The monarchs that ruled Europe and Asia during the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries tried desperately to move away from feudal traditions, and ideally towards achieving absolute monarchies. Absolutism, where a monarch is an unlimited power, was a popular goal in those days. The political theory that is derived from support of such a system is called divine right, where the monarchs are accountable to God and God alone. Russia and France were above all other nations in striving to achieve a supreme, absolute ruling system. Their advancements were often similar, but sometimes different, in the fields of taxation, cultural awareness, and country expansion.
France and Russia needed to tax their constituents for the benefit of their governments. Although the lowest classes that consisted of serfs, peasants, and yeomen were the poorest, they were the classes ...view middle of the document...
These unfair and sometimes complicated systems were kept in use, all the while remaining unadjusted for years
Unlike the other successful countries of that time period, Russia and France remained culturally aware. Each had aspects that established their nation as either wholly French, or wholly Russian. In France, Louis XIV was the major contributor to the brilliant French culture. He moved his court and government to a divine palace in Versailles. The palace was built to show the wealth, power, and glory of France. He also commissioned numerous builders, artisans, playwrights, and artists. However, after all the building projects and wars fought, the land was left famished and in financial ruin. The Russians seemed to be a bit more successful in leaving their nation financially stable. Peter the Great built the great city of St. Petersburg, the former Russian capital. Peter built it out of his imaginary image of the western world; and so it became known as, “The Window to the West.”
Both countries took significant steps towards expanding the borders of their already large accumulation of land mass. The Russians fought and negotiated with many other countries to gain the land that made up their huge empire. They gained most of the Ukraine, part of Poland, Lithuania, and a warm water port on the Baltic Sea from he Mongols, Polish, Lithuanians, and the Swedish. France also dilated their boundaries, mostly due to the War of Spanish Succession, although King Philips V’s newly inherited Spain was not under the French crown. The French Spanish king fought against Austria to gain the throne of Spain.
The French and Russian empires were the most successful at achieving an absolute monarchy. Many of their techniques were different, but often with similar outcomes. Had some of the other countries trying to be absolute, followed the lead of Russia and France, they probably would have become more successful. They went that far because of their firm enforcement of taxation, cultural awareness, and country expansion.