I honestly have no idea if this is how he said it, or how you even say that in Modern West German, but it is still about the coolest quote in history.
It really sums up Uncle Ozzie's view of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Absolute monarchy was the thesis that the revolution was the antithesis to. Through the clashing of the old and new ideas of absolute monarchy versus radical republicanism, it produced a synthesis. Napoleon stepped up to be that synthesis; the protector of the core ideas of the revolution, but an absolute monarch himself. And with that quote, "I am the revolution," Napoleon referenced the quote from the absolute monarch while intertwining it with the revolution itself.
Many people believe by "Absolute Monarchy" that it is a King who own all power and can abuse it in any way that he sees fit. If that's what you think by "Absolute Monarchy", then Louis XIV was far, far from it.
The idea of the King being more powerful than his vassals isn't new in France. It started with the capetians, and mostly took off with the War of Religion who wrecked France's political stability. The Third Estate (The bourgeois and rich commoners, mostly) desperatly wanted order and sought to justify one single man being able to stop the petty warfare between lords.
Louis XIV's genius was to turn theses lords into courtisans. Those who lived in their manors far from Paris had no prestige, no rewards, no honor. And those who lived in Versailles were in a golden cage, watched and controlled.
Still, you have to take some things in account : -The King being the absolute monarch isn't good for the King. The King's life isn't a good life. Louis XIV was always watched, by everyone. When he woke up, when he washed, when he dressed, when he ate, he was always followed by nobles who just assisted like men on a theater. When his wife was giving birth, people were watching. The King is the State, but this was never imagined to make the King powerful. It was imagined to make the State powerful.
-Louis XIV managed to ruin feudalism. He still had some problems with the pesty courts of justice (Parliaments) and he still had to do the Catholic Bishops' biddings.
>>577797 How is that revisionist? French absolute monarchy dates back to Philip Augustus. It's just taught in French schools as having been invented by Louis XIV in order to focus on one bad guy and attribute the Revolution to him (and because the Middle Ages get skipped entirely).
>>578198 Yes he did, it's rather that the nobility had the privilege of not being taxed. And those privileges were guaranteed by the Parliament, so you're correct in saying there was some limitation on his power. Still it wasn't much of a limitation, seeing as his successor Louis XV simply abolished the Parliament.
Unfortunately for himself though, Louis XVI then reinstated it.
>>578141 Are you French? Because you're wrong on both accounts there; LXIV is revered pretty much, while Middle Ages get some treatment (even if minor compared to the 18th). It might have changed in more modern PC curriculums though.
>>578233 What I learned about Louis XIV was Ancien Régime society (the three orders and oppression of the commoners by clergy and nobility), that he neutered the nobility by bringing them to Versailles but only so that he could have absolute power and be worshiped like a god-king, that he was a warmonger, that he was extremely unfaithful to his wife, that he supported the slave trade, and that he revoked the edict of Nantes (we had never learned about the edict of Nantes being proclaimed in the first place btw) and hunted down and persecuted Protestants.
And the only thing we learned about France in the Middle Ages was the Crusades (Christian soldiers massacring their way through mosques with blood up to their knees etc).
>>578141 >absolute monarchy dates back to Augustus
Yeah, not exactly.
Augustus was the first french King to be revered by all lords as King of France, and had a lot of power, but he was far from "absolute". Just to give you an idea, his son, Louis the Lion, had problems during his reconquest of the south : The knights of Champagne left him immediatly after 40 days of campaign as feudal traditions demanded.
The modern term of "Absolute Monarchy", as in one man representing the state, started during the XVIIth Century, with Richelieu and Louis XIII, and really took off with the Sun-King who managed to finally impose order on France.
>>579976 It's hard for the modern man to empathize with him. He can gain the empathy of the french for being (probably) the greatest king of the country, and he does. But french nationalism is also very related with the revolution and the republic, making Louis a less perfect symbol.
I think Louis XIV was an absolute ruler, But he never pushed too far and most of what he did was in fact for the good of the people, what do you think would have happend if he had used his power for more personal gains? do you think the nobles would have rebelled against him?
Or was he just intelligent enough to know when to push his power and when not too.
>>580198 I'm not French, but why wouldn't they? He expanded the borders of the kingdom, developed the country to an almost unprecedented degree since ancient times, was a huge patron of the arts and his name is synonymous with an entire political culture and an entire century in Europe. At the 17th century England was a clusterfuck, Germany was a minor power at best, Russia wasn't a thing in Europe yet; yet France had a constant and stable rule (peaceful too if you consider that war was not fought on French soil) under the Sun King. Hell, even commies ought to like him because muh state.
>>580249 I think its greatest strenght was that unlike Napoleon he understood diplomacy. Look at the 9 years war, France is undefeated on every front, yet Louis XIV is able to understand he had to let go some of his conquests to secure the peace.
Some people ITT don't manage to make the difference between absolute monarchy and autocracy.
Absolute monarchy refers to a monarchic regime whose rulers have concentrated all the power in its hand, taken from nobility and, to a lesser extent, from the clergy. That didn't mean the king is turned into an arbitrary despot. He was still bound to respect the Old Customs of the Realm. In this regard, Louis XIV is a pretty perfect exemple of absolute monarchy.
Now if you want autocracy just take a look at Ivan IV of Russia. That's what autocracy is, everyone is a slave to the tsar(the gosoudar, master), actual slaves and nobility alike. He was not bound to any rules and crushed any sign of opposition violently.
>>577771 >The idea of the King being more powerful than his vassals isn't new in France. It started with the capetians Not with the first Capetians. The first one to get some independance from his vassals was Louis VI, because he was the first one who ever was able to maintain a small professionnal army that made him less dependant on the ost.
>>580198 Who would like such a fucker ? He ruined France doing wars in every directions (even the famous soldiers' song "Auprès de ma blonde" speaks about giving away all the symbols of monarchy in order to retrieve a husband caught prisoner by the Dutch). He revived the religious quarrels, and the subsequent exile of protestants impoverished France of many great artisans and savants. He supported esclavagism in all its cruelty. Even from a personnal point of view, he was a dick : remember of Nicolas Fouquet. The end of his life ran under the sign of strenghtening biggotry and exhaustion of artistic forms, pompous and vain.
Well, for the anecdote, even today the most frequent styles of furniture (notwithstanding the effects of trends) go back to Louis XIII, but the Louis XIV style is omitted. Decadent.
It's not surprising that right after his death, the whole kingdom sprung in joy, with the Régence. After 72 years of a vainglorious reign following only the politics of grandeur, the State was ruined, the country bloodless. Vauban, a good source, wrote that next to 10 % of the people was reduced to mendicity and that the other parts weren't better, excepted a tiny minority. We have conserved popular songs of joy celebrating the death of the king. Following some stories, it was a true fair all alongside the road between Paris and Saint-Denis !
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