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Absolutism Essay

1159 words - 5 pages

Absolutist Monarchy

An absolutist monarchy consists of a monarch having ultimate governing authority in which their powers are not limited by laws or a constitution. As in the reign of James I, the people of England had to submit to the king’s will. A “legitimate” form of government should involve the people and their ideas. You lose the idea of legitimacy when the country’s leader begins to abuse their power. Absolutist monarchy has shown to leave too much opportunity for corruption.
Absolute monarchy begins with the idea that one has a “divine right.” James I was one of those Kings who believed in this “divine right.” James I believed God himself put him, and other Kings, on the throne to be His “lieutenants upon Earth.” James I believed he was in the same category as God, seeing as that God and him both “have power to create, or destroy, make, or vnmake, at his pleasure, to giue life, or send death, to iudge all, and to bee iudged….”
Like King James I’s reign, Charles I also believed he had the “divine right.” Charles was constantly trying to gain the upper-hand in dealing with Parliament, which lead to war. Charles was tried with treason or as stated in the reading “a wicked design to erect and uphold in himself an unlimited and tyrannical power to rule according to his Will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties of the people.” When asked whether he would plead guilty or not guilty he would not give an answer, believing that the whole trial was illegal and unjust. Charles reminded, or warned, the people in the court room that he was their King. After being asked quite a few times, the court went on as if he had plead guilty. The verdict was guilty and Charles I was sentenced to death.
Jean Domat wrote On Social Order and Absolute Monarchy defending the idea of an absolute monarchy. Domat believes there are individuals who govern and individuals who are governed. Domat believes that government is necessary because “God Himself established it.” Basically stating that if God established a type of government like this one, it should be the one to follow because he is our ultimate leader. Domat believes it would bring more peace obeying an absolutist monarch, rather than complaining or wanting to change the government. I don’t believe being in a type of government that is unhealthy for your country can bring more peace than trying to change your countries government. Granted, it would be hard and maybe not so peaceful, I don’t believe you can let your ruler tell you he is higher or in the same rank as God. It doesn’t make for a great country.
Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, agreed with the ideas of King James I and King Charles I. Thomas Hobbs placed much importance on the need for absolute monarchy. He describes men as incapable of living together peacefully. He views men as having the same needs and wants as every other man on earth. He places these needs at almost a biological level. As I read Hobbs’ view, I interpret...

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