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Chapter 15
State Building and the
Search for Order in the
Seventeenth Century
Social Crises, War, and
Economic Contraction
Import of silver from Americas declined
Economic recession intensified
Population Changes
16th century saw growth
17th century leveled off & declined
The Witchcraft Craze
Witchcraft existed for centuries as a traditional village culture
Medieval church connected witchcraft to the devil, making it an act of
After the establishment of the Inquisition in the 13th century, increased
prosecutions and executions
Accusations against witches
• Allegiance to the devil
• Attended sabbats
• Use of evil incantations or potions
Reasons for witchcraft prosecutions
• Religious uncertainty (areas of strife between Protestants & Catholics)
• Social conditions – old single women cut off from charity by the new
emphasis on capitalism over communal interests became the scapegoats when
problems arose
Women as primary victims
• Most theologians, lawyers, & philosophers believed women were inferior to
men & more susceptible to witchcraft
Begins to subside by mid-seventeenth century
• Fewer judges were willing to prosecute accused witches
• A more educated populous questioned the old view of a world haunted spirits
The Thirty Years War
(1618 – 1648)
Religious conflict (militant Catholicism & militant Calvinism) played a
role in the outbreak of the war
Secular, dynastic-nationalist considerations were more important
Tensions in the Holy Roman Empire
• Most of the fighting took place in Germany, but it was a Europe wide struggle
• Conflict for European leadership
• Between the Bourbon dynasty of France & the Habsburg dynasty of Spain and the Holy
Roman Empire
Posturing for war
• Frederick IV of Palatinate (Calvinist) formed the Protestant Union
• Duke Maximilian of Bavaria (Catholic) formed the Catholic League of
German States
• Germany divided into two armed alliances along religious lines
• Holy Roman Emperors looked to relatives in Spain to help consolidate their
authority in the German States
• German princes looked to Spain’s enemy France for support
The Bohemian Phase (1618-1625)
Bohemian estates accepted Habsburg Archduke
Ferdinand as their king
Ferdinand set about re-catholicizing Bohemia
Protestants rebelled in 1618, deposing Ferdinand &
electing Protestant ruler Frederick V of Palatinate (head
of Protestant Union)
Ferdinand is elected Holy Roman Emperor & returned
with the help of Maximilian of Bavaria & the Catholic
Imperial forces & Spanish retook Bohemia & captured
Palatinate by 1622
The Danish Phase (1625 – 1629)
•King Christian IV of Denmark intervened on the
Protestant side
•Christian IV’s forces were defeated, ending Danish
supremacy in the Baltic Sea
•Emperor Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution
•Prohibited Calvinist worship
•Restored property to the Catholic church
The Swedish Phase (1630 – 1635)
Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden enters the war
Gustavus’s army defeated imperial forces & moved into central
Imperial forces defeat the Swedes at the battle of Nordlingen, ensuring
that southern Germany would remain Catholic
The emperor tried to use this victory to make peace by annulling the
Edict of Restitution of 1629
The peace failed because the Swedes wished to continue fighting & the
French Catholics under Cardinal Richelieu were about to enter the war
on the Protestant side
The Franco-Swedish Phase (1635 –
• Battle of Rocroi (1643) French defeat Spanish troops,
ending Spain’s military greatness
• French defeat Bavarian & Imperialist armies in Southern
• War in Germany ends in 1648 but continues between the
French & Spanish until 1659
Outcomes of the 30 year war
Peace of Westphalia (1648)
All German states were free to determine their own religion
France & Sweden gained territory
Holy Roman emperor reduced to a figurehead
Made clear that religion & politics were now separate
Social and economic effects
• Decline in German Population
• Some areas of Germany were devastated, others were
untouched & experienced economic growth
• Most destructive European war to date
Outcomes continued
Peace of Pyrenees (1659)
Ends the conflict between France & Spain
Spain becomes a 2nd class power
France emerges as the dominant European nation
Some historians feel the 30 years (1618-1648) should
actually be called the 50 years war (1609-1659)
stretching from the formation of the Protestant Union &
Catholic League to the Peace of Pyrenees
Map 15.1: The Thirty Years’ War
A Military Revolution?
