Absolutism

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Absolutism was a political theory that encouraged rulers during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to establish complete sovereignty within their territories. A ruler with complete sovereignty had the jurisdiction to make laws, enforce justice, create and direct bureaucracy, declare war, and levy taxation without formal approval from any other governing authorities. One of the most threatening opponents to the royal absolutist were the nobles, who played a significant role in the success or the demise of the countries. A series of absolutist rulers in England, France, and Russia rose to power in various ways: some met with success while others fell short. I plan to discuss how absolutists commanded armed forces of the state, controlled its legal system, and how the spending of the state’s resources will lead to the construction of a healthy nation or lead to drastic reforms. Charles II was the first of two attempts at absolutism in England, both of which were met with much backlash. During Charles II climb to power he promised limited religious toleration for Protestants who were not part of the church, to preserve the Magna Carta and the right to petition. While Charles appeared to be a promising leader, his downfall came with his admiration for the French. He began to model his kingship after the absolutism of Louis XIV, which divided the nation in half. The Tories supported Charles's new policies while the Whigs did not. Among many of his reforms was the suspension of civil penalties against Catholics and protestant dissenters, resulting in a public outcry. This revolt led to victories for the Whigs, however when a group of Whigs attempted to prevent James II (Charles II's brother), from claiming heir to the throne, Char... ... middle of paper ... ...by brute force, he had a clear goal and good intentions for Russia. After uniting Russia with the new set of civilized reforms from Western Europe, Peter altered the previous tax system that allowed him the employment of the nobles in addition to the peasants. To further solidify his grasp, he handpicked nine administrators to oversee military and civilian affairs. Although, his reign ended with no heir, he still succeeded in building one of the greatest powers in Europe. Absolutism was not a well-liked theme of its time, however it did play a key role in the development of many countries during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Had it not been for the failure of Charles II, England may not have ever restored its parliament that still reigns to this day. Whether the rulers succeeded or not, they all played their part in shaping the world we live in today.

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