LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE AND ABSOLUTISM
QUESTION: In Louis XIV’s view, what were the qualities of an effective monarch? In his opinion, what were the main obstacles to absolute rule?
Louis XIV is known as being one of the most remarkable monarchs in history. He reined for seventy-two years (1643-1715) and from 1661, he personally controlled French government. The 17th century is labelled as the age of Louis XIV. Louis XIV, was a strong believer in “absolutism” - term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by any other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites. In other words, the monarch has complete power over the state and its individuals who inhabit this state. Absolutism focuses on three main aspects: the first is to create war and peace, the second to regulate religion and the third was to oversee economic activity. Throughout his reign, he was able to follow these standards and maintain success. This essay will take a look at what exactly is absolutism, what Louis XVI thinks some of the qualities an effective monarch possesses and some of the obstacles to absolute rule. As previously mentioned, absolutism is a term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by any other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites. The groundwork for Louis XIV’s absolutism was laid down by two powerful ministers, Cardinal Richelieu and then by Cardinal Mazarin. Both of these ministers attempted to impose direct royal administration on France. Absolutism has three main components to it: the first is to create war and peace, the second to regulate religion and the third was to oversee economic activity. In his actions he always incorporated absolutism. For example, Louis revoked The Edict of Nantes. (Document C) This deals greatly with the second component of absolutism (regulation of religion). Louis XIV believed a country could not be under one king and one law unless it was also under...
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