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Parlement of Paris under Louis XV Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 3rd, 2019

The period of the reign of Louis XV is characterised by the significant public, judges, and parlements’ opposition to the monarch’s government and to the proposed policies and laws. The opposition can be explained from several perspectives. Thus, the judges did not consider the regent and Louis XV as powerful leaders because their economic and political reforms ended as the great losses for the country.

Furthermore, the role of the judges in the state was restored during the reign of the regent, but the fact only complicated the situation, making the opposition more obvious.

From this point, the opposition against the reign of Louis XV and the associated policies was based on discussing the monarch’s reign as weak with references to the unsuccessful financial policies and to many ineffective diplomatic decisions with references to the results of the European wars.

The government of Louis XV implemented two ineffective financial policies which made the country’s economics stagnate, and they even led to the decline of definite industries. Moreover, during a long period of time, the French economy depended on inadequate taxation policy.

The first attempt to improve the financial situation within the country was associated with the implementation of John Law’s experiment which ended with the significant inflation.

The next attempt to change the approaches to the country’s finances was the focus on the fiscal policies. The policy was implemented after the Seven Years War and provoked worsening of the economic situation with references to the newly increased taxation (Swann 1995). The opposition was inevitable.

One more reason for developing the opposition is the inability of the government to propose the effective strategy and policy to contribute to the country’s reputation and progress. The participation of France in the Seven Years War did not add to the country’s reputation or status, but it weakened the potential and all the country’s resources, leading to the economic and social instability.

Moreover, the situation was not improved because the judges, as the main opposition force, questioned the authority of the monarch and his decision (Swann 1995). Thus, they did not support any reforms proposed to gain the economic and political balance within the country.

However, it is also possible to assume that the opposition was significantly based on the ideological wars which were typical for France during the whole period of the monarch’s reign. The status of Unigenitus was one of the most controversial questions associated with the ideological and religious lives of the country.

Thus, the role of opposition against the government of Louis XV can be discussed with references to the activities of the Jansenist representatives and to the fact of the Jesuits expulsion in 1764 (Linton 1995; Swann 1995). Nevertheless, the ideological wars had less significant effects on the further development of the country in comparison with the financial and diplomatic failures.

Thus, much opposition to the government of Louis XV depends on the general weakness of strategies and policies used by the regent and monarch in order to rule the country. In spite of several years of stability achieved by the monarch’s ministers, the reign of Louis XV is characterised by the loss of the country’s international reputation and internal power.

The end of the monarch’s reign is also associated with the opposition movement which became the real challenge for authority and led to the dramatic changes in the country’s politics.

References

Linton, M 1995, ‘The rhetoric of virtue and the parlements, 1770-1775’, French History, vol. 9 no. 1, pp. 180-201.

Swann, J 1995, Politics and the Parlement of Paris under Louis XV, 1754-1774, Cambridge University Press, USA.

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