17th Century France

17TH CENTURY FRANCE

 

17th Century France is the time and place of the Sun King, Louis XIV.  France was the most populous country in Christendom by the 17th century.  The absolute monarchy reached its zenith in 17th century France under the long reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King. 

17th century France had enormous influence over Christendom in politics, economics, and culture.  The French language began to be used as the common currency in Christendom, and remained so until the 20th century.  17th century France begat the rise of bureaucracies, under Jean Baptiste Colbert. 

THE SUN KING LOUIS XIV (PAINTING BY HYACINTHE RIGAUD, 1701)
THE SUN KING LOUIS XIV (PAINTING BY HYACINTHE RIGAUD, 1701)

THE SUN KING

 

Louis XIV (1638-1715) is called the Sun King—as was his father, King Louis XIII—because he was the center of power in 17th century France in the same way as the sun is the center of power in our solar system. 

Louis XIV was no slouch.  He worked every day with his four secretaries of state, and ran his court according to a plan of his own devising that ensured maximum stability. 

The Sun King lost his father at age five, and so was reared in a single parent home.  His mother, the Queen of France, Anne of Austria, exercised power as his regent while he was yet a boy.  She secretly married the Chief Minister of France, Cardinal Mazarin, who was Italian by birth. 

The good cardinal Mazarin invested years grooming Louis XIV to become a great king.  The king was a manufactured character, whose purpose was to maintain authority by playing a role.  Louis would have to contend with ambitious nobles, the 200 lawyers who constituted the Paris Parlement, and the Paris mob. 

ANNE OF AUSTRIA, QUEEN OF FRANCE AND MOTHER TO KING LOUIS XIV (PAINTING BY PETER PAUL RUBENS)
ANNE OF AUSTRIA, QUEEN OF FRANCE AND MOTHER TO KING LOUIS XIV (PAINTING BY PETER PAUL RUBENS)
CARDINAL MAZARIN
CARDINAL MAZARIN

KING LOUIS XIV

 

The Sun King Louis XIV played the lead role—and served as the producer and director—in the drama that was his court.  He built the palace at Versailles, which became the perfect stage for him.  Versailles was 11 miles from Paris and its rebellious intellectuals and restless populace. 

Louis had the memory of a politician. He would notice if you were not at court.  The Sun King would hand out prizes to keep the peace, such as posts of high honor; titles that afforded privileges; decorations; gifts of land or cash; appointments and promotions within the church and army; and other favors.  He also invented new pastimes to keep his people distracted. 

King Louis XIV played the royal master of ceremonies.  He thought up entertainments without end—rides, balls, masques, ballets, plays, banquets, games.  The Sun King made the most of church feast days, receptions of foreign dignitaries, christenings, and birthdays.  He sacrificed his own privacy for the good of France.  No one ever saw him without his wig though. He had sebaceous cysts on his head. 

King Louis XIV used facade to keep minds entranced through the eye as a means of ruling.  He was not the kind of leader we see today, who wants to known as Jimmy or Tony—the more inarticulate the more popular. Louis exuded an aura of dignity, power, and grandeur.  He only lost his temper in public twice during the entire 72 years he ruled France.  Those who attended court dressed up everything, from their bodies to their speech. 

The Sun King loved to make love, and to gamble.  He greatly enjoyed dice and cards; in particular he was fond of tric-trac (backgammon).  Gambling has long been an excellent way to fill time, and provides much excitement without straining the muscles.  

MADAME DE MONTESPAN (FRANCOISE ATHENAIS)
MADAME DE MONTESPAN (FRANCOISE ATHENAIS)
BLACK MASS FOR MADAME DE MONTESPAN
BLACK MASS FOR MADAME DE MONTESPAN

MADAME DE MONTESPAN

 

King Louis XIV had many mistresses.  While he accepted offers from some women, all were obliged to submit if summoned by the Sun King.  There was no scandal about this in those days.  Rather, his active sex life was viewed as a sign of his virility, befitting for a man in such a lofty position. 

