The Age of Absolutism

Things to know about this topic.

Important people

The main people to know in this topic are know in the following list:

Peter the Great - Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from May 7,1682 until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother.

Catherine the Great - Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from July 9, 1762 until her death at the age of sixty-seven.

Thomas Hobbes - Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy.

Charles II - Charles II was king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on January 30, 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War.

Cromwell - Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

Philip II - Philip II of Spain was King of Spain and Portugal as Philip I. During his marriage to Queen Mary I, he was King of England and Ireland and pretender to the kingdom of France.

Henry IV of France - Henry IV, was King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first French monarch of the House of Bourbon.

James I - James I and I was King of Scotland as James I from July 24, 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on March 24, 1603 until his death.

Henry VIII - Henry VIII was king of England from April 21, 1509 until his death. He was lord, and later king, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France.

Louis XIV - Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France and Navarre.

Louis XVI - Louis XVI was King of France and Navarre from 1774 until 1791, after which he was subsequently King of the French from 1791 to 1792, before his deposition and execution during the French Revolution.

Louis XIII - Louis XIII was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1610 to 1643 and King of Navarre from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged to the French crown.

James II - James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from Febuary 6, 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Charles I - Charles I was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from March 27, 1625 until his execution in 1649.




Important Events

Events the should be remembered in this time period were:

1618 - Thirty Years War begins

- The Peace of Augsburg of 1555 had brought a temporary truce in the religious connect in the German states. This settle-ment had recognized only Lutherans and Roman Catholics, but Calvinism had subsequently made gains in a number of states. The Calvinists began to demand recognition of their rights. The Thirty Years' War began, however, as a direct result of a conflict in the Hapsburg-ruled Kingdom of Bohemia.


1642 - The English Civil War begins

- The English Civil War began when Charles I raised his royalty in Nottingham. The split between Charles and Parliament was such that neither side was willing to back down over the principles that they held and war was inevitable as a way in which all problems could be solved. The country split into those who supported the king and those who supported Parliament.


1648 - The peace Westphalia ends the Thirty Year's War

- The Thirty Year's War was ended by the Peace of Westphalia which was referred to as the "Peace of Exhaustion" by contemporaries. The Peace of Westphalia was not one specific treaty but rather a collection of treaties commonly linked by the fact that they brought the The Thirty Year's War to an end.


1685 - The revocation od the Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV of France

- To his traditional enemies Louis now added the entire Protestant world. His mother had inculcated in him a narrow and simplistic religion, and he understood nothing of the Reformation. He viewed French Protestants as potential rebels. After having tried to convert them by force, he revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had guaranteed their freedom of worship, in 1685. The revocation, which was accompanied by a pitiless persecution, drove many artisans from France and caused endless misfortune

Important Terms

Absolute Monarchy - Kings or Queens that held all power within their state's boundaries.


Divine Right - The idea that the monarchs are god's representitives on earth and give answers through god.


Intendants - Government's agents that collected taxes and administrated justice.


Huguenots - Members of the protestant reformed church during the 16th and 17th centuries. They were french communistes who were afraid of the catholics.


Constitutional Monarchy - A system in governing in which the ruler's power is limited by law.


Armada - A fleet of warships, a naval invasion.


Habeas Corpus - Gave every prisoner the right to obtain a writ or document ordering that the prisoner be brought before a judge to specify charges against prisoner.

Summary of The Age of Absolutism

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Europe was facing difficult times. The reformation before this time left ideas of individual liberty, which brought instability among different countries. Eventually, the people of the countries realized the population and the rights of the people was Absolutism. The philospher Thomas Hobbes introduced absolutism and believed it was necessecary and able to keep security within the society. Then with these ideas, the form of government changed to an Enlightened Absolutism, which had the same major ideas of Absolutism, but also gave the citizens more rights. The countries who involved absolutism were Prussia, England, Austria, and Russia.