Sam Jones Mr. Johnson Social Studies 13 July 2011 Life of the Common People under Louis XIV’s Rule An Absolute Monarchy was a new concept to the people of France during the 1600’s. Other forms of government were failing from lack of control, so the people of France turned to an Absolute Monarch, named Louis XIV. The only problem with Louis was that he was self-centered, and did not care a whole lot about governing his kingdom. He was more concerned with making himself looking good, and even went as far to call himself the “Sun God. ” As a result, the French common people lived very rough lives, due to the neglect of their king.
It was not an easy life for the French people under King Louis XIV’s rule, and it was not made better by his view on governing. This is shown through his lack of genuine care for his people, over taxation, and wars of the time. City life was very harsh on people, and this is shown by the fact that King Louis XIV himself did not live in the city. The people of Paris were starving because of a war happening; all of the food is going to the troops. Louis handles this problem by showing his generous heart, and giving the people spoiled food to eat. This action caused unrest and rioting, which was a problem for King Louis.
The citizens of Paris were treated as mere objects and not people, and this would be hard to live with. Harsh living conditions made life hard as it is, and the spoiled food added to their loathsome lives. During king Louis XIV’s reign, he fought many wars in order to expand his territory. This caused many people who did not want to fight, be forced to join in wars they didn’t believe in. King Louis would even go as far as to send women’s loved ones into combat, just so when they died their inevitable death, he could have their significant other. Also, wars caused even more poverty for the people of France.
In an instance where a woman’s husband was killed in combat, the wife would be left to supply their family with food. The social status of women at the time was very low, so it would be very hard for any woman to find a well paying job, causing even more starvation. This is the kind of environment the people of France lived in, and it was not an easy one. If war and a selfish king wasn’t enough, the people of France were also being heavily taxed. War wasn’t cheep, and King Louis needed some way to finance it. The simple solution was to tax the already poor French people.
The people were already starving, and the heavy taxation made the burden of life much heavier. No money, meant no food, which made the people very upset at the king. Life wasn’t easy as it was, and lack of food and money made it unbearable. Absolute monarchy had its advantages and disadvantages. Many small issues may have been resolved, but under King Louis XIV, new problems arose. People starved, were forced to fight, and were overtaxed. Life was rough, and the rule of King Louis was not helping make it better. The citizens of France got what they wanted with an Absolute monarch, but their burdensome lives did not improve.