Louis XIV The Sun King
Today we will… • Describe how Louis XIV strengthened royal power in France. • Explain why Louis XIV was afraid of the nobility and how he sought to control them. • List the successes of Louis XIV. • List the failures of Louis XIV.
Louis Early Life… • He was the great grandson of Phillip II of Spain. • When Louis was five he inherited the throne. • He entrusted the government to his adviser Cardinal Jules Mazarin. • While a child, Louis was driven from the royal palace by a riot called the Fronde. • The Frondeleft Louis emotionally scarred. • The Fronde was comprised of nobles, merchants, peasants, and the urban poor who were unhappy with conditions in France.
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“I Am the State” or “L’etat, c’est moi” • Cardinal Mazarin died in 1661 and Louis resolved to take over the government. • “I have been pleased to entrust the government of my affairs to the late cardinal,” he declared • “It is now time that I govern them myself.”
The Sun King • Louis took the sun as his symbol of royal power. • Just as the sun stands at the center of our solar system, he argued, so the Sun King stands at the center of our nation. • During his reign, Louis did not call a meeting of the Estates-General, the medieval council made up of representatives of all French social classes. • In fact, the Estates-General did not meet between 1614-1789. • The Estates-General played no role in checking royal power.
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Strengthening Royal Power • Louis spent many hours each day attending to government affairs. • To strengthen the state, he followed the policies of Cardinal Richelieu. • He expanded the bureaucracy and appointed intendants (royal officials) • The office of intendant and other governmental jobs went to wealthy middle-class men. • The intendants recruited soldiers, collected taxes, and carried out government policies. • By using intendants, Louis cemented ties between himself and the middle class.
Louis Strengthens the Army • As with all absolute monarchs, Louis created a permanent standing army. • The French army became the strongest in Europe. • The state paid, fed, trained, and supplied up to 300,000 soldiers. • Louis used this army to enforce his policies at home and abroad.
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Colbert and the Economy (Mercantilism) • Louis had a brilliant minister named Jean Baptiste Colbert. • Colbert followed mercantilist policies to bolster the economy. • His goal was to make France self-sufficient. • A nation’s wealth is determined by how much gold it is able to keep within the country. A favorable balance of trade. • He built up French farming and manufacturing. • He put high tariffs on imported goods. • He encouraged overseas colonies in North America (New France) and regulated trade with the colonies.
Colbert’s Effect on France • Colbert’s policies helped make France the wealthiest state in Europe. • Nonetheless, Louis was often short of cash. • Not even the financial genius of Colbert could produce enough income to support the huge costs of Louis’ courts or pay for his many foreign wars.
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A High-Maintenance King • “No expense is too great.” Applying this rule certainly helped Louis XIV make sure his every wish was fulfilled. • For Example – • As much as 1.5 billion may have been taken from the French treasury to build his lavish palace Versailles. Tens of thousands of workers spent decades building this project. • One minor item for Versailles was his bathtub, which was carved out of a single piece of priceless Languedoc marble. • Guards were stationed at every fountain in Versailles gardens. The guards job was to turn the fountain on whenever the king approached.
Versailles, Symbol of Royal Power • In the countryside near Paris, Louis turned a royal hunting lodge into the immense palace of Versailles. • He spared no expense to make it the most magnificent in Europe. • Its halls and salons displayed the finest paintings, status, glittering chandeliers and mirrors. • In the royal gardens, millions of flowers, trees, and fountains were set out in precise geometric patterns. • The greatest room remains the hall of mirrors.
Versailles, Symbol of Royal Power • Versailles became the perfect symbol of the Sun King’s wealth and power. • As both the King’s home and the seat of government, it housed at least 10,000 people, from nobles to servants. • Court life was a mixture of parties, balls, puppet shows, concerts, hunting and hawking expeditions, and a dozen other types of diversions.
Court Ceremonies • With such titles as “The Sun King,” “The Grand Monarch,” and “Louis the Great,” the king drew much attention to his position. • Louis perfected elaborate ceremonies to occupy the nobles of France. • Each day began in the king’s bedroom with a major ritual known as the leve’e or rising. High ranking nobles would compete for the honor of holding the royal wash basin or handing the king his diamond-buckled shoes. • At night the nobles competed for the honor of undressing him called the corve’e.
