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Kangxi vs. Louis Xiv- Absolutism Paper

Absolute monarchy or absolutism means that the sovereign power or ultimate authority in the state rested in the hands of a king who claimed to rule by divine right. Kangxi and Louis XIV were both shining examples for absolutist rule. Age of Absolutism was between 1610 and 1789. Absolutism is a term used to depict a type of monarchical power that was not at all restrained by institutions, for example, legislatures, social elites, or churches.

Both Kangxi and Louis X1V were absolute monarchs associated with the coming to power of professional bureaucracies, professional standing armies, and the coding of state laws. They possessed ideologies that justify the absolutist monarchy. As absolute monarchs they spent significant sums on flamboyant homes for themselves as well as their nobles. It is mandatory in an absolutist state, by the monarchs for nobles to live in the royal palace, although in their absence, state officials ruled the noble’s lands.

This would effectively decrease the power of the nobility, thus causing nobles to become dependent upon the generosity of the monarch for their source of income. Emperor Kangxi became known as one of China’s greatest emperors. He suppressed the Revolt of the Three Feudatories, forced the Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan to submit to Qing rule, blocked Tzarist on Russia on the Amur River and extended the empire to the northwest. The compilation of the Kangxi Dictionary was just one primary example of the emperor’s many accomplishments pertaining to the subject of literature.

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During Kangxi’s reign his country experienced long-term stability and relative wealth after having suffered many years of turmoil and war. He was responsible for the initiation of the “Prosperous Era of Kangxi and Qianlong” era, which prolonged for generations after his own. As his reign ceased, the Qing Empire had full control over the entire Chinese region, Manchuria, as well as part of the Far East region of Russia and many other regions.

Emperor Kangxi, whose father Emperor Shunzhi was the first Qing emperor to rule over China proper, was the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty. As he reached age 8 years old on February 17, 1661, Kangxi succeeded imperial throne; twelve days after his father’s death. His rule consisted of at least 61 years from 1661 to 1722, making him the longest reigning emperor in Chinese history. When Kangxi was eight, he ascended the throne. As a child, Kangxi was very talented in literature and he worked diligently.

Since he was too young, his father hired four ministers to assist him with the administration of the country. Ao Bai was the name of one of them who furtively assigned his own henchmen to oppose the young emperor. As Kangxi became of age to rule the nation, he ingeniously voided Ao Bai’s plot. In 1643 Louis XIV became king at age four upon the loss of his father Louis XIII. Louis XIV, also recognized as the “Sun King”, was among the greatest of significant monarchs in history. He reigned for 72 years, from 1643 until his death in 1715.

This made his time as King the longest known reign of any European monarch. He is responsible for taking France from savage medieval to one of the most appealing cultures in the world. He claimed total control of the French Government for 54 years out of the 72 years that he reigned for. The 17th century was labeled as the age of Louis XIV, due to his supreme reign of absolutism in government. Louis began independently governing France as of 1661 after his prime minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin passed away.

As an advocate of the theory of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors’ work of creating a Centralized Government, governed from within the capital. He sought the elimination of the remnants of Feudalist parts of France. Under his rule, France represented the mainstay of European power, involved in three major wars: the Franco Dutch War, the Nine Years War, the League of Augsburg War, and the War of the Spanish Succession. A highly skilled politician and statesman Louis X1V supported and profited from the work of major political, military and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert,

Turenneaud, Vauban, Moliere, Racine, Boileau, La Fontain, Lully and Le Notre to name just a few. Days before his seventy-seventh birthday after death, Louis was succeeded by his great-grandson who became Louis XV at age 5. Both Kangxi and Louis XIV were shining examples for absolutist rule, and they both were effective absolutist who did a great job governing their kingdom. However, in my opinion Kangxi was the more effective Absolutist of the two.

Whereas Louis XIV relied heavily on collaborating with other great men in order to achieve effectiveness, Kangxi relied on utilizing his supreme intellect and succeeded exerting his own true absolute power which was his intelligence. Kangxi ran a more organized society as opposed to Louis XIV, who had a volatile reign filled with wars. Kangxi’s reign consisted of education and prosperity.

Bibliography Hearn, Maxwell K.. “The Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors. ” Visual Media Center | Columbia University in the City of New York. http://www. learn. columbia. du/nanxuntu/html/emperors/ (accessed November 9, 2010). Steingrad, Elena. “Louis XIV – the Sun King: Louis XIV – the Sun King. ” Louis XIV – the Sun King: Louis XIV – the Sun King. http://www. louis-xiv. de/ (accessed November 9, 2010). “French Absolutism. ” Absolutism. www2. sunysuffolk. edu/westn/absolutism. html (accessed November 9, 2010). Briq. “Versailles. ” Podibus. http://www. podibus. com/Versailles_VR/ (accessed November 9, 2010). Duiker, William J. , and Jackson J. Spielvogel. World history . 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2007.

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