Absolutism Introduction Western Civ. Fall 2008
What is absolutism? • It’s all in the name • European governmental theory of the 1400s – 1700s. • According to this theory, monarchs had absolute power. (Which is…?) • God gave monarchs this power, and thus kings often referred to their right to rule as a God-given or “divine right.” • What are the pros and cons of such a system?
How will we approach this? • Around the time of the Renaissance, a new type of leader emerges (think back to Machiavelli and The Prince) • At this time, Europe will experience a transformation, moving away from the decentralized feudal system of the Middle Ages. • States, especially Spain, England, France, and Germany, will be characterized by their centralized absolutist monarchies. • Each monarchy will look slightly different, and over the next two weeks, we will examine absolutism in France and England and identify their similarities and differences.
Guiding Question: What is absolutism in France as compared to absolutism in England? Which is more “absolute?”
Depends on the day. Not so much. Hello, Sun King! Absolute-o-meter™ “Every good historian needs one!”