sexta-feira, 5 de abril de 2013
In class today, we see that the enlightened despotism
characterized as an attempt at modernization adopted
in some countries of Europe in the eighteenth century, more precisely
since 1750, keeping in essence, an absolutist policy.
A group of nations with a typically agrarian economy, with low
urbanization index, dipped in a semi-feudal, marked
by a small commercial development, with a weak bourgeoisie
and dead, was the setting for these transformations. During this period,
some European monarchs and ministers decided to adopt the principles of
Enlightenment to establish social reforms, without relinquishing absolutism.
The foundations of royal power were redefined: the sovereign no longer
identified with the state itself, but became the first server
even for the sake of all subjects.
In this context, sovereign of Prussia, Austria, Russia, Spain
and Portugal launched themselves to undertake a series of reforms that
sought above all to reconcile the absolute authority of the monarch with
proposals for freedom of the Enlightenment, particularly in the present
thought of Voltaire, who fought the privileges of the aristocracy parasitism
and obscurantism of the clergy.
However, these monarchies, the ideals were not successful. Despots
enlightened not realize the great contradiction that would prevent
realization of his intentions. That's because they wanted to force the development their countries, bouncing natural steps of this process: admitted
the ideas of the Enlightenment, issued by the bourgeoisie, but tried to carry them without their participation.
They tried to reform the state from the state itself, through a policy
authoritarian and paternalistic, taking measurements and liberal character, not
However, barring any popular demonstration. "All the people without
the people "was the slogan of enlightened despots. Unsuccessful:
pressured by the nobility and the bourgeoisie without support, were overthrown
the throne or forced to backtrack in its reforms, which therefore
prevented their countries from becoming modern nations in
equal terms with the powers England and France.
The Enlightened Despotism in Eastern Europe
Prussia - The pinnacle of enlightened despotism in Prussia was hit in
government of Frederick the Great (1740-1786). Among its main
• Abolished the torture of political prisoners, guaranteeing freedom of expression;
• Adopted a new code of justice;
• It granted freedom of worship to the people;
• He founded schools, making education compulsory;
• Promoted the agricultural and industrial development;
Frederick developed a strong sense of nationalism, demanding full
obedience to his orders. The highlight of his government were
military organizations, which ensured the domestically repressive force
and oversight necessary to state. The reforms implemented by
Prussian ruler, inspired by Enlightenment ideals of the time, were not intended
necessarily the welfare of the population, but the aggrandizement
Austria - The greatest example of enlightened despot was Joseph II (1780-1790)
- The only monarch who actually put into practice the ideas of philosophers
Enlightenment. Its main measures were:
• German as the official language;
• Abolition of slavery;
• Granting of religious freedom;
Russia - Catherine the Great (1762-1796) is considered one of the most celebrated enlightened despots. By assuming, took a number of initiatives,
• Instituted the Charter of Nobility;
• Over taxes farmers with higher taxes;
• Maintained servitude;
• We conducted a policy of expansion, attracting people into areas
• Adopted the mercantilist policy which favored industrial development.
The Enlightened Despotism in Iberia
Spain - With the penetration of Enlightenment ideas in Spain in the reign
Carlos III, his minister Aranda, announced wide-ranging measures aimed
establish a mercantilism conducive to the development of the country. In that
context, intensified colonial exploitation, declined skills
the Holy Office and reshaped the educational system itself.
Portugal - The Portugal in enlightened despotism was exercised by the Marquis
Pombal, Minister of Don José I. At that time, Portugal was trying
recover the finances of the kingdom and the example of Spain, for survival
the nation was essential to strengthen the colonial ties. Pombal tried
reorganize the Portuguese economy, but could not overcome the
severe crisis that the kingdom passed.
In summary, the enlightened despotism was an attempt
by nations that aspired to become powers
example of France and England, and that it used to be
Enlightenment ideals of the time, albeit without success.