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Aim: How successful was Louis XIV in expanding his own power and that of France? . Case Study: French Absolutism. Louis XIV of France “the Sun King” ruled 1643-1715 “ L’etat c’est moi ” (I am the State).

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aim how successful was louis xiv in expanding his own power and that of france

Aim: How successful was Louis XIV in expanding his own power and that of France?

Case Study: French Absolutism

louis xiv of france the sun king ruled 1643 1715 l etat c est moi i am the state
Louis XIV of France“the Sun King” ruled 1643-1715“L’etatc’estmoi”(I am the State)
slide3

At the end of the Thirty Years War, France was the most populous and most powerful European state

the fronde 1648 52
The Fronde 1648-52
  • Arebellion by the nobility against the power of the central state and the 10 year old king
  • After its defeat, Louis determined to squash this forever by the establishment absolutist power
the theory of divine right
The theory of “Divine Right”
  • "The sovereign Prince is only accountable to God”

-- Jean Bodin

  • “The state of monarchy is the supremest thing on earth. For kings are not only God’s lieutenants on earth, and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God Himself are called gods…. “

-- King James I of England

slide12

As a noble, your status was now shown by your proximity (closeness) to the king and your willingness to spend money to show off at the court

but real state power was given only to commoners who ruled in louis name
But real state power was given only to commoners who ruled in Louis’ name
  • Established bureaucracy
  • Staffed by “commoners” – men of merit who held power only through Louis
    • Educated merchants and intellectuals
    • Close ties between the state and the new capitalist class
colbert and mercantilism building and controlling the economy
Colbert and Mercantilism: Building and controlling the economy
  • Which is a mercantilist act?
    • Preventing importation of cloth from England
    • Preventing importation of sugar from French Haiti
    • Subsidies to a French shoe manufacturer
    • Encouraging free trade by eliminating tariffs
    • All shipping from colonies must be on French ships
    • French colonies banned from purchase of Dutch goods
    • Encourage Italian manufacturers to build factories in France
    • Grant a monopoly to one company to trade with India
revocation of the edict of nantes
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes
  • Protestants had been allowed religious freedom under the Edict of Nantes
  • Louis saw the continuation of Protestantism as a symbol of royal powerlessness.
louis wars
Louis’ Wars
  • War of Devolution (1667–1668): against England, Sweden, Dutch
  • Dutch War(1672–1678): with Sweden and England against Dutch, Spain, Austria
  • War of the Grand Alliance (1688–97): against English, Dutch, Spain, Austria, Germanic princes; also fought in Ireland and Americas
  • War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) : with Spain and Germanic princes against Great Britain, Dutch, Austria, Portugal
the many wars of the french kings added significant but not overwhelming territory1
The many wars of the French kings added significant, but not overwhelming, territory

Wars created a huge state debt – for the next 75 years, France tottered on the edge of bankruptcy

a common fault of absolutist rulers
A common fault of absolutist rulers
  • “Do not follow the bad example which I have set you; I have often undertaken war too lightly and have sustained it for vanity. Do not imitate me, but be a peaceful prince, and may you apply yourself principally to the alleviation of the burdens of your subjects.”

-- Louis on his deathbed