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Rise of Absolutism in France

In France, the efforts to establish an absolute monarchy were much more successful France than in England because of many reasons. The first being the foundation for a successful absolute monarchy was laid by the rulers of France before Louis XIV. The centralization of government that Louis XIV controlled also led to the peak of absolutism in France. There were also many other contributing elements, such as how the absolute monarchy still had some limitations and power-sharing and how Louis XIV enforced the divine right of kings. Whereas in England, the Kings (primarily Charles I and James II) decided to act without consent from their people. This led to the people demanding more control over their government, leading to a constitutional monarchy. Thus, many factors contributed to the success of absolutism in France and the failure of absolutism in England.

In France, the framework for an absolute monarchy was established by the rulers of France before Louis XIV. Cardinal Richelieu and Cardinal Mazarin both made it possible for Louis to have complete control over the government. Richelieu broke the power of the nobility and made it clear there was only one law – the King’s. He also fought Hapsburg and made France a great national power. Richelieu was Mazarin’s mentor and successor to rule. Mazarin was a good leader who continued Richelieu’s policies and kept France strong. When Louis XIV took the throne, he had complete control of the whole government. He became the embodiment of an absolutist rule.

In England, Charles, I decided to tax the people and make laws without their consent (not even representative consent). This was a terrible move in England, where the people were well represented in a governing body called Parliament. Parliament was well organized, wealthy, mostly secular, and overall quite powerful. It represented England as a whole and not the separate states of England or provinces of England. James II met the same odds when he decided to be Catholic. Since he was king, he could decide that Catholicism was allowed in England even though there were members of the official Church of England and several Protestant Puritans in the country and Parliament. These two groups made up the vast majority of Englishmen, and they would not stand for a heretic king, nor did they. If these Kings did what their people wanted, they could have set up an absolute monarchy successfully.

In the 17th century, France became the pinnacle of wealth, power, and prestige. They led Europe culturally and intellectually, much like how Italy did during the Renaissance. This was due to Louis XIV’s absolute monarchy. Louis XIV was the supreme ruler of the government, but there were still limits and power-sharing. There were many forms of authority, including the Estates General, Parlements, and even some towns and cities had to power. This let Louis XIV maintain his absolute monarchy while still making the people happy. On the contrary, in England, Charles I and James II tried to establish absolute monarchies but failed to do so because they made terrible decisions for their country that led to their demise. These differences were the reason that absolutism was effective in France but not in England.

In conclusion, many factors contributed to the success of an absolute monarchy in France but not in England. In France, the rulers before Louis XIV laid solid groundwork for an absolute monarchy. On the other hand, in England Charles, I took advantage of his people and failed to enforce an absolute monarchy effectively. Furthermore, as Louis XIV came to power, he had absolute control while sharing powers effectively, whereas Charles I was fighting against his own country for complete power. These events and conditions were the cause of the success of absolutism in France and the failure in England.

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Rise of Absolutism in France. (2021, Aug 13). Retrieved August 31, 2021, from