Abstract and Keywords
This chapter analyses two different conceptions of monarchy in Northern and Eastern Europe. One, derived from medieval Catholic political philosophy, was based on the political consent of the citizen body and produced in Scandinavia and Poland–Lithuania, elective monarchy and political union. The second model, as embodied in Muscovy/Russia, emerged from the Byzantine and Orthodox tradition, and was consultative rather than consensual. The chapter considers the establishment and failure of political union in Scandinavia, the failure of elective monarchy in Denmark and Sweden in the seventeenth century in response to the demands of war, and the establishment and different fates of absolute monarchy in both states. It looks at the successful political union of Poland and Lithuania, and explains why the monarchy was unable to meet similar challenges, and considers the controversy over the nature of tsardom and autocracy in Muscovy/Russia and the achievements and difficulties of its rulers.
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