DBQ on Absolutism

Essay by albertmister96High School, 11th gradeA+, February 2006

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Document Based Question

European monarchs in the seventeenth and eighteenth century viewed themselves as absolute rulers, or kings and queens that believed that they controlled everything within their state's borders. The people that were ruled by the absolute rulers believed absolutism had a different aspect than was being used by the kings and queens. This practice is known as absolutism. The people that were being ruled and the ruler or absolute monarch viewed the role of the absolute ruler differently.

As document number one states, Frederick II of Prussia said, "The sovereign stands to his people in the same relation in which the head stands to the body." This quote means that absolute ruler, Frederick II of Prussia, believed that the absolute ruler was the head or leader of the group of people he ruled. This means that he believed that the absolute ruler was the one making the decisions like the head of the body and the people would be following like the rest of the body.

This stands for the way he views absolutism should be practiced.

As document 3 says, St. John Bayle stated that King Louis XIV "took great pains to be well-informed of all that passed everywhere; in public places, in the private houses, in society and familiar intercourse. His spies and tell-tattlers were infinite." This quote defies the character of Louis XIV as a spy to his people. This meant that he could not trust any of his people do anything without his knowledge or consent. He believed that absolute rulers had the power to not only tell the people what to do, but also had to tell him what they were doing. If not tell him, he would still know.

As document 4 determines, the nobles that were ruled by the absolute rulers...