Teaching Students About the Divine Right Of Kings
Teaching politics can be a complex task, but explaining certain concepts is important for students to understand the foundations of government and political systems. One of these concepts is the Divine Right of Kings. This idea held that monarchs were appointed by God to rule their kingdoms, and it was used as a justification for their power.
Teaching students about the Divine Right of Kings can be a challenging task, but it is an essential one. It helps students to understand how political power was understood in the past and how it has evolved over time. It can also help students to understand the importance of questioning authority and determining the legitimacy of leadership.
One approach to teaching the concept of the Divine Right of Kings is to start with a brief historical overview of the concept. The idea has its roots in the medieval period, when the Catholic Church was the dominant religious and political authority in Europe. The belief was that monarchs were appointed by God to rule, and therefore they were accountable only to God. This idea was reinforced during the Reformation when Protestant monarchs used it to strengthen their claims to power.
After this brief introduction, it can be helpful to provide students with some historical examples of the use of this concept. One example is King James I of England. He firmly believed in the Divine Right of Kings and even wrote a book defending it called “The True Law of Free Monarchies.” In this book, he argued that kings were appointed by God and that their authority was absolute.
Another example is Louis XIV of France. He famously declared, “L’état, c’est moi,” or “I am the state,” indicating his belief in his own divine right to rule. He also used the idea to justify his absolute power over the French people.
It is crucial when teaching the Divine Right of Kings to explain that this idea was eventually challenged and rejected. The Enlightenment and the rise of democracy in the 18th and 19th centuries led to a new understanding of political power. The idea was that rulers should be accountable to their people rather than to God, and that all people had certain rights that should be protected by the government.