Discuss the comment on Louis XIV religious policy between 1661 and 1715
Louis showed lots of skill during his time on the thrown, but he also made lots of mistakes too. One blunder that was a terrible thing, because of Louis was the Dragonades, which ruined people’s lives and was a cruel and immoral thing to do. Louis wanted to have no more Huguenots in Britain, so he decided to find ways to convert them into Catholics, which was Louis’s religion. He did this by many ways, and it was “gradual and piecemeal”. Louis decided to but “the billeting of troops in Huguenot households, as a means of intimidating Huguenots into conversion.
There were stories of rape, pillage, throwing people into fires and having them torn to pieces by dogs. Louis blamed these stories on the fact that the military weren’t properly disciplined, but he did his best. The dragonade was proven effective because in a year his aims were almost achieved as 38, 000 Huguenots converted into Catholics. However this was a mistake because the army ate their food and ruined their house, therefore they were left poor. It was harsh and the Huguenots very probably didn’t convert but just said they did because they wanted the troops out of their house!
A great skill in which Louis XIV showed was the way he appeared to compromise with the Pope at certain occasions. In fact at times, compromising with the Pope helped him achieve his aims, religiously. “Louis was forced into compromise. He could not afford to continue to alienate the Pope in view of the strong Protestant alliance of foreign powers now marshalled against him”. Although this was a skill because he got what he wanted, it was seen that “the King’s desire to gain favour with the Pope after the earlier disputes – to be seen as Defender of the true faith! ”
Another blunder made by Louis XIV was the Edict of Fontainbleu. In 1685 Louis made it law that the Huguenots were forbidden to meet for public worship, Huguenots ministers were given 15 days to leave France, other Huguenots were forbidden to emigrate in pain of death. Lastly Huguenot’s schools were closed and Huguenot children were compelled to be education in the catholic faith. It was big blunder because “over 30, 000 Huguenots emigrated, taking with them their skills and their capital. Some towns lost half their workers. ” This meant that Louis had given his best workforce away to his rival countries.