Enlightened despot



A enlightened despot is about that during the 1700th century was the monarchies influenced by the enlightenment. It was said that the kings and queens were put in there seat by good, they were born to be king or queen. Voltaire changed that and said that they were put the by the people. One of the first one to agree with this as a king was Joseph II of Austria that said that he were put there by god but he was improving the seats for the people. This was also a way to strengthen their authority. Joseph II became a regent when his father died. His mother Maria Theresa then made him to a coregent even if they had very different motivations. She was a deeply believing catholic and was unsympathetic to the enlightenment. She stood with the church and nobles against the new changes even if the famous philosopher Voltaire said that enlightened monarchy was the only right way for society to advance. Anyway, Joseph however made a lot of enlightened reforms, people were know tended to get freedom of speech and press as religious toleration, they could even be able to hold an own property. At the same time did he continued on his mothers lines that she once had made up.

During this period said also a philosopher called Montesquieu said that republics were more suitable for large states and that monarchies were better for smaller states but why should it be like that? Probably had Montesquieu right because a lot of the larger countries around the world are actually republics even now a days, with some exceptions like Great Britain, Spain, Australia and Canada. What is it now that makes a little country suitable for monarchy? Could it be that in a big country is it more people who wants to decide things and therefore is it better with an elected head of state?

At last despot has in later years became an expression that are kind of patronizing and were often I connection with people that abused their power to oppress the population.


/ jakob lundén


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