The most famous of the Sun King's mistresses was Madame de Montespan.   She had seven illegitimate children by King Louis XIV, three of whom he later officially "legitimized."  The "reign" of Madame de Montespan as mistress was to last 25 years.  What Louis did not know was the highly unorthodox manner in which Madame de Montespan made her way into his bed.

It seems that Madame de Montespan, at the time known as Athenais de Mortemart, had ordered up a little ceremony known as the Black Mass, not long before she won the king over.  A priest named Guibourg was hired to officiate.  Madame de Montespan lay naked on an altar covered with black cloth in a Christian chapel.  A live baby was sacrificed and its heart set aside as a burnt offering.  Madame de Montespan offered up her soul to Satan if he would grant her petition:  "I want the king's affection so that he will do everything I ask for myself and I want him to give up La Valliere [his favorite mistress at the time] and look with favor on my relatives, my servants, and my retainers." 

MADAME DE MAINTENON (FRANCOISE D'AUBIGNE)
MADAME DE MAINTENON (FRANCOISE D'AUBIGNE)

MADAME DE MAINTENON

When King Louis XIV was 45—with 32 years of life ahead of him—he experienced a change of heart. He discarded Madame de Montespan, whom the devil had promoted, and bestowed his favor on Madame de Maintenon (Francoise d'Aubigne), whom God apparently sponsored. Madame de Maintenon was pious, from a good Protestant family, and used no black arts.

Madame de Maintenon was educated in a convent, where she converted to Catholicism. She was gorgeous, peaceful, and very poor. Madame de Maintenon had married a crippled hunchback comic poet 25 years her senior at the age of 17. After her husband's death, nine years later, she became the caregiver to the Sun King's children that he fathered with Madame de Montespan, first in secret, later at court.

King Louis XIV began to spend a lot of time with Madame de Maintenon, discussing religion, politics, and economics. She gained great influence over him and was determined to reform his morals. Madame de Maintenon was 38 when she came to be the king's mistress. Within a few years they were married.

 

VERSAILLES IN 1680
VERSAILLES IN 1680

RULES OF ETIQUETTE

It was in 17th century France that women made it fashionable to use precise speech, with proper grammar and vocabulary—free of vulgarity—in high society. They also decided what was, and what was not, acceptable deportment and behavior in public. This laid the foundations of the rules of modern social etiquette, and the rules of dining etiquette. In the face of life the goal is composure.

Eventually, the basic conventions of etiquette and manners spread throughout most of European society. Etiquette is a code of civilized behavior. It improved the personalities of all people, rich or poor.

In 17th century France we find that the minuet became quite popular. The minuet is a social dance for two people. Plays also became a popular form of entertainment, but women attended plays in masks to conceal their identities.

 

VERSAILLES BUILT BY THE SUN KING LOUIS XIV
VERSAILLES BUILT BY THE SUN KING LOUIS XIV

BUREAUCRACIES

To administer large swaths of territory in a systematic, businesslike manner, King Louis XIV began to create bureaucracies. In 1665, Jean Baptiste Colbert was named Finance Minister of France, a post he would hold until his death nineteen years later.

Jean Baptiste Colbert had a plan to reform the entire administration of France with bureaucracies. France was near bankruptcy, government departments kept no records and neglected their missions, bribes were commonplace. To a bourgeois businessman such as Colbert, this was no way to run any business, nonetheless an entire nation.

 

HALL OF MIRRORS IN THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES DISPLAYS THE GRANDEUR OF THE SUN KING
HALL OF MIRRORS IN THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES DISPLAYS THE GRANDEUR OF THE SUN KING
JEAN BAPTISTE COLBERT (BUST BY ANTOINE COYSEVOX, 1677)
JEAN BAPTISTE COLBERT (BUST BY ANTOINE COYSEVOX, 1677)
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL AS DRAWN IN 17TH CENTURY FRANCE
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL AS DRAWN IN 17TH CENTURY FRANCE

JEAN BAPTISTE COLBERT

Jean Baptiste Colbert put into practice the idea that a nation should be run similarly to a business enterprise—budgets must be made; revenue forecasts created; accounting done. His first move was to slash government spending to increase cash on hand—and reduce government debt, thereby reducing government interest expense owed to bankers.

