Ap European History Reading Questions-Chapter 15

1.The upmost important reason for economic and social problems that troubled Europe from 1560 to 1650 was an incredible inflation among other things. The Spanish empire brought tons of gold back to Europe and caused the value of gold to plummet. Since this was a situation that Europe had never experienced, they didn't understand it. More gold was supposed to be good, right?

Suddenly prices started to rise for no reason. Also in Spain, unlike gold, there was very little silver being produced at the time and therefore pirate attacks began to take place. Other problems facing Europe during this time include, population decline, plague, economic warfare, and famine. As a result of all these problems, social tension was greatly increased, all involved with a “crisis” at hand.

2.Although initially caused by religious issues, by the mid 1630s the Thirty Years War had become a dynastic conflict between two Catholic powers; France and the Hapsburgs. As the Battle of the Boyne and the Jacobite risings the '15 and the '45 in Scotland were directly linked to religious ideas that the TYW was the last religious war in Europe are therefore mistaken. Really, a more accurate name for the Thirty Years’ War would be, 'The first modern war' would be more accurate. New tactics, deployments, equipment and methods were introduced in European armies which were widely adopted within a decade by almost all armies and all further developed over the next few decades.

3.The Military Revolution refers to a radical change in military strategy and tactics with resulting major changes in government. The concept was introduced by Michael Roberts in the 1950s as he focused on Sweden 1560–1660 searching for major changes in the European way of war caused by introduction of portable firearms. Roberts linked military technology with larger historical consequences, arguing that innovations in tactics, drill and doctrine by the Dutch and Swedes 1560–1660, which maximized the utility of firearms, led to a need for more trained troops and thus for permanent forces.

These changes in turn had major political consequences in the level of administrative support and the supply of money, men and provisions, producing new financial demands and the creation of new governmental institutions. "Thus, argued Roberts, the modern art of war made possible — and necessary — the creation of the modern state.”

4. Women were viewed as being spiritually weaker than men, and more susceptible to demonic influence, and this meant that women tended to be suspected of being witches much more often than men. However, this was not a consistent pattern found throughout Europe. In some regions, there were more men convicted of witchcraft than women, in the Lorraine region of France for example, and in Iceland, where the overwhelming majority of convictions were of men. Overall though, about 75% of those executed for witchcraft were women. So ultimately what this suggests about women in the 16th and 17th centuries is that women were not nearly as important as men in society during this time.

5. Absolutism pertains to an absolutist state, where all power, or sovereignty is made in the ruler. These rulers claimed to have divine right, meaning they ruled by the grace of God and were responsible only to God. However, these absolute monarchs respected the basic laws of the land. They controlled interest groups within their territories and created bureaucracies as well, in which the offices held public/state positions, directing the economy to the benefit of the king. Absolute monarchs also kept permanent standing armies and created new methods of compulsion. Louis XIV of France was an aggressive expansionist. He followed in the footsteps of Cardinal Richelieu in that aspect.

His foreign policies were mainly against the Habsburg dynasty's power and the ownership of French-speaking territories by nations other than France. Hence, his foreign policies included many wars. He took over the Spanish Netherlands and some of the United Provinces of Holland, and Franche-Comté. However, his aggressive advances caused alliances to be formed against him which included the Habsburg domains of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, England, and Holland in all of their incarnations. Eventually, Louis XIV could not defeat the alliances, and some acquired territories were lost again in treaties, even French colonies.

6.The reign of Peter the Great marked the emergence of a decisive Russian influence in European affairs, an influence that would last into the twenty-first century. It was Peter who inaugurated modern Russia's vigorous and aggressive foreign policy against its three neighboring states, Sweden, Poland, and the Ottoman Empire.

Through the Great Northern War (1700-1721), he decisively broke Sweden's supremacy in the Baltic, while his wars against the Ottoman Turks and his interference in the internal affairs of Poland set precedents that later Russian rulers would follow in subsequent decades. These great strides made by Russia in Eastern Europe were to a considerable extent the result of Peter's extensive program of reforms, which touched all facets of Russian life.

7. Although it may sound strange, it was Napoleon who was majorly responsible for the transformation of Brandenburg-Prussia. Napoleon invaded half of Europe and also the most German states. Only East Prussia remained free and became the leader in the "Befreiungskrieg" (Freedom war) against France. It was this war against Napoleon 1812-1815 that created a common German national feeling. This transformation is still evident in modern society of Germany today.

8. In the later fifteenth century- the period of the ‘refoundation of the Crown’, in Sir John’s Fortescue’s phrase- there was a marked change in the structure of politics and hence in the nature and role of faction also; a politics of many centres became a politics of one. To begin with, in the feebly strange grasp of Henry IV the monarchy had descended into being one noble faction among many- and not necessarily the strongest.

The fact became manifest from 1456 when the King abandoned the government of the kingdom: the court withdrew from London to Coventry in the heart of the Lancastrian lands, and the national revenues were diverted from the Exchequer and used directly- like the income of any other lord- to pay for the royal household and the royal retainers. Henry was now only effectively Duke of Lancaster and he was soon to loose that.

9.The main issue was a disagreement between the king and Parliament about who had ultimate political power. King Charles believed in Divine Right, the idea that he was king because God wanted him to be. Further, as the king's power was God given, no earthly power or person could justly remove it from him. Parliament saw themselves as the elected representatives of the People and therefore believed they should have ultimate political authority, even over the king.

Thus, when Charles needed money, Parliament would refuse to cooperate unless Charles addressed alleged abuses of his power first. This always led to political deadlock, and eventually to civil war. Puritans took control of Parliament's war effort during the First English Civil War, and by 1646 and the end of the war extreme Puritans known as Independents had taken control of the military, The NMA.

Using the NMA as his power base, Oliver Cromwell was able to intimidate Parliament into the execution of Charles I, The abolition of the Monarchy, and the establishment of the Commonwealth. The main change was that, on the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Parliament ensured that the King had a guaranteed annual income that was enough both to live off his own, and pay for the ordinary expenses of state and expenses.

10. The Dutch Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and ultimately the modern Kingdom of the Netherlands. Alternative names include the United Provinces Federated Dutch Provinces and Dutch Federation.

11. Art reflected the political and social life of the second half of the seventeenth century primarily through mannerism, which reflected environment attempt to break down renaissance principles. Baroque however, reflected search for power and just the will to control all people during that time. Then, literature reflected political and social life during this time through writing research on a new type of stage, known as the “golden stage of literature.” Literature was a major component of this time period also in that in was an era of many great dramas and playwrights such as the still-praised today, William Shakespeare.

12. Forms of monarchy differ widely based on the level of legal autonomy the monarch holds in governance, the method of selection of the monarch, and any predetermined limits on the length of their tenure. When the monarch has no or few legal restraints in state and political matters, it is called an absolute monarchy and is a form of autocracy. Cases in which the monarch's discretion is formally limited (most common today) are called constitutional monarchies. In hereditary monarchies, the office is passed through inheritance within a family group, whereas elective monarchies are selected by some system of voting.

Historically these systems are most commonly combined, either formally or informally, in some manner. (For instance, in some elected monarchies only those of certain pedigrees are considered eligible, whereas many hereditary monarchies have legal requirements regarding the religion, age, gender, mental capacity, and other factors that act both as de facto elections and to create situations of rival claimants whose legitimacy is subject to effective election.) Finally, there are situations in which the expiration of a monarch’s reign is set based either on the calendar or on the achievement of certain goals (repulse of invasion, for instance.)