Chapter 15 A New Worldview in Europe, 1500-1750

Section 3 The Era of Absolutism

Just as the fractures in the authority of the church led to a new scientific worldview, so too they opened the door to new ideas about the nature of human society and how it should be organized, both politically and socially. As the political structures of feudalism finally began to dissolve in the 15th and 16th centuries, the church, in disarray due to the Reformation, was unable to fill the void as it had before. Europeans began to look for another source of legitimate political authority that could restore their sense of order and security. Many turned to the increasingly powerful monarchs. Arguing that monarchs were chosen by God, some suggested that kings and the government, or state, through which they ruled should have absolute authority and control over the lives of their people. Others, rejecting "divine right monarchy," argued instead that the true source of political authority lay with the people themselves - but also insisted that human nature was so selfish and violent that the people must give up their rights and submit to the absolute rule of the state as the only means of guaranteeing everyone's security. These doctrines of political "absolutism” soon dominated European political thought. Still other Europeans, however, rejected absolutism. Although they too accepted the idea that the true source of political authority lay with the people themselves, they also suggested that those on whom the state depended for its survival and well-being had a right to participate in its government, changing it as they saw fit. This alternative political vision inspired the emergence of a new kind of representative government.

Doctrines of Political Absolutism

As the unity of Christendom finally foundered in the religious wars that attended the Reformation, a new form of political organization emerged in Europe to fill the void, the national kingdom. Although it had its roots in the old medieval monarchies, the national kingdom was something new. The medieval monarchies had been essentially feudal and personal in nature. Monarchs only had the direct allegiance of the important nobles. These nobles in turn had the direct allegiance of their own subordinates, and so on down to the level of the local landlord and the peasant. National kingdoms, on the other hand, centered authority and power in the hands of the monarchs and their government, and commanded the loyalties of all their citizens directly. Moreover, such kingdoms were increasingly defined not simply in terms of loyalty to a particular ruling dynasty, but also culturally, through commonalities of language and religion, and even geographical contiguity.

            The growing power of monarchs in Europe was due to many factors. In part it was a function of the new technology of warfare that had allowed kings to control their nobles. In part it was also due to the breakdown of the church as a guiding moral authority for all Christendom. Not least, the religious and political upheavals of the Reformation, and the intellectual upheavals of the age of exploration and the Scientific Revolution had left many Europeans feeling unsure about themselves and the world in which they lived. As they looked to the national kingdoms and their rulers for a new sense of security and identity, many Europeans legitimized their allegiance by creating a new conception of the state.

Jean Bodin. In 1576, for example, Jean Bodin, a French lawyer, published his own solution to the troubled times in a massive work, Six Volumes on the Commonwealth. For the first time, Bodin put forward a new theory of the complete sovereignty of the state. By sovereignty, he meant the "absolute, and perpetual power" of a government over all its subjects. Assuming that such sovereignty came from God and rested in the monarch, Bodin argued for such a total and absolute control of the state that his political philosophy became known as absolutism.    

Reacting to the conditions around him, Bodin insisted that to allow any resistance to the sovereign power would unleash an “anarchy, which is worse than the harshest tyranny in the world." For Bodin, any idea of individual political liberty had to be sacrificed to the more important principle of maintaining peace and order. This in turn would allow the most important unit of society, the family, to flourish. Such a doctrine appealed to monarchs and others interested in increasing the power of the state in order to restore security to peoples' lives.

The divine right of kings. Before the Renaissance and Reformation most Europeans had accepted the idea that all authority came from God. It was an authority, however, that had been “distributed” and “limited” in the hands of rulers, under the overall authority of the universal church. After the Reformation devout Europeans needed a new theory that could explain and legitimize the growing power of monarchs without the need for a single unifying church to sanction it.

