The Rise in Political Power of 17th Century England and France

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The Rise in Political Power of 17th Century England and France In the seventeenth century, the political power of the Parliament in England, and the Monarchy in France increased greatly. These conditions were inspired by three major changes: the aftermath of the reformation, the need for an increased governmental financing, and the reorganizing of central governments. These three points were each resolved in a different way in both England and in France. The first major point which eventually increased political power was the aftermath of the Protestant reformation. In England, after the establishment of the separate Anglican church of England there were many protestant groups left in England still in conflict. These groups all tried to push and pull parliament in their favor -- which ultimately made it so that nothing could be done. These conflicts even came to the point of bloody civil wars and suffering on both sides of the fighting. Parliament ultimately decided to stop these wars by creating religious Act of Toleration (1689) for the non-conformist protestants. For many people, this caused more unity in England and increased power. In France, the decision was made to unify the country through the establishment of a single religious authority, the Catholic Church. The king of France became the heart of this policy, which gave him control of religion when this went into effect. The next major point was the increase in need for governmental financing. In England, taxing had become under the control of Parliament. In addition to this, the cost of running a government in general had gone up and the country needed more money. Because the king didn't have as much power to tax as he pleases, the government could make a firm and accurate taxation of the people. In France, the price of government had also gone up. However, here the was a monarchy and a king with great control over the government. Using his control of the economy, a strong "Mercantilism" system was used aimed at maximizing foreign exports and reserves. The king became the center of this new power. The last major point which increased political power was the reorganizing of the central governments in both England and in France. The economic changes in this century required new relationships between the King and his subjects. In England, the parliament because of this need, grew to have power over the king and cause great toleration of people's

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