Louis Xiv : The Throne Of A Man Essay example

Louis Xiv : The Throne Of A Man Essay example

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Louis XIV was an absolute monarch in France from 1643 to 1715. His father died when he was just four years old, making Louis XIV the throne’s successor at a very young age. Because of this, he ruled for seventy-two years, which made him “the longest monarch to rule a major country in European history” (Eggert). But it was when he was twenty-three years old when he decided to rule without a prime minister, believing it was his divine right. Translated by Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de Saint-Simon, the author of the book The Memoirs of Louis XIV: His Court and The Regency, King Louis XIV wrote, “The royal power is absolute. The royal throne is not the throne of a man, but the throne of God himself. Kings should be guarded as holy things, and whoever neglects to protect them is worthy of death”. He believed that he rules by God’s will, so he took the sun as his emblem and called himself “The Sun King”. As an absolute monarch, he “centralized all authority in his own hands” (qtd in Fiero). It was accepted because the idea of one man having all the power to decide what to do and what not to do, what’s legal and what’s not, without anyone opposing, promised security and efficiency, which is one of the most needed from the people. What also made it acceptable was how he strengthened France and expanded its borders during his rule, because of that, the people trusted King Louis XIV and his rule as absolute monarch. He gave the wealthy people political power; solidifying peace between the rich, therefore, no one tried to compete against him, reinforcing a faction of the upper class. Louis was also a big fan of the arts. Because he had all the power and money, he “commissioned and established various academies that promoted and taught the arts th...


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...rts was one of the most important ways King Louis XIV introduced and glorified his rule as an absolute monarch to his people. His use of the arts was somehow to prove that through his expensive taste, his rule as an absolute ruler meant security. King Louis XIV “believed that luxury was not only necessary to the economic health of France but also the prestige and very survival of the royalty, and the French monarchy” (Dyer). Believing that images and artistic production have the power and ability to shape other people’s perception, King Louis XIV took advantage of the arts to promote his authority. Through that, he left an unforgettable mark on the history and culture of France. Overall, the arts were used to flourish King Louis XIV’s expression of the wealth and strength of his kingdom, and he used the arts to legitimize and glorify his power as an absolute monarch.

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