- Submitted by: JohnG
- Views: 197
- Category: History
- Date Submitted: 07/02/2012 03:42 PM
- Pages: 8
Pros and Cons of Absolutism
They have been called malicious. They have been called brutal. They even have been called magnificent. They rely upon strict, unwavering forms of government and are often violent in putting down any opposition. They use every measure to ensure their rule and often they will not stop at anything including murder. Regardless, there have been numerous absolute rulers throughout history, which have used these principles to govern or persuade. Despite this forceful nature of absolutism, there are positive results of absolutism. Looking at examples from the past and even present day, one can see the positive and negative aspects of absolutism.
Between 1400 and 1650, nobles and rulers in Eastern Europe reestablished the medieval system of surfs and feudal lords. This gave way to an absolutist rule. Countries like Bohemia, Silesia, Eastern Germany, Poland, Lithuania also established this rule not by the kings, but by the lords themselves because of this shift in society. Under their absolutist rule, a runaway peasant would be punished by having his ear nailed to a tree and given a knife to cut it off. Lords could force peasants to work for up to 6 days without pay. Although laws were set in place by kings who did not allow this type of labor, they were weak and overlooked by the lords. This resulted in the countries gained economic prosperity.
In Brandenburg (Prussian province) while ruled by the Hohenzollern family, Frederick William, The Great Elector, came to power. He was head of electors and tried to unify the 3 separate provinces by developing a permanent army for Prussia and creating "taxation without consent." Because of his absolute ways in economics, the total revenue for the country tripled.
From these examples, one can see that absolutism gives way to economic prosperity. Rulers are able to establish regulations that may not be humane or fair, yet they help the nation to receive economic gain....