Louis xiv


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Louis xiv

  1. 1. LOUIS XIV 1638-1715 THE SUN KING
  2. 2. Backstory Pre-existing history of religious wars and power struggles in France Henry of Navarre French Calvinist (Huguenot) become king in 1589 and converts to Catholicism – ending religious strife Issues Edict of Nantes – granting religious toleration in France
  3. 3. Backstory (cont.)  Louis XIII takes over  Appoints Cardinal Richelieu as Chief Minister (1624)  Richelieu assumes power over the country  Richelieu increases power of the BOURBON family by limiting Huguenot freedoms in the country (going back on Edict of Nantes)  Begins to weaken power of NOBILITY
  4. 4. He became King at age 5 but did not rule until he was 23 Louis XIV Comes to Power Normally, Kings appointed Prime Ministers to run the country. Louis decided he would rule the country himself.
  5. 5. A Boy King? Cardinal Richlieu • • • • • 1585-1642 • • Patron of the arts Cardinal Mazarin 1602-1661 Crush domestic factions • • • Check power of Austro-Spanish Hapsburg dynasty • Policies: Restrain power of nobility Centralize power Pursued the settlement of New France Chief minister, takes power 1642 Anne of Austria, Louis’ mother, rules until he comes of age • • Anti-Hapsburg Expansionist (30 Years’ War)
  6. 6. Louis XIV Comes to Power • A New French Ruler • Louis XIV is the most powerful ruler in French history. • Louis the Boy King • Hatred of Cardinal Mazarin, Louis’ minister while he was a boy, leads to riots.
  7. 7. He was a firm believer in the the DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS. He was CATHOLIC and supported JAMES II in England Most Kings in France had problems with the nobility trying to challenge the king’s power Louis had an idea on how to change that…
  8. 8. Normally, most important positions in government were bought by Nobles. This was one way for the King to raise money. Nobles generally controlled the government Louis appointed skilled middle class people to government, and earned their loyalty. Nobles influence was diminished
  9. 9. Without government jobs, Nobles depended on the King’s generosity for income… a French “alternate attendance policy???” Louis kept the Nobles dependent on him by only giving money to those who were totally loyal to him and served him at the palace
  10. 10. He was called the Sun King because he saw himself as the centre of the France ”L’Etat C’est Moi” “I am the Country”. Court life in France revolved around worshipping of Louis and everything he did
  11. 11. Louis’ Rule - REVIEW • Louis Weakens the Nobles Authority • Louis takes control of the government in 1661. • He appoints intendants—government agents—to collect taxes. Economic Growth • Jean Baptiste Colbert—finance minister—helps the economy grow. He believes in mercantilism. Religion • In 1685, Louis cancels Edict of Nantes; Huguenots flee France.
  12. 12. • Louis built probably the most magnificent palace ever built in Europe--Versailles. It cost 600 million livres and over 35, 000 people working for decades to complete it. He was still adding to it at his death
  13. 13. Panoramic view of Versailles Palace
  14. 14. Another view of Versailles Palace
  15. 15. Queen’s Bed Chamber
  16. 16. • Versailles was--and still is--considered a marvel of construction. Many Kings and nobility in Europe tried to copy Versailles, but none came close
  17. 17. • Versailles was the centre of life for Nobility. Louis created an elaborate court routine where nobles had the privilege of helping him dress, wash, eat, and even go to the bathroom.
  18. 18. • When the King is thirsty, he askes for a drink. The principal cupbearer cries ‘A drink for the King!’ He then bows and approaches the side table. The chief drink tester hands him a gold tray on top of which sits the King’s covered glass and two crystal pitchers. The cupbearer and goblet tester walk in procession to the King’s table and bow down in reverence. The first two test the wine, the third tests the water in two silver-gilt cups. The principal cupbearer bows again and uncovers the King’s glass and offers up the two pitchers. The King then serves himself the wine and water...
  19. 19. • Nobles who took part in these rituals and showed loyalty received substantial rewards from the King • • • • diamond necklaces money, money, money apartments the privilege of being around the King
  20. 20. “In everything [Louis XIV] loved splendor, magnificence , profusion. He turned his taste into a maxim for political reasons and instilled it into his court on all matters. One could please him by throwing oneself into fine food, clothes, retinue, buildings, gambling. These were occasions which enabled him to talk to people. The essence of it was that by this he attempted and succeeded in exhausting everyone by making luxury a virtue and for certain persons a necessity, and thus he gradually reduced [the nobility] to depending entirely on his generosity . . .” The Duke of Saint-Simon
  21. 21. Louis also had an extensive spy network and knew the secrets of almost every prominent noble. In this way he was able to totally dominate his kingdom throughout his life
  22. 22. “Louis XIV took very special to be informed about everything that was going on . . . in public and in private. He had an infinity of spies . . . of every kind. Some were ignorant of the fact that their relations went all the way to him, others knew it. “But the cruelest of all the ways by which the king was kept informed, and it was many years before it was realized, and many never did realize it . . . was by opening letters. “It is impossible to understand how promptly and efficiently it was done. The king saw extracts from every letter . . . which the chiefs of the postal service judged should reach him. A word of criticism of the king or the government, a bit of sarcasm could ruin one forever.” The Duke of Saint-Simon
  23. 23. Louis Fights Disastrous Wars Attempts to Expand France’s Boundaries Louis fights wars in the 1660s and 1670s to expand France. 1667-Invades Spanish Netherlands. 1672-Invades Dutch Netherlands. In 1680s, many countries unite against him in League of Augsburg France is weakened by poor harvests, warfare, and high taxes.
  24. 24. Louis Fights Disastrous Wars War of Spanish Succession War of Spanish Succession begins in 1701 This war attempts to prevent the union of the French and Spanish throne. War ends in 1714; France and Spain lose some possessions.
  25. 25. His lavish spending and love of war--especially against Protestants--brought France to the brink of Bankruptcy by the time he died
  26. 26. When he died, no one could really take his place as ruler. Nobles and King were so closely aligned that by the time of the Revolution, both were despised equally