Limitations Of Louis XIV's Absolutist Research Paper

Length: 7 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Economics Type: Research Paper Paper: #18274324 Related Topics: Estate Tax, Agricultural Revolution, Financing, France
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Beik underlines the fact that collecting a huge amount of data required much more personnel and a far better way of communicating with the city and the village representatives, than Colbert could have ever dreamed of at that time. Nevertheless his achievements in collecting this date are remarkable. Based on these gatherings and his intuition and economic knowledge, Colbert was able to prepare and present to the king reforms destined to improve the macro economic situation as well as to solve some of the deficits that were already adding up as a result of the king's insatiable passion for war. While Colbert was the advocate of reducing taxes and favoring the revenues resulting from manufacturing and trade, the actual royal response comes from the receipts dated from the year Colbert started his collecting data and Madame de Maintenon's time. The king decided when to pay and how much the taille -- the land tax -- the major source of income for Versailles, was to be paid. Analyzing these receipts, the author reaches the conclusion that the criterion one used to establish and collect the amount of these taxes was arbitrary, lacking a sound economic background. "As Colbert pointed out in 1670, it was possible to ruin the rural economy by setting too high an initial figure."

Even if the king was aware of the importance of a healthy and smoothly running agricultural system as well as that of other revenues generating economic sectors, he was however not very interested in the well being of the peasantry and the further development of the manufacturing and trade related activities remained insignificant at a national scale. He inherited from his mother's governing a system of high taxation implemented by cardinal Mazarin that impoverished the peasantry and the town citizens alike. A financial system based on the collection of taxes and their advancement into the king's vaults as loans with high interests developed based on the continuing need for this almost unique type of financing: "Financiers, backed by investments from a wide circle of royal officers and court nobles, advanced the money to the king, using anticipated tax revenues as security"

. The tax payers were thus continually charged for the rest f the society that depended upon their financing. The powerful and rich merchants for various cities in France were too isolated and thus could hardly represent a steady and rising source of revenues for the state.

By comparison, the state of affairs of the provinces from the system of justice in the country was of importance to the king. The "Letters Patent for the Establishment of the Grand Jours," a document written in Paris, Aug 31, 1665, testifies the king's intentions to favor justice. On one hand, the king was the supporter and promoter of an ancient class system, based on privileges resulting form rank and position or the support of a certain privileged category, on the other he was the initiator of special courts in the provinces, destined to protect the weak from the powerful and discretionary nobles. An excerpt form the above mentioned Letters shows the king's intention to send a message of power and authority over his whole kingdom, regardless of how close to his court one came from: "Because the lawlessness during the foreign and civil wars that have desolated our kingdom for the past thirty years has not only weakened the force of the laws and the rigor of the ordinances but also introduced a great number of abuses, in both the administration of...

...

In the context of the general situation of commerce and manufacturing during Louis XIV's rule, the above mentioned letter proves the king's interest to send a message of supreme authority to the entire kingdom and his subjects. His interest in the matter, was however limited. Rather than a real inclination towards developing a viable economic system and a sound justice system, the king was focused on asserting his authority. The transition from the feudal to the modern state was far from happening under this king's rule.

But the most important sector which gave the king the possibility to exercise his power and assured his invincibility was the army. In his book, Beik mentions a military revolution that took place during the first decades of Louis XIV's reign, which was inevitable for his later military pursuits. The military reform had drastic effects on all economy sectors since it needed immense amounts of financial and human resources. The exponential increase of the king's army did not however indicate a stage of evolution in society as a whole. The army supported the king and his military pursuits and developed separately from the rest of the sectors. However, there are nuances in this analysis since the scientific advancements of the time changed the means of production and the military techniques and tactics as well.

Beik uses the documents presented in his book Louis XIV and Absolutism to support his conclusion that Louis XIV's reign was characterized by burgeoning and compromise between Versailles and the provinces on one side and between the king and the sword and robe nobles on the other. The Church, another strong institution in Louis XIV's time was another center of influence the king had to juggle with. He was king by divine right, but he had to find a balance with the other center of power coming from the pope.

He managed to persuade the rest of the population, the majority, to accept his undisputed authority and to support him. There is still research necessary to be undertaken in order to establish de degree of influence the royal commissioners had in various provinces and the results of their activity on the economic and social situation of the respective territories. The king encouraged a traditional developing of the French society and focus was on expansion through military pursuits.

Beik, W. 2000. Louis XIV and absolutism: a brief study with documents. Bedford / St. Martin's

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000), 3

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000)

idem

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000)

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000), p. 82

idem

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000)

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000), 84

Idem, 100

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New…

Sources Used in Documents:

Idem, 100

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000), 13

William Beik, Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000), 109-110


Cite this Document:

"Limitations Of Louis XIV's Absolutist" (2010, March 22) Retrieved August 5, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/limitations-of-louis-xiv-absolutist-877

"Limitations Of Louis XIV's Absolutist" 22 March 2010. Web.5 August. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/limitations-of-louis-xiv-absolutist-877>

"Limitations Of Louis XIV's Absolutist", 22 March 2010, Accessed.5 August. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/limitations-of-louis-xiv-absolutist-877

Related Documents
Louis XIV the Conduct of
Words: 641 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 99542749

Magistrates of Parlement established uniform procedural codes for each of the royal courts and along with this, the importance of judicial responsibilities increased among Parlement members. Regard for legislative, administrative and judicial power became more about loyalty to the crown and interests expressed by the monarch rather than about serving local interests. Through this compliance with centralization of power, the actions of Parlement can be viewed as efforts made

Louis XIV Absolutism the Fronde Was Enabled
Words: 944 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 41097651

Louis XIV Absolutism The Fronde was enabled by a number of government conditions, not the least of which was that created by the ravages of the 30 Years War in which large sets of the population, particularly those engaged in martial affairs, became used to a degree of autonomy and near lawlessness. Furthermore, this sentiment was fueled by an increasing feeling of dissatisfaction in regards to the centralized power which

Louis XIV's Economic and Political Impact on
Words: 2831 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 79721121

Louis XIV's economic and political impact on the lower class with that of William and Mary European societies in the late seventeenth century were stratified and hierarchical. Society was viewed as being structured into orders, with each social order fulfilling a particular function in society as a whole, and the entire system being understood as a reflection of a divinely-ordered harmony that pervaded the universe. At the top of this hierarchical

Louis XIV's Versailles a Symbol
Words: 1671 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 48919538

9. How did the new psychology influenced the birth of key movements in the arts: expressionism, dada, and surrealism? Surrealism, dada, and expressionism represent three generations of avante garde protest against "rational" modernism and the meaningless, war and violence filled society that it brought about. They were a reaction against modernism and their great grandchild, postmodernism continues this tradition of social protest. The new psychology of individuals such as Freud

Absolutism, Louis XIV, and Versailles
Words: 1943 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Government Paper #: 34806391

The king of France was more than just a simple leader, as he claimed that he was entitled to the country's throne through divine right. Louis XIV was able to make laws, to increase or decrease taxes, to administrate the state and justice, and to determine whether or not France would express interest in allying itself with other countries. All influential individuals in France were practically forced to check with

How Louis XIV Affected Dance Culture
Words: 2470 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Art Paper #: 89899565

How Louis XIV Affected Dance Culture (contd.) It is instructive to note that Louis was a goal-getter. He was a man who knew what he needed at different phases of his kingship and knew the right strategies to use in getting them. As stated above, having had a taste of rebellion from the Frondes, and learnt an unforgettable political lesson, which made him stronger and wiser. He knew he had to