            During the late 1500s, monarchs themselves began to formulate religious explanations for their authority and power as they strengthened their hold over their states. Since all that happened must be by God's will, they argued, then they too ruled by the divine right of kings established by God. “The State of Monarchie is the supremest thing upon earth,” declared James VI of Scotland, shortly after also ascending the English throne as James I, "Kings are justly called Gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of Divine power upon earth.”

            In France, Bishop Jacques Bossuet carried such arguments even further. In 1670, he published a book, Politics Drawn from Holy Scripture, a manual of instruction for the heir to the throne. "The princes act as ministers of God," Bossuet wrote, "and his lieutenants on earth. It is through them that he exercises his Empire." Resistance to the monarch was the same as defiance of God. "The royal throne," Bossuet insisted, "is not the throne of a man, but the throne of God Himself." Thus, kings answered not to their subjects but to God alone.

Hobbes. Not all advocates of absolutism appealed to religious authority, however. An Englishman named Thomas Hobbes, for example, supported absolutism for more practical reasons. In his work Leviathan, Hobbes asserted that originally people had lived in a ruthless "state of nature," with no laws, like animals. "I put for a general inclination of all mankind," he wrote, "a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceases only in death." Such an existence, Hobbes argued, was a constant "war of every man against every man. . . . Solitary, nasty, brutish, and short." Since people could not be counted on to cooperate as a society of equals, Hobbes argued, they had developed civilization as a kind of contract in which everyone agreed to give up their own power to a higher authority. That authority would have the overall and absolute power to restrain the selfishness and aggression of individuals in the general interest.           

"I authorize and give up my right of governing myself, to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition, that you give up your right to him, and authorize all his actions in like manner. . . .This is the generation of that great Leviathan . . . that Mortal God [the king] to which we owe under the Immortal God, our peace and defence." 

            Like the Legalists of classical China, Hobbes insisted that people must obey the ruler no matter what, or else their natural selfishness would result in disaster for everyone. The ruler must have total power: 

"His power cannot, without his consent, be transferred to another; he cannot forfeit it: he cannot be accused by any of his subjects of injury: he cannot be punished by them: he is judge of what is necessary for peace: and judge of doctrines: he is sole legislator, and supreme judge of controversies: and of the times, and occasions of war." 

Only in this way, Hobbes believed, could security and order be returned to people's lives.

Absolutism in France

By the end of the 1600s, France was the most powerful absolute state in Europe, a model for others to follow. The French kings and their advisers had achieved this position since the end of the civil wars in the 1500s by establishing their overriding authority in two areas—the administration of justice, and the use of force. Only by establishing a royal monopoly over these two functions of government could the state become truly sovereign.

Cardinal Richelieu. After Henry IV, whose efforts to control the nobility and restore the power of the central government were cut short by an assassin in 1610, the most important architect of absolutism in France was Cardinal Richelieu, chief adviser to Henry’s son, Louis XIII. Richelieu desired nothing more than to make France a strong power. Determined to bring the nobility under control, he increased their taxes and replaced nobles in government with well-educated professionals. Richelieu also attempted to break the power of the Huguenots, not because they were Protestants but because they formed a “state within the state” that was dangerous to the unity of France. In 1627 he led an army against Huguenot cities largely reducing their power. Asked to explain his actions, Richelieu expressed his belief in the government’s sovereign power with the simple answer: “Reasons of State.”

            Richelieu’s policies greatly strengthened the state’s power but they also led to a major revolt under his successor, Cardinal Mazarin, in the 1630s. The rebellion, known as the Fronde, swept through Paris, forcing Louis XIII’s son to flee for his life in terror. The revolt was crushed, but it made a lasting impression on the future king. As Louis XIV, he became the supreme model of an absolute monarch.

