Louis XIV: Great King or Tyrant?

Louis XIV: Great King or Tyrant? (Please explain!)

  • Great King

    Votes: 34 73.9%
  • Tyrant

    Votes: 12 26.1%

  • Total voters
    46

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,210
Welsh Marches
Salient points all. I thank you for sharing your prodigious knowledge and insights all of which I find truly impressive and fascinating. However you still, however casually, support my position.

"One of Louis' more infamous decrees was the Grande Ordonnance sur les Colonies of 1685, also known as the Code Noir ("black code"). Although it sanctioned slavery, it attempted to humanise the practice by prohibiting the separation of families. Additionally, in the colonies, only Roman Catholics could own slaves, and these had to be baptized."

You're basically saying by attempting to 'humanize' slavery, slavery (including forced religious conversion it would seem) is all right. It's never all right. It's never okay to build a society let alone to live in extreme opulence on the backs of other human beings. It's no surprise that over time the 'nobility' found ways to greatly reduce the amount they paid back into the economy.

You tout the achievement of silk production but interestingly enough: "In 1619, further regulation imposed a limitation of 12 looms per workshop, to operate only within the city boundaries and only within certain districts (arendisments). The weight of the market and the need for standardisation and pricing controls inevitably forced the industry toward capitalist relations and, along with other growing industries across France, laid the basis for the conflict between feudalism and capitalism leading to the coming revolution in 1879. "The swing toward complete control by the merchants was well under way so that by the year of the French Revolution, the economic balance of forces had been completely consolidated away from the weavers and into the hands of the merchant class." The Lyon Silk Workers’ uprisings of 1831 and 1834

So King Louis' policies ended up deepening the rift between the working class reality and the posh wealth obsessed upper classes that lead to the French Revolution.

So while I thank you for pointing out some of the great things he did institute and achieve for France, we differ greatly on what constitutes actual greatness. I'm reminded of Winston Churchill.... his role in saving England and Europe from Hitler is undeniable, yet he himself was a racist, classist pig. To him and his ilk, the Irish for example were not human beings. Louis may have tried to connect with the people of France, to relate to them, but when you see yourself as ordained by God, you're going to miss the mark on some very real fronts. Just like all religious institutions....
This is a grossly unhistorical way of approaching history, one has at least to start by trying to understand earlier ages in their own terms; it is also crass, as in the suggestion, for intance, that Churchill 'and his ilk' did not regard the Irish as being human beings!
 
May 2019
9
Bellingham, WA
This is a grossly unhistorical way of approaching history, one has at least to start by trying to understand earlier ages in their own terms; it is also crass, as in the suggestion, for intance, that Churchill 'and his ilk' did not regard the Irish as being human beings!
It's good to view history contextually for sure, point taken. Still I stand with Thomas Paine and his 'Rights Of Man' as to a prime example of what constitutes greatness, not megalomaniacal delusional monarchs even if they were also apt and great at doing certain things on behalf of their country.

And I for one don't think speaking truth is crass. The English rule over Ireland was an insanely brutal tyrannical period and the English upper crust hated to give up territory it had conquered based upon their view of an intrinsic superiority over 'natives'. Here on Churchill so you don't have to take my word for it: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/02/03/the-dark-side-of-winston-churchills-legacy-no-one-should-forget/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.801926ececcd
 
Jun 2017
438
maine
Perhaps it's a false choice. Perhaps what is needed to be a great king/leader precludes what is needed to be a good person. Or perhaps our expectation of "goodness" is so fluid that it isn't easy to apply.
 
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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,210
Welsh Marches
It's good to view history contextually for sure, point taken. Still I stand with Thomas Paine and his 'Rights Of Man' as to a prime example of what constitutes greatness, not megalomaniacal delusional monarchs even if they were also apt and great at doing certain things on behalf of their country.

And I for one don't think speaking truth is crass. The English rule over Ireland was an insanely brutal tyrannical period and the English upper crust hated to give up territory it had conquered based upon their view of an intrinsic superiority over 'natives'. Here on Churchill so you don't have to take my word for it: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/02/03/the-dark-side-of-winston-churchills-legacy-no-one-should-forget/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.801926ececcd
Thank you, but you don't need to refer me to an article by a journalist to gain an understanding of Churchill, and I was specifically refering to your (actually absurd) remark that he regarded the Irish as being less than human! Naturally I have nothing against speaking the truth, but history is complex and one tends to lose the essential nuances - and indeed often totally miss the picture - if one approaches it merely to pass moral judgements from a position of supposed superiority. Though I admit that threads of this type invite such a response.
 
Sep 2016
1,271
Georgia
You're basically saying by attempting to 'humanize' slavery, slavery (including forced religious conversion it would seem) is all right. It's never all right. It's never okay to build a society let alone to live in extreme opulence on the backs of other human beings. It's no surprise that over time the 'nobility' found ways to greatly reduce the amount they paid back into the economy.

So King Louis' policies ended up deepening the rift between the working class reality and the posh wealth obsessed upper classes that lead to the French Revolution.

So while I thank you for pointing out some of the great things he did institute and achieve for France, we differ greatly on what constitutes actual greatness. I'm reminded of Winston Churchill.... his role in saving England and Europe from Hitler is undeniable, yet he himself was a racist, classist pig. To him and his ilk, the Irish for example were not human beings. Louis may have tried to connect with the people of France, to relate to them, but when you see yourself as ordained by God, you're going to miss the mark on some very real fronts. Just like all religious institutions....
I'm not saying that slavery is right. Of course it is bad. However, we must remember during what period Louis lived and that there were other colonial powers at that time as well. So attempting to ,, humanize '' slavery was some sort of progress.

Bourgeoisie tried to attain political power and defend their interests, which is why Revolution in 1789 happened. The problem was that Bourgeoisie had no effective and consistent way of affecting King's policy, like in England. Even ,, Estates-Generales '' were not called for 170 years after 1614. In England various constitutional reforms and rise of Bourgeois elements happened throughout centuries, but France had different circumstances.

Then you also add Age of Enlightenment that happened in 18th century. Not to mention, how incompetent Louis XV and Louis XVI were.

Development of manufacturing, production and etc. was important for modernizing the country.
 
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May 2019
9
Bellingham, WA
Thank you, but you don't need to refer me to an article by a journalist to gain an understanding of Churchill, and I was specifically refering to your (actually absurd) remark that he regarded the Irish as being less than human! Naturally I have nothing against speaking the truth, but history is complex and one tends to lose the essential nuances - and indeed often totally miss the picture - if one approaches it merely to pass moral judgements from a position of supposed superiority. Though I admit that threads of this type invite such a response.

Well now, you say you don't need an article by a journalist. Is that because your understanding of Churchill is so comprehensive? What is there to miss? I think you're just messing with me.... It's Churchill's and yes, his ilk's very real position of supposed superiority that I'm talking about, and that is simply a part of history. Here's this:

Churchill's failure to take responsibility for the Gallipoli disaster in 1915; Churchill's lack of knowledge about the drastic sea change in Irish nationalism after the Easter Rising; Churchill's insensitive language in parliament towards the Irish, where he claimed that allowing a nation across the Irish Sea to become a Republic was akin to offering a country up to a miserable gang of human leopards in West Africa; and then there is Churchill's cheap and inappropriate swipe at the Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney: just before he died on hunger strike in a Brixton prison in 1920.