Analysis Of King Louis XIV In Jean Bodin's 'Six Books Of The Republic'

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According to Jean Bodin, sovereignty is the complete power of a state to govern itself. King Louis XIV strived to bring sovereignty to his land by attempting to consolidate his power. Louis XIV’s Advice to His Son, Historical Memoirs of the Duc De Saint- Simon, and The Duke of Saint- Simon on the Reign of Louis XIV all detail King Louis XIV’s efforts to become a sovereign leader through control over the government and exerting his power on his subjects in order to limit and assess potential threats to his power. In Jean Bodin’s Six Books of the Republic (1576), he argues that a key aspect of a sovereign leader is to only be commanded by God. King Louis XIV addresses this portion of his leadership in Louis XIV’s Advice to His Son when he says,…show more content…
Therefore, a sovereign prince must have unlimited, permanent, perpetual power over his government and people. King Louis XIV accomplished this task by first taking away the control that the citizens had: titles. Louis XIV established a militia to protect his kingdom instead of using nobles and vassals in order to weaken their power. As a result, the feudal series was destroyed and the power of the nobility along with it (Historical Memoirs of the Duc De Saint- Simon). A key cause of the vassal’s loyalty to nobility was because the nobility protected their subjects from outside assaults on the village while the king did not protect them. Hence, since the king sent a militia to protect the kingdom, vassals no longer needed to be loyal to the nobility. Therefore, nobility was no longer a threat to King Louis XIV power because they lacked the support of vassals after the collapse of feudal services. Furthermore, in The Duke of Saint- Simon on the Reign of Louis XIV, Wiesner describes Louis XIV’s move to the Palace of Versailles. The move was a tactical ploy on Louis’ part because the large palace allowed him to have his main followers live in the palace, where he could spy on and observe their movement, which in turn allowed him to assess potential threats to his reign. Louis exerts his power over others, such as his brother, by making them stand while he sits and eats until he gives them permission to sit down. By doing so, King Louis is showing that he holds all the power in their relationship. Therefore, by taking power away from the nobility and evaluating future threats, Louis XIV was able to maintain absolute power of his
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