DIRECTIONS: Please answer the following questions using the document provided. Write an original, grammatically correct paragraph (4-6 sentences, can be more). All answers must be typed or word-processed. Please retype the questions or cut and paste it into your document and then type your answer. You may answer each question individually or combine your answers into an original, well-written extended paragraph. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. You can use a simplified version of the parenthetical citation: (Author’s last name, page number). Use the page numbers found at the bottom of each page of this document; i.e. (Lualdi, 2).
Simply paraphrasing the material with no analysis will earn you ½ credit at most. The purpose of these document exercises are to help you to develop or continue to hone your critical thinking skills, to identify causality, and to logically link and organize your knowledge in a rational manner.
Proofread your work before you submit it. Be sure to put your name on it. 1 inch margins on all sides, 11 or 12 point font (this is 11 point Arial), double-spaced.
Chapter 18 will help provide context. You may also use a dictionary.
Proofread your work before you submit it. Be sure to put your name on it.
1 inch margins on all sides, 11 or 12 point font (this is 11 point Arial), double-spaced.
Questions: Answer all three. 1. Based on this excerpt, in what ways does the term enlightened despot apply to Frederick II? (How is he enlightened? How is he despotic?)
2. What reasons does Frederick advance in favor of religious tolerance?
3. According to Frederick, what should be the one goal of government?
Frederick II, Political Testament (1752)
The Enlightenment’s triumph is perhaps best reflected in the politics of the second half of the 18th century. Rather than working to suppress the philosophes’ calls for change, rulers across continental Europe embraced them as a means of enhancing their power and prestige. They did so at their own discretion, however, and often with an iron hand, as the case of King Frederick II of Prussia (r. 1740-1786) vividly reveals. A devotee of the Enlightenment as well as an exemplary soldier and statesman, Frederick transformed Prussia into a leading European state during his reign. In his Political Testament of 1752, excerpted here, he outlines his political philosophy, which blended Enlightenment ideals with an uncompromising view of his own power.
One must attempt, above all, to know the special genius of the people which one wants to govern in order to know if one must treat them leniently or severely, if they are inclined to revolt…to intrigue…. [The Prussian nobility] has sacrificed its life and goods for the service of the state, its loyalty and merit have earned it the protection of all its rulers, and it is one of the duties [of the ruler] to aid those [noble] families which have become impoverished in order to keep them in possession of their lands: for they are to be regarded as the pedestals and the pillars of the state. In such a state no factions or rebellions need be feared…it is one goal of the policy of this state to preserve the nobility. A well conducted government must have an underlying concept so well integrated that it could be likened to a system of philosophy. All actions taken must be one goal: which is the strengthening of the state and the furthering of its power. However, such a system can flow but from a single brain, and this must be that of the sovereign. Laziness, hedonism, and imbecility, these are the causes which restrain princes in working at the noble task of bringing happiness to their subjects…a sovereign is not elevated to his high position, supreme power has not been confined to him in order that he may live in lazy luxury, enriching himself by the labor of the people, being happy which everyone else suffers. The sovereign is the first servant of the state. He is well paid in order that he may sustain the dignity of his office, but one demands that he work efficiently for the good of the state, and that he, at the very least, pay personal attention to the most important problems…. You can see, without doubt, how important it is that the King of Prussia govern personally. Just as it would have been impossible for Newton to arrive at his system of attractions if he had worked in harness with Leibnitz and Descartes, so a system of politics cannot be arrived at and continued if it has not sprung from a single brain….All parts of the government are inexorably linked with each other. Finance, politics, and military affairs are inseparable; it does not suffice that one be well administered; they must all be…a Prince who governs personally, who has formed his [own] political system, will not be handicapped when occasions arise where he has to act swiftly: for he can guide all matters towards the end which he has set for himself…. Catholics, Lutherans, Reformed, Jews, and other Christian sects live in this state, and live together in peace: if the sovereign, actuated by a mistaken zeal, declares himself for one religion or another, parties will spring up, heated disputes ensue, little by little persecutions will commence, and, in the end, the religion persecuted will leave the fatherland and millions of subjects will enrich our neighbors with their skill and industry.
It is of no concern in politics whether a ruler has a religion or whether he has none. All religions, if one examines them, are founded on superstitious systems, more or less absurd. It is impossible for a man of good sense, who dissects their contents, not to see their error; but these prejudices, these errors and mysteries were made for men, and one must know enough to respect the public and not to outrage its faith, whatever religion be involved.
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