Foreign Policy of Louis 14 th
- Necessary Condition: pre-condition; has to exist (usually negative work) before
something can happen, but doesn’t mean something will.
- Peace of Westphalia made possible (not definite) the emergence of an international
system by removing religion.
- The event, which was the emergence of an organized international system, was not
predestined because of Westphalia.
- France emerged as one of the greatest powers the world had ever seen –– and this
threatened the peace of the other states. Though this did happen rather quickly, it
didn’t happen almost immediately.
- In 1661, the 22 year old Louis XIV ascended to the French throne.
- The size of population determines the size of one’s power in an international
- By the early 17 century, there were 18 to 19 000 000 people in France –– 3 times
the population of Spain and 8 times the population of the Netherlands.
- The State Commission Army (French Army) had 400 000 men during wartime
and 100 000 men during peacetime –– the largest force in scale / fire power the
world had ever seen.
- The French were able to sustain such a large army because they were agriculturally
- In 1664 Johan de Witt –– the Grand Pensionary of Holland (the most important
Dutch official during the time of the Dutch Republic. In theory he was only a civil
servant of the Estates of the dominant province, Holland. In practice he was the
political leader of the entire Dutch Republic when there was no stadholder in the
centre of power) –– warned the states (Dutch Republic) that Louis XIV was a giant
threat and he’d use his power…eventually.
- In 1680, the Ambassador of Venice wrote home to warn his government about
Louis XIV: “This prince is evidently working towards universal monarchy and he’s
not far from achieving it.”
- Universal Monarchy for the Ambassador of Venice was imperial rule over
Europe, that is to say a continent wide French Empire.
- Louis XIV was bent upon establishing a French hierarchy over all of Europe;
though not as harshly as the Venetian diplomat insisted.
- In August 1661, King Louis XIV sent out emissaries saying, “The King’s ambassadors must make it known that the King is never content with equality,
which should have pre-eminence over all other Kings and he is already in
possession of it.”
- The power of intimidation (i.e