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17th Century France vs. Britain

Though France and Britain ultimately developed two different governmental structures, they were developed to solve administrative and social problems common to both countries. The country of France had long been an absolutist state. “In an absolutist state, sovereignty is embodied in the person of the ruler”(McKay/Hill/Buckler 531). This statement refers to the philosophy of divine right, in which the ruler is answerable only to god. Kings/Queens were given the right to rule based upon their bloodline. If a child was born into the royal family he/she would eventually rule for life. Since this turn of fate was under the control of no human force, rulers believed they were not answerable to any human. This philosophy left no room for variance or compromise within the political structure. There was no resemblance of the modern idea of “checks and balances”. Rulers made decisions, laws, and policy based upon personal beliefs and desires. As with any system, there are pros and cons. Within an absolutist state, if the ruler is conscientious and effective he will do what is most beneficial for his constituents and the country will prosper. Opposition to the government will be at a minimum and the crown can rule efficiently without having to spend its money or resources squelching rebellions. Unfortunately, a shortsighted, inefficient ruler could destroy a country. Britain established a constitutionalist state after the decline of royal absolutism. Though this form of government is often considered to be the same as a democracy, one must be quite clear that there is a difference. “Constitutionalism is the limitation of government by law” (McKay/Hill/Buckler 549). In a constitutional monarchy, such as in England, the King/Queen is the head of state and has some political authority, but the ultimate power rests with the electorate body. This system more closely resembles our modern day idea of “checks and balances...

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17th Century France vs. Britain . (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 08:25, August 30, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/61963.html