War and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Europe made it essential that
a ruler had a powerful military
New Tactics
Battalions of infantry armed with pikes became superior to cavalry
Gustavus Adolphus employed a standing army
Mixed musketeers with pikemen effectively (volley of shots followed by a
Adolphus used a similar strategy with cavalry
New Technologies
Firearms, cannons, standing armies, mobile tactics
The Cost of a Modern Military
Heavier taxes making war an economic burden
State bureaucracy grew and so did the power of state government
Peasant Revolts (1590 – 1640)
France, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and
Catalonia experienced Peasant revolts
Russia (1641, 1645 and 1648)
Switzerland (1656)
Absolute Monarchy in France
Foundations of French Absolutism
Political Theorist Jean Bodin defined sovereign
power as authority to:
• Make laws, tax, administer justice, control the state
& determine foreign policy
Bishop Jacques Bossuet wrote:
Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy
Scripture – God established kings so their rule
was divine
Cardinal Richelieu (1624 – 1642)
Cardinal Richelieu (1624 – 1642)
• Louis XIII’s chief advisor
• Initiated policies that strengthened the monarchy
• Eliminated political & military rights of Huguenots (French
Calvinists) but preserved their religious ones
• Transformed the Huguenots into more reliable subjects
• Eliminated noble threats to the crown
• Sent out royal officials (intendants) to reform & strengthen the
central government
• Richelieu ran the crown into debt
 Mismanagement & 30 Years’ War expenditures
Cardinal Mazarin (1642 – 1661)
Cardinal Mazarin (1642 – 1661)
Richelieu’s successor
• Louis the XIII died a few months later
• Louis the XIV inherited the crown at the age of 4
• Mazarin was Italian born, so he was resented
The Fronde-Noble Revolt
• Nobles sided with Parlement of Paris-both opposed taxes
levied to pay for 30 Years’ War
• 1st Fronde- Nobles of the robe (lawyers & administrators)
ended in compromise
• 2nd Fronde – Nobles of the sword, (medieval nobles) was
crushed as nobles began fighting amongst themselves
The Reign of Louis XIV (1643 – 1715)
Louis XIV took control of France at the age of 23
Administration of the Government
Domination and bribery
Religious Policy “One King, one law, one faith”
Edict of Fontainebleau (1685)
• Revoked the Edict of Nantes (1598)
• Destruction of Huguenot churches & closing of Protestant schools
• Over 200k Huguenots left France, weakening the economy &
strengthening Protestant opposition to Louis in other countries
Financial Issues
Jean Baptist Colbert (1619 – 1683) (controller general of finances)
Helped Louis avoid economic disaster
Followed mercantilist approach – decrease imports, increase exports
Raised tariffs on imports causing tension with neighboring countries
Tax burden still fell on the peasants
Daily Life at Versailles
Purposes of Versailles
Court life and etiquette
The Wars of Louis XIV
The Wars of Louis XIV
Professional army: 100,000 men in peacetime; 400,000 in wartime
Four wars between 1667 – 1713
• Invasion of Spanish Netherlands (1667-1668)
 Triple Alliance (English, Dutch & Swedes) forced Louis to sue
for peace (received a few towns in the Spanish Netherlands)
• Dutch War (1672-1678)
 Louis invaded the United Provinces leading Brandenburg, Spain,
& the Holy Roman Empire to form a coalition to stop him
 Received Franche-Comte from Spain
• Annexation of Alsace and Lorraine, occupation of Strasbourg
Louis’s Wars
• War of the League of Augsburg (1689 – 1697)
 Spain, The Holy Roman Empire, the United Provinces, Sweden, &
England formed the League of Augsburg
 Caused economic depression and famine in France
 Treaty of Ryswick ended the war causing Louis to give up most of the
territory he had previously gained
• War of the Spanish Succession (1702 – 1713)
 Louis’s grandson was set to inherit the Spanish throne (Charles V)
scaring neighboring countries about a united Spain and France
 Coalition of England, United Provinces, Habsburg Austria, & the
German states opposed France & Spain
 Peace of Utrecht
 Confirmed Charles V as ruler
 Affirmed thrones would remain separate
