Absolutism In The 18th Century

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In European society, the role of the monarchy from 1603 to 1740 varied and fostered change in England, but stayed constant in absolutist countries such as France and Austria. The royal monarchy of France remained unchanged as absolutism continued. Like France, Austria did not have any significant changes as it proceeded to stay absolute. In contrast, England limited their kings and went through different phases of government. France’s sovereign monarchy did not alter due to the continuity of absolutism. For example, the founder of the Bourbon dynasty, Henry IV of Navarre, set the foundations of a powerful and individual ruler. Cardinal Richelieu picked up from where he left off and added innovations of his own to build an absolute monarchy.…show more content…
For example, Oliver Cromwell’s rule after Charles I consisted of military dictatorship since he controlled the army. The Instrument of Government was organized by the army in 1653 which gave executive power to Cromwell and Parliament. Due to repeated disputes, however, Cromwell dismissed Parliament in 1655 and the instrument was never officially recognized. His rule afterwards consisted of military based republicanism with checks on royal authority. However, England longed for the return of a civilian government which led to the Glorious Revolution that occurred in 1688. The Glorious Revolution destroyed the idea of divine-right monarchy. William and Mary acknowledged the English throne knowing that the ultimate power in the state was to be divided between the king and Parliament. The monarchy of England thus went towards a constitutional direction. Another example that triggered change was the English Bill of Rights in 1689. It stated that laws were to be made in Parliament, and could not be suspended by the king. In addition, Parliament had to be called at once in every three years. To summarize, England’s monarchy experienced change from republicanism under Cromwell to constitutionalism under William and
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