dbq thesis

Topics: Despotism, Enlightened absolutism, Rights Pages: 1 (396 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Thesis

The enlightened despots indicated a belief in the equality of men and natural rights. They thought the people should be able to prosper, yet these “enlightened rulers” ruled in a despotic fashion. They believed that they had absolute power and that they were the state. Their words went above everybody's no matter what. In some kind of sense it was kind of like a parent to child relationship. The parent has the right to rule over the child to keep them in line. In the social order group, documents 1 and 6 prove this valid. For example, document 1 states, “ Argue as much as you will, only obey!” This is a contradiction that shows the demanding qualities of an enlightened despot. No one knows better then them. Also, document 6 states,”What is the true End on Monarchy? Not to deprive people of their natural liberty; but to correct their actions, in order to attain the supreme good...” This also shows that the leaders thought that they had the divine right to rule over the people like this. Both documents use social order to prove that the despots really just think that they are the ultimate ruler. In the political group, documents 4 and 8 also prove this valid. For example, document 4 states,” a ruler must be ready to sacrifice his life for the welfare of his subjects.” This shows that the despots were also enlightened. They did think that they were absolute rulers but they also took into account the welfare of their people. The despots wanted to make sure that their people were prospering and improving their quality of life. Also, document 8 states,”her policies will be based on Machiavellianism.” Again, this shows that the despots had the power to act like the state- absolutely and, if necessary, ruthlessly. They had no one standing in their way. It can be thought that these despots were just trying to win the crowd over by pleasing the people. They could achieve popular support this way. They were just really using the thought that they cared about the...
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