Louis XIV dies in 1658; his younger brother Philippe becomes the new French King

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,070
SoCal
#1
In real life, French King Louis XIV was very sick in 1658 but managed to recover. Anyway, what if Louis would have died and his gay younger brother Philippe would have thus become the new French King?

What kind of King would Philippe have been? Would he have made himself an absolute monarch like Louis did? Also, is he still going to sire children in this scenario?
 
Mar 2016
1,097
Australia
#3
Philippe was not gay - perhaps you've been watching too much Versailles :)

He was solidly bisexual and had affairs not just with men but with women too, and had five several children over the course of his life.

But anyway, to the topic on hand: It's very difficult to say, since there are so many things that affect a person's attitude, their morals and their courses of action, but an argument could be made that even if he wouldn't have gone to such extremes that Louis did in absorbing all power to his own person, and making Versailles a gilded prison, he still would have ruled as an absolutist. By the time Louis ended the regency that Mazarin and his mother had established, the nobility were pretty solidly subdued and weakened, thanks to the tireless work of cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, as well as Louis's mother. All Louis did was ensure they stayed that way. It's unlikely that a return to the old order of strong feudal nobility would have occurred even if Louis died young, although the degree to which the nobles would regain at least some power and autonomy is a much more difficult question to answer.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,070
SoCal
#4
Philippe was not gay - perhaps you've been watching too much Versailles :)
Wikipedia says he was gay.

He was solidly bisexual and had affairs not just with men but with women too, and had five several children over the course of his life.
Which women did he have affairs with? He had sex with his two wives to fulfill his royal duty to produce a male heir, but I haven't heard of him having any mistresses--or any illegitimate children, for that matter.

But anyway, to the topic on hand: It's very difficult to say, since there are so many things that affect a person's attitude, their morals and their courses of action, but an argument could be made that even if he wouldn't have gone to such extremes that Louis did in absorbing all power to his own person, and making Versailles a gilded prison, he still would have ruled as an absolutist. By the time Louis ended the regency that Mazarin and his mother had established, the nobility were pretty solidly subdued and weakened, thanks to the tireless work of cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, as well as Louis's mother. All Louis did was ensure they stayed that way. It's unlikely that a return to the old order of strong feudal nobility would have occurred even if Louis died young, although the degree to which the nobles would regain at least some power and autonomy is a much more difficult question to answer.
Makes sense.

BTW, do you think that Philippe is going to be as dismissive of the Estates General (specifically never actually calling it into session) as Louis XIV was?

Also, what about the New World and France's other overseas possessions? Is Philippe's policy here indistinguishable from that of his brother Louis?
 

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