Louis XIV • Reign 1643-1715 • L’etat est moi “I am the state”
Depicting AuthorityThe king wanted Versailles to be more than just a residence. It was also to be the seat of government, whose authority had to be visible to all. That is why royal emblems and depictions of the monarch abound in the form of allegories (as seen in the State Apartments) and realistic images (Hall of Mirrors). The two sources of regal authority, God and France, are also depicted: in the Chapel Royal, the Holy Spirit surmounts the royal tribune, while in the King's Bedchamber, "France" watches over the sleeping monarch. Versailles
Justifying Absolutism • Bishop Jacques Bossuet (1627-1704) • “…the royal throne is not the throne of a man, but the throne of God himself…”
Justifying Absolutism • Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) • Leviathan • Monarchy was most effective in maintaining order and security.
Mercantilism • National economic regulations • “bullionism”: increase precious metals • “favorable balance of trade” • State regulation of economy • Colonial expansion
Class Structure under Absolutism • Hereditary feudal aristocrats lost status • State nobles owed privileges to political service • Commoners paid most taxes • Downgraded status of women