Rise of Austria, Prussia, and Russia 1: Absolutism and Revolution

What did Peter the Great do to modernize Russia?

He learned about new technologies from visiting Western Europe; increased his authority in Russia; forced nobles to serve in the military; created the largest army in Europe; created a new navy; improved education; built factories, shipyards, and channels

Catherine the Great continued Peter the Great's efforts to westernize Russia and was also a ruthless leader like her predecessors. Give examples of both her reforms and her repression in a paragraph in which you assess Catherine's strength as a leader.

Examples of Westernizing: French language and customs, education for both boys and girls, reorganizing government, making the laws more clear/systematic ("codifying" them).
Examples of ruthlessness: Harsh treatment of serfs; giving more rights to nobles (

What were some effects of the Peace of Westphalia?

France gained land, the Hapsburgs lost land, the Netherlands and Swiss Federation gained independence, and the German lands were even more divided.

What caused the War of the Austrian Succession?

Maria Theresa's succession to the throne and Frederick II's invasion of Silesia.

What impact did Peter's defeat of Sweden have on Russia's expansion?

It gained Russia territory along the Baltic Sea, including the land for his new capital, St. Petersburg.

How were Catherine's goals similar to those of Peter?

They both wanted to increase the power of the monarchy, extend Russia's borders, and make it a modern European country.

How did Austria, Prussia, and Russia expand their power and territory to become three of the most powerful countries in eighteenth-century Europe?

Their leaders ruled as absolute monarchs, expanded their armies, and in some cases, formed alliances.
In addition, both Peter the Great and Catherine the Great modernized and westernized their countries.

How did each ruler represent characteristics of absolute monarch?

Russia�kept serfdom, military conquests, controlled nobles; Austria�reorganized bureaucracy, improved tax collection; Prussia�expanded military, strengthened bureaucracy

What were the causes and results of the Thirty Years' War?

The Holy Roman emperor had little power over the many rival princes.
This power vacuum contributed to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. Results:
The treaties aspired both to bring about a general European peace and to settle other international probl

How did Russia grow under Peter the Great and Catherine the Great?

Russia grew under Peter the Great because he adopted a policy of westernization, controlled the church and the nobles, built up a strong army, and expanded Russia's borders.
It grew under Catherine the Great because she embraced Russian culture, organized

How did Frederick William I gain the loyalty of the Prussian nobles? Can you think of two other methods that absolutist rulers have used to control their nobility? Which were most successful? Why?

Frederick gained the loyalty of the nobility by giving them positions in the army and government.
Louis XIV forced his nobles to live at Versailles and encouraged them to seek privileges from him while protecting their prestige and keeping them exempt fro



The Thirty Years' War

Protestant rebellion against the Holy Roman Empire ends with peace of Westphalia.1618-48)
A series of European wars that were partially a Catholic-Protestant religious conflict.
It was primarily a batlte between France and their rivals the Hapsburg's, rul

A Fragmented "Empire

By early modern times, as the French philosopher Voltaire later observed, the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
Instead, by the seventeenth century, it had become a patchwork of several hundred small, separate states.
In theory

Conflict Erupts

The Thirty Years' War was actually a series of wars. It began in Bohemia, the present-day Czech Republic.
Ferdinand, the Catholic Hapsburg king of Bohemia, sought to suppress Protestants and to assert royal power over nobles.
In May 1618, a few rebellious

A Time of Chaos

The fighting took a terrible toll.
Roving armies of mercenaries, or soldiers for hire, burned villages, destroyed crops, and killed without mercy.
Murder and torture were followed by famine and disease.
Wolves, not seen in settled areas since the Middle A

Peace Is Restored

Finally, in 1648, the exhausted combatants accepted a series of treaties, known as the Peace of Westphalia.
Because so many powers had been involved in the conflict, the treaties ended with a general European peace and settled other international problems

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Hapsburg Austria Expands

The Thirty Years' War took a terrible toll on the people of the German states. Out of the ashes, however, rose two great German-speaking powers: Austria and Prussia. Like Louis XIV in France, their rulers tried to centralize power and rule as absolute mon

A Diverse Empire

Though weakened by war, the Hapsburgs still wanted to create a strong united state. They kept the title "Holy Roman emperor" but focused their attention on expanding their own lands. To Austria, their base of power, they added Bohemia, Hungary, and, later

Empress Maria Theresa

In the early 1700s, a new challenge threatened Hapsburg Austria. Emperor Charles VI had no male heir. His daughter, Maria Theresa, was intelligent and capable, but no woman had yet ruled Hapsburg lands in her own name. Charles persuaded other European rul

Reforms of an Absolute Monarch

Maria Theresa never succeeded in forcing Frederick out of Silesia. Still, she did preserve her empire and win the support of most of her people. Equally important, she strengthened Hapsburg power by reorganizing the bureaucracy and improving tax collectio

Fill 3


Prussia Emerges

While Austria was molding a strong Catholic state, Prussia emerged as a new Protestant German-speaking power in the north. In the 1600s, the Hohenzollern (HOH un tsahl urn) family ruled scattered lands across north Germany. After the Peace of Westphalia,

Creating an Efficient Bureaucracy

To achieve their goals, Hohenzollern rulers set up an efficient central bureaucracy and forged one of the best-trained armies in Europe. One Prussian military leader boasted, "Prussia is not a state which possesses an army, but an army which possesses a s

Frederick the Great

That year, young Frederick II inherited the throne. From an early age, Frederick was trained in the art of war, as his father insisted. However, Frederick preferred playing the flute and writing poetry. His father despised these pursuits and treated the y

�Frederick William I

His tutor must take the greatest pains to imbue my son with a sincere love for the soldier's profession and to impress upon him that nothing else in the world can confer upon a prince such fame and honor as the sword.

