Louis XIV had tried to tax everyone alike by the poll tax and tenth, both of which were widely evaded by the propertied classes. In the 1740s, the twentieth was introduced, which imposed a 5% tax on income from all forms of property. This was also largely unsuccessful. After the Seven Years’ War, Louis XV began the Maupeou parlements, after disbanding the old parlements. In these parlements the judges became salaried officials that could not reject government edicts. Maupeou, the new chancellor, sought to standardize laws and judicial procedure throughout the country. Unfortunately, after Louis XVI ascended the throne, he abolished the Maupeou parlements. He did elect Turgot, a philosophe and Physicrat, to head a reforming ministry. Turgot suppressed the guilds, allowed greater freedom to the internal commerce in grain, and planned to abolish the royal corvee. The Parlement of Paris and the church opposed him, and he later had to resign. Austria – Maria Theresa and Joseph II

Maria Theresa
After the European war of the 1740s, Maria Theresa worked to unite the different territories of her realm. Her most trusted advisor was Kaunitz. She and her efficient team of ministers worked to enlarge and guarantee the flow of taxes and soldiers, which involved breaking local control of territorial

AP European History http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/ Enlightened Despotism nobles. In 1775, they produced a tariff union of Bohemia, Moravia, and the Austrian duchies to create the largest area of free trade on the European continent. Maria Theresa launched a systematic attack on the institution of serfdom. She passed laws against abuse of peasants by their lords or overseers, while other laws regularized the labor obligations – serfs had to be publicly registered and usually limited to three days a week of work.

Joseph II
Her son, Joseph II, was less willing to compromise. “The state [meant] the greatest good for the greatest number,” he said. He abolished serfdom, rather than merely regulating it. Joseph decreed absolute equality of taxation, with equal punishment for equal crimes whatever the class status of the offender. Joseph abolished many internal tariffs and encouraged road building and the improvement of river transport. Through personal inspection tours of farms and manufacturing districts, he worked to improve the economy of Austria. He made legal punishments less physically cruel, granted complete freedom of the press, and ordered toleration of all religions. He even granted civil rights to Jews, equal duties, and created Jewish nobles. Joseph supported the Febrionianism movement, which supported more national independence from Rome in the model of the French Gallican liberties. He also worked to centralize his state, applying measures to Hungary that his mother would have left alone. For administration, he chose German as the single language. Secret police were built up to report on performance of government employees or on ideas and actions of nobles or clergy. He later decreed that all land owners were to be taxed regardless of social station. He abolished robot as well. His sweeping reforms caused resistance by nobles, and revolts by peasants over disagreements about their new rights. Upon his death, he was succeeded by his brother Leopold, who undid some of Joseph’s more controversial decrees. Prussia – Frederick the Great Frederick II, the Great, sought the recovery of Prussia after the mid-century wars. He was considered enlightened due to the admiring publicity of literary friends such as Voltaire. Frederick once wrote, “My chief occupation is to fight ignorance and prejudices in this country…I must enlighten my people, cultivate their manners and morals, and make them as happy as human beings can be, or as happy as the means at my disposal permit.” He simplified and codified many laws and made the law courts cheaper and more honest. Religious freedom was allowed in his realm, and he also decreed a certain degree of elementary education for children of all classes. Society was still stratified, as nobles, peasants, and burghers each owed different duties to the state and paid different taxes. Property was legally classified. The basic aim of such policies was to preserve a distinct peasant class for soldiers and a distinct aristocratic class for officers. The peasants were mostly serfs holding patches of lands in return for obligations of labor. Frederick attempted to relieve

AP European History http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/ Enlightened Despotism the burden of serfdom on his own manors, but did nothing for serfs belonging to private landlords or Junkers. He centralized his government in his own head, as he himself attended to all business and made all important decisions. Russia – Peter the Great and Catherine the Great

