I.             Intro

A.    Like western Europe, absolutism vs. constitutionalism waged

B.    In each country, though, absolutism won (except Poland)

C.    Importance

1.    monarchies had much influence into 1914 (WWI)

2.    cultural impact (especially baroque)

D.   Different from west: strong nobility, weak middle class, oppressed serfs

II.           I’m a serf living east of the Elbe, my life ____!

A.    Medieval days – somewhat good times for peasants.  Wanted to populate the area so opportunities and land were there.

B.    1300s – bad times due to Black Death (population) and poor economy.  Nobles crack down…

1.    tie them to the land (ear nailing)

2.    took peasants’ land and made them work as laborers

C.    Peasant to a serf, hereditary subjugation, estates agriculture

D.   Economic argument – no people caused nobles to crack down/take land, but…

E.    Political argument

1.    nobles increased their authority at weak monarchs’ expense; kings couldn’t resist nobles and didn’t think nationally like west

2.    nobles had local power in courts over peasants

3.    nobles undermined towns (middle class) (ie. Ships go to estates)

III.          Austria

A.    Even with strong nobility, kings make gains – taxes, standing armies, foreign relations

B.    Austrian Habsburgs after 30 Years War; succeed or fail to restore Holy Roman Empire?

C.    King’s success in Bohemia

1.    Protestant nobles run Bohemian Estates revolt against Catholic Habsburgs

2.    They’re crushed by Habsburgs

3.    Habsburgs put in their own Catholic nobility

4.    King Ferdinand III – centralized the government, made standing army, looks to the East (Hungary held by Ottoman Turks)

D.   Ottomans

1.    reach their peak under Suleiman the Magnificent, 1500s

2.    Ottoman Empire structure – sultan, people “tax”, top slaves go into bureaucracy, second rate slaves go into janissary corps (army), system worked if conquering

3.    After conquest stopped – became oppressive of peasants, too much “harem-time”, fell behind Europe military advances

4.    Last Ottoman hurrah – 1683 Vienna attack, city under siege for 2 months, conglomerate of East Euros save Vienna/stop Muslims

E.    “United” Habsburgs – Austria, Bohemia, Hungary

F.    Pragmatic Sanction – tries to unite the 3, saying that a single heir would control all 3 regions

G.   Hungarian nobility – independent minded folks, revolt and don’t win, yet don’t lose either

H.    Deal – Habsburg king restores Hungarian privileges in return for them accepting Habsburg monarchy.