Absolutism and Democracy: the Two Types of Government in 17th and 18th Century

Topics: Monarchy, Absolute monarchy, Form of government Pages: 2 (429 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Absolutism and Democracy
During 17th and 18th centuries, there has been two types of government; absolutism, which gave unlimited power to the monarchs, and democracy, which gave power to the people. However, in my opinion, absolutism was still the most effective form of government during this period. There were numerous absolute monarchs such as King James I, Machiavelli and King Louis XIV renowned for their cruel use of power as a monarch. People in this time were not as educated as people in the modern society today and it was easy for them to just follow the words of the absolute monarch. On the other hand, in the 19th and 20th century, I assume than ideas of democracy surely surpassed the ideas of absolutism, due to the ideas of the enlightenment thinkers, as known as philosophes.

One reason why absolute monarchy was effective is because the decisions were made quickly. Rather than having whole groups of people trying to share their ideas, it was much easier to just have one head, deciding what he/she thinks is the best idea. This idea was supported by King Louis XIV, a French monarch. According to Louis XIV, “The head alone has the right to deliberate and decide, and the functions of all the other members consist only in carrying out the commands given to them... The interest of the state must come first...” (Document 3). Although his ideas were unsupported by some philosophes such as Montesquieu, who believed in executive, legislative, and judicial powers, people in the 17th and 18th century did not have enough time to think deeply, they preferred to rather survive than die trying to make new laws (Document 6).

In addition, the way the absolute monarch governed was fairly liked by the citizens in this time period since the monarch provided the people with their needs, such as roads, and public buildings. Absolute monarch was beneficial for the people and that is why no one really tried to revolt in 17th and 18th centuries. However, later in the...
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