Dbq on Absolutism and Democracy

Topics: Political philosophy, Government, Thomas Hobbes Pages: 2 (693 words) Published: October 19, 2005
There were many forms of government through the 17th and 18th century. Two forms of government that were used a lot were democracy and absolutism. The form of government during these centuries that was most effective was democracy.

Many rulers used absolutism in their countries. They believed rulers should have complete control over the country. Prince Machiavelli believed the best way to rule was to be feared and thought that the only way people would listen to him was if he was mean and scary. He thought if he was nice and loved then they would not fear him and end up taking advantage of him. (doc1) King James also believed absolutism was the way to go. He believed in divine right and that it was the only way to keep the country in order. He thought that kings were like gods and had the power to create or destroy anything that they thought was ineffective.(doc 2) Another person who believed in absolutism was Thomas Hobbes. He believed that people were naturally cruel unless controlled strictly by law. He said that to escape the brutish life people entered into a social contract which was an agreement by which they gave up the state of nature for an organized society. He also supported the Stuart kings in their struggle against parliament.

In a democracy peoples thoughts were heard and used in a government. This government was significant, because it didn't put to much rule in the government. King Louis believed that the peoples interest and the state came first and believed in a democracy.(doc3) Voltaire also recommends a democracy and thought that freedom of speech was essential.(doc4) Voltaire was one of the most famous philosophies thinkers who defended all freedoms of people especially freedom of speech. Even when he offended government and the Catholic Church and his books were burned he still stuck up for freedom of speech and he said "I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", he...
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