Louis XIV truly consolidates France into an absolutist state. He required nobles to compete for his favour and created a new class of “robe nobles” by selling political positions. This independent revenue source allowed Louis XIV to fund wars without raising taxes. This also gave him the freedom to run the country without calling on the Estates General.
Militarily, Louis XIV created a professional standing army, a policy which was subsequently adopted by many European nations. The strength of the French army and the many wars fought under Louis XIV, who wanted new territory, french dominance, and personal glory, shifted the balance of power in the continent away from the Habsburgs in favour of France.
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was financial minister under Louis XIV he established a mercantilist economy on the basis that the wealth of french nationals should be used primarily to benefit the country. His economic policies included designed to encourage the purchase of french goods both internationally and within the nation included high tariffs on imports, removing barriers for trade within the nation, regulation of guilds to boost quality standards, and encouraging foreign craftsmen to immigrate to france. During Colberts time n power mercantilism, the sale of Robe Noble positions, and the use of resources from north american colonies allowed the nation to fight multiple wars without dramatically increasing taxes. After his death, however, many of his advancements were undone.
Louis XVI called a meeting of the Estates General to deal with the national debt crisis. His incompetent handling of third estate representatives looking for increased representation led to the creation of the National Assembly, who pledged to write a new constitution for the country.
Under the control of the national assembly, France abolished the feudal system, signs the declaration of the rights of man, and forces Louis XVI to agree to turn the country into a constitutional monarchy. a constitution embodying many liberal ideas is adopted for the first time in the nations history.
Peasants infuriated by the high price of bread, bad economy, and the dismissal of Louis XVI's financial minister storm the Bastille prison. While more symbolic than effective, this event marks the beginning of the French Revolution.
The most notable action of the Legislative Assembly is its declaration of war on Austria in response to the Declaration of Pillnitz. This heightened the nationalistic atmosphere in the country.
The reign of the national convention began with the execution of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and the declaration that France was a republic. These events mark the beginning of the radicalisation of the revolution. Politics during this time was characterised by deep divisions and conflict between different factions within the government. The government during this time grew increasingly authoritarian, and all dissidents and anti revolutionaries were executed.
Economically, a planned economy was established, with the government setting (but rarely being able to enforce) for necessities and employing many citizens in production of products necessary to the war effort.
By 1793 virtually all of Europe was at war with France. This was pert of the nations ongoing campaign to export revolutionary ideals. while may saw them as liberators, they were seen by some as foreign invaders.
The consulate was an inefficient and overly democratic institution set up as a reaction against the Reign of terror. the directory maintained stability by suppressing the sans-culottes and supporting french expansionism in order to boost the economy.
Under Napoleon France reverted back to absolutism, although Napoleonic Code upheld many ideals of the revolution. Napoleon followed a policy of aggressive military expansionism, however his rapid territorial gains resulted in an alliance of the major powers against him. After Napoleons defeat in the Battle of Waterloo Louis XVIII is established as the constitutional monarch of France.
Charles I believed firmly in the divine rights of kings. This led to significant conflict between the crown and the house of commons as they both tried to limit each others power. Charles I solved this problem in 1629 by ceasing to summon parliament until 1940. This move towards absolutism was considered illegal by most English people.
Parliament was summoned in 1940 because Charles I needed money to raise war against the Scots. Instead of promoting the kings agenda however, parliament passed a series of acts weakening the power of the crown and establishing itself as a fundamental institution of government.
The war was triggered by conflict between Charles I and the long Parliament over an Irish Rebellion. Parliaments New Model Army gained victory in 1649 after Oliver Cromwell assumed leadership. Charles I was found guilty of treason and beheaded and Cromwell and his supporters established the Protectorate, which in theory gave power to the parliament rather than a monarch.
The British Navigation Acts were a series of mercantilist laws enforced by Oliver Cromwell which required British goods to be transported on British ships.
The rule of the protectorate in theory gave power to the parliament and a council of state. However in practice Cromwell served as a military dictator after he dismissed parliament and proclaimed quasi-martial law.
During his time in power Cromwell enforced mercantilist policies and won a short war with the dutch. After his death the protectorate collapsed and the monarchy was restored.
Charles II, son of Charles I was established as king.
The Glorious revolution established England as a constitutional rather than absolutist state. King James II was replaced by King William III with relatively little bloodshed. The revolution ended the idea of the divine right of kings in England, and led to the Bill of Rights being passed.
The bill of rights dictated that national was to made by parliament, and once passed it could not be revoked by the monarch. it established an independent judiciary and required that parliament be called at least once every three years.
