26. European Absolutism



It was the political party that was the greatest transformations of modern times and in that period in which the king was always the ultimate authority, led to monarchical centralization, becoming the new absolutism, this time enlightened and progressive, established a political order expressed in the constitution the modern state and the existence of a new collective entity that, as of now, would form the nation.

It was in Spain in 1556, when Charles V decided to abdicate the throne in favor of his son Philip II, it inherited the crown of Spain, the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Naples, the Netherlands and the American colonies. It was an immense field for a young sovereign. Philip II, for thirty years, reigned in this vast empire. A few years later, Philip II achieved another success in colonial policy. In 1580, the Portuguese dynasty gave for lack of direct heirs, the crown of Portugal to Spain, Philip II was ruling Portuguese colonies in the East Indies and South America was the period of Spanish rule in Brazil (1580-1640). With the death of Philip II, in 1598, Spain was ruined and meanwhile, the Netherlands and England made two great naval powers.

At that time, France overcame the crisis of civil war and implanted their bases for future supremacy in Europe. France, tired of long struggles against Charles V, was the scene of great social upheavals and contrasts. Thus began a series of endless religious wars that threatened to destroy the political unity of France. The most tragic episode was the night of St. Bartholomew on August 24, 1572 who were murdered thousands of people for religious causes. To put an end to internal religious struggles, Henry IV granted the Edict of Nantes in 1598, a document that granted religious freedom.

In England, Elizabeth I, the great opponent of Philip II of Spain, came to the throne after the death of his sister. The young Queen Elizabeth I endeavored to ensure religious peace and preserve their country of religious fanaticism that exploded across the European continent. England opened new markets for the products of their industry and had thus to increase its fleet, consisting of light and well-armed vessels, who started the Atlantic route to break the Spanish monopoly in America and dominate world trade.

All that remained absolutism in Europe during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries its final breakup encouraged the development of new economic policy, appropriate to the interests of the growing bourgeoisie, who opted for free trade, ending the monopolies. Anyone with sufficient resources could initiate a productive activity and trade freely in any region of your choice. This greatly stimulated the agricultural and manufacturing production and made sure England could provide favorable conditions for being a pioneer in the Industrial Revolution and France with its ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in the French Revolution.





26. European Absolutism



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