Analyze the Military, Political and Social Factors for the Rise of Absolutism in Austria, Prussia and Russia in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Austria, Prussia, and Russia all were absolute nations. Prussia and Russia were known for being very powerful states, though Austria was was being weakened at the time because almost everyone was against the Hapsburgs. Although some of their military, political, and social factors came quite close, each of the states specifically used each one to contribute to their rise to Absolutism. To begin, Prussia was not only known for its strong military but also its political enhancement. People comment that “Prussia was an army before it was a nation. ” This is an example explaining how well thought and prepared they were military wise.
Their leader, Frederick II, was known as a military genius which obviously contributes to their military success. Though, they weren’t just known for being defense-ready. During the eighteenth century while Voltaire was alive and making valuable changes he improved laws, fostered industry, and helped to increase great nationalism. Socially, Prussia was weaker though it still had some education reforms and religious toleration during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. All of these reason contribute to Prussia’s rise to Absolutism, especially because its military was unstoppable.
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The rise of Prussia between 1640 and 1786 occurred as a result of a combination of military, political, and Social Factors. War and the threat of war aided Frederick William and Frederick William I greatly in their attempts to build royal absolutism in Prussia. Due to the wartime atmosphere, Frederick William and Frederick William I were able to reduce the political power of the landlord nobility, and allow them to keep control over the peasantry. The landlords, satisfied with being unchallenged masters of their peasants, did not challenge the monarchs’ power, which ultimately led to the rise of Prussia.
When Frederick William, of the Hohenzollern family, later known as the “Great Elector,” gained power in 1640, in Brandenburg, Prussia, and scattered land along the Rhine in western Germany, he was determined to unify the areas and assert royal absolutism. Russia also had a decent military, though was better known for its political achievements. For instance Peter the Great is responsible for its westernization of Prussia, he also believed in having a strong central government and an aristocracy. He also reformed the government bureaucracy and created better weapon supply for the military.
For instance he supplied them with more modernized weapons. He also tried to encourage commerce and industry. Peter the Great also came up with the idea of the Table of Ranks which was an educational training for civil service. Since Peter the Great was known for his belief in a strong central government his actions and reforms revolved around that idea which adds to the rise for absolutism in Prussia. Austria was weaker when it came down to military success. For reasons being was because of the Hapsburg Dynasty being weakened when Maria Theresa took throne.
Though she did make very successful reforms subsiding from the weak military success. For instance, centralizing the government, limiting power of the nobles, and promoting commerce. Her son Joseph II made further achievements by abolishing serfdom, reforming the judicial system, and freedom of press and religion. Since there were no administrations or constitutional systems each region had a different relationship with the Emperor. In the 17th and 18th century the factors contributing to the rise of absolutism were social, political, and military.
Though each state seemed similar in some areas they each differed in there strong points. All three countries were working to centralize their power. All there military, social, and political achievements helped the rise of absolutism. Prussia and Russia were known as very strong and powerful states. Austria wasn’t as powerful but was still an absolute state. By the end of the 18th century most of the countries in Eastern Europe had become absolute due to social, military and political factors.