 Coalition gained French & Spanish territory
 England emerges as a strong naval force, gaining territory in
Map 15.2: The Wars of Louis XIV
The Decline of Spain
Bankruptcies in 1596 and in 1607
Philip III (1598 – 1621)
Spent money on court luxuries
Philip IV (1621 – 1665)
Gaspar de Guzman and attempts at reform
Aimed at curtailing power of the Catholic Church and the
The Thirty Years’ War
Expensive military campaigns
Civil War
The Netherlands lost
Absolutism in Central and
Eastern Europe
The German States
The Rise of Brandenburg-Prussia
• The Hohenzollern Dynasty
• Frederick William the Great Elector (1640 – 1688)
 Army (standing army of 40K men)
 General War Commissariat to levy taxes
 Evolved into an agency for civil government
 Reinforced serfdom through concessions to the nobles
 Used Mercantilist Policies
 High tariffs, subsidies, & monopolies
• Frederick III (1688 – 1713)
 Aided Holy Roman Empire in the War of Spanish Succession
 In return, he was granted the title King of Prussia (1701)
Map 15.4: The Growth of
The Emergence of Austria
Leopold I (1658 – 1705)
Expands eastward
Conflicts with the Turks
• Siege of Vienna (1683)
Multinational Empire
Italy: From Spanish to Austrian Rule
Defeat of the French in Italy by Charles V
Spanish Presence (1559 – 1713)
Consequences of the War of the Spanish
Russia: From Fledgling
Principality to Major Power
Ivan IV the Terrible (1533 – 1584)
First Tsar
Expanded territory eastward
Extended autocracy of Tsar by crushing Russian nobility (boyars)
Romanov Dynasty (1613 – 1917)
National Assembly chose Michael Romanov as the new Tsar
Stratified Society
Landed aristocrats – bind peasants to the land
• Surplus of land, shortage of workers
Peasants and townspeople
• Tied to their land and businesses (led to revolts)
The Reign of Peter the Great
(1689 – 1725)
Visits the West (1697 –
Reorganizes armed forces
Reorganizes central
Divides Russia into
Seeks control of the
Russian Church
Introduces Western
Book of Etiquettes
Positive Impact of
Reforms on Women
“Open a window to the
West” – St. Petersburg
Attacks Sweden
Battle of Narva (1700)
Great Northern War (1701 –
Battle of Poltava (1709)
Peace of Nystadt (1721)
Russia gains control of
Estonia, Livonia and
The Winter Palace – St. Petersburg, Russia
Map 15.5: Russia: From
Principality to Nation-State
The Great Northern States
Military losses
Bloodless revolution of 1660
Gustavus Adolphus (1611 – 1632)
Christina (1633 – 1654)
Charles XI (1697 – 1718)
The Ottoman Empire and the
Limits of Absolutism
The Ottoman Empire
Suleiman the Magnificent (1520 – 1566)
Attacks against Europe
Advances in the Mediterranean
Ottomans viewed as a European Power
New Offensives in the second half of the 17th century
The Limits of Absolutism
Power of rulers not absolute
Local institutions still had power
Power of the aristocracy
Map 15.6: The Ottoman Empire
The Golden Age of the Dutch
The United Provinces
Internal Dissension
The House of Orange and the Stadholders
The States General opposes the House of Orange
William III (1672 – 1702)
Trade damaged by wars
Life in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam
Reasons for prosperity
England and the Emergence of
Constitutional Monarchy
James I (1603 – 1625) and the House of Stuart
Divine Right of Kings
• Undermined power Parliament had come accustomed to under
the Tudors
Parliament and the power of the purse
• Refused King James VI’s requests for more money
Religious policies
• The Puritans wanted the church’s governing body restructured
• King James VI refused
Charles I (1625 – 1649)
Petition of Right – King was supposed to accept this
before being granted any tax revenues
• Prohibited – taxation without consent of Parliament, arbitrary
imprisonment, quartering of troops in private houses,
declaration of martial law in peacetime
“Personal Rule” (1629 – 1640): Parliament does not
• Charles figured if he could not work with Congress, he would
not call them to meet
Religious policy angers Puritans
• Charles married the sister of Louis XIII (Catholic)
• Tried to introduce more ritual into the Anglican church
Civil War (1642 – 1648)
Oliver Cromwell
One of the leaders of Parliament & the new model army
