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Louis Xiv

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Louis XIV

Louis XIV gained power for himself and his national government through absolutism. Absolutism is unlimited power in government and society. In government to be an absolutist the king would have unlimited power in all forms of the government such as the legislative, judicial, executive, and revenues. As an absolutist Louis would have unlimited power in the society by controlling the economy and church. To control the church he would follow the divine right of kings, which goes along with absolutism, and be a figure to the people that is spoken through by God. That way the people would follow the king, believe what he says, and consider him sacred. Thomas Hobbes worded best what would happen if absolutism did not come into effect in his book 'The Leviation'. Louis perfected the machinery of government of which he imposed his will on France and made himself the subject of his subjects' loyalty. To accomplish this he organized civil services, reorganized the military, improved the economy, and greatly expressed his power. Louis' first step was to expand the civil services. He staffed his government with men who would obey him w/out question. Instead of filling the position with nobles, he appointed advisors drawn largely from the middle class. This way the people only had claim to what the king gave them and could take away. He kept the reins of government firmly in his own hands and didn't let the nobles get a chance to overpower him. He made it so that all the decisions made were his decisions. Louis proposed to expand the activities of the central government. He in practice and theory became the master of his kingdom. The number of state servants grew enormously. The amount of state servants that used to be at 600, in the beginning of his reign, grew to 10,000. A new kind of royal officials appeared. They were called intendants; they gathered information for the king and supervised the enforcement of his decisions. They brought a new kind of order to France. One of the most significant features of the new order was the reorganization of the French army. Michel le Tellier and his son the Marquis de Louvois were responsible for the reorganization. The two men created not only a fighting force bigger than that of any other country in Europe, but also a military establishment with a pyramidal structure of responsibility and authority. Louis' army became a complex military machine of more than 400,000 men, managed for him by ministers and led



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