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Lecture 17

Lecture 17 - The Absolute State.doc

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Kenneth Bartlett

HIS109Y1- Lecture Seventeen The Absolute State November 7/2012 T .Hobbes (1588-1679) Leviathan (1651) Louis XIV (1643-1715) J. Mazarin (d.1661) Fronde J.B. Colbert (d.1683) Perks of an Absolute State: - only paying taxes to one power - concentrated power in hands of monarch worked better to protect from foreign invasion & war - development of political theory and ideology as a response to the insecurity and instability of the 30 years war - Hobbes developed one such theory of absolutism, trying to explain the English Civil War. He dismissed the divine right of kings theory (God doesn't intervene in human affairs, especially politics) - He wrote leviathan to explain another theory as to why kings should have the power that they do - Men and women originally lived in a state of nature where the very strongest prospered (life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short). To get away from this system, people would need to come together in a community where laws applied to everyone and the strong could be controlled. In order to exercise this law, there would need to be a sovereign power strong enough. To accomplish this, people would need to give up all their rights to this power to guarantee security. Once this gift of legitimacy was given, it can't be taken back. Therefore even if the king was nasty, you have to take the good with the bad. If you are unhappy with the king, you really have to blame the people for giving him this power. However this was better than life in nature. - King Louis XII believed he was the state (development of absolutism after Richelieu) - he was only 5 when he inherited the kingdom, so it was run by the regent Mazarin - The nobles rebelled after the death of Louis XIII to try and weaken the power of the crown as revenge for Richelieu's actions. This civil war was called the Fonde - Mazarin was hated equally by the nobles and the Parliament - Queen Anne of Austria Supported Mazarin completely - many in France t
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