Essay about Absolutism and Louis Xiv

857 WordsApr 4, 20024 Pages
An absolute monarch is a ruler by divine right who has control over every portion of his kingdom. The most famous absolute monarch, Louis XIV, had the longest reign of any of the French kings. Louis achieved this as a result of his reformed laws, foreign policy, a smart economic advisor, and his decision to deny power to the nobility. Although some of these ideas could be viewed as having a negative impacting on France, overall Louis XIV's absolute government was beneficial to the development of his country. By restructuring France's laws into one standard legal code Louis gained public support, by showing that he was a fair leader. "The Code", as Louis labeled it, was applicable to everyone (except Louis, of course), and…show more content…
Louis hired Jean-Baptiste Colbert, a Swiss banker, to reform France's financial situation. By seeking out people who avoided their taxes (for example, people posing as nobles) and reorganizing the tax collection system (Before Colbert the majority of collected tax never even made it to the treasury), Colbert was able to reduce the loses of the treasury by 30,000,000 liras. This, in conjunction with stimulating the economy by reducing taxes, allowing monopolies, and encouraging immigration of skilled workers, boosted the worth of the French economy, and had a positive influence on the country as a whole. During the reign of Louis XIV, France's stability and success was threatened by the power of the nobility. When Louis looked back at the Fronde, a nobility revolt that occurred during his childhood, he realized the thirst for power the nobility held, and as a result limited their power. To begin with, Louis forced the nobles to move to Versailles where they could cause less trouble, and Louis could keep a close eye on them. Louis achieved this by threatening to deny them their pensions if they didn't move. Louis also instituted heavy taxing for the nobles, in the form of a 10% income tax as well as a head tax. These measures prevented a Noble uprising during Louis' reign as king, and allowed France to develop positively as a country. It can be argued that Louis XIV's absolutist government was counter-productive
Open Document