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On Absolutism Case

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Sabrina Barton October 14, 2012

Mr. Turner S.S.

DBQ Essay

Throughout History many forms of government have been used, many of which were more effective than others. Absolutism is a form of government in which the monarch has total power over its subjects, while a democracy states all men are equal and have a say in the government. Both of these systems were used in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. A limited monarchy is a more effective form of government than an absolute monarchy due to many reasons including that all men are created equal. There were both many advantages and disadvantages for both systems of government, including that in a limited monarchy everyone is granted equal rights, and a monarchy has absolute control of its people. While on the other hand, a democracy allows the people to question its government, and an absolute monarch doesn't allow people to be free or equal.

An absolute monarchy was used as an ultimate governing authority, as the ruler is head of the state and his or her powers are not limited by a constitution or by the law. King James 1 of England was an absolute ruler who believed in divine power, and Got hath power to create or destroy, make or unmake his pleasure, to give life or sent to death (document 2). This shows that people can be sent to death and cannot testify or prove that they are innocent. This is not an effective form of government because people are not allowed any say or position in the government to express their opinion. Without the ability of the people to have a say in the government, the ruler can make poor decisions that will not be overthrown and can later effect the entire monarchy badly. In a democracy a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution. People in this form of government are allowed a right to express themselves and question their ruler. Voltaire states that a person has a right to express their opinion in their government, as all ranks of men are equally protected by the laws (document 5). This shows that every man is allow to question their authority and wont get punished by the government if they do so. If a person is sentenced to death they are allowed to question and fight to show they are innocent without any type of punishment. Also every man can vote to elect their new head of state unlike in an absolute monarch. Many of Voltaire's writings were described as "satire" which is making fun of politics in writing. Due to all of his writings and criticizing the upper class, he later on got arrested. However a disadvantage of a limited monarchy since people can elect their officials, if not everyone if fully aware of the political scenario, then it can lead to people making the wrong choices during elections, which can lead to a bad leader.

In an absolute monarch,

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