Louis XIV. Born in 1638, Louis became king at age five, on the death of his father in 1643. From that day on the boy was prepared by his mother and instructors for his role as king. He learned to be a soldier, a statesman, and a judge. In addition to geography, history, mathematics, French, Spanish, and Italian, he also learned to fence, dance, ride, and hunt. Most importantly, Louis was taught how to rule. While still a child he learned to read state papers, participate in council meetings, and interview foreign ambassadors. As Chief Minister, Mazarin taught him the rules and secrets of high politics. Anne of Austria, his mother the Queen Regent, taught him religion and courtly manners.[xix][xix] Although Louis came of age in 1651, at age 13, his mother and Cardinal Mazarin continued to rule according to Richelieu’s centralizing policies. Louis too maintained these policies after taking over the reins of government on Mazarin’s death in 1661.[xx][xx]

            Perhaps still remembering the turmoil of the Fronde, Louis systematically reduced the power of his nobles. To counteract the power of the old nobility, he created a whole new set of nobles from the middle classes to serve the government. He also built a new capital at Versailles, a few miles outside of Paris, and required that his nobles live in constant attendance in the huge new palace-city. Instead of fighting, nobles now gained prestige by becoming servants in the king’s household. Nobles helped Louis dress in the morning and at night with great ritual and ceremony. Louis chose the sun as his personal symbol, signifying that the world revolved around him, and became known as the Sun King. Where Richelieu cited reasons of state for his actions, Louis could say with complete accuracy, L'état c'est moi, "I am the state.”

Internal reforms under Louis XIV. To further establish his authority, Louis also decided to destroy the power of the Huguenots once and for all. Since the reign of Henry IV, the Huguenots had been protected under the Edict of Nantes. Even Richelieu had been unable to do away with this protection. In 1685, however, Louis revoked the edict and outlawed Protestantism. Over 200,000 Huguenots fled France, taking their wealth and skills with them. The king thus reasserted his sole authority and power throughout France, but his policy proved disastrous for the French economy and industry.

            Always in need of funds, Louis also decided to reform the old feudal tax structure. He appointed Jean Baptiste Colbert, a member of the middle class, as finance minister. Colbert managed to bring France out of debt, and even to simplify the tax system. He also tried, though with limited success, to abolish all internal tariffs which made it expensive to move goods from one region of France to another. He too remained firmly under the king’s personal authority, however. Colbert prudently warned his son, whom he expected to succeed him as finance minister, “Never as long as you live send out anything in the king’s name without his express approval.”

Louis’ wars.  Louis' greatest ambition, however, was to expand French territory to France’s “natural boundaries”: the Rhine River and the Alps in the east, the sea in the north and west, and the Pyrenees in the south. Louis' minister of war rebuilt the army, expanding it from only 20,000 poorly trained troops, to over 400,000 disciplined and well-equipped soldiers. With this force behind him, Louis became the most powerful ruler in Europe. He plunged France into four wars between 1667 and 1713.

            By the end of the third war in 1697, France was under tremendous financial strain. Louis even melted down the royal silver to help pay for army supplies. His most costly war, however, was part of an effort to place his grandson, Philip, duc d'Anjou, on the Spanish throne.

In 1701, the Spanish king, Charles II, died. In his will he named Philip of Anjou as his heir and successor. The will was contested, however, by Charles's cousin, the Holy Roman emperor, Leopold I, who was determined that The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was a major European armed conflict that arose in 1701 after the death of the last Spanish Habsburg king, Charles II. Charles had bequeathed all of his possessions to Philip, duc d'Anjou (Philip V), a grandson of the French King Louis XIV. The war began slowly, as the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I fought to protect his own dynasty's claim to the Spanish inheritance. As Louis XIV began to expand his territories more aggressively, however, other European nations (chiefly England and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands) entered on the Holy Roman Empire's side to check French expansion (and, in the English case, to safeguard the Protestant succession). Other states joined the coalition opposing France and Spain in an attempt to acquire new territories, or to protect existing dominions. The war was fought not only in Europe, but also in North America, where the conflict became known to the English colonists as Queen Anne's War.

