History Other / Modern Bureaucratic State
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Autor: anton 02 December 2010
Words: 678 | Pages: 3
The creation of the modern bureaucratic state in France occurred under the reign of Louis XIV who ruled as an absolute monarch. His reign was considered the "perfect embodiment of an absolute monarch". Essentially, an absolute monarchy consists of one ruler who is the high power and makes the decisions for all people under his rule. Bishop Jacques Bousset was one the main theorists who believed in a divine-right monarchy which taught that the monarch was ordained with power from God. He taught that government was ordained by God so humans could live in a society with order. The divine-right monarchy gave power to one sole being who answered only to God, and this person was responsible for overseeing and ruling over all of the people. The reign of Louis XIV was imitated all over Europe, but it was the social disorder in France prior to the reign of Louis XIV which helped Louis XIV to be more successful. Louis XIV was also helped by Cardinal Richelieu through policies which he put in place during his time as chief minister. Cardinal Richelieu was named chief minister during Louis XIII's reign, and died just before Louis XIV came into power. Richelieu was very influential because he developed groups of spies which were used to spy on the noble people. He also made changes to the Huguenots to make them more reliable. He maintained their religious rights, but took away their political and military rights. After Richelieu's death, his trained successor Cardinal Mazarin took over, and he was given ruling authority because Louis XIV, who was just given power by the death of his father, was only four years old. Mazarin was actually an Italian who came to France as a papal legate and was later naturalized. Mazarin was disliked by all of the French population because of his Italian heritage, but Mazarin continued to carry on Richelieu's policies until he died. During his reign, the Fronde occurred. The Fronde was a French revolt which involved the nobles trying to overthrow Mazarin to increase their power. Instead, the nobles eventually began fighting each other, and with their failure to overthrow Mazarin they eventually decided that the best hope for France was to allow the king to rule. When Mazarin died, Louis XIV began his rule at age twenty-three. When Louis XIV took over there was overlapping power, but Louis corrected this problem by maintaining that he was the high power and no one had authority but him. Louis XIII and Mazarin both tried ruling through the power of absolute monarchy, but because there was still power throughout the provinces and estates had their own laws, the idea of the absolute monarchy was just an idea. Louis XIV was the first who actually ruled as an absolute monarch. There were other attempts at an absolute monarchy. Peter the Great worked very hard to westernize Russia. Peter overhauled the government in Russia and used European influences in doing so. He did not develop a so-called absolute monarchy, but he did develop a very European version of government. Because many of his bureaucrats did not share his same beliefs and policies, his monarchy was not able to become absolute. Because of this change to the Western ways, most people grew to distrust Peter the Great and his policies. Charles XI developed an absolute monarchy in Sweden, but his son Charles XII was so concerned with his military affairs that he allowed much of Sweden to be swallowed up by Russia. Historical studies show that monarchs who overhauled their government were eventually less powerful than those rulers who just used the existing government to their advantage. This idea explains why Louis XIV was so much more successful than those rulers such as Peter the Great or Charles XI who had to totally change their government in order to become an absolute monarch.
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