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Using Louis XIV for a model of absolute monarchs

Tracy Neblina

on 5 November 2018

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Transcript of Absolutism

Death and Legacy 1715
There were some good things:
France considered military leader in Europe
ranked first in art, literature, and statesmanship
People rejoiced-had enough of the Sun King because
1. Left a huge debt
2. Much resentment over abuse of royal power
3. Resentment over tax burden on the poor
helped lead to the French Revolution
Left advice for his son
Know what is going on in your kingdom at all times
Don’t trust others to do what you can do yourself
Big Winners=British
Acquired the Straits of Gibraltar. (access to Mediterranean)
Increased control of slave trade, a
Acquired territory in North America:
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Louis Fights Disastrous Wars
By 1660 France had 20 million people:
4x more than England
10x more than Dutch
France led troops to Spanish Netherlands to attempt a take over.
Dutch flooded to keep French out.
France gained towns in Frenche-Comte'
By the1680s European Alliance stopped France
1689 League of Augsburg equaled strength of France:
Hapsburgs, Sweden, Spain
(Why is this important?)
constant warfare, new taxes, and poor harvests weakened France (people of France suffered)
Focus on The Arts
Versailles is a huge, ornate palace
surrounded in luxury
Louis popularized the ballet and opera
(Danced in the Opera
The Sun King
Art was created to:
1. Glorify the king
2. Support absolute rule
ad Control of the nobility
1. Required most to live in Versailles
2. Totally dependent on Louis for all needs
3. Government agents had more power while nobles were away from their districts
In 1685 Louis canceled Edict of Nantes
Slowed economy because many Huguenots fled taking their money and skills
Economic Growth
Made Jean Baptiste Colbert adviser
Colbert wanted France to be self sufficient
1.Tax cuts & government funds to French Companies

2.High tariffs on imports (tax on imports)

3.Encouraged migration to Canada for:
Raw materials
New markets
Louis Weakens the Nobility
Louis took control of France at age 22
Made major changes to government structure:
1. No nobles in his councils

2. Increased power of intendants ( middle class government agents)

3. Local officials communicated directly with him
The Revolts against Mazarin failed due to:
1.Distrust amongst leaders of the revolt

2.Military might and violence used by the government

3.Peasants and townspeople grew tired of fighting, thought an oppressive ruler was better than a long rebellion.
Nobles hated Mazarin
He increased taxes
He strengthened the power of the central government
Riots almost killed Louis

in reaction to the centralizing policies of Louis XIII's minister Cardinal Richelieu and his successor, Mazarin. The royal family was twice driven out of Paris, and at one point Louis XIV and Anne were held under virtual arrest in the royal palace in Paris. This civil war brought Louis XIV poverty, misfortune, fear, humiliation, cold and hunger. This shaped his character and he would never forgive either Paris, the nobles, or the common people."
Louis XIV Comes to Power
Boy King
Most powerful ruler in French history-"I am the State."
Became king in 1643 at age 4, not the real power yet
Cardinal Richelieu
controlled France when Louis XIII ruled because he was a weak king
tried to lead according to moral principles, but was also ambitious
took steps to increase power of Bourbon monarchy:
1) moved against Huguenots-made them take walls around cities down. (Could not defy king)
2) sought to weaken nobles-forced them to take down fortifications from castles, used middle class agents so there was less need for noble officials
Henry became king in 1589=First Bourbon monarch
Three great attributes: Decisive, Fearless, and Clever
Converted to Catholicism to appease citizens (Some had opposed him)
Passed the Edict of Nantes (1598)
-Huguenots could worship in some cities
Spent his life rebuilding France-wise financial policy, strong monarchy, most people happy
Not ALL: In 1610 a fanatic stabbed him
"Many Huguenots imagining themselves safe, gathered for the wedding. However, on the following day, a massacre was planned: this terrible St. Bartholomew's Day tragedy, which has never been forgotten, was carried out on August 24, 1572. The wedding guests were the first to be slaughtered, and among them was Admiral Coligny, the Huguenot leader. The Pope was delighted at the news, but when the French Ambassador called at the English Court, he found Elizabeth in mourning and departed in shame. After this there was widespread fighting in France, especially in the Centre and South West."
Setting the Stage
Catherine de Medici
Ruled France through her three sons
Unable to stop conflict between Catholics and Huguenots

