World History



























































Divine Right Monarchs

King Louis XIV of France is a prime example of a "Divine Right Monarch".

European kings grew extremely powerful during the early modern period for several reasons: kingdoms had grown wealthy from trade to Asia and the Americas; international trade required big merchant fleets and strong navies; and after a century of religious warfare, Europeans looked to strong monarchs to maintain stability. Monarchs claimed to rule with a “divine right” that came directly from God. The grandest of the divine right monarchs was Louis XIV (LOO-ee the 14th) who called himself the “Sun King.” He ruled France for 72-years when France was at the height of its power (1643-1715).

divine right = The claim that kings are chosen by God and are His representatives on Earth.

Louis XIV = a French king who claimed to rule by divine right. He lived extravagantly at the Palace at Versailles and accepted no legal restrictions on his power.

Twelve miles outside of Paris, Louis built a palace fit for a god-king. His huge palace at Versailles (vur-SIGH) was surrounded by endless gardens and 1,500 fountains. Versailles was built in an artistic style called Baroque(buh-ROKE), which replaced the classical-style art of the Renaissance. Baroque art was complexand dazzling; it was filled with ornamentation and gold. It was art meant to impress all who saw it with the power and wealth of the king or the church. Other rulers tried to copy the splendor of Versailles, but none ever equaled it. Louis shrewdly used his court at Versailles to control the French nobility. As many as 5,000 French nobles living at Versailles had little to do except seek the king’s favor and compete for honors like holding the candle while the Sun King prepared for bed.

Paris = the capital city of France, built on the Seine River.

Palace at Versailles = an opulent palace near Paris, France, that was used by French monarchs from the time of King Louis XIV.

Baroque architecture = a style of architecture that is complex and dazzling, filled with ornamentation and gold. The Palace at Versailles is a prime example of this style.

nobility = a class of persons distinguished by high birth or rank, also called the aristocracy.