Jean Baptiste Colbert worked vigorously to help French businessmen increase exports, and took measures to decrease imports into France—figuring correctly that a healthy economy must have more of the former and less of the latter. This is mercantilism.

Jean Baptiste Colbert looked over the shoulder of all bureaucracies. He demanded to review all records, receipts, minutes, and audits, so as to gauge results and plan future activities. Nothing could be ordered by any official of the government of France, and no payments made from the treasury without the personal signature of Jean Baptiste Colbert. His plans worked brilliantly. Soon other European nations wanted to copy the bureaucracies of 17th century France.

Colbert took charge of quality control for exported goods from France. He had inspectors who made sure that anything marked "made in France" was of world-class quality. No products were allowed to leave the country unless they measured up to the highest standards. It was not long before buyers of goods in Europe understood this, and the demand for things made in France exploded: linen, lace, silk, wine, pottery, tapestry, clocks, and other articles made of wood or metal.

Jean Baptiste Colbert was also very concerned about the poor. No, he didn't take away other people's earnings and redistribute them to the poor directly. Colbert drained swamps, knowing that the poor who live near them suffered from diseases related to standing water. He built miles of canals in poor areas; he spent a ton of money on roads, which the poor benefit from as much as the rich. Colbert also eliminated tolls and levies that he deemed an unfair burden on the less-than-well-to-do.

The bureaucracies worked great for a while. Eventually the number of regulations, inspections, and paperwork generated by the bureaucracies had grown so large that commerce was hampered. It was also noted that the clerks in the bureaucracies became surly and arrogant.

 

THE LOUVRE AS DRAWN IN 17TH CENTURY FRANCE
THE LOUVRE AS DRAWN IN 17TH CENTURY FRANCE

HUGUENOTS

 

The Huguenots were French Protestants.  They were protected in Catholic France by the Edict of Nantes, issued in 1598 by King Henry IV, the grandfather of King Louis XIV.  The Sun King revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, which made Protestantism illegal again in France.  This was a grave error for France. 

The Huguenots were now forced to convert to Catholicism, or be massacred.  Instead, they fled from France by the hundreds of thousands to England, Holland, and Prussia.  The Huguenots were the best artisans in France, and expertly skilled in many trades.  They were of industrious habits, and lived respectable lives.  The Huguenots and their descendants became prominent in their new homelands, and later in America, in every branch of activity.  

FENELON (PAINTING BY JOSEPH VIVIEN, 1715)
FENELON (PAINTING BY JOSEPH VIVIEN, 1715)

FENELON

Not everyone appreciated the work of Colbert, or the reign of the Sun King. In 1694 Fenelon wrote this letter to King Louis XIV:

Sire: For thirty years your ministers have violated all the ancient laws of the state so as to enhance your powers. They have increased your revenue and your expenditures to the infinite and impoverished all of France for the sake of your luxury at court. They have made your name odious.

For twenty years they have made the French nation intolerable to its neighbors by bloody wars. We have no allies because we only wanted slaves. Meanwhile, your people are starving. Sedition is spreading and you are reduced to either letting it spread unpunished or resorting to massacring the people that you have driven to desperation.

Fenelon

 

THE YOUNG SUN KING LOUIS XIV (PAINTING BY CHARLES LE BRUN, 1661)
THE YOUNG SUN KING LOUIS XIV (PAINTING BY CHARLES LE BRUN, 1661)
LOUIS AS A BOY WITH HIS BROTHER, PHILIPPE I, AND MOTHER, ANNE OF AUSTRIA, QUEEN OF FRANCE
LOUIS AS A BOY WITH HIS BROTHER, PHILIPPE I, AND MOTHER, ANNE OF AUSTRIA, QUEEN OF FRANCE

17TH CENTURY FRANCE

The Sun King Louis XIV settled his long running problems with Spain by making his son their king. A Bourbon (Louis' last name) is still king of Spain to this day.