The Reign of Louis XIV
Models of Absolutism

War of Spanish Succession

People of France wanted peace at this point...but,
1700 Spanish King had promised throne to Louis grandson: Other countries felt threatened by the Bourbons
(too much control in the hands of one family)
England, Austria, the Dutch Republic, Portugal and some German and Italian states joined to keep France off the Spanish throne
War lasted until 1714=Treaty of Utrecht
Louis's grandson got to stay on Spanish throne as long as Spain and France did not unite

Cardinal Mazarin
was the power behind the throne at first.
Mazarin Ended the 30 Years War 1648
France was most powerful country in Europe at that time
Religious Wars and Power Struggles
Henry of Navarre
Married Catherine's daughter
St. Bartholomew Day Massacre=on the eve of his wedding, many Protestants killed
Wanted greater control of his Protestant nobles.
Touched off the Thirty Years War, which eventually involved most of western Europe.
Took German States 100 years to rebuild.
Ferdinand II
Holy Roman Emperor (1619-1637)
The Thirty Years War
Many cities were destroyed and an estimated 4 million
Germans died. This is the Sack of Magdeburg
www.millikin.edu/history/ civilconflict/photo4.htm
Russia centralized under the leadership of the tsars
www.xenophongi.org/rushistory/ rusinwax/wax28s.jpg
www.ronaldbrucemeyer.com/ archive/peter.gif
Peter the Great
Ivan IV
The Terrible
Ivan III
The Great
James I (1603-1625) fought with Parliament over his authority.
Puritans wanted Anglican Church to reflect a Calvinist view.
James refused to cooperate, except for a new Bible translation.
English monarchs attempted to establish absolute system
: www.mdarchives.state.md.us/.../ 01glance/images/charles1.jpg
Charles I (1625-1649) pursued an aggressive foreign policy with Spain.
Continually sought new funds from Parliament, members checked his power by forcing him to sign the Petition of Right, 1628.
When Charles dissolved Parliament and tried to raise money, civil war resulted.
Charles loses his head in an argument
Charles executed for treason.
On paper, England was a republic but in practice a dictatorship.
Cromwell suppressed revolt in Ireland.
Imposed Puritan ideals on English.
Oliver Cromwell defeats king’s forces and became Lord Protector
When Cromwell died, so did his government.
English invited
Charles II (1660-1685) to restore monarchy.
Reign was a period of calm marked by court decadence.
Monarchy Restored
www.camelotintl.com/heritage/ rulers/images/willmary.gif
Parliament invited Mary, daughter of Charles I, and a Protestant, to jointly rule with her husband, William of Orange. (1689-1702)
Both agreed to follow Parliamentary laws and accepted English Bill of Rights.
England became the only limited monarchy in Europe. Parliament in control.
The Glorious Revolution
William and Mary Restore English Monarchy
Did Catherine's Plan Work?
He could not make everyone happy, even with reforms that appeared to be for each group.
who would this help?
Louis wanted to keep control of all the information.
To whom did these agents report?
Consequences are more important than the groups that joined forces!!!!!
Let's compare to other "absolute" monarchs.

