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Louis comes to power in 1661 decides he is going to rule independently
Louis does what charles the fifth does…makes a high council. 5 or 6 individuals who were
chosen to help advise him. He picks people on merit and ability. These are intelligent
people. Loyalty will be rewarded and disloyalty will be crushed. All key decisions are
made by Louis.
Versailles Louis took steps to reduce the power of the nobility and he does this also
through the creation of the palace of Versailles.
He knows that paris is dangers and so he moves to Versailles.
It is not just a palace b ut it is a complex with a series of ponds and gardens and hunting
grounds. It was like a playground for the nobility. If a noble wanted to have any power
they had to come and stay and Versailles but on their own expense.
Louis was able to watch over the nobility this way and keep them fighting amongst
themselves. It is a world of civility and culture.
It is a profound act of theatre. Every night there is a play or party. Everyone is always
dressed up and extremely polite. Noble power is based upon how close they seem to the
king. Political careers are made and broken on the dance floor.
The ritual of the court bedchamber
helping the king get ready for bed. Each person will help him take his coat off, bring him
wine etc. The greatest position is to help tuck Louis into bed.
Louis refuses to call the estates general nationally. He also takes steps to undermine the
1673 sends a message to parlement saying that when he sends a law to them they will have
to ratify it right away. He takes away their veto power.
There are still problems however.
Louis does not have absolute power. He is bound by law and tradition. He is not above the
law or outside the law.
Louis has some religious issues. 1685 tears up the treaty strips protestants of their rights
and that their children be raised as Catholics. These Protestants flee the country and there is
a massive loss of intellect…as Protestants tended to hold positions…
Taxes doubled 1661-1715 and these taxes fall on peasants.
There are also several famines during his reign
He does nothing to ensure agricultural productivity
Any time there is peasant discontent Louis uses force
Disconnected government and deeply stratified
(Final exam compare and contrast. How is Louis the same as or different than other rulers)
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