Absolutism Vs Limited Monarchy Essay Research Paper

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Absolutism Vs. Limited Monarchy Essay, Research Paper Power, handled correctly, brings prosperity, while power, handled carelessly, brings despair. So how could 2 countries handle power so differently, yet become such equals in the modern world? In order to find this answer we must look at the origins of French and English government. The French monarchy began as a strip of present-day north central France. The process of establishing a stable monarchy began when Hugh Capet, the Count of Paris, was elected King by a group of feudal lords. The Capetian dynasty made the French crown hereditary, as well as seizing feudal lands to centralize power under the king. These actions were the first true departure from feudalism in France. As the French continued to add to their lands,

French monarchs set up an efficient royal bureaucracy. A bureaucracy is a group of officials who govern through departments. This division by departments allowed for more control of each aspect of governing the French. Since all bureaucrats answered to the kings, the king s power and control increased. The French developed a royal court to act as a fairer alternative to the medieval trial by ordeal. The French did not believe in the practice of common law, therefore, the French king, who resided over the royal court, was regarded as a symbol of justice, thus increasing his power and control. Under this royal law, it was expected that all royal officials recognize and abide by all local customs, unless those customs interfered with royal justice. The tactics of previous king s

greatly increased loyalty to the king. This loyalty was necessary when Philip I came in conflict with the church. Philip wanted to have the power to tax the clergy and appoint bishops. This conflict with the church was a very large step in separating from the feudalist power of the church. People were turning to a monarch rather than the church as a source of power, and in many conflicts between them, the monarch had popular rule. The church, in turn, lost all of its political involvement as nations began to establish themselves as secular, To show the church that he had the support of the people of France, Philip created the +tats Generale , or Estates General in English. The Estates General consisted of three assemblies; the clergy, the nobility, and the bourgeoisie, or common

people. These assemblies were to act as a type of suggestion box for the king. The Estates General did not have the power over taxation, as did the English Parliament. Instead, the royal bureaucracy gained power, and in turn the king s power increased. These steps lead to the mighty France of today. England was never a feudal state, therefore establishing a central English monarchy was much easier than what was endured by the French. Anglo-Saxon monarch loosely ruled England for quite some time until William, the duke of Normandy, conquered England. William began to drastically reform the Anglo-Saxon monarchy by first dividing the Anglo-Saxon lands among Norman barons who helped his conquest. William, in turn, made the barons swear allegiance to him as the sole ruler of England.

He then in turn proclaimed that every English person, regardless of class, owed loyalty to only the King of England. He also flaunted the Norman power by ordering his barons to construct Norman castles on the Anglo-Saxon land, however he forbade the construction of any more castles on those fiefs absent his permission. To increase his power over the English, William sent out officials to gather accurate records of all property in England, which was recorded in the Domesday Book. William s son, Henry I, increased the royal power by replacing inherited royal position with paid royal officials. This reform improved the efficiency of the English monarchy, as paid officials were more likely to pledge loyalty to the king. Henry also allowed vassals to submit payments in lieu of