The rest of the slides are EXAMPLES ONLY, for discussion in class.
Spain's Empire and European Absolutism 5-1
Powerful Spanish Empire
Charles V-close to matching Suleyman's power, first time since Charlemagne that a European had controlled so much.
fought Muslims and Protestants
Philip II's Empire
-deeply religious, could be aggressive for Spain
seized Portugal, including strongholds in Africa, India, and East Indies. (Empire circled the globe.)
empire provided wealth to build army
Defender of Catholicism
-inherited throne during religious wars
Prior to Philip-Reconquista and Inquisition (Removal of Muslims and heretics.)
He sent troops to defeat Ottomans near Lepanto at the request of the pope
Sent ships to attack Elizabeth I of England, but was defeated
Built Escorial- demonstrated his wealth, power, and faith.
Golden Age of Spanish Art and Literature
Wealth in Spain allowed monarchs and nobles to become patrons of art
El Greco
-brilliant colors, distorted figures, expressed emotion and symbolism showing deep Catholic faith

-court painter for Philip, also used rich colors
-wrote Don Quixote, "birth" of modern novel (see critics)
Spanish Empire Weakens
Economic problems
Inflation and Taxes
1) population grew and merchants could charge more for food and goods.
2) too much silver led to drop in value, needed more to pay for stuff (inflation)
3)Expelled Jews and Moors-lost business people and money
4) nobles paid no taxes-burden on lower class, hard to start businesses,
VERY limited middle class
Spain's enemies get rich
Guilds dominated business-used old fashioned methods causing goods to cost more in Spain
people began to buy goods from France, England, and the Netherlands. ($ went to enemies!)
kings borrowed money from German and Italian bankers to fund wars
sent them silver when it came in
Philip declared bankruptcy 3X
Dutch Revolt
under Spanish control but had little in common
Calvinist, prosperous middle class, etc.
Philip raised taxes to crush Protestants
Protestants attacked Catholic churches
duke of Alva sent to stop rebellion-killed 1,500 Protestants in a single day
after 11 years Netherlands declared independence=United Provinces of the Netherlands
The Dutch Prosper
-became what Florence had been during the Renaissance (best banks/artists)
than other European states
practiced religious tolerance
had a republic with elected governors supported by merchants and landholders
Dutch Art
-showed importance of merchants, civic leaders, and middle class
Rembrandt-painted wealthy middle class merchants (Light and Shadow)
Vermeer-domestic, indoor scenes often of women.
Dutch Trade
stability of govt. allowed for economic growth
largest fleet of ships in the world-allowed Dutch East India Co. to dominate the Asian spice and Indian Ocean trade
replaced Italians as world bankers
Absolutism in Europe
Theory of Absolutism
absolute monarchs held ALL of the power within state=control every aspect of society
divine right-monarchs were given their power from God and answered only to God
Growing Power
decline of feudalism, rise of cities, growth of nations helped centralize authority
growing middle class usually supported monarchs because they wanted peace which allowed for economic growth
Church authority lessened, allowing monarchs to have more
Crises Lead to Absolutism
17th Century full of religious and territorial conflicts (constant war)
led to growth of armies and increased tax
people were already suffering so this led to unrest, even revolt
monarchs imposed order by increasing their power
created new bureaucracies to control economy, etc.
goal was to rule without Parliament or other nobles
Wanted to make France strongest nation in Europe
saw Austrian Hapsburg family as the greatest obstacle-so involved France in Thirty Years' War to lessen their power
The Thirty Years War has been regarded by historians as the world's first "total war" in terms of complete and absolute destruction.
What is "total war"?
"Total war" is the complete destruction of a human's existence: his body, his possessions, his culture, and his livelihood. In the end one-third of urban populations had been killed, and up to 40 percent of the peasant populations. Historian Peter Wilson reveals that:
“Public opinion surveys carried out in the 1960s revealed that Germans placed the Thirty Years War as their country's greatest disaster ahead of both world wars, the Holocaust and the Black Death.”
He continues:
“...even in the twenty-first century, German authors could assert that 'never before and also never since, not even during the horrors of the bombing during the Second World War, was the land so devastated and the people so tortured' as between 1618 and 1648.”

Writers Turn Toward Skepticism
skepticism=idea that nothing can ever be known for certain.
Questioned churches who claimed to have all truth.

thought that every new idea replaced an old one, constant change
one can never be certain of anything
use observation and reason to support ideas
great influence on Enlightenment
The Sun King's Grand Style
Full transcript