The war proceeded for over a decade, and was marked by the military leadership of notable generals such as the Duc de Villars and the Duke of Berwick for France, the Duke of Marlborough for England, and Prince Eugene of Savoy for the Austrians. The war was concluded by the treaties of Utrecht (1713) and Rastatt (1714). As a result, Philip V remained King of Spain but was removed from the French line of succession, thereby averting a union of France and Spain. The Austrians gained most of the Spanish territories in Italy and the Netherlands. As a result, France's hegemony over continental Europe was ended, and the idea of a balance of power became a part of the international order due to its mention in the Treaty of Utrecht.

In this War of the Spanish Succession, the other nations of Europe fought the French all over the world on land and sea. After many defeats, Louis accepted the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Although Philip got the Spanish throne, he had to agree that France and Spain would never be ruled by the same monarch. Louis also had to give up most of the territory he had taken. Despite these setbacks, Louis XIV remained a model for absolute monarchs all over Europe.

Absolutism in Russia

While France moved steadily toward absolutism under the Bourbons, on the other side of Europe Russian rulers had been consolidating their absolute rule since the mid-1400s. After being dominated by the Mongols for over a hundred years, Russia had finally gained its independence in 1480 under the leadership of the Grand Dukes of Moscow. As they recovered their independence, the Muscovite princes eventually took the title of czar, Russian for “caesar,” and claimed that they had inherited the old imperial tradition of the fallen Byzantine Empire and the Orthodox Christian Church.

Ivan the Terrible. The power and absolute authority of the Grand Dukes of Moscow was consolidated in the 16th century under Ivan IV, the first to assume the title of czar. A strange, moody, even mystical man, Ivan was also emotionally unstable. Ascending the throne in 1533 at the age of three, on the death of his father Vasily III, Ivan’s childhood was fraught with insecurity. Although his mother had been named regent, within five years she too was dead – probably poisoned by one of the boyar, or noble, families at court. For the next eight years the young Ivan was left at the mercy of rival boyars anxious to control the throne. Finally, in 1547, at the age of sixteen, Ivan was crowned czar and began to rule in his own right.

At first, Ivan’s reign promised to be one of general improvement and reform. He revised the law code, for example, and tried to establish the security of the state by creating Russia’s first standing army, the streltsy, whom he armed with gunpowder weapons called arquebuses or hackbuts, early forerunners of the musket. He moved to consolidate state authority by reorganizing the church and subordinating it to the crown. He also looked to expand Russia’s contacts with the outside world, especially Western Europe, and opened trade relations with England through the London-based Muscovy Company.

Conditioned by the fears of his childhood, Ivan apparently decided early in his reign to check the power of the boyars. At first he attempted to do this by tying them to his government through the boyar duma, or advisory council of nobles. Soon, however, he also began to create a new kind of nobility that would be based not on simple heredity, but on service to the state, meaning himself. He hoped that this “service nobility” would act as a counterweight to the older hereditary nobles. Not least, he tried to expand his own authority by appealing for support to other groups in Russian society. In 1549, for example, he established the Zemsky Sobor, or “Assembly of the land,” a consultative body that included not only representatives of the great nobility, princes and Court officials, but also representatives from the Church and leading merchants and townsmen.

As time went on, however, Ivan’s personality showed more and more of the effects of his traumatized childhood. After the death of his beloved first wife Anastasia in 1560, whom he believed to have been poisoned (like his mother) by the boyars, he became increasingly violent and cruel. Eventually, in 1565, he tried to undermine the hereditary nobility completely through the creation of the oprichnina, a kind of state within the state that the czar ruled personally and autocratically, free from all restraints by the boyars. He exercised this autocratic rule through the oprichniki, the first secret police in Russia, a particularly brutal private army that murdered and tortured thousands whom Ivan suspected of disloyalty.

