Louis XIV, France’s Sun King Essay
1233 Words5 Pages
Louis XIV, France’s Sun King
Louis XIV, France’s Sun King, had the longest reign in European history (1643-1715). During this time he brought absolute monarchy to its height, established a glittering court at Versailles, and fought most of the other European countries in four wars. Although his reign had some negative aspects; on balance, Louis’ reign was primarily a benefit to France.
In 1643 Louis XIII died. Louis XIII’s wife and Louis XIV’s mother, Anne of Austria, aided by her minister, Cardinal Mazarin, ruled France as regent. Kindly but mediocre tutors gave him a feeble education, while his mother formed his rules of conscience, teaching him a simple kind of Roman Catholicism. Mazarin instructed him in court ceremony,…show more content…
He reigned in France for 72 years, and during 54 of them he personally controlled the French government. The 17th century is labeled as the age of Louis XIV. Since then his rule has been hailed as the supreme example of absolutism government. He epitomized the ideal of kingship. During his reign France stabilized and became one of the strongest powers in Europe.
Some people think that King Louis XIV did more harm to France than good. They cite his lack of moderation in managing his money. They also point out that Louis denied religious liberties to the Protestants of France and tightened control over his Roman Catholic subjects by revoking the Edict of Nantes. They also claim Louis’ war efforts were very costly and drained the treasury of France. Some say his arrogance, including his emblem of the “Sun King”, turned “his” people away from him. They think that Louis only cared about himself and what he wanted and didn’t think about future France.
Despite these arguments, it is clear that Louis’ contributions to France outweighed the negative aspects of his reign. In his early personal reign, Louis was highly successful in both internal and foreign affairs. At home the parliaments lost their traditional power to obstruct legislation, and the judicial structure was reformed by the codes of civil procedure and criminal procedure. Urban law enforcement was improved by the
The Absolutism Of King Louis XIV Essay
511 Words3 Pages
Louis XIV, the ruler of France from the late seventeenth century to the early eighteenth century, claimed, “I am the state.” He considered this to be absolutism. His goal, also acquainted with absolutism, was, “one king, one law, one faith;” Furthermore, Louis wanted to promote religious unity, royal dignity, and security of the state. In order to achieve this goal, he had to rule with a firm hand, laying down the law for all to see. Louis XIV’s absolutism fostered in four major parts: the building of Versailles to control the nobility, the breeding of a strong military, the improvement of France’s economy, and, while quite harsh, the brutal extinction of religious toleration. After the occurrence of the Fronde, an open rebellion of…show more content…
In 1685, Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes and put the Edict of Fontainebleau in its place. Because of this document, all religious toleration for Huguenots (previously allowed by the Edict of Nantes) was no longer allowed, leaving them with two options: convert to Catholicism or leave France. Through this law, Louis achieved national religious unity. In 1661 Louis appointed Jean-Baptiste Colbert as controller general of finances. This proved to be very successful in adding to the increase of France’s economy, and it helped Louis achieve his second goal of having “one law.” Colbert’s ideas were similar to that of mercantilism. He insisted on having an economic system that would make France a self-sufficient powerful country where they exported more than they imported. He improved France’s economy through the invention of a merchant marine fleet, the support of industries, the control of tariffs on French goods, and the collection of taxes. All of these gained money for France, which led to the creation of a powerful army. Due to a powerful army, France was able to secure its natural frontiers, even in the North East, which was France’s weakest natural border. While Louis claimed a flaw of his was that, “I loved war too much,” he was able to make a strong French presence in Europe, adding to his idea of “one law.” Louis XIV was successful in achieving “one king, one law, one faith.” He was able to