European Absolutism Essay

1311 words - 5 pages

Absolutism, a single word that has passed through a large history, has made people bigger and with enormous power. This essay is going to explain what is absolutism and how has it been developed through history, including some personal comments about the belief of the acts done during this time.

According to the Oxford Reference Online in the Digital Library, absolutism is "the government with unlimited power vested in one individual group. It is used primarily to describe the 18-th century European monarchies that claimed divine hereditary right to rule." I consider that it defines briefly, on what consist this type of government. It was based on a brain wash of all the people that lived at that time, they were thought that there were Noble people that was sent by god, this Noble people has the powers of god here on earth. In this case, the King was the representative of god in this planet, and what he does was only the god's will and everyone should obey with no option and exception.

Under that consent, which I mean under the god's consent, Kings could do anything and manage a whole kingdom who has strong beliefs in religion and that what they were doing was the right thing. Nevertheless, it was said that the noble and ecclesiastic people were clever than the rest, which I know that it was not true, it was only that these people were the only ones who had the opportunity to go to that time schools and learn about science, literature and arts. However, they developed their skills more than the courtesan people and that was why they were the clever people rather than anyone else.

Considering historical facts, it is important to notice that absolutism was raised because of the hard times that Europe was facing during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in where the reformation produced difficult implications and people were thinking and feeling themselves somehow outside religion. The new Reformation doctrines included topics like individual liberty, the priesthood of all believers, where everyone shared an equal religious authority and a Calvinist movement idea which was the "voluntary associations."

The political philosophers reached and disseminated two different approaches, which were, the "natural law" and the "King's Divine Right." The first one consisted on that there where immutable natural laws which should govern states and their relations to the citizens. In the other hand they had the Divine Rights of a King, in which as I already said, it was a system of thought that was derived from the medieval theories of kingdoms, where certain kings were in charge to rule because they were "chosen" by God, so there was no other alternative and they had to be Kings and do the god's will.

Anyway, either both approaches would give us the same result, Autocracy, a form of government ruled by a single person. Not to mention that this person couldn't be questioned or disobeyed, so the King ruled with absolute and unshared...

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