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The rise of absolute monarchs in the seventeenth century was a result of numerous unrelated things and events.The development of the idea of the "Divine Right of Kings," and the publishing of Thomas Hobbes' work, Leviathan, provided the justification the Monarchs needed to further their pursuit of wealth, land, and trade opportunities. It also provided the way to appease their conscience, as they overtook and abused indigenous peoples.The breakdown of the feudal system was throwing country after country into unrest.This also helped to make this idea of absolutism popular, even within the general population.
In France around the middle of the seventeenth century, a revolution against the current monarch, Cardinal Mazarin, threw France into disarray.When the Cardinal died in 1661, Louis XVI (whom the Cardinal had been governing for), took power and became the strong absolute ruler that France had been looking for.He took hold of the country and put himself at the head of the government, and as a result order was restored. In this way, Louis XVI instigated an absolutism that was popular with the citizens of France (p. 432-433, Textbook).There were many absolutist monarchs throughout Europe during this time period, including Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.Although England had not tended towards an absolute monarchy, eventually when James I came to power, this idea prevailed there as well (p.420, Textbook).
This absolutist government was justified by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, who believed in a theory called the Divine Right of Kings.He argued that kings ruled because they were chosen by God to do so, and that these kings were accountable to no person except God.The king ruled by virtue of God's authority, so he should be obeyed in all things.No group, whether the nobles, the people on the street, or even Parliament, had the right to question this rule, for to do so was to rebel against God (p.43…

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