King Louis XIV felt the need to consolidate 17th century France through war, which naturally creates a common enemy and a common cause. He also wanted to scarf up land in all directions to make his kingdom bigger and stronger, as well as to provide a land buffer between France and its possible enemies.

A nation must have a common language and uniform laws to survive in the long run. The people must be proud of their country, feel pride in their common past, and be possessive about their society—not rebellious. This is one reason a nation's flag is important as a concrete symbol of unity. If citizens burn their nation's flag publicly with impunity, something is wrong in that nation.

When the Sun King died, there was neither sorrow nor respect shown for the death of the longest reigning monarch in the history of Christendom. Six courtesans attended his funeral. Most people were not hostile about Louis, simply indifferent. One scribe wrote: "Our eyes were too full of tears during his life to leave us any for his death."

After the death of the King Louis XIV, morals and manners in France plummeted into debauchery, corruption, and slovenliness.

SOURCES

My primary sources for this article are From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun and Europe by Norman Davies.


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Comments 66 comments

singlmomat52 profile image

singlmomat52 6 years ago

Always a wealth of information in your hubs!! This one is awesome, I never knew most of this. Wonderful, colorful Hub!! Thank You!!!


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

An interesting hub filled with much information that I was totally ignorant of. Reading history always saddens me. I am not sure why but perhaps, it is being confronted with some of the same issues that our own day of history making presents. Different day, different geography, same human behaviors.

Thanks for your time and thought put into this presentation for our edification.

Love and peace in Him,

Forever His,


Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

James I do love history, thanks.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

James - you made this review of France under Louis XIV come alive. I enjoyed reading it so much I didn't want it o end.

Isn't it interesting how so many parallels exist between the profligate spending in Louis' regime at one time and the excesses going on today sponsored by our elected representatives in Washington? Some things never change!


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

Just a thought- you mention that the new burocracies worked great for a while and then became too large. Was Colbert still in charge at the time, or had he lost his influence to respond to this?


satomko profile image

satomko 6 years ago from Macon, GA

Another excellent history hub, James. You're really at the top of your game here.


v_kahleranderson profile image

v_kahleranderson 6 years ago from San Jose, California

Hi Mr. Watkins,

Wow! The RevLady took the words right out of my mouth. History makes me sad, too. And I think it IS because we are dealing with all the same issues now as then.

People never change; we have remained the same. We just dress different today, and are more willing to be outspoken, but usually in greater numbers. A bully never fights his battles alone.

Oops! Have I said too much? Lol!

Thank you for another wonderful read, James. It has been a pleasure.

Blessings to you, always, and always keeping you in my prayers :)

VKA


europewalker profile image

europewalker 6 years ago

Great read. The best history hubs ever, very informative.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago

Very well written and informative, great hub!


"Quill" 6 years ago

Love the history you write about James, always captivating and filled with great wisdom, a blessing to read.

Blessings from Canada


davidseeger profile image

davidseeger 6 years ago from Bethany, OK

Thanks, James. I enjoyed it very much. I look forward to more of the same genre.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

singlmomat52— Thank you for being my first visitor. I try to input as much information as I can—that I find most interesting—in as few words as possible. I appreciate your kind compliments. And you are most welcome. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

RevLady— It is such a pleasure to hear from you. I didn't mean for this Hub to be a bummer. I agree with you that human nature never changes—only the circumstances that bring out the best and the worst of the human heart.

Thank you very much for your thoughtful insights. I know few people who understand the human heart as do you. And you are welcome. God Bless You.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Vladimir Uhri! Hello my old friend. Thank you so much for coming by to visit. And you are welcome.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

drbj— I can think of no higher compliment than you "didn't want it to end." :-) Thank you!!

