Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Crisis of the Absolute MonarchyFrance from Old Regime to Revolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Julian Swann and Joël Félix

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265383

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265383.001.0001

Show Summary Details

From Servant of the King to ‘Idol of the Nation’

From Servant of the King to ‘Idol of the Nation’

The Breakdown of Personal Monarchy in Louis XVI’s France

Chapter:
(p.63) 4 From Servant of the King to ‘Idol of the Nation’
Source:
The Crisis of the Absolute Monarchy
Author(s):

Julian Swann

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265383.003.0004

The absolute monarchy was a personal monarchy and during the reign of Louis XIV, the king established a tradition that the king should act as his ‘own first minister’, coordinating the work of his ministerial servants. In the course of the eighteenth century that tradition was undermined by a series of social, administrative, and cultural changes to such an extent that by the 1780s ministers were increasingly behaving as independent political figures, courting public opinion and claiming to act in the name of public welfare or even the nation. By examining these changes, this chapter argues that the political culture of the absolute monarchy was in constant transition and that the failure of Louis XVI, in particular, to manage its effects was one of the principal causes of his loss of authority in the period preceding the Revolution of 1789.

Keywords:   Louis XIV, Louis XV, Louis XVI, absolute monarchy, ministers, Assembly of Notables, public opinion, political culture

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.