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Age of Absolutism: King Louis XIV

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1 Age of Absolutism: King Louis XIV
Objective: The students will be able to explain the theory and implications of absolutist rule in France under King Louis XIV.

2 Absolutism Political theory that believed in the “Divine Right of Kings” (Monarchs received their authority from God). Bishop Bossuet established this in Politics Taken From the Very Words of Scripture. Bishop Jacques Bossuet

3 Louis XIV (r ) Personal rule began in 1661 with the death of Cardinal Mazarin. "L'État, c'est moi" (the state is me) Symbolized as the “Sun King.” (Center of France; rays of sun reflect off of monarch onto subjects).


5 Châteaux de Versailles
King’s residence and center of government. Spent vast sums of money on expansion. Royal apartments were at the center of the complex.

6 Court Life at Versailles
King severed dual functions: that of courtier and that of administrator. Both functions were aimed at state-building. The Fronde had taught Louis to distrust the nobility, so he appointed officials from middle-class origin. He also continued the practice of selling titles (“nobles of the robe” as opposed to “nobles of the sword”).

7 Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683)
Served as controller of finances from Supported mercantilist policies. Built roads and canals. Credited for many of Louis’ economic successes and failures.

8 Domestic Policies Louis enacted absolutist ideas through domination of the central bureaucracy which had greater control of state finances, the execution of laws and the use of armed force. Increased royal control over the local parlements. Defended the policy of Gallicanism. Revoked the Edict of Nantes in in October 1685 and began persecuting Huguenots; over 200,000 fled France.

9 Wars & Expansion under Louis XIV
Through a series of expensive wars Louis slowly expanded French territory. War of Devolution ( ) The Dutch War ( ) War of the League of Augsburg ( )

10 War of Spanish Succession
Childless Hapsburg Charles II names Bourbon Philip of Anjou as heir. England, Holland and HRE oppose French acquisition of Spain & territories. Louis was defeated by the British and Austrians.

11 Treaty of Utrecht (1713) War ended with Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and Treaty of Baden and Rastatt (with Hapsburgs in 1714) Philip of Anjou become Philip V of Spain, but he nor his successors could hold French throne. Hapsburgs and British gained territory, French lost New World lands.

12 The End of an Era Louis XIV was one of the great state-builders of Europe Despite this, the peasants of France suffered as they never had before or since. This would bring government welfare as a state function it the 18th century His absolutist policy solidified the place of France as the dominant power in Europe.

13 Exit Ticket In what ways was the rule of King Louis XIV a exemplar of absolutist rule? In what ways were absolutist policies a fantasy or ineffective in governing the French state?

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