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CHAPTER 2 : AN AGE OF CONFLICTS - SEVENTEENTH CENTURY EUROPE (1603-1713)
This chapter includes the political conflicts of European nations in the 17th century. The establishment of the Stuart dynasty to the English throne is discussed. Later the reign of the Stuart rulers and the constitutional developments during their period are etched.
A discussion follows of the Thirty Years’ War. In France, Cardinal Richelieu emerged as the advisor of the Queen of France. He was an able diplomat, who worked remarkably for the development of France. He increased the international prestige of France.
In Spain, King Philip was blind to the new forces of religion and politics. He had fixed ideas and principles and failed to estimate the strength of Protestantism and democratic nationalism. This brought about the decline of Spain.
The English Civil War (1642-49) is an important event. The monarchy and populace were in open conflict for the first time. The people won and King Charles I was executed. The Age of Reason and Enlightenment dawned.
The Anglo-Dutch rivalry in Africa, East Indies and North America relating to commerce increased. Finally a war broke out between these countries. England won this war.
In Russia, Peter the Great began to grow powerful. He had indomitable energy and singleness of purpose. He possessed an insatiable curiosity. Throughout his life, Peter labored to ’Europeanize’ Russia.
During the reign of Queen Anne, the most important issue was the war of Spanish Succession. After the death of the Spanish monarch the problem of Spanish Succession became all the more acute.
The greatest landmark in the history of England is the Glorious Revolution. It is called so because, though for all practical purposes, power was in the people’s hands, not a single drop of blood was shed.