New Model Army
Used latest military tactics
Capture Charles I
Split in Parliament – some wanted to make peace with Charles I &
form a Presbyterian state church
Charles I tries to exploit the division and enlists the help of the Scots
2nd phase of the Civil War starts
Cromwell defeats Charles I
Purges Parliament of Presbyterians
Charles I is tried and found guilty of treason
Charles I executed (January 30, 1649)
Parliament abolishes the monarchy proclaiming
England a republic
Cromwell dissolves Parliament (April 1653) –
becomes ruler as Lord Protector
Cromwell divides country into 11 regions –
Military districts
Cromwell dies (1658)
Monarchy is restored with Charles II
Restoration & a Glorious Revolution
Charles II (1660 – 1685)
Restored Monarchy
Parliament still held the power it had gained
Declaration of Indulgence (1672)
Charles II suspended the laws Parliament had passed against
Catholics & Puritans
Test Act (1673) – Only Anglicans could hold military and
civil offices
New Political Groups
Whigs – wanted a Protestant king
Tories – supported James and the lawful succession to the throne
James II (1685 – 1688)
Devout Catholic
• Appointed Catholics to high government positions
Declaration of Indulgence (1687)
• Suspended all laws barring Catholics & Dissenters from office
Protestant daughters: Mary and Anne
Catholic son born in 1688
Parliament invites Mary and her husband, William of Orange, to
invade England
James II, wife and son flee to France
Mary and William of Orange offered throne (1689)
• Glorious Revolution destroyed the idea of Divine Right
• King of Parliament, not God
Bill of Rights
Affirmed Parliament’s right to tax & raise a standing army
The Toleration Act of 1689
Granted Puritan Dissenters the right to free public worship
Responses to the Revolution
Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679)
Leviathan (1651)
• Absolute authority over its people
People form a commonwealth
People have no right to rebel, if they do they must be suppressed
John Locke (1632 – 1704)
Two Treatises of Government
Inalienable Rights: Life, Liberty and Property
People and sovereign form a government
If government does not fulfill its duties, people have the right to
Locke’s ideas lay the foundation for American & French
The Flourishing of European
The Changing Faces of Art
Mannerism and Baroque
• Mannerism – 16th century movement that broke down the
balance, harmony & moderation of the High Renaissance (In
the manner of…Michelangelo’s late style)
• Baroque – 17th century movement that blended classical ideas
of Renaissance art with spiritual feelings of the religious
• Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 – 1680)
 Throne of Saint Peter
El Greco, Laocoon
French Classicism and Dutch Realism
• French classicism emphasized clarity, simplicity,
balance and harmony of design
• Dutch Realism: realistic portrayals of secular,
everyday life
 Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 – 1699)
The Baroque Trevi Fountain in Rome
A Wondrous Age of Theater
Golden Age of Elizabethan Literature (1580 –
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1614)
• The Globe Theater
• Lord Chamberlain’s Company
Spanish Theater
Lope de Vega (1562 – 1635)
• Wrote 1500 plays – about 1/3 survive
French Theater (1630s to 1680s)
Jean Baptiste Molière (1622 – 1673)
• The Misanthrope
• Tartuffe
Discussion Questions
Why were so many women targeted during the witchcraft
How did the Thirty Years’ War affect the different
Was French absolutism truly absolute? Why or why not?
What purposes did Versailles serve?
How did Western ideas influence the reign of Peter the
Great in Russia?
What gains did Parliament make at the expense of the
monarchy during the course of the seventeenth century?
How did English political thinkers react to the the English
How did the art and plays that emerged after the
Renaissance reflect the societies of their day?
Web Links
The Museum of Witchcraft
Chateau Versailles
The Thirty Years War Homepage
The State Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg,
Thomas Hobbes
Renaissance and Baroque Architecture
Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
National Drama: Spain to 1700