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Absolute Monarchs

Main Idea: During at time of religious & economic instability, Philip II ruled Spain with a strong hand.


I.                 Spain

A.   Background

1.    Charles V spilt empire: Austria & Holy Roman Empire—Ferdinand (brother); Spain, Sp. Netherlands & Amer. colonies—Philip (son)

B.   Powerful Empire

1.    Wealthiest & powerful nation

2.    Philip defends Catholicism

a      Sends Spanish Armada to England—defeated

3.    riches stimulate the arts & literature

a      El Greco: religious themes; distorted figures, expressed emotion symbolically

b      Diego Velázquez: showed pride of monarchy

c       Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote de la Mancha

C.   Dutch

1.    Independence

a      Differences: Calvinist & persecuted; involved in trade; had middle class

b      William of Orange: leader; political motives

2.    religious tolerance

3.    republic not kingdoms

4.    Economics: becomes center for European trade & banking

5.    Art: merchant sponsored

a      Rembrandt van Rijn: groups portraits; The Syndic; contrasts of lights & shadows

b      Jan Vermeer: domestic, indoor settings

c       women: upper-class, well-educated but lack power

D.  Absolutism

1.    maintain monarchs power

2.    divine right

3.    Growth of power: centralization of state authority & crises in Europe