The process by which states went from decentralized and fairly loosely organized to "absolutist" was a long one. Numerous aspects of government even in the late eighteenth century remained strikingly "medieval" in some ways, such as the fact that laws were different from town to town and region to region based on the accumulation of various royal grants and traditional rights over the centuries. That being noted, there is no question that things had changed significantly over the course of the seventeenth century: governments were bigger, better organized, and more explicitly hierarchical in organization.
Image Citations (Wikimedia Commons):
Cardinal Richelieu - Public Domain
Hall of Mirrors - Jorge Láscar
Louis XIV - Public Domain
Prussia - Public Domain
English Civil War Engraving - Public Domain