Absolutism is a form of government in which only one person holds the absolute power. During this period there was relative political stability throughout Europe, wars still occurred, but on a much less intense level. All the ascendant states (France, Prussia, Austria, Russia, and England) central governments gained authority. In England, the central government was still stable, however, the monarchy weakened. Overall, during this period, important social, political and economic changes took place, but all of these changes for the most part only benefited the upper class.
Mercantilism, which can be defined as "...a sets of economic ideas and corresponding government policies," went hand in hand with the concept of Absolutism. The goals of mercantilism were the acquisition of bullion a positive balance of trade and economic self-sufficiency. Although the ruler themselves played a significant role in the rise of absolutism, there were other causes too, such as the French Revolution.