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In the Court of Louis XIV
Transcript of In the Court of Louis XIV
"One King, One Law, One Faith"
Court of Versailles:
Project the Power of the King
The palace was built to show the power the King had.
Louis required the nobles to spend time at Versailles so he could control and let them be involved in prestigious matters.
Symbol of Absolute Authority
Used to make sure nobles gained no true power and kept them under close watch
Used to awe the peasantry and foreign powers that came to visit
The king was placed on the throne by God and therefore owed his authority to no man or group
Called the Sun King because he was the center of French power
"L'etat, c'est moi" = the state, it is I.
Louis believed that he was the one and only person who was at the head of the state and he had the only input.
Re-organization of Government
Created 4 new councils (Louis head of all):
Council of State: Foreign policy
Council of Dispatches: Internal affairs
Council of Finances: taxation, tariffs, etc.
Privy council: administration of justice
Brought the nobles under control by administering law and informing the King about noble's activities in their regions.
Gave high powers to middle-class officials who would be dependent on the King and enforce his laws.
Indentants sent to collect taxes and enforce laws.
Created by Richelieu.
Drawn from the middle class and they are loyal to the king because he gave them a superior career with privileges.
Each Intendant was given control over one of 32 districts in which they administered tax collection, filled King's coffers (banks), and recruited soldiers.
Forced labor that required peasants to work a month per year on public projects.
The corvée was the earliest and most widespread form of taxation, which can be traced back to the beginning of civilization.
Eliminated the noble intermediary by recruiting his chief ministries from the middle class.
Recruited Intendants from middle class.
Took control and made himself main power over Parliament.
Gave them options to keep Parliament under his control.
One Faith: Catholism
Edict of Nantes
Revoked Edict of Nantes because he realized Huguenots were politically dangerous.
Edict of Fountainbleu
In 1685 he announced this edict which forbade the non-catholics from worshipping or living in France.
Edict = allowed all Protestants to be protected and equal under law.
Many protestants forced to convert or they were expelled from France (negative impact = minimal in social, political, and economic terms.)
He was the head of the Gallican Church
Pope Innocent Xl condemned Louis's actions, threatening him with reprisals.
Louis responded by calling a special assembly of French clergy and directing them to draw up a Declaration of Gallican Liberties.
This document claimed that the pope's authority in France was limited to spiritual matters and that even in spiritual matters, the pope was subject to the decisions of a general council.
The pope protested this challenge to papal authority and the possibility of a schism loomed large.
But neither side wanted to go that far. After Innocent's death, a compromise was arranged, and by 1693 the Gallican articles had been retracted.
Declaration of Gallican
In the 1670s, Louis claimed the regale or the right of the French king to appoint the lower clergy and collect the revenues of a diocese when it was vacant.
During 1643-1715, Louis had the longest reign in European history and his quote "One king, one law, one faith" was accomplished when he met his goals to become an absolute monarch. Absolute monarchy or absolutism meant that the sovereign power or ultimate authority in the state rested in the hands of a king who claimed to rule by divine right.
Born on Sept. 5, 1638, Louis was the first, regarded as "god-given," child of the long-married Louis XIII and his Habsburg wife, Anne of Austria. He succeeded his father on the throne at the age of four. While still in the early ages of his life, Mazarin ruled over the lands.
A cardinal who became France's secretary of state for foreign affairs in 1616.
He established colonies making France more powerful.
He helped create the intendant system.
When Richelieu died (1642), Mazarin took his place as prime minister (in 1643).
Until his death in 1661, Mazarin was France's absolute leader until Louis was of proper age.
The Fronde (a noble revolt) occured when he was in power because they did not like Mazarin, and it was then that Louis realized he could not trust the nobles.
the Court at Versailles
Richelieu was a strong believer in the power of the crown and served his master - Louis XIII - well to make 17th Century France a classic example of the expansion of royal absolutism at the expense of noble power.
With the success against the Huguenots behind Richelieu, Richelieu set about expanding royal power. The equation was very simple. If the power of the crown was expanded, the power of the magnates had to decrease. Also, any successful dealings against the magnates, would increase the power of Richelieu.
Richelieu was a strong believer in the power of the crown.and
served his master - Louis XIII - well. He did much to make
17th Century France a classic example of the expansion of royal
absolutism at the expense of noble power. With the success against
the Huguenots behind Richelieu, he set about expanding royal power.
The equation was very simple. If the power of the crown was expanded,
the power of the magnates had to decrease. Also, any successful dealings
against the magnates, would increase the power of Richelieu.
Richelieu dominated the Royal Court though Louis XIII always insisted on the final say with regards to final policy decisions - as befitted their relationship. Those who ran the administration were hand picked by Richelieu, and they were chosen for their ability, not their family background. As a result of this, the senior nobility was excluded from these important positions. This created resentment and the senior nobility gathered around the Duke of Orleans, the king’s uncle, and the Queen Mother, Marie de Medici.
• Duc/Duchess: possessor of a duchy & recognition as duke by the king.
• Prince/Princess: possessor of a lordship styled a principality (Not to be confused with the rank of prince held by the male heirs of the king.)
• Marquis/Marquess: possessor of a marquessate
• Comte/Comtess: possessor of a county.
• Vicomte/Vicomtess: possessor of a viscounty
• Baron/Baroness: possessor of a barony .
Life at the Court in Versailles -- Journal Prompt
1. What were the most important factors in getting ahead rewarded at court?
2. How did you feel about your treatment by the King?
Take into account the titles used, the gifts bestowed, the proximity to the King.
3. How Did You Select the Individual You Conferred With? What factors did you consider?
Part 2 - the Mingle: Factors to Consider in Your Alliances
How close is the person to the King?
What resources does he or she control? Can I use these to get rich or help my family?
Will I be able to make my own appointments?
Will I be able to get a title?
Will the King know about my service?
Part I: In the Presence of the King
You will be asked/told by the King to
receive certain honors, awards, or positions.
You must accept them or be exiled (or worse). Think about how they can help you get wealthy or gain prestige and be ready to use them to your advantage in Part II.
During his reign, he promoted industrial growth and cut France's deficit. He also reorganized the taxation system and limit the borrowing practices of the past. To make the government more stable, he forced provincial nobles to relinquish political influence and constructed the middle class with a more centralized administration. This was the beginning of the end of feudalism in France. While he was king, he also created programs and institutes to promote more arts into the French culture.
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."
Why Louis XIV was a Lousy King
1. He reinstated persecution of dissident Catholics & Protestants
Expelled the Jews in 1685
Revoked the Edict of Nantes - convert of become galley slaves - 250,000 fled to England, Germany, and New World
2. Pursued costly wars that may not have been necessary but for prestige - War of Spanish Succession - and united Europe and England against him.Taxed people to support his wars at times of famine.
3. Cost of these wars and construction of grand projects (Versailles) put France deep into debt. One banquet given by Louis XIV had 168 different dishes.
Why Louis XIV was
a Lousy King
Louis XIV was the "Sun" King - presided over an era when there was internal peace (no religious wars) - Reigned for 72 years 1743-1715
Led France to become the undisputed military leader of Europe - expanded the French empire (Colonies) & saw the rise of France to become the cultural becon of Europe.
Was Louis XIV a Great King?