Absolutism in France (In the 17 th & 18 th centuries) Absolutism=form of gov’t. where one ruler has complete control
France’s Absolute Monarchy France had a monarchy, which means that they were ruled by a King/Queen. However, the type of monarchy they had was an absolute monarchy.
France had an absolute monarchy An absolute monarchy is where the monarch (King/Queen) has total or absolute power. In an absolute monarchy, there is no constitution. The King has the power to do whatever he wants!
The Bourbons 1. The Last name of France’s royal family was Bourbon. 2. Louis XIV (14 th ) was 5 years old when he inherited the throne (1643). 3.Cardinal Mazarin ruled the country for Louis XIV until he was old enough. 4. He believed he ruled with “Divine right,” meaning he got his right to rule directly from God.
Louis XIV will take over France when he is 22 years old. Cardinal Mazarin dies (1661)
Louis XIV – The “Sun King” He was known as the Sun King because of the idea that “As the planets revolve around the Sun, so too should France and the court revolve around him.”
Louis XIV’s Beliefs 1. He believed in the “Divine right of Kings.” 2. A famous quote of his was, “L'état c'est moi!” (I am the State.) 3. He had the Palace of Versailles constructed in 1668 – it was an old hunting lodge of his father’s (Louis XIII).
The Palace of Versailles 1. Luxurious home of Louis XIV & kings after him 2. It is 11 miles southwest of Paris 3. Estimated cost - $100,000,000 (Louis XIV burnt most of the records) – As of 2003, it would cost $2.5 billion 4. 700 rooms, 67 staircases, 200 windows 5. Could accommodate 10,000 people 6. Hall of Mirrors (most famous room) 7. Just running Versailles took up ¼ of France’s national budget!
Hall of Mirrors in Versailles Facts: 1. 246 feet long x 33 feet wide 2. Seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen windows. 3. Each arch contains twenty- one mirrors with a total of 357. 4. Germany signed the treaty of Versailles, ending WWI, in this hall. Inside the Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room at the Palace of Versailles
Louis XIV’s Elaborate Rules at Versailles: 1. People who wanted to speak to the king could not knock on his door. Instead, using the left little finger, they had to gently scratch on the door, until they were granted permission to enter. As a result, many courtiers grew that fingernail longer than the others.
2. A lady never held hands or linked arms with a gentleman. Instead, she was to place her hand on top of the gentleman’s bent arm as they strolled through the gardens and chambers of Versailles. 3. It is also mentioned that the ladies were only allowed to touch fingertips with the men. Louis XIV Elaborate Rules Continued …….
4.Neither Men nor Women were allowed to Cross their legs.
Are there more absolute monarchs in France’s future? Louis XIV spent a lot of the taxpayer’s money on the palace of Versailles and wars. France was bankrupt! The people of France were not happy. But wait……there will be more absolute monarchs after Louis XIV dies, and they will spend the people’s money just like Louis XIV! 1. Louis XV 2. Louis XVI
More Absolute Rulers? Louis XV (15 th ) Great-grandson of Louis XIV Became King at age 5 Ruled for 69 years Weak and indecisive King
Louis XVI (16 th ) Grandson of Louis XV Wife Marie Antoinette King during Revolution Convicted of treason Executed by the guillotine Only king of France to be executed
Louis XVI’s wife – Marie Antoinette Born in Austria Spent a lot of money on clothing, jewelry, and fancy hairstyles Nickname “Madame Deficit” Executed by the guillotine
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