Parellels certainly do exist. I think Colbert's first move—to slash spending, build up capital, and reduce debt and interest—our government should take to heart.

Thank you for your gracious comments. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

CASE1WORKER— You have asked the best question I have received in a long time. I believe Colbert was dead when the bureaucracies got out of hand. But the lesson is, the law of unintended consequences. What was a good thing in measured doses becomes poison when overdosed.

Thank you for your penetrating inquiry.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

satomko— Thank you for saying so, my friend. I must have been "seeing the ball" very well today. :D


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

fascinating. I enjoy Tudor history, but you've got wanting to read more about Louis 14th. Did not know that his pious little wife was first his mistress. Was she forced to be?


quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago

Hello World, if you wanna brief history of just about anything turn to Mr James A Watkins! I always do that! Cheers World!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love history and I found again in your hub. Great research and very well written. I always impress with your work. Good job, James. Vote up as usual.

Prasetio


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

v_kahleranderson— Hello KVA. I, for some reason quirky to myself perhaps, do not think of history as sad in particular. I view history as a lesson, or as prologue. I see it as something from which great wisdom can be gleaned.

You did not say too much. I agree with you. Lord knows I appreciate your blessings and prayers, my dear. Thank you for always providing encouragement to me. You are a blessing to me.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

europewalker— I cannot think of any higher praise I could receive than that which you have bestowed upon me through your comments here. Thank you very much.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

nifty@50— Thank you! Thank you very much. :D


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

"Quill"— I love the way you parentheticalize your handle. I appreciate you, my friend from Canada. Thank you for being a blessing to me and all of us in the Hub Pages Community.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

davidseeger— You are welcome my friend. More of it you shall have. I have in pipeline Christendom in the 17th century; science in the 17th century; England in the 17th century; America in the 17th century; and faith in the 17th century. :-)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

bayoulady— I am also fascinated by the Welsh Tudors. I am of Welsh ancestry. I do not think she was forced. I believe Madame de Maintenon truly loved King Louis XIV.


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

I am also of Welsh ancestry.My maternal great grandparents were from Wales, then Ireland(or vice versa..can't remember right now) surname Welch.They came to America a few years before my grandfather was born.My paternal ancestors were Scotch/ Irish surname Kimball.My favorite musical instrument is the bagpipes.lol!


Sundaymoments profile image

Sundaymoments 6 years ago from United States

Well done James! I loved the hub very well laid out! I voted it up!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

A nice brief introduction to the period. Thanks :-)


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Quite a few revelation and information of the Sun King. Thank you for an interesting read.


dfelker 6 years ago

I love the way you describe things. I always liked that Leo diCaprio movie in The Man in the Iron Mask, where they fictionalized the background of Louis XIV, but enjoyed learning about the real history too, thx!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

quicksand— I love history, my friend. Thank you for your fine testimonial. I always enjoy hearing from you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

prasetio30— Well kind sir, I surely appreciate your affirmation and the "Thumbs Up!" You are a good man, Prasetio. I appreciate your warm heart.

James


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

bayoulady— With a surname like Welch I suppose the origin is self evident. :-)

I absolutely love the bagpipes. How beautiful they art.

I got to visit Wales maybe ten years back. I visited the museum of the Welsh Fusiliers and there was a medal given to some hero of long ago with the name of James Watkins.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

Memorable history always impressed me. And this is one of the best. Thanks for sharing.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Sundaymoments— I am well pleased that you loved my Hub. Thank you for saying so. I appreciate the "vote up!" :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

De Greek— You're welcome, my friend. Thank you for reading my work. :D


ama83 profile image

ama83 6 years ago from San Jose, CA

Thank you for today's history lesson Mr. Watkins! I always find history fascinating... too bad I can never remember as much as I would like to :(

Oddly enough, mistress Madame de Montespan is what continues to stand out in my mind. Sometimes I cannot believe the lengths people will go to earn some form of power or recognition. It is so sad.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Hello, hello,— You are quite welcome. Thank you for your kind comments. I'll be coming to read your Hubs soon.


