Enlightened Monarchs Listened to Reason, Expanded Opportunity, But Still Ruled As Absolutists

John Green of Crash Course European History previously lectured here and here about “about the Enlightenment, and the philosophers and thinkers whose ideas would shape governance for hundred of years.” They challenged the idea that kings and nobles were qualified to be elites simply because of the families into which they were born into.

In this 13 and a half-minute lecture, “we’re learning how monarchs across Europe were influenced by those ideas. Adoption of Enlightenment ideas across Europe was…uneven, to say the least.” Transcript.

In this episode you’ll learn about

and how they supported Enlightenment thinkers, even though these philosophers criticized absolutist monarchs’

  • arrogance,
  • capriciousness, and use of
  • torture
  • censorship

“Monarchs could have ordinary people thrown into prison for just about any reason, large or small.”

Yet the monarchs did engage with Enlightenment philosophers such as

Sources:

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