Who Makes the Rules? Absolute Monarchies & Constitutional Government
Limited and UnlimitedGovernments
Government Limited Unlimited Restraints are placed on the power and authority of government Individual rights and freedoms are restrained Total obedience to the government is expected
England King John had been a strong supporter of absolute monarchy, believing he should have total control over the people Divine right – belief that God has given monarchs the authority to rule 1215- English nobles forced King John to sign the Magna Carta Established the idea of limited government Stated that people have certain rights
France King Louis XIV known as the “Sun King” for the belief that all revolved around him Banned the “Estates-General” (France’s Congress) from meeting Controlled taxes, the military, and business Left the country in debt and with many enemies at his death
Russia Peter I (Peter the Great) believed in divine right to rule Followed the French example instead of the British Made himself the head of the Russian Orthodox church Used his power to strengthen Russia Expanded technology, science, business, and military
Glorious Revolution 1215: King John signs the Magna Carta 1485-1603: Tudors reign, monarchs do not have absolute power 1603: Queen Elizabeth dies without children, her cousin James I becomes king. King James believes in divine right, doesn’t tolerate the questioning of his authority 1625: James I dies, Charles I becomes king and tries to govern by divine right
1628: Parliament enacts the Petition of Rights which bans the king from… Passing taxes without the consent of Parliament Quartering troops in private homes Imprisoning a person without charges 1642: Charles ignores PoR, favors Catholics. Oliver Cromwell organizes army in support of Parliament, conflict between king and parliament starts English civil war.
1646: Parliament wins control of government 1647: Charles I is tried & executed. Attempt is made to end monarchy and establish representative government. This fails so Cromwell imposes martial law (rule by the military).
1658: Oliver Cromwell dies, his son, Richard, takes over. 1660: Monarchy restored, Charles II (son of Charles I) is made king….this is called the Restoration. 1685: Charles II dies without children. His brother, James II, becomes king.
1688: James and his wife are Catholic, when they have a child the Parliament fears the establishment of a Catholic monarchy. To prevent this, the Parliament invites James’s Protestant daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange, to take the throne. This bloodless takeover is called the Glorious Revolution. 1689: English Bill of Rights of 1689 limits the monarchy & states the rights of Parliament and the people.
Thomas Hobbes State of Nature- people without government Social Contract Theory- government is created as an agreement between people to benefit each other
John Locke (English) Influenced by the Glorious Revolution Thought the “state of nature” was good “Social contract” was voluntary Purpose of government was/is to protect rights of citizens If the government doesn’t protect those rights the people have the right to get rid of the government Influenced Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolution
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Believed society had a corrupting influence on people It was/is the role of government to protect the “general will” of the people They must enact policies that are beneficial to the population in general Influenced those arguing for totalitarian governments
Baron de Montesquieu Promoted the idea of the separation of powers and checks & balances Admired the English system of unlimited government Influence is seen in the US Constitution
Constitutions and Government
What is a “constitution”? The “law” which establishes the structure and operation of government and details the relationship of the people to their government
Positive vs. Negative Centers on the roles and responsibilities that a government IS SUPPOSED TO PERFORM Focuses on the LIMITS PLACED on the government