The american revolution provided the ideological foundation for the french revolution. France sent financial aid and troops to assist the Americans in gaining independence from Britain. Britain lost a significant amount of territory and broth France and Britain increased their national debt.
The Protestant Union was a group created by Lutheran princes as the Peace of Augsburg deteriorated to defend protestant rights and ensure that Catholic states gained no new territory.
The Catholic League was created in retaliation to the formation of the Protestant Union to try and prevent the spread of Protestantism in the Holy Roman Empire
The thirty years war began when Ferdinand II tried to limit the religious freedoms of his subjects in Bohemia. This caused the Protestant Union to reel with the support of Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, and Denmark (most powerful protestant states). Ferdinand II retaliated with the support of the leading Catholic powers (Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, and Denmark). The Catholic alliance dominated this phase.
The most notable Catholic victory in the first phase of the 30 Years War.
The Danish phase of the war is defined by continued catholic victories accumulating in Ferdinand II, now the Holy Roman Emperor, issuing the Edict of Restitution.
Issued by Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, the Edict of Restitution restored all land lost in the first two phases of the Thirty years war to Catholic control, and forbid citizens of the HRE from practising any religion other then Catholicism or Protestantism.
The Swedish phase saw increased protestant success. The Swedish army, financed by the french hoping to weaken Habsburg power, intervened on behalf of the protestants until their leader Gustavus Adolphus was killed in battle.
The final phase of the war saw France becoming increasingly involved due to fears that the Habsburgs would regain strength after the death of Gustavus Adolphus. Under the direction of Chief Minister Cardinal Richelieu, France declared war on both the HRE and on Spain, who was heavily involved in the conflict already. This turned changed the nature of the war from a conflict between German states receiving foreign assistance to a conflict between the four major countries Sweden, France, Spain, and Austria.
Ferdinand III most notably created a professional standing army for the HRE. As well, he centralised the government in the German speaking provinces, gained territory in Hungary and Transylvania, and increased state power and control.
Frederick William convinced the nobility of Prussia to allow taxation without consent in order to create and maintain a standing army. He decreased the authority of the estates and held few parliament sessions. his ultimate political impact was moving the country closer to absolutism. Economically, he tripled state revenue.
The Peace of Westphalia marked the end of the 30 Years War and ushered in a new era of European politics in which religious conflicts played a relatively small role. Greater independence was given to German states, further limiting the power of the Emperor.
The 30 years war had a dire economic impact on Germany due to trade slowing down or stopping entirely in many German cities, decreased production in agricultural areas, and a drastic decline in population.
Frederick William I consolidated monarchical rule and completed Prussia's transition to a truly absolutist state.
Upon the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, Frederick the Great of Prussia invaded the Austrian province of Silesia. Empress Maria Theresa lost the majority of the province to Prussia, who cemented its place as a major power in Europe.
The declaration of Pillnitz was issued by the monarchs of Austria and Prussia, and stated that they would be willing, if necessary, to intervene in France in order to restore the monarchy. Issued in response to the arrest of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, it was intended to subdue revolutionary sentiment. it had the opposite effect however, as the french people reacted with indigence and patriotism and eventually lead to war between France and Austria.
Charles Manuel of Savoy, supported by the Habsburgs, and Carlo Duke of Nevers, supported by France competed for control of the Duchy of Mantua. Carlo was eventually placed on the throne under the condition that he recognise the authority of The Holy Roman Empire.
Peasants revolted in response to massive tax increases by the Spanish Habsburgs. It was largely unsuccessful.
The Treaty of Tolentino was a treaty between revolutionary France and the Papal States. it negotiated the terms of surrender of the Papal States, which included the confiscation of art from the Vatican.
Famines were frequent thought Europe for the entire 17th century due to the little ice age producing bad farming conditions. despite advancements in agriculture, bad harvests and famines often led to economic crisis'. Populations weakened by starvation were more susceptible to disease, and the result was a decline in population in famine hit areas. population decline decreased industrial and agricultural production which raised the prices of common goods beyond what was affordable for the peasant population. famines generally led to economic crises and subsequent peasant revolts and/or riots.
The seven years war was a conflict between an alliance of England and Prussia, against France and Austria. In Europe Austria tried and failed to regain territory lost to Prussia during the Austrian war of succession. France and England fought mainly in north america where France saw strong gains at the beginning of the war, but was eventually defeated when England diverted resources away from the war in Europe to focus on the colonies, and the french lost all their territory east of the Mississippi as well as the majority of its holdings in India. Both England and France accumulated substantial debt from the war.
Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Britain pledge to defeat Napoleon.