Limited Monarchy and its Influence on the French Revolution Constitutional monarchy, also known as a limited monarchy, is a specific form of the government established under a constitutional system that proclaims either a hereditary or elected monarch as a head of the state. The limited monarchy is just the opposite to the absolute monarchy, as it is the absolute monarchy where the monarch is bound with no constitution and the monarch is the sole source of the political power in the country. The British monarchy is, obviously, the oldest of the modern limited monarchies, and it was established and formed in the United Kingdom during a long period of time for a various number of reasons. The United Kingdom had a long history of disputes over the questions of justification and the origins of monarchy, however, the belief in the divine right of kings was prevailing and the people were convinced that the best type of monarchy is the absolute one. Yet, in 1215 the changes had come, and Magna Carta in 1215 for the first time in the history has changed everything. This document was created for a number of reasons.
Generally, when Henry II died, his son, Richard I became his successor. However, neither Richard I, nor his successor John was successful leader and monarch. Due to their ineffectiveness, the U.K. lost territory to the French, the taxes were increased, and many people started to be arrested without trials. BY 1215 the nobility was concerned with the matter of affairs in the country and this made the noble creating the historically important document, Magna Carta. “The Magna Carta established for the first time that the power of the king could be limited. In this charter, the lords demanded greater rights for the nobility in determining law and placed specific restrictions on the authority of the king.
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For the first time in European history, the king was placed under the law of the land, no longer above them.” (Barter, pp.83-84) Under this document, the people were guaranteed specific rights and the king was bounded to certain laws. Although from the very beginning this document granted protection only to the noble people, later the rights granted under the Magna Carta, were also granted to the common people. The limited or constitutional monarchy affected the French Revolution, as during the 1789-1799 there was the end of the monarchy in France, and the French Revolution actually began as the effort to establish a constitutional monarchy, where the parliament could limit the power of the king. At those times, France participated in the Seven Years War (1756-1763), and the American Revolution (1775-783).
These wars were so expensive for the French that they brought the country into a great financial crisis, and the French government had to borrow the money in large amounts at very high rates. Soon the country was bankrupt the king and his government had to find new solutions to their problems.
Yet, almost like during the times when the Magna Carta was created, the government failed to lead the country out of crisis and the National Assembly created a new set of documents, including a new constitution (Montesquieu).
The king Louis XVI was forced to accept a new Constitution that established a limited or constitutional monarchy, under which the powers of the king were limited and the authority over the financial affairs and lawmaking was given to the National Assembly. Under this constitution, the power finally passed from the kings to the representatives of the French people, and the country was restructured into 83 departments “for the purposes of efficiency and to mark a break with the past.” (French Revolution) The court system was also reformed as the old parlements were abolished, and the National Assembly got government control over the Roman Catholic Church. In such a way, we can see that the constitutional monarchy had great influence on the French Revolution. Works Cited Barter, James. The Late Middle Ages. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Thomson Gale, 2006.
... by the society. This is why the figures of early French kings are still so popular in Europe, and the figure of ... . On the otehr hand, in such states as Byzantium central government continued to exist making ancient forms of rule exist longer ...
French Revolution. 10 February 2008 . Montesquieu, Baron de. The Spirit of Laws. Legal Classics Library, 1984..