- The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350–1750
- List of Tables and Diagrams
- List of Maps
- List of Illustrations
- List of Contributors
- A Return to the Ancient World?
- Political Thought
- The Scientific Revolution
- Art and Architecture
- Europe’s Enlightenment
- Exploration and Navigation
- Iberian Empires
- Northern European Empire in Asia: The VOC
- Jesuit Missions
- Colonial Societies
- Trade and the Global Economy
- Asian Connections and Chinese Comparisons: The Unconquered East
- Monarchy in Western and Central Europe
- Monarchy in Northern and Eastern Europe
- Authority and Popular Resistance
- Royal Courts
- Taxation and State Debt
- Republics and Republicanism
- Warfare on Land
- European Naval Warfare
- The Ottoman Empire and Europe
- Europe’s Shifting Balance of Power
- The Emergence of Diplomacy
- Index of Names and Places
- Index of Subjects
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the slow and gradual assertion of monarchical authority evident throughout Western Europe between the later Middle Ages and the mid-eighteenth century. It demonstrates that this was a cumulative process, with periods of royal weakness as well as of stable, expanding authority, and suggests that physical force was less important in bringing this about than negotiation and compromise with the nobility and with rival bodies such as the Church and independent towns. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are shown to have seen an important re-establishment of monarchical régimes; after c. 1650 a further strengthening was evident, particularly in Louis XIV’s France, where increased taxation was the main foundation of military power. Dynastic continuity was everywhere crucial, as was the exercise of personal authority by an able and adult ruler.
Ronald G. Asch, is a graduate of Tübingen university and obtained the degree of Dr. phil. habil. in Münster in 1992. Having earlier taught for six years in Osnabrück he has held the Chair of Early Modern history at the University of Freiburg since 2003. He has published both on British history and the history of the European nobilities in the early modern period. His latest book is Sacral Kingship between Disenchantment and Re-enchantment. The French and English Monarchies c. 1587-1688 (New York, 2014). He is about to publish a short study of notions of heroism in France and England c. 1580-1780: Herbst des Helden: Modelle des Heroischen und heroische Lebensentwürfe in England und Frankreich von den Religionskriegen bis zum Zeitalter der Aufklärung.
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