During the seventeenth century England and Europe’s monarchical systems were drastically changing

During the seventeenth century England and Europe’s monarchical systems were drastically changing. England was moving away from an absolute ruler while France moved the other way and the absolute monarch became more powerful. France became more powerful largely because of Louis XIV weakening the Estates General of France and moving all the nobles to Versailles with him, while on the other hand in England James I and Charles I attempted to become absolutists but couldn’t beat parliament.

In the beginning half of of the seventeenth century in England, Charles I and James I both tried to rise to power and become absolute monarchs, the only reason they couldn’t was because parliament already had a lot of control over the country and the merchants and land owning gentry supported parliament over an absolute monarch because they could vote someone out if they needed. The relationship Charles I had with parliament ultimately caused the English civil war. Parliament wasn’t able to be abolished by a monarch because of the fact that parliament had been around in England for a long time and was now ingrained into the English government.

Soon after this during the mid seventeenth century in France, various nobles were revolting against Cardinal Richelieu. They wanted to throw the monarch out of a position of power to achieve more personal power and wealth, they went around the country with small bands of fighters pillaging and terrorizing the lower classes so that the king would lose power and money. The crown eventually hired Spanish fighters to defend against these nobles. When Cardinal Richelieu died Louis XIV arose to power and provided France with the strong absolute monarch it needed. Louis XIV immediately put himself in the most powerful position possible, he ruled with divine right, he never once called parliament, and he sucked almost all the power out of the nobles by getting almost all of them to serve him like servants in the palace of Versailles. This entire thing is completely different than England’s way with no parliament to even challenge Louis XIV.

It is because of the differing political systems in place within France and England that led to the almost excessive absolute power that Louis XIV held in France because there was nothing even close to parliament in France to contest Louis while in England no monarch had real absolute power because the majority of the population supported parliament which had representatives from the lower classes and nobles could keep the monarch in check.