Enlightened Absolutism

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Enlightened Absolutism

Post  laraschembrisant on Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:40 pm

Enlightened absolutism is the idea and practice of absolute rule that embraces enlightenment ideas of social and human progress. Rulers that, thought absolute, embraced at least in part the idea of natural rights =equality before the law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and press right to assemble, hold property, and seek happiness. Beyond this, and enlightened rule must preserve these rights for his/her people through fostering the arts, sciences, and education, and obey the law and enforce them fairly. Enlightenment thought influenced European politics in the eighteenth century. The philosophes believed in natural rights for all people. These rights for all people. These rights included equality before the law; freedom of religious worship; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; and the rights to assemble hold property, and pursue happiness. Only strong monarchs could bring about the enlightenment reforms society needed. Two able Prussian kings, Frederick William I and Frederick II, made Prussia a major European power in the eighteenth century. Frederick William I, maintained a highly efficient bureaucracy of civil service workers. His other major concern was the army. By the end of his reign in 1740, he had doubled the army’s size. Although Prussia was a small state, it had the fourth largest army after France, Russia, and Austria. Because of its size, the army gained great reputation. Joseph’s reform program largely failed. He alienated the nobles by freeing the serfs. He alienated the Catholic Church with his religious reforms. Even the serfs were unhappy because they did not understand the drastic changes. Catherine II was an intelligent woman who was familiar with the works of the philosophes and seemed to favor enlightened reforms. She considered the idea of a new law code that would recognize the principle of equality of all people in the eyes of the law.



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