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Court Ceremonies • Rituals such as these served a serious purpose. • French nobles were descendants of feudal lords who held power in medieval times. • Left at their estates, these nobles were a threat to the monarchy. • By luring the nobles to Versailles, Louis subtlety turned them into courtiers angling for privileges rather than warriors battling for power. • Louis carefully protected their prestige and excused them from paying taxes.
Versailles Had its Problems too! • Versailles became the home to thousands of noble men and women. • The odors caused the grounds to smell constantly. • Louis ordered hundreds of fragrant orange trees in boxes to be placed about the grounds to cover up the stench. • The palace was also drafty and cold. • Water would freeze on the bed stands at night. • Meals were served cold because the kitchen was far away.
Louis’ Control of France • Louis was paranoid about having ultimate control of France. • The Fronde left him emotionally scarred and bitter. • In order to take power away from the nobles, he sold noble titles called peerages. • He also could be ruthless and tyrannical. • By using a power called the letter de cachet, any document which bore the royal seal could send them into exile or imprisonment.
Cultural Flowering • The king and his court supported a “splendid century” of the arts. • Louis sponsored musical entertainments and commissioned plays by the best playwrights. • Louis was particularly fond of ballet. Performing in many during his lifetime. • In painting, music, architecture, and decorative arts, French style became the model for all of Europe.
Successes and Failures • Louis ruled France for 72 years, far longer than any other monarch. • During his reign, French culture, manners, and customs replaced those of Renaissance Italy. • In both foreign and domestic affairs, many of Louis’ policies were costly failures.
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Wars of Louis XIV • Louis XIV poured vast resources into wars to expand France’s borders. • At first, he did gain some territory. • His later wars were disastrous, though, because rival rulers joined forces to check French ambitions. • Led by the Dutch or English, these alliances fought to maintain the balance of power in Europe.
War of the Spanish Succession • In 1700, Louis’ grandson, Phillip V, inherited the throne of Spain. • Louis declared that France and Spain must regard themselves as “one.” • But neighboring powers led by England were determined to prevent this union. • The War of the Spanish Succession dragged on until 1713. • In 1713, an exhausted France signed the Treaty of Utrecht. • Phillip remained the Spanish king but France agreed never to unite the two crowns. Phillip V
Persecution of the Huguenots • Louis saw France’s protestant minority as a threat to religious and political unity. • Jansenism Threat • In 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes. • More than 100,000 Huguenots fled France. • The persecution of the Huguenots was perhaps the king’s most costly blunder. • The Huguenots had been among the most hard-working and prosperous of Louis’ subjects. • Their loss was a serious blow to the French economy, just as the expulsion of Jews and Muslims had been in Spain.
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Looking Ahead • Louis outlived his sons and grandsons. • When he died in 1715, his five year old great grandson inherited the throne as Louis XV. • The prosperity nurtured by Colbert evaporated under heavy taxation, poor harvests, and bad decisions. • Louis XV was too weak a king to deal with such problems. • He devoted his days to pleasure and ignored the pleas for reform. • He often quoted an old proverb, “after us, the deluge.” • As you will see later on, the deluge came during the reign of the next king. Louis XV
Random facts about Louis XIV • A clock at the palace of King Louis XIV stopped at 7:45am, the time of his death. • The clock has not been fixed since that day, and to this day still reads a quarter to eight. • When Louis XVI of France was a child, an astrologer warned him to be always on his guard on the twenty-first day of every month. • His date of death is January 21st, 1793. Now that's scary. • Louisiana was named in honor of Louis XIV
In your opinion…. • Was Louis XIV a good king or a bad king? Give at least 3 reasons why you feel this way.
Another wonderful powerpoint presentation brought to you by JTM ProductionsWritten by Jon McLaughlinEdited by Jon McLaughlinDirected by Jon McLaughlinTravel provided by Air FranceHave a wonderful day!!!