Who Was The Most Enlightened Monarch? Ap European History Essay

797 words - 4 pages

Which of the Enlightened monarchs was the most enlightened and why?
In 17th and 18th century Europe, enlightenment was referred to as the age of reason. Enlightenment thinkers questioned traditional European authority and thought that humanity could be changed by rational thinking and change. They tried to apply the principles of the age of reason and the enlightenment into their kingdoms. Most of the philosophers during the time thought that a strong monarchy was the best tool in order to achieve the goals of enlightenment. There were many enlightened monarchs during this time period, although the most enlightened would have to be Fredrick the great of Prussia.
Frederick had a hard childhood and there are a lot of clues that he was physically abused by his father. When he was young he was really into arts, culture, and music. His father however was very militaristic and not into the same things that his son is. He wanted to escape his father at an older age. He runs away with his best friend who is also his lover. They are caught by his father and then makes Frederick watch as his lovers head gets chopped off. This most likely severely emotionally damaged for life which is why it is even more spectacular that he was able to be so influential and to so many great things during the enlightenment. Frederick was a Prussia until he was 28 years old and his father tragically died. When he died Frederick took over the throne and became king. The biggest reason why I believe that Frederick the Great is because he defined himself as the first servant of the state. He believed that while being a king he should not just rule over his country but he should be a benefactor and show that he cares about his citizens. People respected him greatly for this.To show that he really cared he published a book against Niccolò Machiavelli because Machiavelli believed that a king or a prince should do whatever they have to do in order to achieve power and Frederick believed that this was wrong. He got a lot of respect for his book and this is why he was the most respected and liked out of all of the enlightened monarchs. To show even more respect to his people he had a very good religious toleration. During this time period in Europe the dominant religion was still...

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