Download e-book for kindle: Absolutism in Seventeenth-Century Europe by John Miller, Graham Scott

By John Miller, Graham Scott

ISBN-10: 0333461142

ISBN-13: 9780333461143

ISBN-10: 1349211214

ISBN-13: 9781349211210

So much 17th Century eu Monarchs governed territories that have been culturally and institutionally different. pressured via the escalating scale of warfare to mobilise evermore males and cash they attempted to convey those territories below nearer keep an eye on, overriding nearby and sectional liberties. This used to be justified via a thought stressing the monarchs absolute strength and his responsibility to put the great of his kingdom sooner than specific pursuits. The essays of this quantity examine this approach in states at very diversified levels of monetary and political improvement and verify the good gulf that regularly existed among the monarchs energy in thought and in perform.

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Others have preferred to adopt an alternative term - 'absolute monarchy' - which at least has the merit of being found in seventeenth-century political writings. Yet it had many different shades of meaning, and was not a description of the royal government as it was currently constituted. Royalists hoped that the king might become an absolute monarch, and their opponents insisted that he should not. It is therefore not a helpful term for modern historians to use when characterising the reality of royal power under Louis XIV.

If we take in reverse order the points at which the absolute sovereignty of a Bodinian monarch proved to be limited, we have first to consider the notion of 'fundamental' or (in our terminology) constitutional law. Here Hobbes's stance is firm and unequivocal. He does not deny the appropriateness of distinguishing some laws as fundamental; but he complains that the term has not been properly - or indeed at all - defined. In his view a law that is fundamental is 'that, by which Subjects are bound to uphold whatsoever power is given to the Sovereign ...

Neither, however, is despotic rule to be confused with the legitimate sovereignty of a royal monarch, a true king (pp. 56-69). Such a king will respect the laws of God and of nature in his government. Specifically, he will refrain from arbitrary interference with the res privatae, the property and other concerns of the families over which he rules. Even this, however, does not exhaust what Bodin has to contribute to an elucidation of the way in which absolute monarchy was to be conceived in the seventeenth century.

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Absolutism in Seventeenth-Century Europe by John Miller, Graham Scott


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