Absolute Monarchy in England and France

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Absolute Monarchy: The Success and The Short Comings

In Europe, Absolute monarchy was a form of government that eventually became very successful in some countries, but not as successful in others as a result of the political state the country was in when absolutism was introduced. Absolute monarchy was usually developed as a result of turmoil within a country over politics, religion, social structures, etc. Two European countries where absolute monarchy was attempted were France, where it eventually flourished, and it was also attempted in England, where it ultimately was not successful. In France, Henry of Navarre became king and restored central governments authority, launched an economic recovery program, and reduced the power of the nobility class. Henry of Navarre was assassinated, though, so his dreams were never reached. Cardinal Richelieu was a very important nobleman at the time. His main objective was to make the king the sovereign power in France with no protest. He believed in “divine right” and wanted France to be the almighty force in all of Europe. After Henry’s assassination, Louis XIII was next to take throne. Louis XIII showed himself to be an incapable ruler and when Louis XIV took power, he was the one to secure great power in the French monarchy. Louis XIV took hold of the country and put himself at the head of government. France had a parliament-like group, but much weaker, known as the Estates General, was never again called for meeting in order to assure Louis’s power was completely uncontested. In addition, much of the nobles in France were convinced to live in Versailles, a city Louis ordered built strictly for the consolidation of government and his own personal pleasure. He was a very self-centered man who focused much of his time on lavish affairs to satisfy his material desires. Or as Duc de Saint-Simon puts it, “There was nothing he liked so much as flattery, or, to put it more plainly, adulation; the coarser and clumsier...
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