Essay on Power Corrupts

Essay on Power Corrupts

Length: 783 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Power Corrupts

Throughout the history of man, rulers and philosophers have proven
that power corrupts. The British Historian Lord Acton observed that
“power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Lord
Acton statement is proven through the actions of rulers such as
Charles I of England and Hitler.

In a letter to his friend Lord Acton wrote that “power tends to
corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This quote describes how
absolute power always becomes corrupt. Lord Acton recognized the
dangers of political power. He understood that rulers put their own
interest above all and will do just about anything to stay in power.
He believed that wars were always started to increase the power of the
ruler. The wars between countries were always the rulers attempt to
reduce or take over land. Civil wars were started to get rid of an
oppressive ruler. No wars were started because it was supported by the
people; it is always the rulers who are making the decisions[1]. Our
founding fathers believed in Lord Acton’s theories and designed our
constitution to avoid the corruption of power. This is why there are
checks and balances between legislature, executive and judicial
branches. However, democracy is everybody’s entitlement to gain power
over everyone else. Their still and always will remain a struggle
between individuals and groups for power[2].

Lord Acton’s theory comes to truth in the 17th and 18th century. Most
of the monarchs, when faced with controlling powerful nations, became
corrupt and greedy. One example would be Charles I, who came into
power after his father James I died. He felt that he should control
...


... middle of paper ...


... The purpose of this essay was to prove that power does corrupt. I
think I did a very good job in proving this because I used specific
informative examples. Using these real life history examples was one
of the strong points in my essay. My essay is precise organised and
formal. This is another strong point of my essay.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Moreell, Ben, “Power Corrupts”, Acton Institute.

www.acton.org/publicat/randl/article.php?id=65

[2] Ellis, Tom, “Liberty vs. Democracy”, Acton Institute, 1995.

www.strike-the-root.com/4/bylund3.html

[3] “Charles I”, Britannia, 2003.

http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs/mon47.html

[4] Woods, Alan, “The Truth About the Second World War”, July 21, 2004.
http://www.marxist.com/History/d_day_60yrs_2.html

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Power Corrupts in Animal Farm Essay

- As Lord Acton once said “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” (1887). As we look back into history we find that leaders tend to change after taking power. All they need is one little spark to light up something bad. One little change here, one little change there is all it takes. Napoleon, in George Orwell’s Animal Farm changes one rule after another to fit him and Squealers needs, thus corrupting them in the end. Napoleon and Squealer show that power corrupts leaders through their actions and attitudes toward the society and the animals that work to do the best they can to improve the Farm....   [tags: Literature]

Good Essays
1258 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

- John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton said that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This has been seen numerous times throughout history. From Hitler’s ideological world and his slaughtering of six million Jews in attempt to reach it, to Mohamed Suhato’s embezzlement of somewhere between fifteen and thirty five billion US dollars, which then led to the complete collapse of Indonesia’s economy; the world has set gaze upon some nefarious dignitaries. Clive Cussler has completely agreed with Lord Acton and his famous quote in the novel Sahara....   [tags: Literary Review]

Good Essays
1556 words (4.4 pages)

Power Corrupts Essay

- Power is a very dangerous obsession because it corrupts many individuals. The idea of power corrupting individuals has been present since the time of Hitler, and Napoleon but it has gotten worst in the present time because of the advance technology and individuals ambition for money. A perfect example of an individual that is corrupted by power is Muammar Gaddafi. Muammar Gaddafi, tyrant of Libya, shocked the world by his use of power. Another great example of how power corrupts an individual is shown in the play, Macbeth written by William Shakespeare....   [tags: History, Hitler, Napoleon]

Good Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Power Corrupts Essay

- 1. Spectral evidence was used in the Salem witch trials to aid in the conviction of so-called “witches”. It has been said that if someone is a witch, they could inflict pain upon someone without showing that they are. Instead, the accused witch would send an evil spirit to do the harm. Only the ones making the accusations could seethe spirit and feel what it was doing, During the McCarthy period of our nation's history, accusers didn't exactly use spectral evidence, but they did use a type very similar to it....   [tags: American Literature]

Good Essays
552 words (1.6 pages)

Absolute Power Corrupts in "Animal Farm" by George Orwell Essay

- Animal Farm, by George Orwell, was written to show how absolute power corrupts, just as Stalin’s power did following the Russian Revolution in 1917. In the allegory Animal Farm, each character represents a political figure from the days around the Russian Revolution. For example, Joseph Stalin is represented by a pig named Napoleon, Squealer, another pig, represents Stalin’s propaganda department, and the dogs represent the Secret Police (KBG). Using the nine dogs that Napoleon raises (intimidation), Squealer (propaganda), and manipulation, Orwell illustrates how Napoleon was able to gain and maintain control of the farm....   [tags: Animal Farm, George Orwell, ]

Good Essays
1297 words (3.7 pages)

Why Power Corrupts : The Stanford Prison Experiment Essay

- Why Power Corrupts: The Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971 Corruption of power is known to be inevitable. This tendency can be seen in those like the dictator Suharto, a former President of Indonesia, who allegedly stole $35 billion (Greenlees, 2008). Or, the corruption of Arnoldo Aleman, previous president of Nicaragua, who was known for his outrageous spending and vast amount of wealth, who was imprisoned and fined $10 million because of the supposed millions he stole (Dellios, 2002). Why is it that these alike world leaders are convicted of exploitation....   [tags: Stanford prison experiment, Prison]

Good Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)

Power Corrupts Essay

- People want power because it gives them control and dominance over others. Power gives the person who has it the ability to do whatever they want, say whatever they want and make people do what they want. In the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller the whole plot revolves around the theme of power. There is a never ending conflict of characters to keep, assert and acquire power. The most prominent characters that ultimately hurt the community the most due to their greed and lust for power are Deputy Governor Danforth, Reverend Parris and Abigail Williams....   [tags: American Theater]

Good Essays
1942 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on Power Corrupts

- Power Corrupts Throughout the history of man, rulers and philosophers have proven that power corrupts. The British Historian Lord Acton observed that “power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Lord Acton statement is proven through the actions of rulers such as Charles I of England and Hitler. In a letter to his friend Lord Acton wrote that “power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This quote describes how absolute power always becomes corrupt....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
783 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Hamlet - The Lust For Power Corrupts

- "Corruption is a tree, whose branches are Of an immeasurable length: they spread Ev'rywhere, and the dew that drops from thence Hath infected some chairs and stools of authority" (Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher). Corruption in Shakespeare's play Hamlet has infected Claudius, the brother of the old king Hamlet who kills him out of lust for power. In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, corruption had inevitably led to the downfall of Denmark. Hamlet describes the present state of Denmark as an "unweeded garden" (Act 1 Sc 2, line 135-137) where only nasty weeds grow in it....   [tags: William Shakespeare]

Good Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutly in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

- Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutly in Shakespeare's Macbeth It is common knowledge that it is human nature to crave power. Also, that the more power that is acquired the more power hungry someone would become, and with this power they become more and more corrupt. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth showed this throughout the entire play. There was strict relationship between the amount of power Macbeth obtained and the corrupt acts he committed. When Macbeth had no title, or only the title of his father, Thane of Glamis, he did not exhibit corruption....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1385 words (4 pages)