Compare and Contrast the Theory of Absolutism and Constitutionalism with Reference to the Evolution of Government in England and France.

Topics: Monarchy, Absolute monarchy, Constitutional monarchy Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: January 26, 2006
The governments of England and France differ greatly in many ways such the following: they are two completely different forms of government, absolutism and constitutionalism, but they are in many ways similar partly because they both began as absolutist forms of government. Absolutist France was a form government run by one person who had almost full control over everything, and Constitutionalist England was run by a number of people with a great deal of power. Even the rulers were required to obey the laws, and there was not only one person with complete control over everyone and everything. The definition of absolutism is "A term applied to strong centralized continental monarchies that attempted to make royal power dominant over aristocracies and other regional authorities." (Kagan) The definition of constitutionalism is "A form of government in which power is distributed and limited by a system of laws that must be obeyed by the rulers." ( A main similarity between Constitutionalist England and Absolutist France is that they are both successful governments, and they withstood many troubles over a long period of time.

Some main differences between the two governments in England and France are: in France, the country was ruled by one strong, almost all powerful ruler who could control every aspect of society. In contrast, England was ruled by more than one person with limited power. This created a checks and balances system where, if one ruler steps out of line, the others are there to correct him/her. This helped to make sure one ruler wouldn't get too much power and harm the country. France on the other hand, didn't have this kind of security. A second difference between these two governments is that the French monarchs had a sufficient amount of money, and the English monarchs didn't, and since the English monarchs needed money they went to Parliament for help. In absolutist forms of government,...
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