Louis XIV: The Boundaries Of Absolutism

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The boundaries of Absolutism were pushed furthest during the seventeenth and eighteenth century in most European nations. France was the model for most leaders who sought absolute control. Louis XIV used the power and wealth of the monarchy to fully eliminate the feudal system that Henry IV and Louis XIII began the destruction of. By constructing Versailles and forcing nobles and lords alike to attend his royal court, Louis XIV was able to avoid the politics that may have called his authority into question. Personal power was no longer derived from success in local environments; those that held power were close to the king.The system that he devised changed the culture of France, and the government that oversaw it. There are plenty of accounts…show more content…
From the perspective of someone who has lived outside of France, Versailles seems unauthentic. Since the count was able to be accepted as somewhat of an insider, he is able to detail the inner workings of the court. The court is centered around Louis XIV’s life on purpose, in absolutism the ruler is the state. Absolutist theories in government increased the superficiality in the ruling: forcing upon nobles etiquette, rituals and charades that enhanced the image of the monarchy. “Speaking of Versailles, the palace seemed to me to be inferior to many others in Paris and yet it is of unprecedented size…” This quote from Primi Visconti sums up what Versailles appeared like midway through Louis XIV’s reign. Marvelously large and surprisingly substance less, Versailles highlighted the king’s disregard for cost effectiveness. The rest of page sixty seven in Primi Visconti’s journal speaks about the planning of Versailles and the overall wastefulness that marked the project. Many of the things built in…show more content…
Popularity and wit became a large part of impressing people of the court, especially the ladies. The positions that serve continuously are the great offices such as the grand master, who is the duke of Enghien; the grand almoner, the cardinal of Bouillon; the grand chamberlain, the duke of Bouillon and the grand squire, the count of Armagnac. Those positions are called officers of the crown; for positions of highest relevance to the king, they do not sound too illustrious.People who were previously involved in governmental affairs became preoccupied preserving their status and place in court, leaving the king absolutely unchecked. Two positions in the court: the grand master of the wardrobe and master of the royal hunt were held by the prince of Marsillac . A prince now has the job of dressing the king and staging hunts for the kings enjoyment. People would do practically anything to please the king because his favor alone could make an individual very powerful. The importance of court etiquette to absolute power can be seen in Jean-Baptiste Primi Visconti’s Memoirs. Regarding the first time he met the queen, he wrote “The queen said that I was a good man and that she wanted to ask for an abbey for me. I was transported to the skies, all the more so because I wasn't trying to acquire anytbing. The next morning I

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