Absolutism. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were an era in which absolutism dominated the political systems of Europe.

Topics: Absolute monarchy, Monarchy, Charles I of England Pages: 2 (751 words) Published: May 22, 2002
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were an era in which absolutism dominated the political systems of Europe. I strongly agree to this assessment. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were hard times in Europe. The Reformation produced a trail of conflict and difficulty as the implications of Reformation thought began to be imagined in areas outside of religion. In the latter half of the 1600's, monarchial systems of both England and France were changing.

In England, the move was away from an absolute monarch, and toward a more powerful Parliament. In France, the opposite was happening as Louis XIV strengthened his own office while weakening the general assembly of France, the Estates General. Absolutism, the political situation in which a monarch controls all aspects of government with no checks or balances, had been introduced in England by James I and Charles I, but never quite took hold. In France, on the other hand, Louis XIV took absolutism to extremes, claiming to be a servant of God (the "divine right of Kings") and dissolving France's only general assembly. Absolutism failed in England but flourished in France is due mainly to the political situation in each country when the idea was first introduced.

In England, during the first half of the 17th century, two monarchs came to power that attempted to develop royal absolutism in that country. Both James I (James VI of Scotland) and Charles I tried to rule without consenting Parliament, but Parliament had so much control at the time that neither James nor Charles successfully decreased the role of Parliament in English government. The English had been under the combined rule of both the king and the assembly for so long that they weren't ready to give all the power of government to a single person. The merchants and land-owning nobles supported Parliament, where members could be elected and changed in necessary, rather than an absolute monarch with no restraints. In 1642, differences between...
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