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Essay on Absolutism

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        During the 1600’s, monarchial systems were changing. This was called the Age of Absolutism. Absolutism is the political situation in which a monarch controls all aspects of government with no checks or balances.  The monarch was said to rule by “divine right”. Divine right is the belief that the monarch was given the power to rule by god. There were many absolutists rulers in the 17th century but were their ways of governing their people effective?

        Louis XIV was the perfect model of an absolutist. He distrusted the traditional nobility because they had risen up against him while he was still a minor during the Fronde. He invited all of the nobles to live with him in the Palace of Versailles. He did this so that he could keep them under control and so that they would obey him without any complaints. Louis also developed a large, well trained army that wore uniforms. 

        Peter 1 or Peter  the Great was an energetic and ruthless leader”. Peter the Great established stability after the Times of Troubles (1584-1613) and turned Russia into an empire. Peter the Great was an absolute ruler because of his need for power and his belief that it was rightfully his. The military was Peter's main focus though. He started a war with Sweden that lasted 21 years. After the war ended, Peter used the same land they battled on to start the construction of St. Petersburg. 

        Ivan the Terrible was brutal, extremely suspicious, and perhaps, at times, insane. The young ruler started out as a reformer, modernising and centralising the country. He formed a special “police force” and began a reign of terror in which he ordered the arrest and murder of hundreds of aristocrats.

        Absolutism is good because decisions can be made quicker and usually, the army is stronger and larger. Disadvantages of absolutsim are that if the leader is cruel there is no way to change that. Also, the leader may not make decisions based on whats best for his people.



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