Document Based Question
During the late sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century, the concepts of French Nobles changed drastically. The impression of the nobles changed from the view that all nobility were servants and had a blind loyalty to the king in late 1500s, to the Nobles going against the law in the early 1600s. Then, in the mid to late 1600s, the perception changed again to questioning what were the nobility really for. Finally, in the late 18th century, the noblemen were seen as no use to society.
In the late 1500s nobility was widely known as a rank of honour. To be a noble at that period of time you had to serve the king relentlessly. Jean de la Taille explains this in his poem “The Retired Courtier”, “As he serves the King, he must serve the King’s favourites, honour the hateful, Give gifts, hold banquets.” (Doc 1) Also at this time the nobility were regarded as gentlemen with being morally good and righteous. “There is no true Nobility except that which derives from virtue and morality.” (Doc 2.)
When it became the early 1600s the nobility became less and less involved on serving their king and became more involved in protecting their own reputation, through illegal means, such as, the nobility having duels. This unsettled the French King Louis XIII and he decided to denigrate the nobles participating in the activity through his Declaration on Duels and Affairs of Honour speech, “These crimes, which gravely offend God’s majesty are detestable sacrilege, destroy healthy men, violate natural law, plunge noble families into mourning.”(Doc. 6) One sword nobleman also condemned the nobility for turning corrupt, “There is no longer any reward or virtue, since all power now belongs to favours, alliances, kinship, and money.” (Doc. 4) These illegal acts in time created questions about the nobles in France. Moving on to the mid 1600s with the nobility still participating in duels and moving away from the king, much of society began to...
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