Greediness of Louis XIV

Topics: Louis XIV of France, Louis XV of France, Louis XVI of France Pages: 3 (1109 words) Published: May 30, 2005
Louis XIV
Greed is defined in the dictionary as selfish and grasping desire for possession; especially of wealth. It is also described as a noun. This definition can be directly related and best describes Louis XIV, the king of France in the sixteen hundreds. The effects of greed destroying peoples lives can be seen in the beginning of Louis XIV's reign, during his reign, and after his reign had ended Louis XIV inherited the throne in 1643 when he was only five (Cairns 103). From the moment he entered power and his reign began he had greedy intentions and enormous ideas of divine rule (Cairns 112). In 1661, Louis chief advisor Cardinal Jules Mazarin died and Louis then decided that he would be the only ruler of France (Spielvagel 1). Louis once expressed, "It is now time that I govern them myself. I request and order you to seal no orders except my command,… I order you not to sign anything, not even a passport… without my command; to render account to me personally each day and to favor no one" (Spielvagel 1). This quote reveals Louis's desire to have power over everything and control everyone around him. Louis used the sun as his symbol of power. He often quoted, "I am the state" (Cairns 35). Exposed in this quote is Louis mindset that he had all power. Using the sun as his symbol of power enforced his belief that he was the center of all things. Author of "Court Described by Duc De Saint Simon," Elena Steingrad, stated the following when referring to King Louis's life, "… he compelled his courtiers to live beyond their income, and gradually reduced then to depend on his bounty for the means of subsistence. This was a plague which became a scourge to the whole country…" (4). The quote shows Louis' greedy intentions, which eventually led to widespread confusion and an economic drop to the country of France (Steingrad 4). Louis XIV in the beginning of his reign was starting to show signs of his enormous, greedy intentions and his belief in divine rule. It was...
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