How did Frederick William increase his power?

He controlled the Junkers, created an efficient bureaucracy, and established a strong army

Fill 4


Peter the Great Modernizes Russia

From 1604 to 1613, Russia was in a period of disorder, plagued by foreign invasions and internal rebellion. The rise of the first Romanov tsar restored a measure of order. Still, Russia remained a medieval state, untouched by the Renaissance or Reformatio

Peter Visits the West

The young tsar was a striking figure, nearly seven feet tall, with a booming laugh and a furious temper. Although he was not well educated, he was immensely curious. He spent hours in the Moscow neighborhood where many Dutch, Scottish, English, and other

The Westernization of Russia

Returning to Russia, Peter brought a group of technical experts, teachers, and soldiers he had recruited in Europe. He then embarked on a policy of westernization, the adoption of Western ideas, technology, and culture.
Some changes had a symbolic meaning

Extending Serfdom

Peter knew that nobles would serve the state only if their own interests were protected. Therefore, he passed laws ensuring that nobles retained control over their lands. This included the serfs who were tied to those lands.
Under Peter's rule, serfdom sp

A Harsh, Effective Ruler

Peter showed no mercy to any who resisted his new order. When elite palace guards revolted, he had more than 1,000 of the rebels tortured and executed. Then, as an example of his power, he left their rotting corpses outside the palace walls for months.

Why did Peter disguise himself as a ship carpenter's apprentice

to avoid the trouble of his royalty.

Fill 5


Expanding Russia's Borders

From his earliest days as tsar, Peter worked to build Russia's military power.
He created the largest standing army in Europe, built a world-class navy from scratch, and set out to extend Russian borders to the west and south.
To achieve these goals meant

Seeking a Warm-Water Seaport

Peter's chief goal was to win a warm-water port, a port that was not frozen in winter.
Russian seaports, located along the Arctic Ocean, were covered in ice most of the year.
A warm-water port would increase Russia's ability to trade with the West.
The ne

The Great Northern War

In 1700, Peter began a long war against the kingdom of Sweden, which at the time dominated the Baltic region.
Early on, Russia suffered humiliating defeats.
A Swedish force of only 8,000 men defeated a Russian army five times its size.
Undaunted, Peter re

A "Window on the West

St. Petersburg became the great symbol of Peter's desire to forge a modern, Western-oriented Russia nation.
Seeking to open a "window on the West," he located the city along the swampy shores of the Neva River, near the Baltic coast.
He forced tens of tho

Expanding to the East

Peter also expanded the Russian empire eastward toward the Pacific.
Russian traders and raiders also crossed the plains and rivers of Siberia.
Under Peter, Russia signed a treaty with China that recognized Russia's claim to lands north of China and define

A Mixed Legacy

When Peter died in 1725, he left a mixed legacy.
He had expanded Russian territory, gained ports on the Baltic Sea, and created a mighty army.
He had also ended Russia's long period of isolation.
From the 1700s on, Russia would be increasingly involved in

Fill 6


Catherine the Great

Peter's successors in the Romanov dynasty were ineffective rulers.
Russian nobles quickly reasserted their independence.
Then a new monarch took the reins of power firmly in hand. She became known to history as Catherine the Great.

A German Princess Becomes Tsar

A German princess by birth, Catherine came to Russia at the age of 15 to wed the heir to the Russian throne.
She learned Russian, embraced the Russian Orthodox faith, and won the loyalty of the people.
In 1762, a group of Russian army officers loyal to he

Catherine Embraces Reform

Catherine proved to be an efficient, energetic empress. She reorganized the provincial government, codified laws, and began state-sponsored education for both boys and girls.
Like Peter the Great, Catherine embraced Western ideas and worked to bring Russi

An Absolute Monarch

Like rulers in France and Spain, Catherine was an absolute monarch.
Like them, she could be ruthless.
She granted a charter to the boyars outlining important rights, such as exemption from taxes.
She also allowed them to increase their stranglehold on the

The Partitions of Poland

Poland-Lithuania had once been a great European power.
However, its rulers were unable to centralize their power or diminish the influence of the Polish nobility.
In the 1770s, three powerful neighboring monarchs�Catherine of Russia, Frederick II of Pruss

Fill 8


Five Great European Powers

By 1750, five European powers had come to dominate European affairs.
They were Austria, Prussia, France, Britain, and Russia.
All five had strong centralized governments.
Although Spain and the Ottoman Empire ruled parts of Europe, these once-powerful emp

Struggles for Power

As these five nation-states competed with one another, they formed various alliances to maintain the balance of power.
Though nations sometimes switched partners, two basic rivalries persisted.
Prussia battled Austria for control of the German-speaking st

Absolutism at Its Peak

Absolutism reached its peak in the mid-1700s.
Four of the five great European powers were ruled by absolute monarchs. Britain, with its strong Parliament, was the only exception.
At the same time, new ideas were circulating about natural rights and the ro