The governments of England and France differ greatly in many ways such the following: they are two completely different forms of government, absolutism and constitutionalism, but they are in many ways similar partly because they both began as absolutist forms of government. Absolutist France was a form government run by one person who had almost full control over everything, and Constitutionalist England was run by a number of people with a great deal of power.
Even the rulers were required to obey the laws, and there was not only one person with complete control over everyone and everything. The definition of absolutism is “A term applied to strong centralized continental monarchies that attempted to make royal power dominant over aristocracies and other regional authorities. ” (Kagan)
The definition of constitutionalism is “A form of government in which power is distributed and limited by a system of laws that must be obeyed by the rulers. ” (http://dictionary.reference. com/search? q=constitutionalism) A main similarity between Constitutionalist England and Absolutist France is that they are both successful governments, and they withstood many troubles over a long period of time. Some main differences between the two governments in England and France are: in France, the country was ruled by one strong, almost all powerful ruler who could control every aspect of society. In contrast, England was ruled by more than one person with limited power.
This created a checks and balances system where, if one ruler steps out of line, the others are there to correct him/her. This helped to make sure one ruler wouldn’t get too much power and harm the country. France on the other hand, didn’t have this kind of security. A second difference between these two governments is that the French monarchs had a sufficient amount of money, and the English monarchs didn’t, and since the English monarchs needed money they went to Parliament for help. In absolutist forms of government, Parliament was only called if the king needed money or troops for a war.
Parliament would not give them money unless the king gave them some of the power. Since the Parliament wanted more of a Constitutional form of government and the king of England kept giving it more power, England was changed into a Constitutional form of government. Since the French monarchs were wealthy enough to support themselves, they did not need to call Parliament; therefore they avoided this whole situation, and kept the power for themselves. The governments of Absolutist France and Constitutionalist England also evolved in different ways.
Constitutionalist England evolved from an absolute monarchy. First, England had two kings who believed in D. R. (Divine Right) which is selling monopolies. This resembles an absolutist monarchy, and then the Parliament didn’t like this, so the crown and the Parliament fought. Eventually, after the Parliament won, England was transformed into a constitutionalist form of government. In France, the government evolved as follows: Absolutism was forming under King Henry IV, and the aristocracy was basically eliminated.
Then, France was becoming a major European power under Lois XIV, and it became stronger and more centralized when more kings started coming. In sum, the constitutionalist government of England and absolutist government of France are similar in some ways such as, they were main powers in the world and were very effective forms of government, but they are different in equally as many ways such as the following: the forms of government are completely different in the fact that they are basically opposites.