Arbitrary Government

The following sample essay on “Arbitrary Government”: provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed.

Absolutism is first introduced by philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) who believes in the power of the state and that men cannot survive in an orderly structure without it. The goals of an absolute monarch are to keep a tight rein on the authority of the church and nobility, to make the monarch the most powerful being in the state, to increase the province and esteem of the country and last but not least, to leave behind a inheritor that can rule the country having the same goals.

The seventeen century’s most remarkable monarchs are Louis Quatorze (the Son King of France) and Peter I (the Great) of Russia; their careers as monarchs are conclusively achieved due to that fact that both almost accomplish the four goals of absolutism. Louis Quatorze is born on September 5, 1638, having as parents Anne of Austria and the King Louis XIII.

It is not until the year of 1661 that Louis comes to the throne and governs France. Once becoming a king, Louis turns his attention towards the nobility and the church. He realizes that in order to retain absolute control over the government, he has to manipulate the nobility.

Arbitrary Government Example

In doing so, he takes from the nobility the traditional right of ruling in the government. Furthermore, Louis hires people from the upper middle class, who are paid to serve him and the state he has power over.

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The supervision of France is carried out by the Court of State, Court of Finances and Court of Dispatches, councils proposed by Louis. As K. K Campbell states in “Louis and his Era”, published in “Military History”, December 1997 edition, “Louis’ court was renowned for its splendor and sophistication”. The King also gains control over the Catholic Church, who had been dominant over the state previously.

It is after this, that the Catholic Church losses any type of pronouncements socially, politically and economically. This way, Louis of France minimizes the power of the Catholic Church and nobility, accomplishing one of the goals of absolute monarchism. Campbell also states: “What cannot be disputed is that Louis and the formidable military machine he commanded elevated France to a position of pre-eminence during his lifetime and for a century thereafter”. Louis also modernizes the army of France, and puts it under the power of Francois-Michel Le Tellier.

The army becomes very professional and France takes over European politics. Furthermore, no decision is made without his authority. Louis wants to centralize the government so that all decisions are made through him. Now having control over the nobility, Catholic Church and the army, Louis becomes the most important individual in France, achieving the second goal of an absolute monarchism. One of the most important things that Louis wants to do is to gain territory, power and prestige for France. The fact that the army is very modernize, makes Louis want to use it to his advantage.

During his reign, Louis takes part in four major wars: the War of Devolution, The Dutch War, The War of the League of Augsburg and The Spanish War. The United provinces, Spain, England, Bavaria and Saxony joined against France, being fearful that Louis would take over Europe. Louis XIV looses the War of Spain, but remains known for introducing to Europe the New France. France is known as one of the most prestigious countries of the seventeen century, having Versailles as a symbol of French power. As Campbell also states: “He helped advance the arts in every field through his enlightened patronage.

Everything French was in vogue on the Continent. “. The goal of gaining territory is not entirely realized, and misery is found in France in the seventeen century. As Garfield Newman states in “The Wars of Louis XIV” published in “Legacy, The West and The World”, 2002, “The Grandeur of the French State was in tatters and the people were threatening to revolt, frustrated by years of war and increased taxes. ” It is why Louis XIV conclusively achieves gaining territory for France. It is the only goal that Louis does not fully accomplish.

Last but not least, Louis XIV wants to leave behind an inheritor that can rule the state with the same goals he had during his reign. Louis’s first son dies and Louis XV, his grandson, come o the throne. As K. K Campbell states : “Louis XIV faced the greatest decision of his life, but he saw no choice but to put his 16-year-old grandson on the throne, grandly declaring the elimination of boundaries between France and Spain by saying, “Henceforth, there are no Pyrennees. ” Louis XIV successfully leaves behind an inheritor, conclusively accomplishing absolute monarchism.

Peter the Great is born on May 30th, 1672 and comes to the throne in the year of 1682. He is the third son of Czar Alexis Mikhailovitch. Peter’s first goal is to minimize the power of the Church and nobility. Peter forms what is known as the Holy Synod, which controls the decisions of the state. This way he has power over the state and the Church. Peter needs people to work for him that he could trust. As Garfield Newman states: “Finding little support among the Russian elite, the czar chose to fill important posts based on merit rather than lineage or rank. This way the power of the nobility is minimized and the nobles have to go to school in order to get a job serving the state. As Anatoli Riassnovsly states in “Peter the Great”, published in “A History of Russia”, 1963, “In 1722 Peter published a Table of Ranks that equated a person’s social position and privileges with his rank in the bureaucracy or the army rather than with his position in the nobility. ” The goal of gaining control over the church and nobility is accomplished by Peter the Great, showing that is he an absolute monarch.

Next, Peter wants to become the most important person in Russia and to make all decisions. Now having power over the church, army and the nobility, he has power over the state. As Garfield Newman states: “… Peter had over one thousand streltsy tortured and executed, and their bodies put on displayed as a lesson to the public. His wife, Eudoxia, and his half sister, both of whom had sympathized with the rebels’ defense of tradition and religion, were forced to become nuns”. This shows the power that Peter had over anybody in Russia.

Being the most important person in the state is a goal that he accomplishes. Peter’s first wish is to gain prestige, power and territory. He believes that he can do that by westernizing Russia. Peter himself travels to different countries of Europe with the goal of seeking different types of art and behavior. As K. K Campbell states in “Another Founding Father”, published in “Military History”, April 1999, “And Oddly, as much as he brought Russia into Europe, so did he bring Europe into Russia, importing European ways and technologies, even establishing the capital at a new, western city, St.

Petersburg. Peter also constructed schools such as the School of Mathematics and Navigation, and the Academy of Science. Having power over the army, Peter uses it to gain territory. As it is stated in “The most Authoritative Guide to St. Petersburg” found in “The History of Petersburg”, 2002 “One of the Peter’s main goals was to regain access to the Baltic Sea and Baltic trade. In 1700 he started the Northern War with Sweden, which lasted for 21 years. In the course of the war St. Petersburg was founded (1703) in the Neva River delta.

At the end of the war Russia was victorious and conquered the vast lands on the Baltic coast. Russia gained access to European trade and St. Petersburg became her major sea port. ” This shows that Peter has a lot of success in gaining prestige and territory for Russia. This goal of his career is accomplished. Peter of Russia has the power of the state, army, church and nobility. Further more he gains prestige and territory. He only goes wrong when it comes leaving an inheritor behind. As Anatoli Riassnovsky also states: “Despite his notable success on the Baltic, Peter’s reign ended with a great question mark.

He had long quarreled with his only son, Alexis. Peter was jealous of the young man and feared he might undertake sedition. In 1718 Peter had his son imprisoned and during his imprisonment, Alexis died mysteriously. ” This way, when Peter dies, no one comes to the throne. Years later, it is the Church and nobility that rule again. Peter fails leaving an inheritor and so the last goal of absolutism is not reached. Louis Quatorze (the Son King of France) and Peter I (the Great) of Russia are both absolute monarchs.

However, their careers as monarchs are conclusively achieved due to that fact that both partially accomplish the goals of absolute monarchism. Louis of France does not succeed into gaining a lot of territory and leaves the majority of France in misery, while Peter of Russia fails to leave behind an inheritor and years later the nobility and Church takes control over the state again. Louis XIV and Peter I remain famous in the era of monarchism and in history, for it is due to their contributions that France and Russia have changed and become who they are today.

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Arbitrary Government. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Arbitrary Government
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