The Rise of Absolutism in Early Modern Europe

Or, the Sunrise and Sunset of King Louis XIV of France

divine right of kings


Jean de Bodin (d. 1596)

The Six Books of the Republic (1576)

secular absolutism

Hugo Grotius (d. 1645)

natural law

The Laws of War and Peace (1625)

Thirty Years’ War (1618-48)

Treaty of Westphalia, 1648

Louis XIII

Cardinal Richelieu


Louis XIV (r. 1643-1715)                 1651: “L’etat c’est moi.”

Cardinal Mazarin (d. 1661)             parlements

the Fronde, 1648-53

“Sun King”         Molière             ballet, the Louvre

Versailles, 1660s-1680s


Edict of Nantes revoked


Jean-Baptiste Colbert (d. 1683)


War of Devolution, 1667-68: v. Spanish, Dutch, English,                  Swedish 

    (Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1668)

Dutch War, 1672-78: v. Dutch, Spanish, HRE 

    (Peace of Nijmegen, 1678)

Nine Years’ War (King William’s War), 1688-97: v. HRE,                 Swedish, Spanish, English 

    (Treaty of Ryswick, 1697)

Rise of Absolutism in Western Europe - Google Slides