French Absolute Monarchy We Discussed Development Modern Essay

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 3
  • Subject: Drama - World
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #93868334
  • Related Topic: Louis Xiv, French, Baroque

Excerpt from Essay :

French absolute monarchy. We discussed development modern state army, baroque art architecture, scientific revolution early Enlightenment. In a -organized essay, explain early modern absolute monarchy, baroque style, scientific revolution responses turmoil sixteenth seventeenth centuries.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries plays an important role in shaping public opinion across France as individuals came to express particular interest in supporting an absolute monarchy as a result of nobles gradually being pushed aside, the baroque style as a consequence of the Catholic Church promoting such attitudes, and the scientific revolution as they acknowledged the progress they could experience as it advanced. French nobles emphasized their power in the state and Catholics had a series of divergences with Protestants, thus influencing French monarchs to want to have a higher level of authority and for artists to express interest in ideas that were in accordance with attitudes contemporary to them.

The reign of King Francis I (1515-1547) was (in the opinion of most scholars of modern France in its early stages) one of the first steps that France would take toward becoming an absolute monarchy. Provincial autonomy had experienced a steady loss of power in the years preceding Francis I and his rule further contributed to cementing the influence of the king. Even with this, conventional values continued to dominate people's thinking and the masses managed to preserve a limited amount of power during Francis I's reign. While this king played an essential part in making absolute monarchy happen, it was not until Louis XIV that it actually came into being. Francis I practically introduced the ideas that led to France going from being a feudal monarchy to being an absolute monarchy (Knecht 344).

Francis I acknowledged the fact that the king had limited power in France and that it was important for him to do everything in his power in order to restructure the system. Up until his reign kings were forced to act in agreement with laws imposed by the aristocracy, to refrain from getting involved in the provinces, and to respect the rights of each estate and pays. Francis I practically provided individuals across his country with the opportunity to look at matters from a different perspective as he emphasized that the power of the king should be greater. It is safe to say that Francis restructured France and shaped thinking throughout the country with the purpose of influencing people to accept that the power of the king was greater than the power of the nobility (Knecht 344).

Absolute monarchy thus started with the reign of Louis XIV, taking into account that he was responsible for creating the most powerful and the most successful absolute monarchies. France had gone through political centralization and through civil war as a result of the Reformation era previous to Louis XIV's reign. "Once the wars were settled, the trend toward absolute monarchy resumed during the seventeenth century." (Greer & Lewis 410) Cardinal Richelieu played an important role in establishing an absolute monarchy in France as a result of crushing rebellions and by improving the strategies the crown used with the purpose of controlling the population.

Absolutism was not new at the time when Louis XIV adopted it and Cardinal Richelieu stands as the proof regarding this idea. Richelieu was well-acquainted with the ideology and struggled to impose it from the very first moment when he took power. Previous French kings such as Francis I managed to amplify their power in the state but were nowhere near Louis XIV when considering the power that was provided to the crown during his reign. To a certain degree, Francis was more permissive with regard to the masses. This is likely to be because people were not yet ready to accept an absolute monarch at that time (Knecht 429).

As a chief minister, Richelieu made it possible for the monarch to extend his power over the provinces, made the aristocracy weaker, and emphasized the power of the monarch and of Catholicism by conquering the Huguenot protestant stronghold in La Rochelle in 1628. The fact that he provided them with the freedom to worship Christianity in accordance with their beliefs without allowing them to get involved in politics actually strengthened the power of the crown The numerous significant revolts that took place during Louis XIV's reign did not weaken the monarchy and actually contributed to enabling the masses to acknowledge that it was difficult and almost impossible for their king to be removed (Baker xii).

Louis XIV came to rule over a country that was already familiarized with the idea of an absolute monarchy and people thus had little to no influence over who controlled them and how. Absolute monarchy was established during the reign of Louis XIV, but it was built over several decades throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as kings extended their authority over the provinces and as the masses became more and more supportive of their leaders (Knecht 429).

The Protestant Reformation made it possible for the world to understand that religion was much more complex than it appeared to be. It led to individuals across Europe getting involved in a major conflict regarding their religious preferences and how each person interpreted Bible passages.

Many Catholic artists and architects were proficient in performing art relating to secular topics. However, the Church encouraged them to direct their talents to creating artwork that was connected with Catholicism. Catholic leaders were well-acquainted with how art played an important role in shaping public opinion during the Middle Ages and wanted to get involved in developing a current that would influence the masses. Even with the fact that many artists across Europe agreed to concentrate on catholic subjects, the wave of artwork emerging from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was more elaborate than conventional religious art and entailed a series of other topics. "Though the new artists built on Renaissance models, they threw off the restraints of classical rules." (Greer & Lewis 389)

The Catholic Church considered that it was important for it to fight Protestants through all channels available. As a consequence, art was identified as a channel that was especially effective and that influential people were likely to appreciate. This meant that baroque could represent an intriguing tool that would persuade notable persons from across Europe to support the catholic cause in its fight with Protestantism. "The Catholic Church, after the Council of Trent, was eager to check the spread of Protestant ideas, and one way was to bring the teachings of the Church directly to the faithful." (Greer & Lewis 389)

Artists such as Rembrandt were clearly dedicated to creating works that would induce deep spiritual feelings in individuals watching them. Even with the fact that he painted a great deal of paintings that had religious subjects, one can observe his determination to put across spiritual messages through most of his paintings, despite of their nature. By looking at Rembrandt's work, one can easily see elements related to Protestantism, as he was a devout Protestant wanting to express his ideas to all individuals who interacted with him or with his paintings (Greer & Lewis 392).

The Scientific Revolution started in the sixteenth century as a growing number of individuals got actively involved in a process involving rapid technological progress. This kind of progress was different from the one experienced until that time, as it provided society with newer and more intriguing ideas that could solve problems previously believed to be impossible. "The Scientific Revolution had aroused the expectation that scientific discovery would result in practical benefits." (Greer & Lewis 504)

With nobility and commoners across France changing their thinking as religion and monarchy shaped the country's cultural values, domains such as science also came to be affected. Similar to how baroque emerged out of a series of…

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