David PeraltaMs. StevensGlobal Studies 10 – 0719 December 2017Louis XIV’s Precedent of Absolute Monarchy Louis XIV reigned from 1643-1715 and there weren’t any monarchs before him that achieved the things he did. He boosted France’s economy with a mercantilist trading market. Louis XIV predecessors had previously passed laws limiting the power of the monarch but in spite of these limitations Louis XIV surprised all of the world leaders at the time. Although there were many great monarchs, Louis XIV of France achieved many accomplishments to become a great absolute monarch, such as centralization of power, centralization of french culture, validating France as a great european power, and the pacification of nobility.
With the construction of the Palace of Versailles Louis XIV was able to efficiently run the government. “By this time, Paris had been reduced to a state of anarchy and misery.” (Horne 107) With the numerous amounts of war and conflicts in Paris the nobility were not content with the state of France. To combat this Louis XIV pacified the rebellious nobles by sending them off to a luxurious palace where they are distracted and they involuntarily surrender all of their power to Louis XIV. This is one of the most important things that needs to be done since it allows Louis XIV to not have to worry about people always plotting against him. This also gave him more time to focus on the numerous military endeavors that France was always involved in. During this time period France took part in about a dozen civil wars and also multiple other wars with surrounding countries.
These wars were very costly for the country but hopefully Louis XIV hired a Controller-General of Finances for France. When Louis XIV’s chief minister, Mazarin, died Louis XIV took over and everyone else in the government expected him to take another chief minister but he refused to and wanted to rule alone without people limiting his power. This gave all of the power to Louis XIV and when the Nobles were too distracted in the Palace of Versailles Louis XIV would not have had any restrictions on him. The employment of Jean-Baptiste Colbert as the Controller-General of Finances for France gave Louis XIV more power since it allowed France’s economics to thrive so more people were able to supply the government with taxes. Those taxes could support the military better. Under Colbert’s financial advisement for the country, France switched over, to a mercantilist way of trading.
That meant that France was completely self-sufficient and did not need any resources from other countries and that they exported more than imported so that meant the people of France would have more resources coming into their country rather than their country being depleted of its natural resources. Louis XIV centralizes french culture by patronizing the arts. Throughout the several homes of Louis XIV he always had magnificent pieces of artwork to show off his lavish lifestyle. He justifies this by “Nothing indicates more clearly the magnificence of great princes than their superb palaces and their precious furniture”(Parker 12). These actions of buying opulent pieceof furniture is what distracts the nobility and lets Louis XIV to focus on his absolute monarchy. Louis XIV Revokes the Edict of Nantes which was put forth by Henry IV and ratifies the Edict of Fontainebleau. This makes all Huguenots illegal and practice of Protestantism no longer legal in France. As a result many of the people practicing Calvinism left the country and went to places like America, Germany, or the Netherlands.
This resulted in many intelligent French people leaving the country and creating the infamous ‘Brain Drain of France.’ During Louis XIV’s reign he acquired ten new provinces for the French Empire. These were a combination of continental and overseas territories but nonetheless it was still an Expansion in the French Empire. This allowed France to improve on its trade economy. With these new territories France now has access to natural resources that it never had before.
With ten added provinces to their Empire France could export large amounts of natural resources so that they could fulfill their mercantilist desires. France dominated in Europe’s culture and linguistics, during the reign of Louis XIV other European nations would admire France. At most times of the day Louis XIV would be surrounded by numerous aristocrats and musical composers. Whenever other ambassadors of other countries would visit France and see Louis XIV they became extremely jealous of all the fancy art and constant music going on. This made France stand out as one of the most culturally unique countries in Europe.
There was no other country like France with so much luxury and tranquility. A large part of this is thanks to the Palace of Versailles. The Palace of Versailles was very expensive to upkeep but it envied other countries to bel like France. Louis XIV is still one of the most prominent and well known absolute monarchs of all time. Not only did he succeed in various military clashes for France but he also utilized this military to aid him in the collection of taxes. The construction of the Palace of Versailles gave him the ability to distract the Noble class and in turn it gave him the capability to rule France without being restricted by other people.
Also with the employment of Jean-Baptiste Colbert he appointed him as the Controller-General of Finances for France. At his position of Controller-General of Finances he had resolve major issues that France had before hisemployment. Louis XIV is the paradigm of an Absolute Monarch and set the precedent of becoming one.Horne, Alistair. Seven Ages of Paris.London: Vintage, 2002. PrintKettering, Sharon.
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