Dbq 11 Absolutism

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During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries absolutism was a more effective type of government than democracy. Absolutism was a form of government in which all of the power is in the hands of one ruler. Whereas, democracy is when the majority of the power is vested in the people. Absolutism occurred before the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; therefore it had an example to be or not to be modeled after. Even though most forms of absolutistic governments shared the same thought, they differed in the ways that they were ruled. Democracy was also a form of government during this time but it was not as successful.

According to The Prince, by Machiavelli, who was from the Italian City-States during the rule of the Medici, portrayed that absolutism worked best when the ruler ruled through fear and not love. This was effective because “…fear is accompanied by the dread of punishment, which never relaxes.” This quote shows that people are scared of being punishment for wrong doing, and will be think twice before disobeying or disrespecting the Prince in any way. (Doc.1) Two Treatises on Government, by John Locke, who was in favor of democracy, stated in his work that the best types of government had a limitation of paper and that the citizens agreed with their thoughts.

King James I of England, who ruled through the belief of divine right, which was the belief of the rule directly from god. He also expressed that the rule of absolutism was the way to rule. King James shows that through this type of rule him makes the executive decision on how and whatever he wanted to. (Doc. 2)
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