Peter the Great’s Program for Russia

Peter the Great(1672-1725), was tsar of Russia from 1682-1725 but was officially tsar on his own from 1696-1725. He was an interesting figure for his time in Russia; he was fascinated by the ways of western European countries, which he tried to replicate in Russia. But what was Peter the Great’s program for Russia?

Peter the Great, like I mentioned above, wanted to replicate the ways of western Europe in Russia which he was able to do. He saw the Russian way of life as primitive and even backwards so he created a program to enforce new changes on Russia. These changes included: all men had to shave their beards and cut their hair(if they did not they would face a tax), everyone had to dress in the western styles of dress, and women were given more opportunities for things like education. He also began to modernize the Russian army after an embarrassing defeat from the Swedish in 1700.

Peter the Great was not necessarily perceived as “great,” by everyone, especially those he targeted through extra taxes, etc. But regardless of how people thought of him he still brought Russia one step forward into the modern world, which was his program for Russia.

What Did Frederick William Accomplish?

Ruled as elector of Prussia from 1640-1688; Frederick William had inherited the duchies of Brandenburg and Prussia. When he first began ruling Brandenburg was a very poor and rural area, which had been hit negatively by the Thirty Years War.  

Frederick was able to achieve turning Prussia’s state from poor and struggling to a successful and thriving country. Other than turning around Prussia’s state he also created Germany’s first standing army, which was used to defend and grow his territory. To conclude, this was what Frederick William accomplished during his reign over Prussia.

What was at Stake in the War of the Spanish Succession 

After Charles II of Spain died Spain was without a proper heir. Becoming king of Spain was enticing to quite a few European monarchs because of Spain’s vast territory which in turn would make that heir quite powerful. 

There was a lot at stake during this period; the countries of France, England, and the Dutch had the most at stake which forced them to be very cautious around each other, because if they were not disastrous consequences would occur. The thing most  at stake was Spain itself since they were without a proper heir. Thus, this was what was at stake in the war of Spanish succession.

What were the Causes and Outcomes of the Wars Involving France in the Latter Half of the Seventeenth Century?

During the middle of the seventeenth century to the beginning of the 18th century France was ruled by Louis XIV. Louis was a ruler who personified the characteristics of an absolute ruler quite closely to the definition of absolutism. He was able to gain power from French noblemen and many public or government offices. During the latter half of the seventeenth century France was involved in some wars; what were the causes and outcomes of these wars?

The causes of these wars involving France included the fact that Louis wanted to expand France as a country. The outcome of these wars were not ideal at all for France. Poverty was common, the economy was on a low, and the population was also declining. Overall the wars involving France in the latter half of the seventeenth century did not benefit France in the long run. 

What Were the Key Ideas of Mercantilism 

In Europe a new economic policy known as Mercantilism began to emerge after the middle ages, which was adopted by quite a few European countries. But what were some of the key ideas that are associated with this economic theory of mercantilism?

The key ideas of mercantilism include: government intervention, competition was not seen as favorable and was pushed out by tariffs, and other restrictions. Monopolies were favored and granted with certain products, areas, and services. The most prominent key idea of mercantilism was stimulating exports and limiting imports, which was seen to make a country wealthier. This meant that a country would sell products to other countries but would not buy products from other countries.

 This economic theory though it was a popular one to quite a few governments in actuality did not positively impact the economies of those countries, since it purely relied on government involvement and government control on the economy.

Hobbes Main Arguments

Thomas Hobbes(1588-1679), was an English political philosopher during the 17th century, who greatly promoted the idea of absolutism. He had many arguments and views which he explained in his written works; but what were these main arguments in his his written works? At least what were the ones I noticed from the small section I read from a piece of his writing?

Something that is very clear about Hobbes is the fact that he believes that humans are utterly selfish and that everyone is a potential murderer to another. He also argued that humans only go after their passions and their own power. Because as humans we are selfish horrible beings we need an absolute government to control us. Thus these were Hobbes main arguments.

What is Constitutionalism

The constitution is an important thing, especially in the United States; in the United States and in other countries the constitution helps preserve the freedoms of the citizens. A similar word to constitution is constitutionalism; what is constitutionalism? 

Constitutionalism in short means that a ruler is not above the law, they cannot be the law, and they have to enforce a set of laws that they themselves must follow. Thus, this is constitutionalism.

What Factors Contributed to the Decline of Spain?

Spain was an important and powerful nation which was involved in overseas trade, but it began to decline especially during the 17th century. But what were the factors that contributed to the decline of Spain?

Spain’s economy during this time was heavily influenced by monopolies and state favoritism, which did not help. Also a revolt began during the midpoint of the century which was known as the Catalonian Revolt, which also contributed quite heavily to the decline of Spain.

To conclude, the main factors that contributed to the decline of Spain included: the economic situation being influenced by monopolies and state favoritism, and the occurrence of the Catalonian Revolt.

What Were Cardinal Richelieu’s Primary Aims?

Cardinal Richelieu(1585-1642), was a chief minister and clergyman of France, who was an important French figure during his lifetime. He was able to separate his religious and pious self from his political self, which in many ways made him more of an effective chief minister. But like most political figures he had aims or goals that he wanted to attain; what were his primary aims?

Cardinal Richelieu’s primary aims included: the centralization of power in France, and the opposition against the Habsburgs, who were a royal family ruling Spain and Austria. In general his main aims had to do with increasing the power in the French government. Thus, these were his primary aims.

Why Does Locke Believe the Absolute Monarchy Fails to Resolve the “Inconveniences,” of the State of Nature?

John Locke(1632-1704), was an English political philosopher, who is considered to be “the father of liberalism.” He promoted the philosophy of natural law and natural rights, which was a large influence later on when it came to the American Declaration of Independence. But why does Locke believe the absolute monarchy fails to resolve the “inconveniences,” of the state of nature?

The reason why Locke believed that the absolute monarchy fails to resolve the “inconveniences,” of the state of nature is because it cannot be impartial(treating all rivals equally and justly), to everyone. The reason why this is the case is because it would not apply to an individual who was having a dispute with the monarchy or state. Well it would not make sense for one to defend and protect themselves, while treating their rival impartially. This is why people are under the state of nature when under a monarchy or ruler.

Thus, this is why John Locke believed that the absolute monarchy fails to resolve the “inconveniences,” of the state of nature.