Central European Monarchs Clash

Central European
Monarchs Clash
Chapter 21, Section 3
Essential Questions:
Why/How did absolute monarchs rise to
power in Austria and the Germanic state
of Prussia?
 What were the causes and effects of the
Thirty Years’ War?
 How did European power shift as a result
of conflicts like the War of Austrian
Succession and the Seven Years’ War?
The Thirty Years’ War
Rising Tension
– Tension rises between Lutherans and
Catholics in central Europe
Bohemian Protestants Revolt
– In 1618, Protestants revolt against Catholic
Hapsburg rulers (Ferdinand II)
– Results in Thirty Years’ War— a conflict over
religion, land, power
Thirty Years’ War (continued)
Hapsburg Triumphs (sometimes spelled
– From 1618 to 1630, Hapsburg armies have
many victories
– Troops plunder many German villages
Ferdinand II,
Holy Roman
House of Habsburg coat of arms
at their height
Austrian Hapsburg Coat of Arms
House of Habsburg at its Height
Current Flag & Coat of Arms of Austria
civil flag of Austria
coat of arms of Austria
State and War Flag of Austria
A combination of the civil
flag and the coat of arms of
Thirty Years’ War (continued)
Hapsburg Defeats
– In 1630, tide turns in favor of Protestants with the
entrance of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Habsburg
armies were driven out of northern Germany
– By 1635, the Thirty Years’ War is less
Catholic vs. Protestant and more Catholic vs. Catholic
Remember Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin of
– They began to fear growing Habsburg power more
than Protestants, so they sent French (Catholic)
troops to join the German and Swedish Protestants in
their struggle against the Habsburg armies
End of the Thirty Years’ War
Important consequences:
– War ruins German economy, greatly decreases
population (from about 20 million to 16 million)
– Took a long time for Germany to recover from the
devastation; one of the reasons it takes so long for it
to become a unified country (1871)
Peace of Westphalia (1648) ends the war
– Treaty recognizes Europe as group of independent
– Treaty weakens Hapsburgs, strengthens France
– Ended the religious wars of Europe
– Treaty introduces idea of negotiating terms of peace
Beginning of Modern States- the idea of a
united Catholic European empire is abandoned
States Form in Central Europe
Economic Contrasts with the West
– Economy in central Europe still based in serfs
and agriculture, strictly controlled by the
landowning nobility (unlike western Europe,
where cities/towns became centers of
commerce and you see a growing middle class.
Several Weak Empires
– Landowning nobles in central Europe block
growth of kings’ power.
– Ottoman and Holy Roman Empires are also
Rise of Austrian Empire
Austria Grows Stronger
– Hapsburgs in Austria take more lands, rule
large empire
– Difficult to rule, however, because there were
many different ethnic groups within the empire
Maria Theresa Inherits the Austrian Throne
– Emperor Charles VI worked hard to see that his
daughter inherited his throne (Pragmatic
– Maria Theresa becomes empress of Austria but
faces years of war.
The Pragmatic Sanction
The Pragmatic
declared that
Maria Theresa
would inherit
the Austrian
of Austria
-Known for her
famous daughter,
Marie Antoinette
-Decreased the power
of the nobility
-Worked to help the
Prussia Challenges Austria
The Rise of Prussia
– Hohenzollern rulers of Prussia build Europe’s best
– They call themselves kings and become absolute
– Frederick William introduces permanent taxation
– Prussian nobles (the Junkers) resist royal power, but
king buys their loyalty- they get the exclusive right to
be officers in the army.
Frederick the Great
– Frederick the Great becomes king of Prussia
– Enforces father’s military policies but softens some of
his laws.
Frederick II
(The Great)
of Prussia.
He was
“Old Fritz”.
What makes Frederick so Great?
He encouraged religious toleration and
legal reform
 He believed a ruler should be like a father
to his people
 We refer to him as an “enlightened despot”
Prussia Challenges Austria
War of Austrian Succession
– In 1740, Frederick starts war against Austria
to gain Silesia (which was rich in iron ore,
textiles and food products).
– Maria Theresa resists Prussian power but
loses Silesia in treaty.
– As a result of the war, Prussia becomes a
major power in Europe.
Prussia Challenges Austria
The Seven Years’ War
– Austria allies with France against Britain and
– In 1756, Frederick attacks Saxony, launching
Seven Years’ War (called the French and
Indian War in America).
– France loses colonies in North America, Britain
gains India.
– No real territorial changes in Europe as a
result of the war