Western Perspective II
January 26, 2009
Since the beginning of humanity’s history the man has always tried to find the way to dominate over others. The more power acquired the more ambition emerges; this condition can lead a man to fight against other people andeven violate principles of democracy and equality. There are several ways of domination created by the man to impose control and manage masses of population with a unique center of management. Monarchies, dictatorships, communist governments, absolutists, are one of the most common examples of exclusiveness in the manner to dominate or govern a region. Through history, absolutist power andrestrictiveness in a country’s system had been relatively diminished. Nowadays democracy is the major widespread government system in the world; conversely, there are several countries where governments or leaders still using monarchies and absolutism as models of control and governance. Countries like Cuba and numerous countries in Africa have current governments which can be described as restrictiveand where democracy is practically banned.
The diverse patterns of authoritarianism previously mentioned, are based on the same principle and develop certain similarity between each other. However, there are differences that make every pattern distinct to the others. In this case, absolutism is going to be the emphasis of study.
The idea of power or superiority may be interpreted as anadvantage because it promotes leadership, but in some cases power turns into a condition that goes against morality, laws, population and any kind of divergence or democracy. Absolutism is the political system
where there is no limit of power and all responsibility relapse on one single leader; for this reason absolutism can be stated as a direct enemy of democracy. Another important reason todetermine an absolutist system is its leader. Depending on how well someone can develop an absolutist system, it can be described as a positive aspect or a negative aspect. There are leaders that can use their absolute power to benefit the people under the system or use the power to look for personal interest or self-interest. The beginning of absolutist system dates from 1648 after thirty years of warbetween the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church, a war that started in 1618 and ended in 1648 through a treaty called “Peace of Westphalia”. This period was the start of a new era for Europe, new generations, the beginning of a modern history in Europe as well. The rise of centralized institutions and concentration of power between a few groups of people brought as a consequence theinitiation of powerful monarchies and institutions as the Catholic Church. Focusing in France, this concentration of power was remarkable but some balance was encountered after the French revolution which indicated the necessity of a leader and a diplomatic way to manage the country and create a stable system of governance. By the end of 1648 France was a powerful nation. The importance of having aconsolidated army gave France the possibility to gain cities and different territories, also, the alliances with potent countries like England and Germany were the key to suppress other countries and dominate the region. One specific characteristic of these alliances between nations and monarchies was the arranged marriages. Everything was based on power and interest of the most powerful people who weredominating in that period and in certain region.
In 1659 the war between France and Spain was ended trough a treaty named, “Peace of Pyrenees”, in which Spain precedence to French ambassadors in Europe. After this war, France substituted Spain as dominant in Europe for the following 200 years. The power in Europe was divided among the Catholic Church and Protestant Church, one in the south...