Epoch of Richelieu - Monarchial Intrigues - Essay Example

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The paper “Epoch of Richelieu - Monarchial Intrigues” portrays Eminence Grise - a diplomat, ruthless towards his enemies and skilled in political opportunism, who controlled nobles, Huguenots and Habsburgs in France and established essentially royal authoritarianism at the court of Louis XIII. …
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Epoch of Richelieu - Monarchial Intrigues
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Download file to see previous pages Louis XIV, undoubtedly, made a great contribution in strengthening the central authority of French monarchy. However, it was made a cakewalk for him in the light of what his predecessors, especially Richelieu had already accomplished. Still, he deserves to be complimented for his ability in reading quickly the invisible price tag attached to those who could challenge the absolutism that he envisaged and also for the shrewd, though unethical, strategies that he invented to pacify the aristocracy and to eliminate the remnants of feudal power if any. By the use of pensions and privileges as decoys, he created circumstances in which loyalty became an obligation. To weaken the members of the noble elite further, he addicted them to luxury and indulgence at the Palace of Versailles. That also drastically reduced the time they would spend in their own estates. It was ‘Sankin-kotai’ in disguise. It is just that the system of alternate attendance was formalized as ‘Sankin-kotai’ by the Tokugawa Shoguns whereby the feudal lords were required to spend at least half of their time in Edo, the capital of the Shogun empire (Beasly 272).
Louis XIV is often praised in history for ‘recognizing talent’ because, during his reign, several high positions were filled with commoners. Though their credentials do not have to be doubted, it needs to be observed that he had a distinct advantage in having them there: they were easy to get rid of. A clear parallel between him and the Shogunate becomes apparent here if we recall how Ieyasu allowed outsiders to assume the position of vassals. Just as Louis XIV exercised control over the nobles by making them have to remain under his scrutiny, Ieyasu’s successors Hidetada and Iemitsu vigorously pursued the land reallocation strategy by which they could impose order on Japan’s feudal lords (Beasly 130). The system was justified on the basis that it would ensure ‘good governance’ while the actual rationale was the exercise of control. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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