Peter the Great, the Russian Czar, inherited his absolutist power from his brother, Ivan V. Born in aristocracy, Peter’s dad was the Czar, and later his brother, and after his brother’s death, him. He was a firm believer in the possible benefits from the control of a single leader to make decisions for the people, and he exercised this divine right to create many renouned institutions. At the beginning of Peter’s reign, Russia was in a poor condition: many rejected modernization from the Renaissance, and large spending from his brother’s reign caused economic droughts. He took advantage of his absolutist power to help ameliorate Russia’s situation and first decided to minimalize power from the other aristocrats. The subduction of the rich allowed
Peter the Great was trying ultimately to make the Russian Empire more Europeanized or Westernized. He wanted to protect and enhance the vulnerable Russian Empire. Peter the Great saw that other European countries are colonizing in other regions like the New World, Asia, and Africa. Peter saw this as a threat and didn’t want for the Europeans to conquer Russia. Through decrees to shave and provisions on dress, he was trying to make them European. He also wanted to make military and economic reforms that could help the empire itself. If they built factories, they didn’t need to get supplies from Europe.
... move, defunding any revolts they might plan, and preoccupying their time with petty social matters instead of matters of the state. If Louis’ reign was not supported by the enabling qualities of the Palace of Versailles, his reign would certainly not be as absolute as it was.
(*1) “At the same time he regarded himself as God's deputy in France and would
During the course of the eighteenth century, both Peter I and Catherine II rose to power as Russian tsars implementing their social and political power upon their kingdom and people. They aimed to westernize Eastern Europe, amassing great power and tracts of land, yet the tactical process in which they did so differed for each individual. Peter I and Catherine the Great made effective changes within the structures of military, nobility, education, and peasantry.
During the eighteenth century, Europe was composed of mostly absolute monarchies, which are countries that are run by a king or queen who inherited their position or were passed down the crown. The ancien regime, which was introduced by the revolutionaries of 1789, was based on a social status common to the absolute monarchies where “one’s place in society was determined largely by birth, not by hard work or talent (15).”
Louis XIV wanted to have control over everything that happened in his country. To be able to do this he had to centralize the state. Cardinal Richelieu had already started to do this under the reign the Louis XIII by centralizing the administration of France with district commissioners appointed by the king. This weakened the local nobility but gave a lot of power to Richelieu who mainly ruled the country in Louis XIII's place. To keep power over France, Louis XIV ruled through councils of state and made many decisions personally. He also selected councilors from the recently ennobled or upper middle class for he did not trust the nobility who had rebelled against the throne when he was a child. Those who were to become his councilors were manly upper middle class who relied on him for their position in society and politics for they were less inclined to rebel against him. He also never had a first minister to avoid the power of Richelieu and Mazari...
As much as Louis XIV is known for successfully establishing absolute monarchy and gaining France power he is also known of the economic damage, repressions of Huguenots[French Protestants], and the total control over the nobility. William Beik, in his book Louis XIV and Absolutism, said, “This king epitomizes
Russia, under Peter the Great, saw a vast change in religious policy in the beginning of the eighteenth century. It was marked by radical reforms in which Peter eliminated the traditional office of church leadership, which was held by the Patriarch of Moscow, and established a church council called the Holy Synod. This Holy Synod was supposed to determine the best route for the Russian Orthodox Church but instead remained obedient to the will of Peter the Great. He has a policy of semi-religious tolerance but his main focus was on the improvement of the Russian Orthodox Church. This was in great part due to the enlightenment idea of the individual and human reasoning towards progressivism. In the following quote from his 1702 Decree on the Invitation to Foreigners, we can see where he places the emphasis on religious tolerance,
Absolutism was the most widespread political system used in Europe and in some parts of Asia from 1550-1750. The term Absolutism refers to a form of government by which the leader assumes power through the belief they have a divine God given right to rule with unlimited control. Several events probably contributed to this political system, the feudal wars of the 14th Century, the weakening and decline of the Catholic Church and the terms of the Treaty of Westphalia, which established that every European state would be given supreme authority over their own territories. While the style of the absolute ruler was similar in parts of Europe and Asia, the best example of the absolute ruler was King Louis XIV (1638-1715). King Louis XIV was crowned king in 1643, took complete control over France and swiftly declared his divine right to rule. He declared himself the, “Sun King”, took authority over all of Frances fiancés, economy and military, placed the church under his control and took power from the feudal nobility. King Louis XIV allowed the nobility to become part of his court and gave them positions of importance to gain their support. He did this to prevent the nobility from being a potential threat; to being his supporters. He even exempted them from paying taxes. This nobility dictated the aristocratic flare that King Louis XIV so flamboyantly displayed during his rule. It was the baroque style, the aristocratic style, in all its grandeur, greatness and flare for the extravagance. (Fiero) The movie Vatel brought to life what it must have been like under the rule of King Louis XIV, the dominance of the absolute ruler, the hierarchy of the social classes, the grandeur of King Louis XVI rule and the aristocratic style...
While the two kings had many differences their militaries were surprisingly similar. They both had military troops that guarded and walked around the palace. The kings’ military was not only used for protection but also for spreading their beliefs and ideals. Their military was alert and ready to protect if there was to be an attack on the palace. King Louis XIV and Philip II both would have enough troops to go to war and express their thoughts but also enough to protect the palace.
When Louis the XIV began his rule in 1643, his actions immediately began to suggest and absolute dictatorship. Because of the misery he had previously suffered, one of the first things he did was to decrease the power of the nobility. He withdrew himself from the rich upper class, doing everything secretly. The wealth had no connection to Louis, and therefore all power they previously had was gone. He had complete control over the nobles, spying, going through mail, and a secret police force made sure that Louis had absolute power. Louis appointed all of his officials, middle class men who served him without wanting any power. Louis wanted it clear that none of his power would be shared. He wanted "people to know by the rank of the men who served him that he had no intention of sharing power with them." If Louis XIV appointed advisors from the upper classes, they would expect to gain power, and Louis was not willing to give it to them. The way Louis XIV ruled, the sole powerful leader, made him an absolute ruler. He had divine rule, and did not want to give any power to anyone other than himself. These beliefs made him an absolute ruler.
Of all the absolute rulers in Europe, by far the best example of one, and the most powerful, was Louis XIV of France. Although Louis had some failures, he also had many successes. He controlled France’s money and had many different ways to get, as well as keep his power, and he knew how to delegate jobs to smart, but loyal people.
A Comparison of the Characteristics of the Absolutist Rule of Charles I of England and Louis XIV of France
Politically, Louis was corrupt because of his greed. He fought costly wars--in the high numbers of casualties and monetary encouragement--at the drop of a hat. His country was the most powerful, and was very populous. His armies were large in size at peacetime, and even larger in wartime. Their strength, though, was no match for the failure Louis faced in wars. His wars left France almost bankrupt. He wanted larger borders, went to any extent to get them, but lost all of the three times he tried.