Louis XIV1 Essay

This essay has a total of 549 words and 3 pages.

Louis XIV1



1638–1715, king of France (1643–1715), son and successor of King Louis XIII.  
Early Reign
After his father’s death his mother, Anne of Austria, was regent for Louis, but the real
power was wielded by Anne’s adviser, Cardinal Mazarin. Louis did not take over the
government until Mazarin’s death (1661). By then France was economically exhausted by the
Thirty Years War, by the Fronde, and by fiscal abuses. But the centralizing policies of
Richelieu and Mazarin had prepared the ground for Louis, under whom absolute monarchy,
based on the theory of divine right, reached its height.  

Domestic Policy
Louis’s reign can be characterized by the remark attributed to him, “L’état, c’est moi” [I
am the state]. Louis continued the nobility’s exemption from taxes but forced its members
into financial dependence on the crown, thus creating a court nobility occupied with
ceremonial etiquette and petty intrigues. The provincial nobles also lost political power.
Louis used the bourgeoisie to build his centralized bureaucracy. He curtailed local
authorities and created specialized ministries, filled by professionals responsible to
him. Under his minister Jean Baptiste Colbert industry and commerce expanded on
mercantilist principles and a navy was developed. The war minister, the marquis de
Louvois, established the foundations of French military greatness.  
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