England and France through the 17th Century
At the beginning of the 1600s, England and France had one goal in mind, complete and absolute power. In the second half of the seventeenth century, we see England evolve from an absolutist monarchy into a monarchy that could only rule by consent of the parliament. France, on the other hand, continued with an almighty king. When Louis XIV came into power, he was too young to rule the nation on his own for he was only 5 years old. His chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin, who ruled until his death in 1661, had one goal in mind, absolute rule by the royal administration. For 3 years, French noblemen rebelled against this with the claim that they were not rioting against the king, but merely the appointed. At the same time, James VI of Scotland became James I of England and created the Stuart Dynasty. The Stuart Dynasty’s main objective was the same as France, absolute power, leaving the nobles and the elites handicapped. They, however, rebelled victoriously against the new law. In both countries, the monarchy wanted complete absolutism. One prevailed and the other compromised. After Charles II was run out of England, William of Orange III and his wife Mary II became the new royalty of England. Under their reign, the Bill of Rights was created limiting the powers of the monarchy and secured the rights of the English nobles, or the parliament. The monarchy could not assert any dominance over the land without the clearance of the parliament, which only met every 3 years. With parliament being pressured by the population and the monarchy having restricted powers, democracy flourished. Public debates, freedom of speech, freedom of association all thrived. England became the example that political liberty did not have to compromise with military strength, which many countries who opposed absolutism could copy. Louis XIV, on the other hand, held total rule over France until his...
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