First Global Age Analysis

716 Words3 Pages
Society's first global age spanned from about 1450-1770 and was characterized by major economic and political growth. People began to travel more frequently and learn foreign notions. This time, however, also brought about a great conflict: the desire of those in power to be in control and the people's desire to be free of control. There came about an exchange of new ideas, different reactions to these radical concepts, and opinions about how power should be distributed. The first global age led to intellectual, religious, and governmental changes. The printing press helped spread new knowledge quickly and at a much lower price. As a result, the production of bibles increased. The people could now read and interpret religious teachings…show more content…
For example, the Japanese government sought to limit the freedom of the people. A ban was placed against all ships from being sent abroad, and any Japanese people living abroad would be put to death if they returned to Japan. Japanese leaders also banned the spread of Christianity, as it was viewed as a threat to the unity of the people. All those who preached Christianity were imprisoned, and those who turned them in were praised. These laws were set in place to reduce the amount of ideas that people could hear and possibly use to challenge the government (D-7). England, however, had a different reaction to the developing changes. Instead of limiting the power of the people, the power of the king himself was restricted. King John was coerced into signing the Magna Carta, which established that everyone, even himself, was required to follow the laws. It also assured that the English Church was free, and everyone had the right to justice (D-5). This showed that England was receptive to the reforms that held the rights of the people in higher regards. Regardless, people still had ideas about how to increase the power distributed to a…show more content…
Bossuet taught that royal power is absolute, and the will of the people is united in the king. He stated that “without his absolute authority, the king could neither do good, nor prevent evil.” This showed that Bossuet believed that the absolute power of the king led to the well-being of his subjects (D-2). Similarly, much of Machiavelli’s beliefs coincided with Bossuet’s teachings. In his book, The Prince, Machiavelli offered his opinion on how an effective ruler should govern over his or her subjects. The main point made by Machiavelli was that men are inherently bad, so a leader must rule in a way that takes this into account. He taught that because of man’s ungratefulness, it is safer to be feared than loved (D-4). This shows that Machiavelli believed that the power and success of a country will lead to the prosperity of its inhabitants. Both influential people believed that a country prospers the most under absolute power. The conflict over power during the first global age led to the formation of new views. New radical ideas were spread, and people had different reactions. They either embraced the change, like England, or took steps to prevent any more radical ideas, like Japan. People like Bishop Jacques Bossuet and Niccolo Machiavelli expressed their own opinions on how a country should be led. Eventually, new societies developed as a result
Open Document