Absolutism Essay 7

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During the 1700’s and 1800’s the nations began to follow a form of government known as absolutism. Absolutism is a form of government in which the sovereign power or authority came from one monarch who was said to rule by divine right. Divine right is the belief that the monarch was given the power to rule by god. This means that only god was above the ruler. This belief would cause the citizens to follow the monarch’s wishes. During this period of time, absolute monarchies were set up in France, Spain, Prussia, Austria, Russia, and England. The monarchs of these nations had there own methods for ruling their Nation, but they shared many ideologies and practices that are common in an absolutist Government. One common trait of an absolutist government is a single dominate monarch that rules the entire Nation. The absolute monarch needed to have complete control; however, the upper class tended to want to share some of the power. A strong monarch would then have to find a way to increase his power and weaken the nobles. In France Cardinal Richelieu’s power was contested by the Huguenot party. He quickly eliminated their political and military power while he let them keep their religious authority. He also sent out spies to determine if any nobles were trying to conspire against him. He also sent out officials to other provinces to enforce his laws. Lewis IV of France followed up on Richelieu’s practices by taking high offices away from nobles that he believed were gaining too much power. Fredrick William the great of Prussia decided that the best way to keep control was to give the aristocrats positions as officials in his bureaucracy. This gave them enough power that they would be satisfied, but not enough to overthrow him. Since Austria consisted of several different States, Leopold I kept control of Austria by allowing the local and regional governments set laws in their areas, and that they would yield to his authority in any matters that dealt...
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