Absolutism In The 17th Century

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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

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the fall of absolutism began in england in the 1600s due to the beliefs and actions of king charles i and then the corresponding reaction of the english parliament.
  • Explains that charles i's troubles began early in his reign when he declared war on spain.
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