Although eventually Ivan was forced to dissolve the oprichnina, which proved to be a disaster economically, he continued to do his best to reduce the nobility to the status of royal servants, dependent for everything on the personal favor of the czar. He required them to serve in his armies and to live under his eye at court. He also kept their sons as hostages to insure their good behavior. Despite these efforts, however, the boyars remained a force to be reckoned with until the next century.

            At the same time Ivan was trying to strengthen his own control over the Russian state, he also determined to expand his domains. His first campaigns were against the last remnants of the Mongols in southern Russia, the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan, which he incorporated into the Russian Empire. (Ivan built St. Basil’s Cathedral in what is now known as Red Square to commemorate the conquest of Kazan.) When he turned west in 1558, however, and invaded the present-day Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia in search of an outlet to the Baltic Sea, he soon found himself involved in long and costly wars with Poland, Lithuania, Sweden and Denmark that only ended in 1582 and accomplished virtually none of his aims.

            In his later years, Ivan, who justly became known as "the Terrible," was a tormented man. The bouts of uncontrollable rage increased. In 1581, in a fit of anger, he beat his pregnant daughter-in-law for dressing “immodestly” and inadvertently caused her to miscarry. Confronted by his outraged son and heir over the incident, once again Ivan lost control. In his anger he struck his son with his staff. It proved to be a mortal blow. Instantly horrified at what he had done, Ivan could do little more than hold his son in his arms as he died.

When Ivan himself died in 1584, he left behind a weak and mentally challenged younger son, Feodor I. In 1598, Feodor too died without an heir and the Rurik dynasty that had ruled first Kievan Rus, then Novgorod and finally Muscovy since 862, came to an end. As various factions struggled for power, civil war wracked the empire in what became known as the Time of Troubles. Finally, in 1613, the exhausted nobles agreed to elect Michael Romanov, one of Ivan IV's nephews, as Czar of all the Russias. Michael and his successors revived and continued the absolutist rule of Ivan the Terrible for the next four hundred years.

Peter the Great. In 1682, Michael’s grandson, Peter I, who would become known as Peter the Great, ascended the Russian throne. Peter was determined to make Russia more powerful by introducing new techniques and ideas from Western Europe. Believing that the best way to learn was by doing, Peter himself traveled west, where, for example, he worked in a Dutch shipyard to learn shipbuilding. In England he talked to many common people to find out how their tax system worked. Returning home with many western artisans and experts, he began a program of westernization, deliberately copying western methods and culture. For example, he ordered his nobles to cut off their traditional long beards, and to wear western clothing.

            Peter strengthened his army by adopting many new military reforms from the west. After reforming his armies, in 1709 he defeated the Swedish army and won access to the Baltic Sea. On the Baltic coast, he built a new capital city, St. Petersburg, nicknaming it his "window to the West." Meanwhile, in the south he defeated the Turks and gained full access to the Black Sea.

            Peter's reforms alarmed many of his people. His efforts at westernization particularly upset the Russian Orthodox Church. When the czar began to tinker with church practices too, for many it was the last straw. Although Peter was able to put down the revolt that broke out with great bloodshed, he could not command the hearts of all his people. A group of religious conservatives, the Old Believers, refused to follow his new instructions. Soon a split occurred in Russian society as the nobility and upper classes dependent on the czar adopted western European habits, and ordinary people remained rooted in traditions of the past. Nevertheless, Peter’s reforms continued in the 1700s, especially under his daughter, the Empress Elizabeth the Great, and her German-born daughter-in-law, Catherine the Great.

Absolutism in Germany and Central Europe

While rulers in Western and Eastern Europe were generally able to use absolutism to consolidate and expand their states, in Central Europe the adoption of absolutism had rather different consequences. There, due to the elective nature of succession in the Holy Roman Empire and the on-going rivalry between emperors and popes for political power in Italy, the Holy Roman emperors of the Habsburg family had never been able to establish any real authority over the semi-independent German territorial princes. The efforts of the most powerful Habsburg emperor, Charles the V, to enforce such imperial authority in the 16th century had only further fueled the Protestant Reformation – leading many of the northern German princes to adopt Lutheranism as a religious justification for resisting the imposition of both papal and imperial authority in their domains. Culminating in the disastrous Thirty Years War, the eventual success of the German princes’ resistance demonstrated and reinforced the weakness of the Holy Roman Empire.

