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Ap European History

Essay by   •  November 27, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,611 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,750 Views

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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

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