In what way were the British and French governments of the late 1600s different?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Britain, having gone through civil war in the early part of the 1600s, had reestablished governance under the Rule of Law, from which no one, even the monarch, was exempt. Parliament, as the sole legislative authority, made the law; members of Parliament were elected officials.   Britain had constructed a government based on the division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial.  The Glorious Revolution was glorious because the succession of the king was made by the Rule of Law, and not by Divine Right or skill at arms, as it had been earlier.  In contrast, France's government had retained Divine Right and all governance was done through the monarchy; having prolonged the medaeval form of government, its "civil war" came in the form of the French Revolution a century later, when the country attempted to do away with the Divine Right and institute democratic reforms.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The British and French governments at the end of the 1600s were very different.

In France, Louis XIQ reigned from from 1643-1715.  He was a great believer in the absolute power of the monarchy because he believed in the divine right of kings.

In contrast, Britain's monarchy at the end of the 1600s was much weaker than that of France.  The Glorious Revolution of 1688 had taken a great deal of power away from the monarchy and given it to the Parliament.

So, France was an autocratic monarchy while Britain did have a monarchy but a much weaker one that shared power with Parliament.