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Chapter 15: Competing for Power and Wealth

| Chapter Summary | Chapter Outline | Critical Thinking Questions | Review Questions: Multiple Choice | Review Questions: True-False | The Big Picture | Essay Questions | Map Exercises | A Closer Look | Using the Internet | Biography Questions | Guide to Further Research | Chapter in Perspective |

Chapter 15: Outline

Competing for Power and Wealth: The Old Regime, 1715–1789 [[Web site] 18th Century History]

I. Statebuilding and War.

European monarchs came into conflict as they flexed their military might and sought to satisfy their ambitions through state-building, an attempt to increase their own power and solidify their states.

  1. Rising Ambitions in Eastern Europe
    1. New Leadership in Expanding Russia [ [Primary Source] Peter the Great and the Rise of Russia, 1682-1725, various accounts ] [ [Image] Peter the Great]
    2. Catherine the Great [ [Primary Source] Catherine the Great of Russia: Various Documents on Enlightenment and Government ] [ [Image] Catherine the Great 1]
    3. The Partition of Poland [ [Primary Source] The Division of Poland]
    4. Forging a Military State in Prussia [ [Primary Source] The Decline of the Holy Roman Empire and the Rise of Prussia, 1700-1786]
    5. Austria Tries to Hold on [ [Web site] The Imperial House of Habsburg]
    6. The Midcentury Land Wars [ [Web site] The Seven Years War in Europe]
    7. The Diplomatic Revolution [ [Web site] Gibraltar and the Treaty of Utrecht]
  2. Warfare in the Eighteenth Century [ [Primary Source] David J. Bederman: Reception of the Classical Tradition in International Law: Grotius' De Jure Belli ac Pacis, 1996 ]
  3. Western Europe and the Great Colonial Rivalry [ [Image] Map- New World 1713]
    1. The French Monarchy in Decline [ [Primary Source] Duc de Saint-Simon: The Court of Louis XIV, from Memoires ] [ [Web site] Louis XIV: The Sun King]
    2. Making the British System Work [ [Image] Map- Immigrants 1770] [ [Image] William Hogarth. Canvassing for Votes]
    3. Colonies, Trade, and War [ [Primary Source] Daniel Defoe (c. 1659-1731): The Complete English Tradesman, 1724 ]
    4. The Triangle of Trade
    5. The Slave Trade [ [Web site] American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology ]
    6. Fighting on Three Continents [ [Primary Source] The Seven Years War in America (i.e. the French and Indian War)]

II. The Twilight of Monarchies? The Question of Enlightened Absolutism.

In spite of declining monarchies in Britain and France, royals in other countries maintained their authority by justifying their rule in terms of enlightened absolutism. [ [Primary Source] Frederick II of Prussia (1740-1786): Essay on Forms of Government, excerpts ]

  1. Frederick the Great [ [Image] Frederick the Great]
  2. Style, Substance, or Survival? [ [Web site] Music at the Court of Frederick the Great]

III. Changes in Country and City Life.

Social and economic changes paralleled the ambitious politics and wars in Western societies, especially in the countryside, improving some lives but plunging others into poverty.

  1. The Agricultural Revolution [ [Web site] The Agricultural Revolution] [ [Image] Agriculture in 18C]
    1. New Crops and Techniques [ [Primary Source] Accounts of the "Potato Revolution" 1695 - 1845 ]
    2. Enclosures [ [Primary Source] Abraham Cowley (1618-1667): Of Agriculture, 1650 ]
  2. Manufacturing Spreads in the Countryside: Cottage Industry
  3. More People, Longer Lives
    1. Population Growth
    2. Eighteenth Century Medicine
  4. Deepening Misery for the Poor [ [Primary Source] Pugachev Rebvellion: Modern Account] [ [Image] Broom Seller in Paris] [ [Image] Debtor's Prison, London]
  5. Prosperity and the Bourgeoisie [ [Image] Dandridge- Price Family]

IV. The Culture of the Elite: Combining the Old and the New.

While aristocratic and royal patronage of the arts was still crucial, the audiences for culture expanded as artistic styles and cultural forms were changing and reflected a "cult of sensibility."

  1. The Advent of the Modern Novel [ [Web site] Literature of the English Renaissance and Early Seventeenth Century ]
  2. Pride and Sentiment in Art and Architecture [ [Image] Versailles 1]
  3. Reaching New Heights in Music
    1. Music [ [Image] Baroque Ceiling ]
    2. The Classical Style [ [Web site] The Mozart Project]
  4. The Grand Tour

V. Culture for the Lower Classes.

The lower classes had their own forms of culture which helped to foster a common identity and often revolved around religion, festivals, and oral traditions, although literacy was rising.

  1. Festivals and Popular Literature
  2. Gin and Beer
  3. Religious Revivals [ [Web site] Modern History Sourcebook: Religion in an Age of Reason]
    1. Pietism [ [Web site] The Wesleys and Their Times ]

VI. Foreshadowing Upheaval: The American Revolution.

The first major event to upset the social and political stability of the West took place as Britain’s North American colonies fought to free themselves from British rule.

  1. Insults, Interests, and Principles: The Seeds of Revolt [ [Image] Paying the Exciseman]
    1. New Commercial Regulations and Taxes [ [Image] British Cartoon: Boston Tea Party] [ [Image] Stamp Act]
  2. A War for Independence [ [Primary Source] Declaration of Independence, 1776 ] [ [Image] Dec. of Independence]
  3. Creating the New Nation [ [Web site] Modern History Sourcebook: The Early United States]
    1. War for Independence or Revolution?

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