Absolute Vs New Monarchs Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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Monarchs, Courtiers and the legal system were critical to the well being of the state and the monarch. The day-to-day affairs of the government had grown beyond the capacity of any monarch to handle them. At the beginning of the 16th century, the French court of Francis I employed 622 officers while at the beginning of the 17th century, the court of Henry IV employed over 1500. Royal councils, a small group of leading officeholders who advised the monarch on state business, grew in significance. However, the court still revolved around the monarch. Courtiers such as Cardinal Richelieu of France, Count-Duke Olivares of Spain, and duke of Buckingham of England, all became the second most important people in their countries. Taxes were also critical to centralizing the state. Half

of all state revenue was used to finance national armies and navies for defense. In France, the taille and paulette were used as the main tax sources. By administering justice, assembling armies, and extracting resources through taxation, the monarch ruled as well as governed. The richer the king and the more powerful, the more potent his state. The truth of this is seen in the “Grand Monarque” of France. Versailles was the epitome of this era?s elaboration. Everything in the palace was awe-inspiring. 1400 fountains adorned the gardens alone and the palace was constructed mainly of marble and precious metals. The grandiose style of the ruler stood proxy for the wealth and glory of the nation. Great display bespoke great pride, and great pride was translated into great

national strength. As a result of this heightened pride in their monarchs and states, Europeans began to identify themselves as citizens of a nation and to see themselves in distinction to other countries. Whereas in the early sixteenth century, monarchs treated their states and their subjects as personal property, and were praised for their virtue, wisdom, or strength, by the 17th century, rulers embodied their nation, and no matter what their personal characteristics, they were held in awe simply because they were monarchs. One thing the two monarchies held in common was the drive for hegemony, a political situation in which one state might subordinate all others to its will. During the new monarch era, the Habsburg family was perhaps the best example of this theory. After the

defeat of the Hungarians at the battle of Mohacs, the Habsburg family had established their sphere of power in central Europe, the Netherlands, Spain, the Mediterranean, South Italy, and America. During the absolute monarch era, Louis XIV was the best example of “universal monarchy”. His goal was to make France the strongest country in Europe and push French borders eastward to the Rhine, annexing the Spanish Netherlands and France-Comte which involved the further dismemberment of the Holy Roman Empire. The main difference between these two universal monarchies was the way in which they were controlled. During the earlier monarchies, “universal monarchy” was checked by various dynastic and religious wars between nations. For example, the wars between Muscovy and Poland

kept each nation in balance. If there was a stronger nation, it would receive the dominating power. During the 17th century, however, there came to be a system of balance of power through alliances. The purpose of this balance of power was not to preserve peace, but to preserve the sovereignty and independence of the states of Europe against potential aggressors. The basic rule was to ally against any state threatening domination. The weaker countries would seek alliance with the other weaker states. They would thus create a balance or counterweight against the state whose ascendancy they feared. Overall, the goals of the monarchies remained mainly the same but as the social and political conditions changed and monarchs learned from past experience, the methods of attaining these

goals became quite different. In addition, monarchs were viewed quite differently between the two time periods which also attains to the differences in method. However, it can be seen that the “New Monarchs” had great influence on the establishment of ideals and policies in the subsequent era “Absolute Monarchs”.