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Ch 2: Absolutism and Constitutionalism in Western Europe (1648-1715)

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and take self-assessment quizzes to learn the significance of events in Europe from 1648-1715. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Absolutism and Constitutionalism in Western Europe (1648-1715) - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

While every little thing that happens affects history, events that occurred in Europe between 1648 and 1715 had enormous influence on the development of the western world. In this chapter, you will see history unfold as monarchs pass away, countries expand, nations go to war, and treaties determine the fate of an entire continent. This chapter can help you understand the following:

  • The impact of Europe's Thirty Year's War
  • Shifts of power in Europe
  • The English Civil War
  • French expansion

Video Objective
The Thirty Years' War & the Peace of Westphalia: Summary & Significance Learn about the causes and stages of Europe's Thirty Year's War, and recognize how the Peace of Westphalia treaty marked the beginning of modern Europe.
The Decline of Spain & Emergence of Competing Powers Look at the shift in power from Spain and the Holy Roman Empire to the Dutch, English and French.
The Rise of the Dutch Republic & Their Golden Age Learn about the Dutch Republic's expansion and increased recognition during its Golden Age.
The English Civil War: Summary, Causes, Effects & Timeline Study about the English Revolution between Anglicans and Puritans, Parliamentarians and Monarchists, and Roundheads and Cavaliers.
The Restoration of a Limited Monarchy in England Look at the placement of a Parliamentary system in England and the restoration of a limited monarchy.
The Creation of Great Britain & The English Bill of Rights Discover how Great Britain came about and what landmark events occurred during this time.
The Reign of Louis XIV in France Understand how Louis XIV's absolute rule influenced France and the rest of Europe as well.
French Expansion Under Louis XIV Learn how Louis XIV's desire for expansion created conflict between France and its neighboring countries.
The War of Spanish Succession and the Treaty of Utrecht Ascertain how the death of Spain's Charles II led to a struggle for power in Europe.

9 Lessons in Chapter 2: Absolutism and Constitutionalism in Western Europe (1648-1715)
The Thirty Years' War & the Peace of Westphalia: Summary & Significance

1. The Thirty Years' War & the Peace of Westphalia: Summary & Significance

In this lesson we explore the Thirty Years' War and the subsequent Peace of Westphalia. The continental conflict arose out of political and religious issues in the Holy Roman Empire and Europe as a whole, and its conclusion in 1648 changed the face of European politics.

The Decline of Spain & Emergence of Competing Powers

2. The Decline of Spain & Emergence of Competing Powers

In this lesson, we explore the changing geopolitical situation in seventeenth-century Europe. As Spain's power lessened, other powers such as France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands vied to replace Spain as the preeminent power of Europe.

The Rise of the Dutch Republic & Their Golden Age: History & Timeline

3. The Rise of the Dutch Republic & Their Golden Age: History & Timeline

In this lesson, we explore the birth of the Dutch Republic and the Dutch Golden Age which followed. Through innovation and economic success, the Dutch became one of the most powerful nations in seventeenth-century Europe.

The English Civil War: Summary, Causes, Effects & Timeline

4. The English Civil War: Summary, Causes, Effects & Timeline

In this lesson, we explore the English Civil War, a conflict that took place in the 1640s between forces loyal to King Charles I and those loyal to Parliament. The conflict arose due to complex political and religious disagreements and culminated in the trial of the king.

The Restoration of a Limited Monarchy in England: Definition & History

5. The Restoration of a Limited Monarchy in England: Definition & History

In this lesson we explore the English Restoration of the monarchy in 1660. Over a decade after Parliament beheaded King Charles I, it restored his son, Charles II, to the English throne, albeit under a new, limited constitutional monarchy.

The Creation of Great Britain & The English Bill of Rights

6. The Creation of Great Britain & The English Bill of Rights

In this lesson we explore the 1688 Glorious Revolution in England, where the Catholic James II was supplanted by Parliament in favor of William and Mary, as well as other important political landmarks of the late Stuart period including the English Bill of Rights and the Act of Union.

The Reign of Louis XIV in France: Accomplishments & Influence

7. The Reign of Louis XIV in France: Accomplishments & Influence

In this lesson, we explore the reign of Louis XIV in France. Domestically, Louis revolutionized numerous facets of French government and administration over his 72-year reign.

French Expansion Under Louis XIV: Conflicts & Overview

8. French Expansion Under Louis XIV: Conflicts & Overview

In this lesson, we explore the initial expansion and eventual reduction of French territory during the reign of Louis XIV of France, and the numerous wars fought and political games played in the process.

The War of Spanish Succession and the Treaty of Utrecht

9. The War of Spanish Succession and the Treaty of Utrecht

In this lesson we explore the War of the Spanish Succession. With multiple claimants and no clear heir, several nations fought from 1701 to 1714 to decide the Spanish throne and tip the balance of power in Europe in their favor.

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