Absolutism Dictionary Definitions

The absolutism is a system of absolute government, in which power resides in a single person who commands without accounts pay a parliament or society in general. Absolutism was very common from the 16th century to the first half of the 19th, when various revolutions overthrew it.

Although any government with total power dominance could be considered absolutist, in the clear sense of the concept reference is made to the absolute monarchies that ruled Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The origins of absolutism take place in France, where the theory of divine right of royal power was developed. This position assumes that certain people have been chosen by God to exercise government. Even, in the most radicalized versions, the monarch is considered as God himself.

Under this form of government, the king is the law, since it is he who decides what things and how they can be done. Laws are dictated according to their interests and those of the nobility, who advise the king although he always makes the last decision.

In general, the absolutist king maintains a paternal treatment with the people, although he shows his despotism whenever it is necessary.

The absolutist king occupies his throne for life. Power runs in families: when the king dies, his son takes his place.

The king also manages the church, especially its administrative part and related to wealth. Questions related to faith and beliefs are left to the clergy.

Beyond power being centralized in a single person, the absolutist regime has bureaucrats and public officials who are in charge of the proper functioning of the system, ambassadors and delegates who sign trade and war treaties with other regions, and an army that maintains the order.

There is a phrase that has become extremely famous and that clearly defines this concept. It says “The State is me” and it has been awarded to Louis XIV of France who was calm on his throne because he knew that there were no legal or any other limits that stood between his ideas and their practice.

Nationalism and institutional reforms

It is therefore important to clarify that in the 16th century there was a strong demand for the concept of national, which was essential for the foundation of absolute monarchies, where the president belonged to that territory and ruled over all of it. Furthermore, the king undertook to build a National Church that would gather all the inhabitants of the territory and look after their moral interests. However, this last point could never be fully implemented, since many sovereigns remained faithful to the mandates of Rome. In any case, there were others who did not and in this way certain reforms arose in the church that would lead to the birth of the National Churches.

The leaders of this nationalist movement were the sovereigns Luther and Calvin, who in their theory about the divine origin of royal power managed to separate themselves from what was established by the Roman church. With absolute power in their jurisdiction, monarchs could nullify the rights of entire peoples and thereby exercise their absolutism. This concept, which had emerged as the negation of feudalism, does not differ much from it: with a divine law and a natural law they controlled the actions of all the people.

Since absolutism did not represent the interests of the people and the ruling class had been deeply divided from those who were governed by it, various revolutions were necessary that would lead to the formation of the various states, made up of people from the community, who represented their interests. and that they did not separate from it.

Unfortunately, the lust for power and abuse the human being systematically makes him always do this, so although the absolute monarchies have been disintegrated, absolutist governments continue to emerge, the dictatorships are an example of this.