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Peter The Great And Louis Xiv And Absolutism

716 words - 3 pages

During the reigns of King Louis XIV of France and King Peter I of Russia, also known as Peter the Great, the nobility was under strict control to limit its power and status in society and government. Both autocrats, or absolute rulers, put the nobles in an area separate from the rest of society to keep them under close watch. The kings’ opinion in religion also impacted the status and power of the nobility because most of them were skilled Protestants. This would prove itself as a problem in the long run for Louis XIV. Overall, Peter the Great and Louis XIV despised the nobility and their power in the government and went to many measures to subdue them.
Louis XIV of France used his grand and gaudy Palace of Versailles as a “pleasure prison” for the nobles while Peter the Great sent all of his nobles to St. Petersburg – both of these actions made it difficult for nobles to rebel. In France, Louis XIV ridiculed the nobility by sending them to the Palace of Versailles and busying them with silly little jobs and knit-picky rituals. He gave them these useless jobs to prevent them from banding together to overthrow him and to keep all of them on constant watch. In Russia, Peter I was trying to “westernize” his empire and its populaces by totally revamping Russia’s traditional dress and cultures. He called for all of the nobles to gather and personally chopped off all of their beards and cut off their sleeves to give them a more “westernized” look. If they wanted to keep their beards, they had to pay a tax. If they were caught in the streets without verifications that they were paying the tax then the beards would be cut off then and there. Peter’s choices caused many uprisings in which he ruthlessly put down with his modernized army. Peter only did this to the nobles, yes because he loathed them, but also because they were the aristocrats of the country.
The nobility was highly persecuted in France for their religion because of Louis XIV belief in divine right: “One King, One Law, One Faith”....

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