Absolutism In France

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When it comes to the idea of a government and monarchy, the idea of absolutism may arise in one form or another. Absolutism can be defined as a political system in which total power is vested in a single individual or a group of rulers. King Louis XIV (1638-1715) of France is one such figure who was the spitting image an Absolutist king, especially when it came to him exerting complete authority over his subjects and when it came to the effects of his rule that were sure to follow. To start off, it is important to consider how Louis came to become obsessed with such a grand concept in the first place. As a child, Louis grew up in a harrowing and hostile environment where the nobility would often attempt to gain power and influence over the…show more content…
On a positive note, he was an enormous patronage of various French art forms such as music, drama, literature and painting. He also established various institutions for these arts as well as the sciences, of which ended up eventually becoming the “regal tastes” of most of Europe (Schunk para. 15). Additionally, through his financial minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert and his policies, he encouraged mercantilism with overseas countries and also “reduced internal trade barriers” with the opening of roads and canals (Schunk para. 15). Finally, although most of Louis’s millitary efforts were laid to waste in “ill-advised wars,” he did increase the size of his country and made it “more territorially secure” (Schunk para. 14). Unfortunately, the negative effects of his rule outweigh the positive effects. As described in the article, “Louis XIV, king of France,” of The Columbia Encyclopedia, Louis’s vast spending on his palace at Versailles, along with him participating in needless wars such as the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), left France in a state of debt and “greatly weakened [France] militarily” (“Louis XIV, king of France” para. 5). Additionally, Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes which had protected the religious freedoms of French Protestants known as Huguenots, as he wished to transform his monarchy to…show more content…
He left behind a large number of negative effects on his country, however, based on a number of his unwise decisions. Although he did foster a renaissance of various French art forms and influenced overseas trade with his encouragement of
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