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Germany - Essay Example

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Each one has contributed greatly to his country and tried to implement positive and beneficial change in the ways that they thought best. Both men were followers of a social…
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Due Germany Assignment Frederick the Great of Prussia and Joseph II of Austria are two unique and reputable leaders of history. Each one has contributed greatly to his country and tried to implement positive and beneficial change in the ways that they thought best. Both men were followers of a social and political ideology called “Enlightened Absolutism,” which refers to the belief in a single, absolute monarchy, or despot, where the ruler has complete and total control, but emphasizes rationality, religious tolerance, freedom of speech and of the press. They were, also, incredible supporters of the arts, sciences, and education. These men, despite their desire for positive reform, were met with much opposition throughout their causes and careers.
Frederick the Great ruled Prussia from 1740 to 1786. He has been remembered for many things, but some of those that stand out include his contributions as a brilliant tactician and military organizer, controlled grain prices so that the government stores good provide for poor families whose crops were unsuccessful, and beginning the first official school of veterinary medicine in Austria or Germany. He was, also, an accomplished linguist, speaking several languages, and talented musician. Most importantly, he is remembered for changing Prussia from an often forgotten European “backwater” location and into a thriving, economically strong and reformed region. However, again, much of the changes he attempted to implement were met with opposition; Enlightened Absolutism was not a favored position of all of the peoples of Europe at the time. (Wikipedia)
Joseph the II of Austria ruled from 1765-1790. He had a very famous family member that should not be left unmentioned; he was brother to France’s Marie Antoinette. He was a well liked and influential leader, however he, like Frederick the Great, faced a great deal of opposition due to his attempt to reform Austria with the philosophy of Enlightened Absolutism. Some of the very important acts he is known for include, making public education more available for boys and girls, inspiring legal reforms throughout Austria, and attempted to reform the Catholic Church to make it more tolerant, more akin to his enlightened perspectives. He, like others who shared his political and social views, had a great deal of respect and support for the arts. In fact, such a well loved patron of the arts that, his funeral cantata was composed by Beethoven himself. (Wikipedia)
Both men strived to make changes to their lands under the ideologies of Enlightened Absolutism Both men had may successes and accomplishments in their lifetime, but unfortunately Enlightened Absolutism is not a philosophy that all peoples are going to embrace. Opponents explain that this social and political perspective is not sustainable, it is unethical, because it leaves all control to the government, and such a format would only be successful if a the ruler is truly benevolent; most believe that no ruler is capable of being unselfish and self-involved for long. In the end, the concepts of their political views may not be traditional or agreeable to all, but these famous rulers should always be highly regarded for their efforts and desires to bring positive change to their peoples.
Works Cited
Wikipedia, . "Frederick the Great." Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, 11 Oct 2013. Web. 11 Oct 2013. .
Wikipedia, . "Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor." Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License, 24 September 2013. Web. 11 Oct 2013. . Read More
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