European Rulers of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries wanted to be ABSOLUTE MONARCHS (kings or queens who believed that all power within their state's boundaries rested in their hands). Their goal was to control every aspect of society. ABSOLUTE MONARCHS believed in DIVINE RIGHT (the idea that God created the monarchy and that the monarch acted as God's representative on earth.) An ABSOLUTE MONARCH answered only to God, not to his or her subjects.
Unlike the American Revolution in 1776 and French Revolution in 1789, the "English Revolution" can actually refer to a few different things. It begins with the English Civil War, followed by the Republic of Oliver Cromwell, then, the Restoration and finally the Glorious Revolution. These are completely separate events that span 48 years. But, they hinge on the same theme of governmental change from an absolute monarchy to a Constitutional monarchy. So, think of them as separate steps that end with a Constitutional Monarchy in England.
Describe the Age of Absolutism, including the monarchies of Louis XIV and Peter the Great.
Characteristics of absolute monarchies
- Centralization of power
- Concept of rule by divine right
- Louis XIV of France: Palace of Versailles as a symbol of royal power
- Peter the Great of Russia: Westernization of Russia
Development of the rights of Englishmen
- Oliver Cromwell and the execution of Charles I
- The restoration of Charles II
- Development of political parties/factions
- Glorious Revolution (William and Mary)
- Increase of parliamentary power and decrease of royal power
- English Bill of Rights of 1689