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Western Civilization | Absolutism

The problem of absolutism of the first Stuarts has attracted a lot of attention of historiography nowadays. And there is no wonder: it contains a ‘secret’ of making the reign of James I and his successor, Charles I, in the prologue to the Revolution. Thus, we are going to discuss why absolutism was met with resistance in England in this project.

Thinking about the reasons why absolutism was met with resistance in England, it is possible to say that English absolutism, entering a downward phase of the crisis and decay, inevitably became more closely ‘tied’ by its internal and external policies to the interests of a very thin layer of the court and part of the provincial nobility, which was its main social base in the new conditions. Such a bias in the policy of absolutism was a direct result of escalating social contradictions in society at that time. Observing the groups that resisted absolutism, we can say that they were the new ‘middle classes’, because they were disagree to obey to absolute monarchy and wait for its protection.

As a result, shifting the balance of ownership in favor of the new middle classes affected increasingly insistent claims of the past to a voice in determining the internal and external policies of the court. For instance, in full voice this opposition showed itself in the first Parliament of James I (1604), where the subject of discussion was the pivotal issue of the constitution – about the prerogatives of the boundaries, i.e., the exclusive rights of the Crown and the Privileges of Parliament.

In conclusion, we have observed the question why absolutism was met with resistance in England with all necessary details and examples in the body of this project.


Kimmel, Michael S. Absolutism and Its Discontents: State and Society in Seventeenth-Century France and England. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1988.