Success and “Sucksess” Of Absolute Rule Essay examples

Submitted By Yalewhale25
Words: 999
Pages: 4

Around the sixteenth century and well throughout the eighteenth century, religious, as well as territorial, conflicts ravaged Europe, evoking warfare and chaos nationwide. Rulers had no choice but to generate immense armies to defend their lands, which required an extensive sum of money. Their resolution: heavy taxation. However, the populace was already suffering, and heavier taxes pushed many to the breaking point, causing some to even rebel. In attempt to resolve all conflictions and return their lands to peace and prosperity, many monarchs turned toward absolutism. Absolute rule brought great power to these monarchs, yet, with such power, some found themselves making rash decisions. While the decision to rule absolutely brought many positive attributions to the countries of these all-powerful monarchs, overall, it created many more problems than did benefits.

As priorily mentioned, absolute rule brought a trifling amount of power and authority to monarchs. However, to maintain such a handle on power, they had to ensure that no one within their kingdom would be able to counter their authority. It then became a necessity, if one was to successfully rule in the absolute, for these monarchs to severely limit, if not greatly diminish, the power of the nobility. In France, Louis XIV’s strategy to do this was to have the nobility live within his own splendid Palace of Versailles; by doing so, the nobles had to rely heavily on the king, as well as remain way from home, which prevented them from gaining power against the king. In Prussia, the strategy used to control the authority of the nobles was to include them in Prussia’s army, by giving them the exclusive right to be officers. Under this strategy, Frederick the Great allowed the noble to feel as though they held significant power, while he truly held control. Peter the Great of Russia chose to demolish the power of nobles by recruiting men of the lower class and promoting them to positions of authority; in doing so, he made noble authority appear insignificant. Now with the power of the nobility diminished, monarchs were able to rule supremely. Absolute rule brought these monarchs trifling amount of power; in fact, one may even say that it allotted them too much power. The need to flaunt their superiority brought many problems. In the case of Spain, Philip II launched the Spanish Armada to fight Protestant England. He had sent his fleet to punish England for assisting Protestant rebels, as well as to prove to all of Europe that he was an all-mighty ruler and no country was to interfere with the affairs of his kingdom. However, Philip had underestimated the queen’s navy and was defeated; this defeat severely weakened his kingdom.

Disadvantages aside, absolute rule did prove successful in a few aspects among various monarchs; for some, it brought about advances in art and literature, territorial gains, and in some cases, cultural and government reformation. In Spain, as well as in France, absolute rule brought about new advances in the arts. In Spain, monarchs became patrons of artists and authors, thus bringing on a “golden age” in the arts. In France, Louis’s palace became a center for the arts; as such, Louis was able to use art to glorify himself and promote values supporting his reign. For some, absolute monarchy brought beneficial territorial gains. For instance, Frederick the Great acquired Silesia through the Treaty of Aix-la-Cappelle, which made Prussia a major European power. As for Russia, a twenty-one year war with Sweden brought Peter the Great his “window on Europe”, which allowed Russian merchants to easily travel to Europe. Absolute monarchy also brought Russia cultural and government reform. Peter brought the Church under state control, establishing the Holy Synod to run the Church under his instruction. He also updated the fashions of Russia, as well as advanced education by opening new schools.

Although absolute rule appeared promising, its