            As the vision of a strong, centralized Empire faded, the Habsburgs concentrated on building up their power in their own hereditary domains centered in Austria and Bohemia, where they too adopted the doctrines and methods of absolutism. As their power and wealth grew, they even extended their rule to the east into Hungary and the territories of the Ottoman sultan. Despite their growing power in their own hereditary lands, however, they were never able to restore any kind of centralized government in the still-fragmented Empire. Consequently, instead of a large centralized government in Germany, hundreds of small and medium sized independent and semi-independent states emerged. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the rulers of these states began to use the same techniques of absolutism as Louis XIV and Peter the Great to maintain control in their domains – such as collecting high taxes, ruthlessly suppressing revolts and all dissent, and enforcing strict obedience to the state in all aspects of life, including religion and even intellectual endeavors. Taking full advantage of the organizational efficiency of such absolutism, new dynasties like the Hohenzollerns of Prussia began to emerge that would eventually challenge Habsburg influence, particularly in the northern German states. Thus, by bolstering the power of many smaller states, absolutism in Germany actually worked against the emergence of a single, large state on the model of France or even Russia.

The English Challenge to Absolutism

Not all nations of Europe developed absolute forms of government. England in particular took a different course. Although England had gone far towards absolutism under Henry VIII, who had proclaimed himself head of the Church of England as well as king, Henry’s successors, especially his daughter Elizabeth I, were less heavy handed.

Elizabethan England. During her long reign in the last half of the 1500s, Elizabeth was able to enact most of her policies by skillfully managing parliament. As the daughter of Henry VIII by his second wife, Ann Boleyn, Elizabeth was considered illegitimate by Catholics, and therefore ineligible for the throne. Consequently, she could only rule as a Protestant queen. Yet Elizabeth had seen the consequences of instability in the state. She herself had barely escaped the headsman’s ax during the reign of her sister Mary, who had briefly returned England to Catholicism. After her own accession Elizabeth adopted a policy of national reconciliation.

            Elizabeth did not appear to rule as an absolute monarch. Instead she wooed her people, and made them believe that she valued their advice and help. She called parliament into session 10 times during her reign. Although she rarely allowed its members to influence her decisions, she gave many the impression that she did. Some came to expect that all monarchs would rule, as Elizabeth seemed to do, by consulting the people’s representatives in parliament. When Elizabeth died without children, however, the throne passed to a new dynasty, the Stuarts of Scotland. Her successors, James I and Charles I, were not as clever at keeping the power of parliament in check without appearing to do so.

The Stuarts and the English civil war. James strongly believed in the divine right of kings. He not only wrote books defending the doctrine, but even lectured parliament on it. His plan was to ignore parliament and run England as he saw fit. After parliament refused to grant him the taxes he wanted to run the government, James began selling titles of nobility for cash and raising customs duties. These actions greatly angered the members of parliament.

            Tension grew between the Crown and parliament after James died in 1625 and his son, Charles I came to the throne. When Charles was unable to persuade parliament to give him money, he began imposing taxes and fines on the English people on his own. Parliament protested and he disbanded the body, hoping never to call it into session again. However, Charles's religious policy soon caused trouble. He tried to enforce a uniform religious practice on all his subjects. He particularly feared that the Puritans, extreme Protestants who had very strict moral beliefs, threatened the unity of the nation. He also tried to extend his control over religion to Scotland, where John Knox, one of Calvin’s disciples, had established Presbyterianism as the Scottish state religion. Outraged, the Scots raised an army and defied the king. Needing money to fight, Charles had to summon parliament in 1640.

