The Trial of Louis Xiv

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 2204 |

Pages: 5|

12 min read

Published: Nov 8, 2019

Words: 2204|Pages: 5|12 min read

Published: Nov 8, 2019

The Trial of Louis XIV

Louis XIV is widely known as the king who was executed at the end of the French Revolution. The common public executed him for what they believed to be treason, with a plethora of underlying legal, but unpopular reasons. But does the failure of his reign as king justify his untimely death? We have an opportunity to explore this further with reliable, modern and unbiased facts, which ultimately deems, Louis XIV to be innocent of the charges put forth. The first charge focuses on Louis XIV absolutist rule over France, and how it supposedly takes away the rights of the citizens. Absolutism is the for of government where one ruler controls everything.

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According to Thomas Hobbes, the use of absolutism leads to a unified and powerful government where it is a ruler’s duty to protect the people in return for complete submissiveness. It is not made to take away the rights of the common people, but to rather have the common people assist the king in ensuring the rights for them. Louis XIV’s goal was to strengthen France’s power and economy, even if it means sacrificing the rights of some. According to Hobbes, when a government is split into branches (army, legislation etc.) where separate individuals have control over different parts, a dissension between them can cause a dysfunctional government as all branches are needed to fully function. When there is a singular power, there can be no disagreement between branch leaders, keeping order in the state.

Although Louis XIV was an absolutist monarch, he supported the long term wellbeing of his people. Louis is also charged with irresponsible spending of tax money, which in the end only benefited him. He is well known to be the king who built the Palace of Versailles, which served as offices for bureaucrats, living quarters for the royals and nobility, and a workplace for servants. It had many practical uses for the government, and benefiting many more people. Louis also used tax money to build new roads. This promoted trade and benefitted the subjects. He also invested in national industry, to increase exports and further strengthen France’s economy. Although he did invest some money in the arts for personal reasons, the majority of the funds were being put back into the economy. Lastly, Louis is being charged with hate crimes and discrimination against Huguenots, which stems from the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. This was an Edict passed which allowed Huguenots to worship freely in 150 fortified towns.

According to Absolutist belief, a country must be united in every way to become as powerful as possible. This includes religious belief which still divided Catholics from Huguenots in France. Louis forced Catholic baptism on all the Huguenots, and mandated them to fully convert. The existence of the Huguenot religion posed a risk for religious wars in France, causing mass bloodshed and negative economic impact. Louis was willing to sacrifice the wellbeing of one generation of Huguenots for the lasting well being of France. Louis knew that the destruction of the Huguenot religion would lead to a unified and formidable nation.

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Louis XIV was one of the greatest absolutist monarchs of all time. Contradicting common thought, he cared for his subjects’ well being. Louis XIV invested in markets that would benefit the French economy, and built a multifunctional government workplace in Versailles, which created more jobs for the commoners. To strengthen and unify France, he revoked the Edict of Nantes, attempting religious commonality. Louis XIV’s balancing of power between his subjects and his steps taken towards his eventually-thwarted goal of complete French unification, supports his innocence in this trial.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Trial of Louis Xiv. (2019, September 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“The Trial of Louis Xiv.” GradesFixer, 13 Sept. 2019,
The Trial of Louis Xiv. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
The Trial of Louis Xiv [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Sept 13 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from:
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