Thursday, February 26, 2015

Power to the Citizens

Currently I am learning about Absolutists and Enlightened rulers. Our class always has an essential question we are trying to answer for each lesson. In this lesson we were trying to decide if Enlightened Absolute monarchs were more enlightened or more absolute. In order to answer this question our teacher gave us notes that we copied into our Evernote and discussed. Then we individually read a page in our textbooks that explained what Frederick the Great, Catherine the great, and Joseph II did as monarchs. With this information from the textbook we made a Venn diagram. In one circle we put actions that represented the Absolutists acts that the ruler did and then in the second circle we put Enlightened acts that the ruler did. Then where they intersected we put things that the ruler did that could be considered absolutist and enlightened. After we completed the Venn diagram we chose one of the ruler to focus on and formed a propaganda poster. This poster is used to persuade people to join the ruler by using only good things that they did, so I chose Joseph II and used one of his enlightened acts because the absolutists acts are all negative. Through this lesson we were able to form a better understanding of how the monarchs were persuaded by Absolutists and Enlightened ideas.
An Enlightened monarch is defined as someone who has or shows a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook. Monarch started to rule as enlightened in the 1600s because people were getting fed up with the lavish lifestyles and the costly wars of absolute monarch. An absolute monarch is a ruler with absolute authority which means they have complete control over the citizens of a country. Philosophers and scholars started to realize that reforms needed to happen, so they thought that it would be best if the reforms came from enlightened, benevolent monarchs. Benevolent monarchs are well meaning and kindly which is why enlightened rulers are more for the people then selfish like absolutists. Enlightened rulers are focused on giving power to the people rather then to themselves. 

Joseph II was the holy roman emperor from 1765 to 1790, and he was at first co ruling with his mother, Maria Theresa from 1765 to 1780 and then ruled Austrian Habsburg dominions from 1780 to 1790. This propaganda poster "plays up" Joseph's enlightened act of granting tolerance to Protestant and Jews even though he was Christian. This poster shows enlightenment by having the three religions but saying that they are all Austrians and are the same. The pictures on the poster show that Joseph II joined the three religions together in his own way. However Joseph II was not all about good deeds. He also did somethings that would be considered him as being an absolute ruler. Something he did was that he ended censorship. This was not for the best of the people so it was not an act of enlightenment. He also sold the property of monetarists and convents however he did it so he could build hospitals. Joseph II was a more enlightened ruler then Catherine or Fredrick the Great. Joseph II was rightfully called an enlightened monarch. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cardinal Richelieu for Absolutopia

The nation of Absolutopia is seeking applicants for an immediate opening for ruler of the country. Qualified candidates will have significant experience as an authoritarian leader. The new king or queen will act in the best interests of the nation, promote its stability and expansion, rule in the name of God, and eliminate all threats both internal and external. Experience managing an army/navy, crushing rebellions, and/or instituting reforms is a plus.

Dear Lord and Lady Manager of Human Resource,
The candidate I am presenting to you is Cardinal Richelieu. He was born on September 9, 1585 in Paris. His father was Grand Provost François du Plessis, Sieur de Richelieu, the chief magistrate of King Henry III, and his mother was Suzanne de la Porte, the daughter of the Councillor of the Parlement of Paris. When Richelieu was only five his father died and his mother decided to move to Poitou with five sibling to live with their grandmother. Richelieu grew up in a family with difficult circumstances. Showing his strength through childhood he went on to be appointed as Cardinal in 1620. Not only had he earned his title for completing his studies but he had become the mediator between Luyne and the queen mother. Four short years later he was appointed as the first minister of the royal court. The supporters of the King had finally convinced him that Richelieu was the right person for the job. He ruled under King Louis XIII of France. In my professional opinion he has accomplished more than the King himself. Richelieu has continued to show his dedication to his job and I believe he is a good candidate to become the next ruler of Absolutopia.

Richelieu has many strength that would qualify him as a model of an absolute ruler. There are six main features that you can find in an absolute ruler. Richelieu contains all these features, but he particularly excels in four of them. Richelieu is a great ruler because he has divine right giving to him by God himself. Richelieu was sent by God making it so that Pope Paul V was able to consecrate him bishop at a young age; on April 17, 1607 Richelieu had officially become bishop of Luçon. Richelieu continued his claim to power by becoming cardinal in 1620 and later on in 1624 being appointed as the first minister of the royal council. As the first minister Cardinal Richelieu decided to use his power to enforce France's powerful army. In 1624 he sent his troops to occupy the Val Telline in northern Italy. Richelieu was trying to protect the area against the ambitions of Spain in response to the pleas of the Protestant Swiss Canton of Grison. However not only had the Spanish become a problem but the Huguenots had signed a treaty with the Spanish. One year after the signing, 1627 Richelieu’s army defeated the Huguenots and they went to claim their new city. Through the struggles of war Richelieu was able to reform the army and navy so they could continue conquering land for France. Richelieu has been appointed to Secretary of State and War for his talents that went unnoticed by Concinci. As you can see Richelieu has been able to use his position to develop a strong army that can protect France and give them more power. With all the power that France has gained Richelieu has not failed to keep the Nobility and Church officials in line. Richelieu has been working on limiting the power of nobility and church officials. He succeed at this in 1630, when he hand picked people for the administration based on their skills and not their family’s ranking or power. He has made it so that the senior nobility are excluded from the important positions and put in places that represent their ability. Richelieu had also made sure that all the provinces that had called their own Estates Generals were brought back into royal authority. He did this by removing powerful nobles from their governing positions and establishing an office of intendants. Now the royal emissaries in the provinces are helping to establish the king’s authority rather than hurting it. Not only was the royal will being jeopardized by just provinces but parliaments were playing a big role in it too. So in 1641 Richelieu was able to take all the power of parliaments and put them back under the ruling of the royals. Richelieu has worked continuously so that parliaments can’t interpret the laws in their regions. When ruling Richelieu has always been strict and he enforces the laws and dispenses justice. So far he has succeeded at crushing any rebellion in hopes of advancing royal absolutism. Not only is enforcing laws important to France but also for the Richelieu's life. Richelieu had to execute some of the minor nobles such as Chalais while throwing the higher nobility in prison for their attempt at killing Richelieu himself. Count of Boutville another highly ranked noble was beheaded outside of Richelieu's window on his order because he had challenged the rules Richelieu had made. Boutville had been dueling and he also rejected all please of clemency. Richelieu had successfully ruled France for years trying to enforce absolutism. This makes him the perfect person to rule Absolutopia because he has already achieved it in France so why wouldn't he be able to do the same thing in Absolutopia.

Cardinal Richelieu is a good candidate for this job. He models with success the many factors of being an absolute ruler. It is even said that he might become one of the key figures in the growth of royal absolutism in Europe. Cardinal Richelieu is a little ambitious and ruthless however he is genius and is devoted to what he is doing. He has been able to run France under absolutism so he should be able to establish absolutism in Absolutopia.