From absolutism to monarchy - Essay Example

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“The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures” by Lynn Hunt and her team, is an enlightening book that was written by a renowned team of teachers and scholars bringing out the salient facts of how the West had evolved after being chiseled by the dynamics of the political, social, economic and cultural events over time. …
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From absolutism to monarchy
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From Absolutism to Monarchy Order No. 282379 No. of pages: 2 20988 Absolutism refers to the unlimited power that rested in the hands ofa king or queen who ruled during that time. Such rulers who possessed complete control were called 'Absolute Monarchs.' "Absolutism is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by any other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites." (Anderson Perry, 1974)
"The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures" by Lynn Hunt and her team, is an enlightening book that was written by a renowned team of teachers and scholars bringing out the salient facts of how the West had evolved after being chiseled by the dynamics of the political, social, economic and cultural events over time. "The Making of the West" by Katherine Lualdi, is a smaller text that gives the reader an in-depth analysis of the events that took place which is taken from the original source. Both these books give us an in-depth study which tells us that the Absolutist monarchs had the 'divine right of kings' (Lynn Hunt,) which justified their power. The authors also highlight other facts such as the extravagance of the monarchs, professional bureaucracies and the codification of laws. According to William Bouwsma a historian of the Renaissance period sums up such behavior stating - "Nothing so clearly indicates the limits of royal power as the fact that governments were perennially in financial trouble, unable to tap the wealth of those most able to pay, and likely to stir up a costly revolt whenever they attempted to develop an adequate income."(William Bouwsma, 1988)
James I exercised his rule of Absolutism between 1603 and 1625 and was followed by Charles I who took over from 1625 to 1649. It was during his time that the terrible Civil War took place in England between 1642 and 1649 which finally led to his execution. The Military Dictator, and Puritan leader, Oliver Cromwell succeeded him after winning the Civil War and ruled between 1649 and 1660. "Restoration", however took place after Charles II (1660 - 1685) the son of Charles I took over as king. Charles II brother, James II (1685 - 1688) succeeded him, but got overthrown after a brief period as king during the bloodless "Glorious Revolution" in 1688.
The reasons for the different kings of England failing to become 'Absolute Monarchs', were because they were not capable enough in managing the affairs of administration because they were inept and inadequate. Moreover, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the government of Britain was looked upon as a suitable model from places all over Europe. The period of Absolutism to Monarchy is well characterized by the end of Feudal partitioning, the monarch's consolidation of power, the gradual rise of state power and the considerable decrease of the influence exercised by the nobility.
The Middle Ages paved the way for Reformation in the 16th century during which time the Church tried to provide stability and order in administration. The preached salvation to be the ultimate goal, but people lost faith in the Church when it failed to provide salvation. Eventually in 1688, William and Mary take on the responsibility of forming a Constitutional Monarchy in England after they succeeded James II. This was a type of government that gave the king only limited powers.


Anderson Perry. (1974) Lineages of the Absolutist State: London: Verso.

Bouwsma, William J.,(1988) in Kimmel, Michael S. Absolutism and Its Discontents: State and Society in Seventeenth-Century France and England. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1988, 15

Katherine Lualdi. The Making of the West: People and Culture. Vol. II since 1500. Edn. II

Lynn Hunt, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, RPO- Chia HSIA, Bonnie G. Smith. IIIrd Edn. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures. Vol. II since 1500 Read More
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