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DBQ on Absolutism

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European monarchs in the seventeenth and eighteenth century viewed themselves as absolute rulers, or kings and queens that believed that they controlled everything within their state’s borders. The people that were ruled by the absolute rulers believed absolutism had a different aspect than was being used by the kings and queens. This practice is known as absolutism. The people that were being ruled and the ruler or absolute monarch viewed the role of the absolute ruler differently.

As document number one states, Frederick II of Prussia said, “The sovereign stands to his people in the same relation in which the head stands to the body.” This quote means that absolute ruler, Frederick II of Prussia, believed that the absolute ruler was the head or leader of the group of people he ruled. This means that he believed that the absolute ruler was the one making the decisions like the head of the body and the people would be following like the rest of the body. This stands for the way he views absolutism should be practiced.

As document 3 says, St. John Bayle stated that King Louis XIV “took great pains to be well-informed of all that passed everywhere; in public places, in the private houses, in society and familiar intercourse. His spies and tell-tattlers were infinite.” This quote defies the character of Louis XIV as a spy to his people. This meant that he could not trust any of his people do anything without his knowledge or consent. He believed that absolute rulers had the power to not only tell the people what to do, but also had to tell him what they were doing. If not tell him, he would still know.

As document 4 determines, the nobles that were ruled by the absolute rulers did not like the way they were treated. As the report of the Commission of Enquiry states, the peasants believed that the absolute monarchs were destroying the empire and countries by taxing the peasants and keeping them on leashes. The kingdoms were falling due to its base, which are the peasants since the entire kingdom is built on their foundation. They are the ones that pay the taxes and work for the higher classmen. The absolute rulers tax them and the kingdoms foundation crumbles due to this.

As document 6 points out, the people, in this case Russians, are enslaved and worked as animals on a farm. They do not complain out of the respect and love to their masters. Yet, there are people that believe that the absolute rulers do not have the power and authority to control their native people in such manners. They do not have the right to overwork their people and not pay them or feed them. Many peasants and people believe that that sort of actions should not be allowed and the absolute monarch should not perform these actions on his own people.

The above documents and arguments lead to one and only one conclusion. That conclusion is that absolute rulers or absolute monarchs and their subjects or people view the proper role of an absolute monarch very differently. The absolute rulers believe that they are allowed to do anything they please because of the fact that they are absolute rulers and the people believe that the absolute rulers have to be limited.

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