James Mark profile image

James Mark 6 years ago from York, England

Another interesting summary which should encourage us to delve into this period. As an evangelical Christian and former pastor in France, I am fascinated by the story of the Huguenots, many of whom made their way across the Atlantic. We had the pleasure of stumbling across New Paltz, in New York State, a few years ago and were delighted to find a reconstruction of a French Huguenot church.

http://www.huguenotstreet.org/


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

dfelker— You are welcome. I enjoyed that movie too, "The Iron Mask." I might watch it again in fact. I am glad you enjoyed this article. Thank you for saying so.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

H P Roychoudhury— You are most welcome, my friend. Thank you for coming by and offering your kind compliments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

ama83— You are welcome, dear. The story of Madame de Montespan is quite something, isn't it? Some people will go to great lengths to get what they want. I enjoy it when you visit. Thank you for these remarks. :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

James Mark— I did not know you were a man of the cloth, brother. Thank you for that link. I have been to New Paltz a couple times but I did not know it was founded by Huguenots. Fascinating. I have been to a couple Christian men's retreats there with the New Canaan Society.

http://www.newcanaansociety.org/


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

Mr. Watkins,

Thank you for the wonderful teaching moment. If I still have stamina after I am done with my business degree, I would love to turn my attention to world history. We can only be better citizens when we grasp the mistakes and triumphs of our ancestors past. Looking forward to reading many more hubs by you.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

Jason R. Manning— You are welcome. I love history. I agree with your sentiments exactly. I appreciate your interest in my work. I will reciprocate. Thank you for visiting. And welcome to the Hub Pages Community.


pcoach 6 years ago

I just love reading your stuff. You make it so easy to want to read and learn. It took me a day or two to get through. I just love history, even as a kid, but this is one area of history I didn't have a hankering for in my youth but now I want to suck it all up! Thanks so much.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago Author

pcoach— I am glad you do. Thank you for your kind comments, friend. I have always loved history but my attention to it has intensified these last ten years. I appreciate the visitation, and you are welcome.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago

Nice job. I enjoy European history. I also saw that you got a 100 hub score. You're a super-duper hubber, James! Congratulations.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Bibowen Thank you! I don't know how that happened but I am grateful for it. I appreciate the visit and the comments!


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

James A Watkins, Interesting, informative, intriguing and sad… I think you are a great Professor in your own right aside from and in lieu of the formalities. Your written lectures are superb! I am sure more than the majority of your audience agrees! You instruct us on the university level and incite a desire to want to know more of the world’s history rather than bore us to take slumber..

It becomes increasingly apparent to what degree one will sink in order to become close to someone in power. Frightening that one would make such a horrific, disgusting, abominable sacrifice on the altar dedicated to the Lord! The devil is such a deceiver and continues to be…. King Louis XIV was such a character and did not even realize that he was under the influence of wickedness or did he? Much insight into human behavior. Wonderful illustrations another concise presentation!

Thank you as always for sharing, In HIS Love, Peace & Blessings


Allan McGregor profile image

Allan McGregor 5 years ago from South Lanarkshire

Not only informative but elegantly written. A first class hub on a fascinating era. And 'Mercantilism' - Haha - I've seldom heard of that since I studied history at Bearsden Academy.

You might even want to consider exploring the parallels between Louis XIV's economic legacy and Barack Obama's economic policies, because Louis' 'style-over-substance' reign eventually bankrupted France rendering the nation vulnerable to the predations of the Scottish conman cum economist - John Law, who founded the Mississippi Company and the Banque Générale Privée, which together enriched France on a credit bubble of fiat money - or what we would today call 'Quantitative Easing'. It ended badly when the French realised too late that Law had simply driven their nation's economy with the engine of a Ponzi Scheme.

