October 15, 2006
DBQ Absolutism and Democracy
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were two forms of government. The two forms of government were democracy and absolutism. Both of these forms of government were effective in there own ways. Absolutism though was the most effective during this time. Absolutism is when the ruler has unlimited power. Many rulers had a democracy government but absolutism was more effective because the rulers had all the power and it was hard to take advantage of them rather then a democracy were many rulers can get over thrown by the people of that country.
Two forms of government that were used during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were democracy and absolutism. Though both of these forms of governments were effective in there own ways, absolutism was more effective. Machiavelli, who wrote The Prince, felt that the best way to rule was to be feared. He wrote in his book The Prince, Men have less hesitation in offending a man who is loved than one who is feared, for love is held by a bond of obligation which, as men are wicked, is broken whenever personal advantage suggests it (Document 1). King James I also believed that absolutism was the way to rule. He thought that kings were like Gods therefore he believed in divine right. Divine Right is the belief that kings get their authority from God. "The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called gods" (Document 2). Another person that ruled in absolutism was Thomas Hobbes. He felt that people were naturally cruel unless controlled strictly by law.
Even though absolutism was the most effective form of government during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries many rulers believed in democracy. Democracy is when the people of the government have a say in what goes on in the government. Some people that believe in democracy were King Louis XIV, John Locke, Voltaire, and Montesquieu. King Louis XIV said, "The interest of the state must come first" (Document 3). Voltaire believed in freedom of speech. John Locke, who wrote the Two Treaties on Government, believed that people were born with natural rights, which were life, liberty and property, and he also believed that the government had to protect these rights. Montesquieu, who wrote The Spirit of the Laws, believed in separation of powers. Written in his book The Spirit of the Laws says, There can be no liberty where the executive, legislative, and judicial powers are united in one person of body of persons, because such concentration is bound to result in arbitrary despotism" (Document 6).
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there were two forms of government. The two forms of government were democracy and absolutism. Both of these governments were effective but absolutism was more effective because the ruler had more power and had more control over his or her rule.