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King Louie and How He Rose to Power

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Louis XIV had a passion for glory and used it to fight four wars because he was motivated by personal and dynastic considerations

King Louis XIV was born in 1638. He became king at age four, and received only a mediocre education. He was taught nothing beyond pious works and decorous behavior at religious observances. He came into full power of France in 1661. Louis married Maria Theresa of Spain in 1659. When Mazarin died in 1661, Louis decided he didn’t want a powerful advisor and then started to change history. Louis had the longest reign in European history of 73 years. King Louis XIV distrusted the Protestants and everything they stood for.

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Historians consider the start of the Revolution to be the day that Louis XVI gave in to the demands of the National Assembly and forced the Estates General to join with them. However there were many other landmarks on the timeline between the birth and death of Louis XVI that are as much at fault for the French Revolution as the merging of the two governments. The times prior were becoming extremely difficult, and France was becoming a worn-out, desperate country suffocating from finances and other communal issues. There were numerous causes for why the revolution took place, such as the great division in society and specific events, and Louis XVI plays a role as the authority figure failing to maintain the centralisation of power and not completely capable of leading a country through drastic change. Thus, Louis XVI becomes a vulnerable king who receives a substantial amount of blame for the revolution. The French revolution was an event which was ready for creation, and nothing was going to terminate its destiny. The first signs which revealed a crisis to be uprising were the financial situations which France was confronted with during the 1780s. There were three main reasons for bankruptcy to take place in France, one which directly involved Louis XVI and caused repugnance to be felt by the public. The constant wars and ruinous loss of most of the French Empire made continuous borrowing a necessity, and along with it came an enormous debt problem, much of which was left by Louis's grandfather, Louis XV, but was furthered by Louis XVI's decision to support the American revolutionary war. The main situation which directs at Louis XVI's flaws was that the French court alone was accounting for one twelfth of the whole revenue of the government, which allowed them to live in luxury, while the government and French citizens continued to slip into financial crises. Louis XVI is a major part to why the government was continuing to subside into bankruptcy, and he was seen as a poor role model of high status. When Louis first ascended the throne, his chief financial officer was Anne Robert Jacques Turgot. He introduced a series of reforms to attempt to diminish the astounding debt that France had accumulated. At the time, more than half of the country's budget was dedicated to paying off this debt. However, the reforms were rejected by the Parlements as they included a tax that the nobility would be forced to pay

They felt that by instating these taxes, some of their power would also be taken from them. When the reforms failed, Louis bent to the will of the Parlements and dismissed Turgot, which was his first big mistake. Turgot had many ideas for reforming the financial status of France, one of which was lessening the laws around guilds, thus enabling increased industrial production.

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Real democracy in France came at a time when elections were permitted for all groups of citizens, drawn from different classes and estates. Indeed, the spirit of brotherhood was visible in the wake of democracy as Estates General announced elections that almost immediately, sparked vicious rounds of political debate and wrangling (Dwyer & McPhee, 2002). Needless to say, the spirit of brotherhood was heavily demonstrated by the members of the Third Estate who organized various public forums to demand for a wider democratic space than they had been allotted before. Later, the Estates general gathered a host of grievances in note books as a show of solidarity wit the cry of the people in terms of political dissatisfaction. The universality of unhappiness was vividly demonstrated in this collection, a real display of brotherhood towards a common foe-unpopular regime (Kishlansky, Geary & O’Brien, 2008)

The high state of arrogance, self confidence as well as excessive pride among the autocratic rulers played a key role in the French Revolution. It is understood that at one point in time, the noble existence of the National Assembly was arrogantly refuted by King Louis XVI.

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Finally, I believe the French Revolution was an astonishingly convoluted affair; it was principally lit by the antagonisms between the first two and the Third Estate, antagonisms rooted in decades of abuse and frustration and not a “despot” who was trying to fix his families mistakes along with his own. Louis xvi may have made some decisions that would make any other monarch twitch with distaste but his intentions were good , and considering his age and his power , he was an adequate king for a place that certainly had a revolution in its midst.

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Dwyer, G. P. & McPhee, P. (2002). The French Revolution and Napoleon: a sourcebook, New York: Routledge.

Kishlansky, M., Geary, P. & O’Brien, P. (2008). Civilization in the West (7th ed.), New York: Longman Pearson Education, Inc.

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