For over 5,000 years of human civilization, there has always been a need for societal structure and stability. People developed governments in order to guarantee that structure and stability are present within the region. While there are various forms of government, some are more effective than others. Yet the effectiveness of that form of government is mostly dictated by the time period it is being used in. Even though democracy is widely regarded as the best form of government in the 21st century, the same cannot be said for the 17th and 18th centuries. The most effective form of government for the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe is absolutism because of the power of religious unity, the importance of fear, and the focus of the overall well-being of the state.
Where democracy falls short is in the power of religious unity. Democracy promotes secular values which would have been extremely unsuccessful at the time while the very foundation of absolutism is based on a religious concept called the theory of The Divine Right of Kings. As explained by King James I of England in 1609, the theory of The Divine Right of Kings states that “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.” The theory explains that the King was sent from God and is accountable to nobody but God. This connection between religion and policy allows for unanimous agreement for any course of action. In the 17th and 18th
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A form of government ruled by one person whose authority is not restricted by law or governing bodies is absolutism. It is arguable if this form of government can truly be successful due to its impression left throughout the course of history. Justification of absolutism by Thomas Hobbes, Jacques Benigne Bossuet, and analysis of Louis XIV rule reveal why absolutism in ineffective. Due to its removal of self-authority, vulnerability to a power, and the possibility of weakening a country make absolutism inefficient.
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.
Democracy did not occur in a matter of seconds, it took years of evolution to become what it is today. The thought of a self-government during a world ruled by monarchs would have you locked up in a mental hospital. As you can figure, democracy did not just come out of the nowhere, it had to be planned out and modified over the years. The earliest contributions and influences of The American Government came from philosophers, some of them are the part of our founding fathers and others influenced them to develop the strong nation we are today.
Absolutism became the primary form of government for many Europeans in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It appealed to so many for reasons the same as other governments. “Absolutists contended that social and political harmony would result when subjects obeyed their divinely sanctioned rulers in all aspects“ (Text 594). Absolutists rulers felt God gave them their ability to teach the masses the proper ways to live.
Absolutism created a time of prosperity throughout the 1500s and the 1600s. At this point of history, absolutism was an efficient way of running a government. Absolutist leaders were vigorous, assertive and a potent symbol of authority. The amount of growth in countries such as Russia was both efficient and effective because the power of authority was concentrated into one person’s hands. Absolutism enabled Peter the Great to modernize and adapt Russia for war, commerce and industrial growth. Additionally, absolutism gave people a powerful leader they needed to trust in and depend on for their country's sake. This type of regnant is most evident King James I of England and King Louis XIV of France. For example, King James I of England
The 1600s and 1700s were times of change. The Reformation of the previous century had shaken the foundations of society in Europe, while the Age of Exploration had introduced Europe to lands, peoples, and resources that brought new wealth to individuals and countries. Building off of this wealth, monarchs in Europe began to centralize their power using methods of taxation and claims of divine right. These monarchs, including Louis XIV of France, Peter the Great of Russia, and James I of England, eventually created a governmental system, known as absolutism, that revolved entirely around themselves and their desires. Because of their claims to such extreme power, absolutism had wide reaching effects on many parts of their countries. The effects of absolutism were the Nobles got treated like servants, the king's power increased a lot, and the military improved.
During 1650-1750, a new political system known as absolutism emerged and became popular amongst many countries in central and Eastern Europe. Absolutism is a political system in which a divine-right monarch enjoys absolute power over all affairs of state. Supposedly, the “divine-right monarch” receives his power directly from God, meaning that he is only responsible to God and that no one can question his authority. In the 1600’s, taxes and famine began to rise in many European states, which resulted in dangerous and uncontrolled riots. Many countries began to adopt absolutism as a political system that could be a solution to these issues. As absolutism became a solution to these issues and gained popularity in France, Prussia, and Russia,
During the 1500s and the 1600s, European Absolutism had flourished, producing a time period known as the Age of Absolutism. The kings during this time believed that they had been given their power by God (or so they said), and the people had just assumed that they meant they would incorporate God’s will into their rulings, but instead the kings abused the power, becoming tyrannical rulers. Tyranny is defined as “a cruel and oppressive government or rule” or “cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control,” and it impacts many people, especially the people without power or money. Although some monarchs, like Peter the Great, managed to use their power for good, absolutism is mostly tyrannical because the rulers decide everything without having to converse with others, and would do anything to
Absolutism started in the seventeenth century. The absolute monarchs main goal was to control every aspect of society. Usually the absolute monarchs ruled without any limitations to their authority. The most effective form of government in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is absolutism because men are selfish, the kings and princes were chosen by god, and the king has certain rights that no other person has.
Throughout the pass of time, human history has seen different forms of governments, from the tribal leader, to the Roman Republic, to the absolutist monarchies of Europe. Yet, few of them had centered their main ideals in freedom and sovereignty. Actually, sovereignty is a fairly recent term, grasped among Europeans when they finally decided to stop intervening so much in each other’s affairs. For many centuries, monarchies, especially those with an absolute ruler, had been the top choice for European governments, and, as it should have been expected, they had brought the same governing style to the American colonies. Thus, it was not a surprise to observe European governments where an absolute leader had control over everything and everyone,
England’s lengthy history of hereditary monarchs and abusive absolutists has led to the system of constitutionalism in 17th century English government. The encouragement of these absolutism practices triggered the need to search for a new way to govern. The reigns of the Stuart monarchy led to the shift from absolutism to constitutionalism during 17th century England. After witnessing the success of Louis XIV's of France establishment of absolutism, England would soon see that James I, and his son Charles I, will fail at establishing absolutism in England and see a constitutional government established.
“In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme” - Aristotle. This quote lays out the main idea behind Democracy. The idea that the people deserve equality and freedom. Equality in race, colour and religion, and freedom of speech, and will, unless it is against the will of the majority of the people. Democracy endeavors to achieve a balance in freedom of an individual, whilst not violating the majority's will. Democracy was developed in Ancient Greece. The word itself comes from the greek term ‘demokratia’ (‘demos - the people’ and ‘kratos - rule’. Democracy was first used in the Greek state, Athens. Athens used a direct form of Democracy, as people knew each other. Nowadays, there are an abundant amount of countries that are ruled under democracy, such as New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, and Austria.
During the late 17th and early 18th century, many European nations such as France and Russia were absolute monarchies. Even countries such as England had kings who at least attempted to implement absolutism. Indeed the concept of absolutism, where the monarch is the unquestionably highest authority and absolute ruler of every element in the realm, is certainly appealing to any sovereign. However, this unrestricted power was abused, and by the end of the 18th century, absolutism was gone. Absolutism failed because the monarchs' mistreatment of the population caused the people to revolt against their rule and policies. There are many factors which caused this discontent. For one, there was a great loss of human lives. Louis XIV of France
The 17th and 18th centuries were a period in Europe where the country was driven by agriculture. New ideas and technologies were invented which led to an increase in crops leading to The British Agricultural Revolution. As a direct result of the crop yields, small landowners weren’t able to profit therefore leaving their farms and migrating to smaller cities where they mostly worked in factories. This led to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Although there are many changes that took place during the 17th and 18th centuries, the increased crop yields came about in part because of new advances such as the Northfolk Crop Rotation, The Rotherham Plow, the seed drill, and enclosure which negatively affected small farmers by increasing production which meant less farmers were needed to supply the population. However, positive effects such as less competition and increased profits benefited large landowners and ultimately led to the industrial revolution.