Politics In...

(from 1450-1750)

the Renaissance

The Renaissance was considered the beginning of "modern" government. The people of the Renaissance believed that the government's job was to keep the country safe and sustain peace. There were some disputes between central power and local power as the city-state became more prominent. (Political Effects of the Renaissance.) A lot of political power shifted off of the Catholic Church. Because Europe was spreading its control to international regions during the Renaissance, more political clashes were starting to be seen at a higher level. (Power, Economy, Political, Religion during the Renaissance.)
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Protestant Reformation

Before the Reformation, Germany was a group of principalities led by one emperor. When the Reformation occurred, a lot of principalities converted to Protestantism, but the emperor was still Catholic. This resulted in a war, and the end result was an agreement that allowed each principality to decide whether it would be Catholic or Protestant. This drastically decreased the power of the emperor. In England, King Edward VII died in 1553 and the Protestants didn't want his sister, Mary I, to gain the throne, because she was a strong believer in Catholicism, They granted the title to his cousin instead, Lady Jane Grey. Soon after, Mary's followers managed to gain her position back and Mary killed Jane. Mary's biggest goal was to restore Catholicism, so she ended up executing many Protestants. This is why she got the nickname "Bloody Mary". The Protestant Reformation resulted in the Thirty Years War. This was a war that was fought between the Protestants and the Catholics. Most Europeans countries were involved and about 8 million casualties were seen. In the end, Catholic influence dropped, and the idea of "nation-states" was established. (Political Changes During the Protestant Reformation.)


This is a drawing illustrating the Thirty Years War.

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Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire's main ruler was the sultan. The role of the sultan was obtained through lineage, meaning it was passed down from father to son. The sultans had a major role in their government. They oversaw the meetings, hired and fired governmental officials, and led the military campaigns. However, one major aspect of the role that was never established was which son would become the next sultan. Sometimes the sultan would have said who he wanted to become the next ruler, but when that wasn't the case, the sons would fight violently, resulting in wars within the empire which led to major destruction to the empire's power. The solution to this problem was the the sons of the sultan would stay at the palace until it was there turn, instead of being governors within the empire. However, this solution was not very effective. Since the sons had stayed inside the palace their whole lives, they knew nothing about the government when they became a sultan. They could not properly carry out their duties. This led to instability within the government. This led to decentralization and a weak government and military. (The Decline of the Ottoman Empire: Part 1 Politics and Economics.)


This is an illustration of Sultan Ahmed 1.

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Mughal Empire

The ruler of the Mughal Empire was an emperor who had all the authority. The third emperor of the empire was Akbar. He created the mansabdari system, which secured discipline in the large empire. This system collected money for the government. The citizens were taxed, but at a reasonable amount. Control was conserved by mansabdars, who were military officials. The mansabdars were given land, but instead of them passing the land down to family, they would return the land to the government after a set period of time so that no one family could become particularly powerful. These positions were selected based on merit, not on family backgrounds. The highest rank in the empire was the wazir (prime minister), then the diwan (chief revenue officer), then the bakshi (handled revenue system & recruited officers). (World History in Context.)


This is an illustration of emperor Akbar.

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Qing Dynasty

The major administrative group in the Qing Dynasty was the Grand Council. This was made up of the emperor and other high officials. Each position in the government had both a Manchu and a Han in it. In order to be a part of the government, one had to take and pass exams. The government sustained imperial control. These imperial rulers strengthened the centralized system. After the emperor resigned, there were many arguments because of the territories in Tibet and Mongolia. The later rulers were corrupt, which led to riots, and eventually the decline of the empire. (Qing Dynasty.)


Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty.

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