The fall of Absolutism began in England in the 1600s primarily due to the beliefs and actions of King Charles I and then the corresponding reaction of the English Parliament. “Absolutism is the exercise of complete and unrestricted power of the government” (Grv, David Parker).” Charles I believed that kings ruled at the discretion of God and only had to answer to God for their actions. Parliament served at the King’s discretion and existed to fulfill his agenda. Historically, Parliament could be summoned or dismissed at the King’s will. They had limited power and the King shared little with them as he distrusted their ability to be effective. Rather than work with Parliament to resolve issues Charles remained inflexible and when necessary engaged in alternative measures to achieve his goals. …show more content…
Religious and territorial conflicts between states led to almost continuous warfare. So it is no surprise that Charles I’s troubles began early in his reign in 1625 when he declared war on Spain. To raise funds for his army and support the war, Charles asked Parliament for money. However, since he answered only to God he felt he was under no obligation to share with Parliament what he hoped to achieve or the expected costs of the war. As a result, Parliament denied the King the ability to increase taxes. To get around this the King dissolved Parliament and unilaterally imposed measures to raise money for his army. “Two of the measures that were extremely unpopular were the forced loan and ship money”( Grv, Jonathan Dewald). Throughout his reign Charles continued to engage in war which required additional funds that Parliament refused to grant him. Between 1625 and 1629 Charles summoned and dismissed Parliament three times. In every case, Charles failed to achieve what he needed from Parliament so finally in 1639 Charles indefinitely suspended Parliament and no Parliament was active for the next eleven
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Louis had a controller of general finances named Colbert, and he “reduced the annual treasury deficit by economies and more equitable, efficient taxation, although tax exemptions for the nobility, clergy, and some members of the bourgeoisie continued. Louis led many military attacks and wars to expand his territory and build up his economy. He started to tax the people and use this money to build palaces and other architectural structures. Louis added nobles to his army so they would not think that their power was declining. This also helped to strengthen his army and thus he led several military attacks to build his state. In the War of “Devolution (1667-1668) he claimed that those provinces had "devolved" by succession to his Spanish wife rather than to her half brother Charles II, who had inherited the Spanish crown.” By doing this, he received some valuable towns, and this helped to expand his territory. But Louis did not always win battles, there were a few times where his army was defeated. In 1683, Colbert died and several disasters happened thereafter. After several defeats, Louis XIV decided to settle down to a more “sedate
Bush, Michael. ‘Up for the Commonwealth’: the significance of tax grievances in the English rebellions of 1536, English Historical Review 106 (1991).
Charles I was the second born son to King James I, who had also reigned under a constitutional monarchy, but large disagreement between Parliament and James I led to an essentially absolutist approach to governance. Likewise, Charles I disagreed with the Parliament on many factors. Charles was far from the contemporary model of a figurehead monarchy we see in today’s world, and his political reach extended throughout the English empire, even to the New World. Infact, I claim, he practiced a more absolutist form of monarchy than did the Czars of Russia; he dissolved Parliament three times. This unprecedented power led to (other than corruption) a strict contradiction of the principles of republicanism which most constitutional monarchies agreed on. And while many were in favor of an overlooking Parliament, his unopposed voice led the voyage to the New World as well as the charter for the Massachussets Bay Colony, and he fostered many internal improvements throughout England, which further benifetted the economy. Unfortunately, Charles began to push his limits as a monarch, and many became upset (including New Worlders from Massachussets) to the point of abdicating him and executing him for treason. Nevertheless, his positive effects on society and political rennovations persist in today’s
Absolutism was a period of tyranny in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries because monarchs had complete power to do whatever they pleased. Since absolutism is a "monarchical form of government in which the monarch's powers are not limited by a constitution or by the law" essentially there are no boundaries for actions the monarch can and cannot take. The absolutists did not focus on the people under their rule, they ruled by fear and punishment, and believed they were equal to God.
A Comparison of the Characteristics of the Absolutist Rule of Charles I of England and Louis XIV of France
Absolutism is defined as a form of government where the monarch rules their land freely without legal opposition. In modern times, when democracy is the ideal, this form of government seems cruel and tyrannical; however, there was an era when it thrived in European politics. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, absolute rule was justified by the concept of divine right and its improvements to the security and efficiency of a nation.
