Journal #7. For each “data set” please write 1-2 sentences about what you think the source can tell you about how Louis 14 th was able to maintain power.
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When viewing the paintings of Louis XIV, pay close attention to the King’s clothing and posture. Keep in mind that the majority of the population of France would never actually see the king in person. Instead, they would see statues and paintings of the king, much like these.
Because of its great size, the King’s palace at Versailles was like a small royal city. Its rich decoration and furnishings clearly showed Louis’s wealth and power to everyone who came to the palace.
Here, the entire French nobility was expected to take residence and to participate in elaborate ceremonies, festivals and dinners. The elaborate ceremonies there impressed the king’s subjects and aroused the admiration and envy of all other European monarchs.
King Louis XIV’s reign epitomized European absolutism, in which one person (generally a monarch) holds all power. This is supported by the political theory known as the divine right of kings, that is, the belief that the monarch's authority is God-given and that to question that authority is to question God.
Louis is reported to have boasted “I am the state.” In his view, he and the state were one and the same.
Under Louis XIV, France was the most powerful country in Europe. The French army, numbering 100,000 in peacetime and 400,000 in wartime, was far ahead of other states’ armies in size, training, and weaponry.
Not since Augustus of Rome had there been a monarch who aided the arts at much as Louis. Under Louis, the chief purpose of art was no longer to glorify God, as it had been in the Middle Ages. Now the purpose of art was to glorify the king and promote values that supported Louis’s absolute rule.