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Absolutism and Constitutionali


            Between the period of 1589 and 1725, Europe experienced many wars and conflicts that resulted in frequent starvation and food storage. Making the things worse, the rulers reclaimed taxes from people to finance their wars. As a result many revolutions and opposition movements have raised to change the situation. All this led some monarchs to adopt absolutism as a new way of ruling where they could have supreme and absolute power to control their subjects and put down any opposition. Opposed to absolutism was constitutionalism that was adopted by the nobles and where power is divided on different institutions.
             France.
             The roots of absolutism in France go back to the reign of Henry IV, this later reduced the influence of the nobles and made some economic reforms that helped to prosper. After Henry's death, the young king Louis XIII, influenced by his Prime Minister Richelieu, got the power. Richelieu aimed to give the monarchy absolute power over all the groups and institutions. Thus he installed royal commissaries in 32 districts to decide order and execute. He also dealt with foreign affairs by trying to destroy the fence of the Habsburg. Eventually, Richelieu succeeded to solve the financial problems by securing the cooperation of local elite. However, conflicts and riots rose again after the successor of Richelieu, Jules Mazarin, tried to increase the monarchy's wealth through taxes, this period was known as the Fronde. Then came Louis XIV who reached the peak of absolutism in Europe. He was influenced by the Fronde, so he did not trust the nobility. Instead, he tried to reduce their power by accustoming them to equality. He also tried to get the nobles' support when needed. During the period of Louis XIV some economic reforms were introduced mainly by Colbert who believed that the strength of France is in its economy. However the revocation of the Edict of Nantes put an end to these reforms.


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