            Parliament was in no mood to satisfy the king’s demands without major concessions. When he tried once again to dismiss them, England erupted into civil war. Eventually, parliamentary forces led by the Puritan Oliver Cromwell overwhelmed the royalists and in 1646, Charles surrendered. In 1649 he was condemned to death and publicly beheaded. Cromwell abolished the monarchy and ran England as a “Commonwealth” along strict Puritanical lines. Ironically, the Commonwealth established under Cromwell proved even more absolutist in its assumption of power over every aspect of peoples’ lives than even King Charles might have envisioned. Morality and religious conformity, for example, were strictly prescribed for everyone – and enforced ruthlessly. By the time Cromwell died in 1660, people had grown heartily sick of Calvinist rule. Parliament restored the monarchy under Charles II, Charles I's son who returned from exile to assume the throne.

The Glorious Revolution. Charles II had learned the lesson that his father never did. He must work with parliament rather than oppose it. His brother James II, however, who succeeded him, had learned nothing. Like his namesake grandfather, James believed strongly in the divine right of kings. He had little use for parliament. He was also Catholic and married to a Catholic. Many feared he would be the first of a long line of Catholic rulers. The danger became real in 1688 when the queen bore him a son.

            Fearful of a Catholic dynasty, in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, a group of nobles and parliamentary leaders deposed James. They offered the crown jointly to his daughter Mary and her husband, the Protestant Dutch prince, William of Orange. Before ascending the throne, William and Mary had to accept the English Bill of Rights, which guaranteed certain fundamental freedoms, such as not being held indefinitely without trial. The Bill of Rights thus established the principle of parliamentary supremacy, meaning that parliament could overrule the monarch in England, and was a major step toward constitutional monarchy.

            As parliamentary leaders later tried to legitimize their overthrow of James II, they turned to the ideas of one of their supporters, John Locke. In his Two Treatises of Government, eight years before the revolution, Locke had argued that human beings had certain natural rights that could not be taken away, even by a king: 

"The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one: And Reason, which is that Law, teaches all Mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions." 

Such arguments would soon have powerful effects not only in England but around the world.


Section 3 Review

IDENTIFY and explain the significance of the following:

national kingdoms

Jean Bodin



divine right of kings

Thomas Hobbes

Cardinal Richelieu


Louis XIV


Sun King

L 'etat c'est moi

War of the Spanish Succession

Treaty of Utrecht

Ivan the Terrible

Time of Troubles

Michael Romanov

Peter the Great


Old Believers

Charles I of England

Oliver Cromwell

Glorious Revolution

English Bill of Rights

constitutional monarchy

natural rights  


[1][1] Otto von Guericke, in Readings in European History, ed. James Harvey Robinson, vol. II, pp. 211-212, Boston, 1906.

[i][i]Hale, The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance, pp. 226--7.


[iii][iii]PHW, p. 481.

[iv][iv]PHW, p. 482.


[vi][vi]Plumb, The Italian Renaissance, p. 9.

[vii][vii]Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1984, p. 23 from the "Journal," October 21, 1492.


[viii][viii]Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States, Harper & Row Publishers, New York, p.1.




[x][x]PHW, p. 511 (only a vague reference)


[xi][xi]PHW, pp. 518--19.


[xii][xii]Levack, The Witch-Hunt In Early Modern Europe, p. 1.


[xiii][xiii]Kors, Witchcraft in Europe, p. 223.


[xiv][xiv]Levack, Witch-Hunt, p. 158.


[xv][xv]Use as photo caption: The French astrologer, Nostradamus, served as physician to the court of France, and advocated the use of drugs to 

treat disease rather than such things as "bleeding" a patient to get rid of fever.


[xvi][xvi]Pageant of Europe, pp.


[xvii][xvii]Pageant of Europe, pp.




[xix][xix]John B. Wolf, ed., Louis XIV: A Profile, (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972), 13–19.


[xx][xx]Larousse, p. 553.