Louis XV

Louis XV After the absolutist monarch Louis XIV died, his 5 year old great-grandson Louis XV became king. Louis suppressed, but was not able to completely subdue, the parlements. Seeing their opportunity with a young king, their power began increasing again. The cause of absolute monarchy, which had reached it’s height under Louis XIV, began … Continue reading Louis XV


The French Materialists & Adam Smith

French materialists The French materialists believed that there is only matter, and believed that there is no spiritual element in the universe. They also concluded that man was like a machine, and that man is thus not morally responsible for their actions. They also concluded that man should aim to maximize pleasure. Adam Smith In … Continue reading The French Materialists & Adam Smith

The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System, the Role of Religion, and the Enlightenment.

During the Middle Ages, the scientific understanding of cosmology was a combination of the ideas of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and others. They believed in a fixed, motionless earth at the center of a series of cocentric spheres where there were perfectly spherical planets in circular orbits at a constant speed. This theory is known as the … Continue reading The Heliocentric Model of the Solar System, the Role of Religion, and the Enlightenment.

Peter the Great & Frederick William “The Great Elector”

Peter the great was the tsar of Russia from 1682-1725. Peter favored the westernization and modernization of Russia. He tried to impose Western customs and ideas on the Russians. Peter thought that the Russian people were backward and superstitious and needed to be opened up to foreign customs. Peter declared that all Russian men had … Continue reading Peter the Great & Frederick William “The Great Elector”

Art after the High Renaissance

The High Renaissance ended in 1527 with the Sack of Rome by the mutinous troops of the Holy Roman Emperor. After the Renaissance ended, art entered the era of Mannerism (c. 1520-1600). The Mannerists did not try to top the illustrious artists of the High Renaissance. The Mannerists tended to focus on succeeding in what … Continue reading Art after the High Renaissance

Mercantilism & the wars of Louis XIV

Mercantilism is an economic philosophy that aims to make a country wealthier by promoting exports and suppressing imports to a certain country in the name of “a favorable balance of trade”. Mercantilism was influential from the 16th to the 18th centuries. A common aim of the mercantilists was to keep the gold and silver in … Continue reading Mercantilism & the wars of Louis XIV

Constitutionalism and Absolutism

Contrary to what most may think, Constitutionalism doesn’t necessarily involve a written document. The key idea of constitutionalism is limiting the power of the king. Constitutionalism is based in the fact that the authority of the government comes from some fundamental law. Constitutionalist thinkers usually said that political sovereignty resided in the people, not the … Continue reading Constitutionalism and Absolutism