Louis XIV became the king of the French state, in other words, France, in 1643 at the age of five after the passing of Louis XIII and assumed the personal direction of affairs in 1661 at the age of 23. Louis XIV reigned over the French state until 1715. A historian proclaimed that “Louis XIV carried the principle of monarchy to its utmost success and abused it to the point of excess”. This statement can be proven to be true and false through his political, social, and economic development throughout France. The statement is kind of contradictory because in some aspects of Louis XIV’s development it can be seen as true, but in other aspects of his development the statement can be seen as false.
Louis XIV developed a new theory of politics named “the divine right of kings”. Louis XIV’s new political treatise was explained to the people of his kingdom by his orator, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet explained: “Rulers…act as ministers of God and as his lieutenants on Earth. It is through them that God exercises his empire. But kings, although their power comes from on high…should not regard themselves as masters of that power to use it at their pleasure…they must employ it with fear and self-restraint, as a thing coming from God and of which God will demand an account. The royal power is absolute…Without this absolute authority the king could neither do good or repress evil. It is necessary that his power be that no one can hope to escape him, and, finally the only protection of the individuals against the public authority should be their innocence.” Louis XIV’s political theory was developed solely for the people of the French state and not for his own personal “pleasure” so his political views would prove the statement to be false. In this way, Louis XIV developed a professional standing army and a full time civil service. Louis XIV’s political developments were made for his empire and not for himself. He consulted in the people of his empire, his...
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