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Absolutism in the Hapsburg Empire - Essay Example

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The glorious dreams of an absolute monarch that was realized in France under King Louis XIV was something that the Hapsburgs wanted to recreate. The central thrust behind the urgency to seek absolute power was that the empire consisted of four distinct and relatively autonomous regions …
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Absolutism in the Hapsburg Empire
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"Absolutism in the Hapsburg Empire"

The attempt to forge these states together through absolutism resulted in attempts to establish agricultural interests in the regions of Moravia and Bohemia. In Hungary, the track toward unification and the conferring of absolute power meant political deals with the nobles there who expressed a far more independent streak than the nobles in the other regions. The support of agricultural interests convinced the landed gentry in Moravia and Bohemia to sacrifice some of their own independence.
What the move toward absolutism the Hapsburg Empire reveals is the link between economic interests and political power. Whereas Louis XIV in France used the threat of security to establish the concept of power in a strong centralized monarchy as a rallying point, the impetus for absolutism among the Hapsburgs was unification of various interests. The ethnic interests of the various groups who lived within the factions that the empire wanted to bring together represented one obstacle. The economic interests within those ethnic areas represented a further complexity that needed to be address.
Another way in which the Hapsburg absolutism differs from the model in France upon which it was essentially based was the manner in which the nobility was handled by the crown. The power of the local nobles tended to dampen the attempts to centralized power in the hands of Leopold I. Leopold broke with the French model by investing influence in the government at the hands of the nobles without initially taking the move of establishing control of the land holdings of the nobility. As a result, the nobility obstructed the movement toward absolutism in a way that that Louis never allowed his nobles to do in France. Read More
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