Robert him. With his complete control over the government,

Robert Kimble Catherine VailWorld History4 “L’etat, c’est moi.” This quote from the French monarch Louis XIV, meaning “I am the state” in English, perfectly sums up the era of absolute power that took place in Europe during the 1500s and 1600s. European rulers such as King Philip II of Spain, King Louis XIV of France, Peter the Great of Russia, and Frederick III of Norway all used the concepts of absolute power and divine right, the belief that a monarch’s power is given to them by God, to increase the power and control they had over their countries. They utilized the concepts of absolute power and divine right to increase their power and control by centralizing government in order for themselves to be in complete control, manipulating nobles and common people by using God to justify their privileges, ignoring their subjects, and harshly punishing those who challenged them. To begin, European rulers utilized the concepts of absolute power and divine right to increase the power and control they had over their countries by centralizing government in order for themselves to be in complete control. According to PatCosta.com, King Philip II of Spain made all parts of the Spanish government responsible to him. With his complete control over the government, he was able to control the population as well. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, King Louis XIV of France assumed complete control over the entire government after Cardinal Mazarin, who assisted him in ruling as a young man, died. He believed that as monarch, he was entitled to complete obedience by his subjects. He even went so far as to state “L’etat, c’est moi,” previously mentioned in the introduction. According to Saint-Petersburg.com, Peter the Great of Russia forced all of his nobles into military or state power. With the nobles demoted and without national power, Peter took complete control over the government. Due to his complete control over Russia, he became known as one of the most autocratic monarchs of Europe. Additionally, according to PatCosta.com, Frederick III of Norway abolished the legislative branch of Norway, known as  “Rigraadet.” Without the legislative branch, Frederick effectively removed any checks and balances that limited his power. To add, European rulers utilized the concepts of absolute power and divine right to increase the power and control they had over their countries by manipulating nobles and common people by using God to justify their privileges. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, King Philip II of Spain believed that his right to absolute power came directly from God. His belief motivated him to become the guardian of the Catholic Church and impose inquisitions against Protestants in order to protect the Church. Also, according to PatCosta.com, King Louis XIV of France manipulated his subjects into believing that he was sent from God to become king. His son’s tutor once said that Louis is entitled to unquestioning obedience because he was God’s representative. This statement proved that Louis’ manipulation was successful. Plus, according to PatCosta.com, Peter the Great of Russia believed that his right to rule came from God and as well as completely taking over the government of Russia, he also took over the Russian Orthodox Church. To add, according to PatCosta.com, Frederick III of Norway applied Norway’s “King’s Law” to ensure his power. The King’s Law stated that the monarch of Norway “shall from this day forward be revered and considered the most perfect and supreme person on the Earth by all his subjects, standing above all human laws and having no judge above his person, neither in spiritual nor temporal matters, except God alone.” This law made Frederick III exempt from all mortal laws or judgement, supporting his absolute power.Additionally, European rulers utilized the concepts of absolute power and divine right to increase the power and control they had over their countries by ignoring advice and orders from nobles, members of the state, and citizens of their countries. According to Encyclopedia.com, King Philip II of Spain was at constant warfare with rebellious subjects and repressed any protests organized by his subjects. Furthermore, according to PatCosta.com, King Louis XIV of France did not have the legislative branch of France meet once during his reign. Without the meetings, Louis’ decisions could not be blocked by anyone. Likewise, as previously mentioned, Peter the Great of Russia forced nobles to become military officers, taking away any national power they could have had. According to Kongernes Samling, when Frederick III was warring with Sweden, nobles and government officials left and Frederick stayed. This decisions made him very popular with common people and he ruled without the nobles’ input. Last but not least, European rulers utilized the concepts of absolute power and divine right to increase the power and control they had over their countries by harshly punishing and/or shutting down those who challenged them. As previously mentioned, King Philip II of Spain imposed inquisitions against Protestants because he did not agree with their beliefs and was also constantly warring with rebellious subjects and Muslims. Moreover, according to PatCosta.com, King Louis XIV of France repealed the Edict of Nantes, a law that guaranteed freedom of religion, to punish the Protestants, which he considered to be his enemies. He did not encounter opposition from subjects, who because of the manipulation, revered and praised him. According to PatCosta.com, Peter the Great of Russia executed and tortured thousands of people who challenged his power during his reign. Frederick III of Norway exploited the previously mentioned King’s Law to shut down any opposition he encountered. 2 Ultimately, European monarchs such as King Philip II of Spain, King Louis XIV of France, Peter the Great of Russia, and King Frederick III of Norway took advantage of their governments and countries by centralizing power, claiming Divine Right, ignoring advice, and punishing opposition. Their reigns shaped history and made a lasting impact on the entire world.Bibliography:Koenigsberger, Helmut Georg. “Philip II.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 15 Dec. 2017, www.britannica.com/biography/Philip-II-king-of-Spain-and-Portugal.Erlanger, Philippe. “Louis XIV.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 28 Dec. 2017, www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-XIV-king-of-France.Nikiforov, Leonid Alekseyevich. “Peter I.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 3 Jan. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Peter-the-Great.The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Frederick III.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 5 Jan. 2012, www.britannica.com/biography/Frederick-III-king-of-Denmark-and-Norway.”Frederik III.” The Royal Danish Collection, www.kongernessamling.dk/en/rosenborg/person/frederik-iii/.”Philip II (Spain) (1527–1598; Ruled 1556–1598).” Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, Encyclopedia.com, www.encyclopedia.com/people/history/spanish-and-portuguese-history-biographies/philip-ii-spain.Wnukowski, Robert . “Absolutism: A Concept Formation Lesson Plan.” PatCosta.com, patcosta.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Age-of-Absolutism.pdf.”Absolute Rulers Europe: 1500-1600’s.” Grosse Point Public School System, https://mi01000971.schoolwires.net/cms/lib05/MI01000971/Centricity/Domain/264/CH_21–ABSOLUTE_RULERS_EUROPE.pdf.”Peter I, the Great.” Biography of Peter the Great of Russia, www.saint-petersburg.com/royal-family/peter-the-great/.

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