Louis XIV: An Absolute Monarchy

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An absolute monarch can be defined as a ruler who rules without any interference from the nobles, having complete, utter and unrestricted rule over his people. Louis XIV of France was a key model of an absolute monarch during the time seen as a man to whom there was no equal intellectually, militarily or physically. His absolute monarchy was one of the most successful during the Age of Absolution, having the longest rule of any monarch in Europe. The king's rule was extremely successful due to his control over both the nobility and his own people, the massive and powerful army that he embarked on creating for his nation as well as the revenue he attained through his taxation of his people and use of mercantilism. France has not since or prior…show more content…
Since Louis XIV inherited his monarchy at the mere age of five years old, his nation was run by Cardinal Mazarin until his death in 1642. After the cardinal’s death, Louis began to reform France through his absolute rule which is apparent in the words he uttered the day he came into power: “Messieurs, I have come to my Parliament to tell you that, following the law of the land, I intend to take over the government myself; and I hope with the goodness of God it will be with piety and justice” (Horne 107). Even when he just began to rule, Louis XIV had full intent to take over France absolutely for the betterment of the country. The main principle of his absolute monarchy was weakening his nobility so that they had little to no control over the state. This was quite simple when he forced his nobility to live in the Palace of Versailles, planning various parties and banquets in order to keep the nobles preoccupied so that he could truly rule France. By weakening his nobility, Louis XIV had to ability to make sure anything that happened in France was under his control. These nobles did not even have to ability employ someone without specifically asking their king for his permission. An example of his authority over French nobles is shown in a meeting he once prevented from occurring…show more content…
France’s unity was only possible due to the leadership of their king who sought to make all of his people unified under one single religion. In an era subsequent to the wars of religion, where the world fought over both power and between religious beliefs of Catholicism and Protestantism, the Edict of Nantes was created in an attempt to make peace between the Catholics and Huguenots, French Protestants in 1598 by permitting Huguenots to worship. Believing that France should be united under one religion, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685: “The revocation of the Edict[of Nantes], signed by the King on October 18, ordered the demolition of all Protestant temples, the cessation of all Protestant services, the Catholic baptism of those born in the Protestant faith. The revocation was forced with the greatest brutality” (Ashley 92). Although it this may have been a strange move that was bound to cause tension between the Huguenots and the Catholics, Louis was determined to create unity in France regardless of what others thought. This revocation of the Edict of Nantes was a “brave move, revealing Louis's determination to define and control the character of the nation” (“Louis XIV”). Louis also unified France through his leadership of seventy-two years without any interference of the nobles. All the decisions for France were
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