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Loui Xiv

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Essay title: Loui Xiv

Sara Schneider

Mr. Curwen

Louis XIV

In the seventeenth century there were different types of leaders in Europe. The classic monarchial rule was giving way to absolutist rule. Absolute kings claimed to be ruling directly from God, therefore having divine rule that could not be interfered with. In 1643 Louis XIV began his reign over France as an absolute king.

When Louis the XIV began his rule in 1643, his actions immediately began to suggest and absolute dictatorship. Because of the misery he had previously suffered, one of the first things he did was to decrease the power of the nobility. He withdrew himself from the rich upper class, doing everything secretly. The wealth had no connection to Louis, and therefore all power they previously had was gone. He had complete control over the nobles, spying, going through mail, and a secret police force made sure that Louis had absolute power. Louis appointed all of his officials, middle class men who served him without wanting any power. Louis wanted it clear that none of his power would be shared. He wanted "people to know by the rank of the men who served him that he had no intention of sharing power with them." If Louis XIV appointed advisors from the upper classes, they would expect to gain power, and Louis was not willing to give it to them. The way Louis XIV ruled, the sole powerful leader, made him an absolute ruler. He had divine rule, and did not want to give any power to anyone other than himself. These beliefs made him an absolute ruler.

Louis XIV controlled France's economy. He began to heavily tax to support the military reforms. Louis agreed not to tax the nobility, therefore taking away the right for the upper class to have a say in where the taxation money was spent. This gave more and more power to the king. He could spend the money that he was getting from the poor and middle class in any way he pleased without upsetting the nobility. Unfortunately for Louis, the poor could not provide the money he needed. Soon, with the help of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis introduced mercantilism in Europe. He regulated the flow of trade, making sure that France was exporting more than it was importing. To accomplish this, he raised the taxes on imports and lowered those on goods made in France. He encouraged skilled workers and craftsmen to immigrate to France, offering them goods and privileges. Soon, France's economy began to rapidly improve. Louis XIV now controlled France's economy. The balance and wealth in France was in his hands. He held all the power, and liked it that way. This prosperity was an advance in his absolute control over France.

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