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Essay # 2
Absolutism was the most widespread political system used in Europe and in some parts of Asia from 1550-1750. The term Absolutism refers to a form of government by which the leader assumes power through the belief they have a divine God given right to rule with unlimited control. Several events probably contributed to this political system, the feudal wars of the 14th Century, the weakening and decline of the Catholic Church and the terms of the Treaty of Westphalia, which established that every European state would be given supreme authority over their own territories. While the style of the absolute ruler was similar in parts of Europe and Asia, the best example of the absolute ruler was King Louis XIV (1638-1715). King Louis XIV was crowned king in 1643, took complete control over France and swiftly declared his divine right to rule. He declared himself the, “Sun King”, took authority over all of Frances fiancés, economy and military, placed the church under his control and took power from the feudal nobility. King Louis XIV allowed the nobility to become part of his court and gave them positions of importance to gain their support. He did this to prevent the nobility from being a potential threat; to being his supporters. He even exempted them from paying taxes. This nobility dictated the aristocratic flare that King Louis XIV so flamboyantly displayed during his rule. It was the baroque style, the aristocratic style, in all its grandeur, greatness and flare for the extravagance. (Fiero) The movie Vatel brought to life what it must have been like under the rule of King Louis XIV, the dominance of the absolute ruler, the hierarchy of the social classes, the grandeur of King Louis XVI rule and the aristocratic style...

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...lute rule of King Louis XIV. (Fiero)
All over Europe and Asia the collapse of the absolute monarchies was occurring. The times were changing, the lower classes were revolting. It was time for a new form of government other than the absolute monarchy. The lower class became fed up with the complete power of King Louis XVI and the uselessness of his aristocratic court and style. Sadly, for Vatel this did not come about soon enough. The rule of the absolute monarchy, while it did leave its mark on the world with all grandeur and aristocratic style, it also demonstrated how detrimental it was to society and placed one class of people above another. The world was changing, with the enlightenment of the newly growing middle class, the structure of government and society changed with it. The absolute rule with its aristocratic style became a thing of the past.

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