Louis XIV Power, Impression Management and Leadership Traits
Brief Biography Reigned 1643-1715 Son of Louis XIII and Anne of AustriaAnne of Austria Succeeded to throne at age 5 Nobles rebelled 1648-1653; Louis in much personal danger Declared of age in 1651, actively ruled from 1661 Married Maria Teresa, Infanta of Spain, but had numerous official mistressesMaria Teresa, Infanta of Spainofficial mistresses Moved court outside Paris, to Versailles, in 1682Versailles During his reign, much art, architecture, literature, music
Louis XIV and Power An autocratic ruler; all decisions made or approved by Louis Type of power: Legitimate (hereditary rule) Reward Coercive Information
Officials Previous monarchs used family members and other nobles to govern Louis’ officials chosen from non- royal, non-noble backgrounds; they had no power of their own and owed everything to Louis Louis did not hesitate to forcefully remove officials who displeased him Louis kept control of information firmly in his own hands Reward Coercive Information
The Move to Versailles Designed to control nobility and prevent future rebellions and civil war Keep the nobles them in one place where Louis could watch them Occupy them with etiquette, ceremonies and rituals Bankrupt nobles through fashion and gambling (to make them financially dependent on Louis) Reward Information
Impression Management Personal appearance Used the sun as his personal emblem Elaborate costumes High heels, tall wigs Portrayal in art; artists and writers paid to praise Louis Portrayal in art Surroundings and symbolssymbols Versailles itself Lavish public display and entertainments Behavior Constantly on view as a king Above conventional morality (official mistresses, legitimating children)
Leadership Traits Drive Need for achievement Ambition Energy Tenacity Initiative Leadership motivation Honesty and integrity Self-confidence Cognitive ability In the 17th century, France was a hereditary monarchy...so, did traits matter?
Drive Need for achievement Concern for ma gloire (reputation and greatness) “No satisfaction can equal that of seeing every day some progress in high and glorious undertakings, and the happiness of the people when it has been brought about by one’s own plans and goals” Ambition Numerous wars to extend French influence in Europe and North America Establishment of colonies and trade relations in North America, Caribbean, China, India, Africa
Drive (continued) Energy “I made it a law for myself to work twice a day for two or three hours each time with different persons…” Tenacity Attempt to annex Spanish throne over 30 years Initiative Legitimatization of royal bastards
Leadership Motivation Louis XIV inherited the throne, but was motivated to rule He married Maria Teresa for political gain, deapite his deep love for Marie Mancini After death of Cardinal Mazarin (1661), announced that he would no longer delegate power to a “First Minister”
Honesty and Integrity Personal life can be characterized as dissolute However, his mission was to glorify France, and Louis did not deviate from this mission
Self-Confidence “I will explain it [his policies] all without disguise even in the cases where my good intentions have not succeeded: as I believe that only small minds, who are usually wrong, want always to be right and that in those who have sufficient merit to be most often successful, there is, I think, some magnanimity in admitting one’s faults” -- Louis XIV
Cognitive Ability His natural talents were below mediocrity, but he had a mind capable of improvement, of receiving polish, of assimilating what was best in the minds of others without slavish imitation, and he profited greatly throughout his life from having associated with the ablest and wittiest persons, of both sexes, and of various stations. -- Duc de Saint Simon
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