Short Essay on the Famous Rulers of France

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Louis XIV was an autocratic ruler. He successfully ruled in Fran from 1643 to 1673. He not only made the autocracy popular in France his ability, hard work and farsightedness but also made France an example for the other European countries.

He waged a number of wars a- drained the state treasury due to constant wars. At the time of his death he advised his grandson Louis XV not to indulge in wars.

But being merely a child of five years, Louis XV failed to follow the last words of grandfather who never considered himself a king but a state.

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When Louis XV ascended the throne of France, he was merely child of five years. With the advancement of age, he proved to be worthless and licentious ruler. He used to pass most of his time gambling house in the company of dancers and concubines.

He was in habit of spending a good amount on his concubines; and they generally interfered in the politics of the state. Later on, people began to oppose all this but the king did not pay any attention towards it.

He had a firm faith in the theory that ‘after me the deluge’. Instead of minimising the troubles of the public, Louis XV had increased them. His taking part the European wars proved very dangerous and made the revolutioninevitable.

With the enthronement of Louis XVI, a new ray of hope shone the hearts of the people that the new king will prove to be reformist does something good for the subjects, but he did not possess the requisite qualities.

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His queen Marie Antoinette was also a spendthrift lady. She squandered a huge amount of money on all sorts of luxuries.

She was very beautiful and the king was greatly impressed by her. Both the king the queen failed to satisfy their subjects and ultimately pushed the country into the flames of revolution.

During the reign of these unworthy rulers, corruption maladministration was rampant. The country was divided into m departments on the basis of unequal area, uneven taxes and arbitrary law.

This inequality in the sphere of law has been described in the Cambridge Modern History in these words:

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“There were in France on the eve of the Revolution at least three hundred and sixty bodies of law, in force sometimes throughout the whole province, sometimes in a much smaller area.”

The provincial administration of France was also very defective. The provincial officers known as Intendants were responsible for the smooth running of the administration but for this they required the permission of central government.

It was a long process and much time was needed for the approval of the central government. That is why there was a lot of mismanagement in the administration.

The French army was also not well organised and it was riddled with corruption. Generally, people were free to join the army service but in view of the harshness of army rules, discipline and wages, none wanted to join it.

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People were forced to join the army. Generally, criminals, prisoners and people from the lower strata of society were recruited in the army. But the high posts in the army were reserved for the nobles.

It did not concern whether they were fit for the post or not. Thus the army organisation was loosely-knit and defective.

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