Enlightened absolutism is a form of absolute monarchy inspired by the Enlightenment. During the 18th century, the Enlightenment was an intellectual movement that spread across Europe and beyond. The thinkers of the Enlightenment, known as philosophes, introduced ideas from the advances in science to change the way that people thought about government and society. Philosophes wanted to replace superstition, tyranny, and injustice with reason, tolerance, and legal equality. Many rulers in Europe and Russia used certain ideals of enlightened absolutism to govern their people and state. Although rulers agreed to some aspects of the ideals they were not true believers of the reforms. To maintain their power, they convinced society that they were
In late 1600’s, England was in turmoil from events as King Phillip’s War to the Bacon Rebellion. All this chaos caused disorder all throughout England but it reached its height in the 1680’s when King James's policies of religious tolerance was met with an increasing opposition. People were troubled by the king's religion and devotion to Catholicism and his close ties with France and how he was trying to impose Catholicism on everyone, preventing them from worshiping anything else. This made the Protestant unhappy. It was seen that the crisis came to its peak with the birth of the king's son, James Francis Edward Stuart in 1688. In 1688, the struggle for domination of English government between Parliament and the crown reached its peak in the Glorious Revolution. This bloodless revolution occurred in which the English people decided that it’s enough that they tolerated King James and his extreme religious tolerance
In the mid-18th century, England crowned a new king, an Englishman who acceded “I am born for the happiness or misery of a nation.” George William Frederick inherited the throne of a country strife with war and deeply in debt from his grandfather King George II in 1760 at the age of 23. Being groomed from birth to reign, and taught by his mother and Lord Bute to rule and impose his own will, he refused the advice of great Whigs in control of Parliament. Conversely, in Preliminaries of the Revolution, George Elliott Howard describes a government in which Parliament held the most power. This king desired a retrogressive movement for the English Constitution Howard argued, one who intended to govern as well as reign, much to the dismay of the House of Commons.
When Charles visited Spain for the first time, he realized that he wasn’t popular among the citizens. However, his fight against the muslim Turks and the German Protestants won him some acceptance. Though being accepted was a problem, controlling the finances became a much larger one. There were many times when promising military campaigns had to be broken off due to lack of money and at times it appeared that Charles didn’t much mind that such actions had to be taken.
In conclusion, opposition to personal rule between 1629 and 1640 was very strong. Charles had criticism and opposition coming at him from all directions and angles. This therefore put him under serious pressure. The key are of opposition for Charles was ‘Thorough’. This was the key are of opposition because it applied to the whole country, and eventually Ireland. ‘Thorough’ made itself lots of enemies as it was so far spread. Most, if not all areas, disliked ‘Thorough’ due to the king and his minions Wentworth and Laud putting pressure on the local sheriffs to abide by the kings word more.
In the 1640’s power and politics were vital for social standard and anyone with power was important and respected so naturally and event such as the civil war would have had politics as one of the main issues for happening. Charles becoming king was obviously a cause because it was his decisions that influenced the war itself and him who raised the flag. Also in 1629 Charles decided to close down parliament because he felt they were exerting too much power than they should, also it almost seems as if Charles is afraid of parliament or jealous because he feels that he is entitled to the “divine right of kings” and seeing parliament using all this power made him feel as if he was less and not as important. This was then followed by the “eleven years of tyranny” which ended in 1640 when he recalled parliament due to shortage of money and mistakes he had made.
One of the key factors that led to the civil war was the contrasting beliefs of King Charles and the parliament. The monarchy believed in the divine rights of kings, explained by Fisher (1994, p335) as a biblically-based belief that the king or queen's authority comes directly from God and that he is not subjected to the demands of the people. On the other hand, the parliament had a strong democratic stance and though they respected and recognized the king's authority, they were constantly desiring and fighting for more rights to power. Although climaxing at the reign of King Charles, their antagonism stretched for centuries long before his birth and much of the power that once belonged to the monarchy had shifted over to the parliament by the time he came into power.
In the seventeenth century there were different types of leaders in Europe. The classic monarchial rule was giving way to absolutist rule. Absolute kings claimed to be ruling directly from God, therefore having divine rule that could not be interfered with. In 1643 Louis XIV began his reign over France as an absolute king.
During the reign of Charles I, the people of England were divided into two groups due to their opinions on how the country should be run: The Royalists, and the Parliamentarians. The Royalists were those people who supported Charles I and his successor, while the Parliamentarians were those who supported the idea that Parliament should have a larger role in government affairs. Milton was a Parliamentarian and was an outspoken enemy of Charles I, having written numerous essays and pamphlets regarding his ideas as to how the government should be run, and “In one very famous pamphlet, he actually defended Parliament's right to behead the king should the king be found inadequate.” Charles I was seen as a corrupt and incompetent ruler, and “the Parliamentarians were fed up with their king and wanted Parliament to play a more important role in English politics and government.” This belief was held because of the unethical and tyrannical behavior of ruler Charles I. During his reign, he violated the liberties of his people and acted with hypocrisy and a general disregard for his subjects. Examples of his abuse of power in...