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Essay Example on European History: Monarchies of Charles I and Louis XIV

2021-07-21 01:09:07
4 pages
900 words
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Wesleyan University
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Essay
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The seventeenth century Europe was marked as one of the remarkable and revolutionary eras in Europes history. Major discoveries were made such as the foundation of modern science by Galileo and Newton, also Descartes initiating modern philosophy, among others. During this period, England and France were experiencing changes in their monarchical systems in relation to their political situation. England was moving away from being an Absolutist state to a parliamentary state, while France was the exact opposite as Louis XIV considered an even more extreme approach towards absolutism.

Countries such as France and England were considered as monarchs with either a King or Queen as head of state. Usually, a King or Queen had unlimited power over the constitution and controlled all parts of the government. This was referred as absolute monarchy. The rule was hereditary. The idea of absolutism was developed by Charles I and James I of England. However, it did not last long as both their attempts had failed at that time because of the steady control that the parliament had. Louis XIV had the urge to take control of his own office as he continued to weaken the general assembly. Charles I and James I had failed because the English had been used to both the rule of the assembly and monarchy. The people of England were not ready to give a single person all the power that the government had. Louis XIV was considered a king of such great qualities that his rule was divine and majestic. This made him even more cautious over the control of his kingdom taking certain measures to stabilize his authoritative power. But despite this, people still preferred him because of the magnificent works he had done. This including making France a glorious and artistic place. England was experiencing civil war because of the torn between Charles I and the parliament. This marked a major shift toward absolutism as royal stubbornness was one of the causes of the differences and also the parliaments denial to hand over their power.

Both France and England experienced a greater increase in political power regarding various reasons; each had their unique way. Protestant Reformation made a huge contribution to Englands political success. Despite the fact that a separate Anglican church of England was formed, conflicts still arose amongst other groups of Protestants. They had issues regarding favors from the parliament. Soon this rose to such great extent that a civil war was initiated and both sides suffered tremendously. The parliament decided to create an act for non-conformist protestants. This act was called the religious act of toleration, its main aim was to unite the people and for the country to have a steady power increase. This, in turn, was effective in a positive way. In France, the decision was made in terms of religious principles in that the Catholic church was the central authority. This gave the king an effective control of the religion in relation to the policies that were involved.

In England, tax became an important resource for governmental funding. The parliament controlled all the taxation policies. The country was experiencing a shortage of money because to maintain a government required additional costs. The king lacked enough power to tax according to his wishes, instead, the parliament opted to tax the people with precise accuracy and firmness. France experienced a similar problem, but the king had much control over the government. Instead a mercantilism system was introduced with a target of acquiring enough maximization regarding reserves and exports from other countries.

England and France were the center of politics in Europe. The two countries, however, had their differences. Constitutionalism took a huge effect in England as it was increasingly becoming popular while in France absolute monarchy took over. The concept of divine right was the reason why France flourished while England was focusing all its attention on the power of politics. Both countries attempted absolutism, but only one succeeded, France. England had failed miserably because during that period the parliament had so much power that neither of the kings (Charles I and James I) attempted to overthrow but failed. The king of France (Louis XIV) on the other hand, took a unique approach such that religion was involved which was his main leverage. This together with his great qualities, helped him to attain absolutism over his kingdom.

Eventually, both countries witnessed a steady increase in political power. After introducing the religious act of toleration, England experienced an increase in political power as the people became even more united. France initiated a single religious authority, this being the Catholic church. This, in turn, worked in favor of the king in regards to the policies established thus he had total control. As the political power continued to grow to a greater extent, the costs were becoming high for maintenance. Taxing became a major reliable source for the government. In England, people were taxed to stabilize the country. Despite France encountering the same issue, a system known as mercantilism was initiated. The purpose of this system was to secure the reserves and exports from other nations.

The politics of France and England played a huge role in influencing the modern world today. The governments of both countries relied heavily upon philosophers and churches to create a more stable and powerful nation. This, in turn, can be marked as the start of the political revolution.

 

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