I suspect many Americans would benefit from taking a closer look at 17th Century French economic mistakes that Obama seems intent on repeating.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

DeBorrah K. Ogans— I am always happy to hear your sweet voice, Sister. Your first paragraph warmed the cockles of my heart. I have always found history to be fascinating but it is often taught in a very boring way. It doesn't have to be; it can be fun and exciting. The past is prologue. :D

I do not believe that King Louis XIV ever knew about the Black Mass. I agree with your insights in paragraph two wholeheartedly. Thank you ever much for reading my article. I truly love reading your keen comments. And you are quite welcome.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Allan McGregor— Thank you for your gracious compliments, my brother. It is great to see you again. You make an excellent point about the similarities of Louis XIV and President Obama when it comes to style over substance. I must confess: I am ignorant of John Law. Boy, you sure know your history. I am going to read up on Mr. Law as soon as I enter this comment. "Quantitative Easing." Funny! Thank you for these acute insghts.


Allan McGregor profile image

Allan McGregor 5 years ago from South Lanarkshire

Yes, James, 'Quantitative Easing' means printing confetti - sorry money - to feed the economy.

But it does rather sound like something a bull does in a field when he leaves behind a pile of 'Economic Policy'.

I believe 'BS' is the aknowledged abreviation, and should maybe be applied to both commodities.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Allan McGregor— Confetti. Fiat. B.S. I love your analysis, my friend. The best to you always.

James


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

Very useful and informative hub. Always has been a favorite of mine this period of history in France I just love this family and how they took a hard time and made it look so very beautiful anyway. We should all learn something from this, only without the terrible revolt of the people. Beautiful, pictures thanks for sharing. The historical building there even seem more beautiful than anywhere else to me too, just lovely really.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

Fluffy77— Thank you for recognizing the beauty of the pictures I selected. That is sometimes overlooked. I spend a lot of time on pictures for my Hubs. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

This Hub was a pleasure to put together. I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate the affirmation.


pamtime22 profile image

pamtime22 5 years ago from Central Florida

Thank you James. I am a descentdant of a French huguenot family that finally settled in the state of Missouri. I should not like Louis XIV, but I think as he got older he was influenced negatively by M. Maintenon (I think she was a big hypocrit and snake in the grass after what M. Montespan (falsely accused) did for her. I liked Louis before her. Maybe he would have done more for the protestants of France and not revoked the Edict of Nantes. I know that I probably have a rather unique way of thought on this. Mais voila!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago Author

pamtime22— Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! I see you are from Central Florida. I left there almost two years ago after living in Orlando for 18 years.

My mother is from Missouri—Caruthersville (or Hayti).

You certainly know your history. Thank you for such excellent and interesting comments. I appreciate this visitation. :-)


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

I love history. I cam see why this HUB is rated so high.

Excellent reading.. and learning..I cant wait to read more of your writing.

I voted up and awesome

Happy New Year

Debbie


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago Author

Deborah Brooks— I love history too! Thank you for taking the time to come by and read this article. I very much appreciate the accolades. I am grateful for the voted up and awesome.

Happy New Year Debbie!

James


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Fascinating description, including details I have never heard elsewhere. Engaging reading!


AJRG profile image

AJRG 21 months ago from Atlanta, GA

I did not know that his mistress sacrificed a baby. Uggh. Was he the son of Mazarin? I heard Louis XIII did not get along with his wife and his son was born after 23 years of marriage. My understanding of him was that as a 12 year old he had to flee Paris before the Fronde and this formed his distrust of the nobles ever since. Versailles was his way of leaving them too poor and too close to give him trouble again. Finally Peter the Great said the gap between the rich and poor was so great in France that it would be their undoing.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 15 months ago from Chicago Author

FlourishAnyway---Thank you very much indeed! I am so glad you enjoyed my article.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 15 months ago from Chicago Author

AJRG---Thank you for taking the time to come over and read my article. I appreciate your excellent comments as well. I think you are on target with your remarks about Louis XIII. As far as whose baby it was that was sacrificed to Satan I do not know.

James

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