Absolutist Rule: the Compass Leading to Mid-Millennial Prosperity

In: Historical Events

Submitted By rshenkma
Words 1027
Pages 5
TA DJ James Marty
History 242; Section 8
1 February 2013
Absolutist Rule: the Compass leading to Mid-Millennial Prosperity Do people fear one another and live in a perpetual state of struggle and rivalry (Hobbes, 138)? France sure did seem to think so after having been a continual warzone for civil anarchists during the latter half of the sixteenth century (Bodin, 133). According to formidable writers of the time, such as Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes, the ability to maintain order in society required submitting to the supreme order of a state (Hobbes, 138). Sovereignty—or the absolute power and demand of a commonwealth—required complete obedience for a king because failure to revere him was considered a failure to revere the holy image of God at the time (Bodin, 134). In this age of Absolutism, divine power was given to sole leader of the monarchy, a controversial act that generated debate in which the second and third classes questioned sovereignty, politics, and their rights as citizens (Hobbes, 138). Ironically, royalists and antiroyalists alike did not support Hobbes’ great work of 1651 called Leviathan that described his idea about how supreme power, once delegated, was irrevocable; Parliament even believed it almost hinted at atheistic tendencies (Hobbes, 138). Nonetheless, Hobbes believed that today’s Golden Rule which states, “Do to others as we would be done to,” was not a natural passion of humankind and only seemed like a law of nature when under the terror of some power where people know they are being watched (Hobbes, 139). Hobbes defined the natural pre-societal man as cruel because his independence encouraged him to only look out for himself and family. Therefore, the civilized man should be the member of a large community that binds together under one common overseeing lawmaker to create a unity and, hence, greater protection…...

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