Analyze the military , political, and social factors that account for the rise of Prussia between 1640 and 1786. include a thesis statement.(thesis optional)  

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gopikrishna | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The rise of Prussia between 1640 and 1786 occurred as a result of a combination of military, political, and social factors. War and the threat of war aided Frederick William and Frederick William I greatly in their attempts to build royal absolutism in Prussia. Due to the wartime atmosphere, Frederick William and Frederick William I were able to reduce the political power of the landlord nobility, and allow them to keep control over the peasantry. The landlords, satisfied with being unchallenged masters of their peasants, did not challenge the monarchs’ power, which ultimately led to the rise of Prussia. When Frederick William, of the Hohenzollern family, later known as the “Great Elector,” gained power in 1640, in Brandenburg, Prussia, and scattered land along the Rhine in western Germany, he was determined to unify the areas and assert royal absolutism.

During the early seventeenth century, the Estates of the provinces, dominated by the nobility and landowners, or the “Junkers,” controlled taxation., the Great Elector gained power over in Brandenburg in 1653 .when the Great Elector reconfirmed the power of the nobles over the peasants, they did not attack him for reducing their political power. The nobility accepted a compromise, whereby the ruler had the power to tax and mainly taxed towns, but the landlords had power over the peasants and on their land. Frederick William"tms and Frederick William I"tms use of a strong centralized bureaucracy gave rise to Prussia by uniting it. War was a decisive factor in the rise of Prussia as an absolutist state. The soldiers doubled as tax collectors and policemen, becoming the core of the rapidly expanding state bureaucracy.

Social factors also accounted for the rise of Prussia. In order to prevent Junker rebellions, Frederick William enlisted the Junkers into the army and they comprised the officers. Between 1640 and 1786, under the rule of Frederick William and Frederick William I, Prussia rose to be a leading royal absolutist power in Europe. He created the best army in Europe, for its size, and infused military values into the whole society. In the mid sixteenth century, the wars between Sweden and Poland, the wars of Louis XIV, and the wild invasions of the Tartars brought about a belligerent atmosphere that caused the Estates to look to Frederick William for military protection against foreign invasion. The two rulers"tm reconfirmations that the nobility had control over the peasantry satisfied the nobility and caused them to work well as officers in the army. Frederick William I created a strong centralized bureaucracy that allowed commoners to rise to top positions in the civil government, and with its creation, vanished the last traces of the parliamentary Estates and local autonomy.


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