Charles I of England

To begin, there are many similarities in absolutism and monarchy. First, “absolutism” is a political theory that states that all and absolute power should be vested in one ruler or other authority. Dictators are a form of absolutism. Absolutism has been present in almost every time period in the world, including in modern day society. In Europe, absolutism was at its peak among rulers during the late 1500’s to the early 1700’s. England practiced absolutism until a series of events forced the government to limit their power and give more power to the people.

It was this that caused the change from absolutism to monarchy. Monarchy is very similar to absolutism in regards to that it has a monarch at its head. However, its different in the fact that this monarch has significantly less power than an absolute ruler did. Although England’s monarchy had limited power, the King of England still had a great amount of control and in some ways was similar to absolute rulers of other European countries. In both, absolutist societies and the English monarchy, the belief of the divine right of the king was extremely important.

What that basically means is that all the authority that comes to the king is given from God and nobody on earth has a right to interfere with it. According to this doctrine, only God can judge a king that is cruel or unfair. Philip II of Spain used this to justify his cruel dictatorship. In France, during the reign of Louis XIV, he took total control of the state. During the first half of his reign, he had many ministers. Although that was the case, for the next half of his reign he made all the major decisions without anyones consent.

In England, the King had limited power, although still seen as “appointed by God”, he did not have the power to make big or extreme decisions without the Parliaments approval. The English Bill of Rights made sure that the king or ruler would not have too much power and that the people’s voices were heard. For the first time, the people had a voice and could speak through the parliament. The English Civil War happened at the same time as the French Revolution, but instead of the royal family winning, like in France, the rebels won in England.

After the victory, Parliament placed King Charles in court, accusing him of being a tyrant, murderer, and an enemy to his country and sentenced him to death. After his execution, the message that no ruler could claim absolute power and ignore the rule of law. All this has made a great impact in today’s society. Without the European’s peak of absolutism and the English monarchy, many more countries could be in control of a “monarch” or “absolute ruler”. Hence, absolutism and monarchy have many similarities and many differences and have also been very impactful in today’s society.