Peter I
***From the guide, “APEH, Russia” In 1682, Peter I ascended to the throne as coruler with Ivan IV. Once he was 16, he officially began to rule the country. In his youth, he had often visited the German quarter, which was inhabited by Europeans of various nationalities. Fascinated by the sea, he also took lessons in navigation from Dutch and English ship captains. After visiting workshops, mines, commercial offices, art galleries, hospitals, and forts in Europe, he became aware of the backwardness of his country. In his visit to Europe in 1697-1698, he recruited almost 1,000 experts for service in Russia. Peter was at war for most of his reign, and succeeded in greatly expanding Russia. When Charles XII, the king of Sweden, invaded Russia, Peter drew him into the endless plains and let the Russian winter take care of the army. Peter then conquered Livonia and part of eastern Finland. The previously poorly organized Russian army became a professional force. The pervious elite of the old army had been the streltsi, composed of nobles. When they rebelled in 1698, Peter used torture and execution to quell the mutiny. Peter rebuilt the army with European officers of many nationalities, putting troops into uniforms, and forming regiments of standardized composition. He also armed them with European muskets and artillery. With the territory conquered from the Swedes, Peter built St. Petersburg, a new city named after himself and his patron saint. It was Peter’s chief window on the West. He established the offices of government there, required noblemen to build town houses, and gave favorable terms to foreign merchants and craftsmen to settle. Peter wanted to make St. Petersburg a symbol of the new Russia, replacing Moscow as the capital. The new developments required money, which was gained through taxes imposed on a variety of objects and rights. Tax burdens fell mainly on the peasants. Peter adopted mercantilist policies in order to raise government revenues. He encouraged exports, built a fleet on the Baltic, and developed mining, metallurgy, and textiles. Serfdom began to spread as an industrial institution. Peter created a new administrative system to operate this system. He put a “senate” dependent on himself and ten territorial areas called “governments,” or gubernii. He abolished the rule of hereditary succession to the throne. Peter established “colleges” of several persons to look after matters of taxes, foreign relations, war, and economic affairs.

AP European History http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/ Enlightened Despotism Peter developed the “state service,” where all landowning and serf-owning aristocrats were required to serve in the army or civil administration. Birth counted for nothing. He created a new governing element of men with personal interest in its preservations. Peter also required all gentry to put their sons in school. He simplified the Russian alphabet and edited the first Russian newspaper. He ordered the preparation of the first Russian book of etiquette.

Catherine I
Catherine the Great was a German woman who had gone to Russia at the age of 15 to be married. She learned the Russian language and embraced the Orthodox Church. She read widely in the books of the philosophes and was very familiar with the Enlightenment. She became empress in 1762. When she first came to power she summoned a Legislative Commission to obtain information on conditions in the country. The more than 500 delegates considered instructions partly written by herself based on the political writings of the philosophes, as well as complaints raised by members. The reforms she subsequently enacted consisted in a measure of legal codifications, restrictions on the use of torture, and certain support of religious toleration. Emlian Pugachev, a former soldier, announced himself as the true tsar, Peter III, now returned after travels in Egypt and the Holy Land. He proclaimed the end of serfdom, taxes, and military conscription. Tens of hundreds of thousands flocked to him. The upper classes living in Moscow were fearful of the rebellion. Pugachev’s rebellion as the most violent peasant uprising in the history of Russia. Catherine conceded more power to the landlords in order to put down the rebellion. Government in Russia came to rest on an understanding between ruler and gentry. As to trade, she worked to suppress internal barriers for trade and increased exports of grain, flax, furs, and naval stores. She also favored the expansion of the small Russian urban middle class. Russia continued to expand and seek warm-water ports. The Russian fleet sailed from the Baltic Sea to the eastern Mediterranean during 1769 and 1770. Several victories gave Russia control of Ottoman provinces on the Danube River and the Crimean coast of the Black Sea. The Treaty of KuchuckKainardji gave Russia a direct outlet on the Black Sea, free navigation rights in its waters, and free access through the Bosporus.

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