AP World History
February 17th 2011
Which form of government was most effective during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries? Absolutism or Democracy?
Everything that we as humans take part in during life has some sort of role with our government. What we eat is decided through government permits who allow or disallow people to produce. Where we work is closely monitored by the government, as well as the money we are allowed to bring home for our families. Who we are married to and how our children are taught is also rigorously observed and modified. In other words, our government has the power to change lives. However, at one time, our lives had to be governed by something. Back then, there were disputes over what kind of government is necessary. Those times in question are between 1600 and 1700 CE, where absolutism ruled with an iron fist. Democracy may have been a hope for the people that someday, they would rise up and gain equality, but it was only this. Absolutism was absolute and throughout the 17th and the 18th centuries.
To be a king during these times was a position of incredible honor and immense power. These men controlled the military, the trade, the laws and rights of his people. Naturally, they all will have a bias towards absolutism, or else we wouldn't be recognizing them as kings now. Yet, some kings go above and beyond with their kingly beliefs. As seen in Document two with King James I of England, “The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon the earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God Himself they are called gods.” Such is an example of power going to one's head. King Louis XIV, as seen in Document three was a bit more wily in his written thoughts. He said, when summarized, that a ruler must be careful when appealing to the public, the state, or king, must come first. The masses function to carry out the commands of the ruler, who makes...
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