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Louis XIV - Essay Example

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Summary
During the long reign of Louis XIV (1638-1715) France knew such opulence and prosperity that his reign is universally considered as the golden era in the French monarchy, and he is named under the eponymous of the Sun King (in French Le Roi Soleil), or as Louis the Great (in French Louis le Grand) (Cronin 1996; Dunlop 2000) …
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Louis XIV

Download file to see previous pages... France become the greatest because of his "Great Monarch", and all European states turned to France as their model in art, music, architecture, fashion style, elegance.
As best summed up by Voltaire, "This then in general terms is what Louis XIV did or tried to do to make his country more flourishing. ...Louis XIV did more for his people than twenty of his predecessors put together" (Voltaire 1775, 226).
The reasons for this spectacular success are numerous and have to be found in a combination of lucky circumstances and the talents of great men, as clearly stated by Steve Mulhberger in his lecture (University of Nipissing History Department).
The main concern of a king is to consolidate his power and to create a solid and long-lasting state. French kings strictly followed this rule; since the 12th century they tried to build up a strong government by the creation of an effective centralization (University of Nipissing History Department, Mulhberger). Therefore, when Louis XIV came to the French throne, he was the son of a long history of more or less stable central governments.
Above all Louis XIV took advantage of the crucial inheritance left by Richelieu and Mazarin, who were the chief advisors (sometimes each of them was called eminent grise) to Louis XIII and the infant Louis XIV respectively.
Their major challenges had been the weakness of the cr...
But their system still wasn't stable.
It was Louis XIV who for many years achieved stability, both with force and hard working, and according to S. Muhlberger, due to a great deal of illusion, too (University of Nipissing History Department, Mulhberger).
First of all, he profited from coming to power when France was too proved by years of civil wars. France was ready to become one and recognize in the savior of the nation, the king! He lowered the power of any authorities under him, either the parlements1 or town governments. He benefited from a financial genius like Colbert and created Versailles, as a perpetual celebration of his glory, and therefore of the glory of France (being Louis and the state indeed identical) (University of Nipissing History Department, Mulhberger).
Versailles was also a perfect instrument to keep nobility occupied and far from political aspects (it was a sort of seventeenth-century Disneyland as mentioned in Northern Virginia Community College. Division of Humanities by Prof. C. Evans).
By the means of using commoners to run the state and pleasing Catholic church with the Edit de Fountainbleau (1685), he managed to further consolidate his personal power.
Being the crown powerful and the country unified under his authority, he could turn to rest of Europe.
Louis XIV thought that his entire life has to be the walk of a great king in a great country, the entire country being resumed in his divine-right, absolute monarch. It is possible that he never said the famous statement historians had always attributed to him, "L'tat, c'est moi" (I am the state). But, as Jacques Bousset and Jean Domat1 were theorizing (Domat 1829), he considered himself to be God's instrument on earth, and clearly felt that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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