What was the “Divine Right” of kings? Which monarch best exemplified this?
The Divine Right of Kings is a theory claimed that kings were answerable only to God and it was therefore sinful for their subjects to resist them. This was in the middle ages that evolved in Europe. The Divine Right of Kings stated that kings essentially derived their power from God. Those that believed this would quote bible verses such as Proverbs: 15-16 which states “By me kings reign, and prince’s decree justice. By me princes rule and nobles even all the judges of the earth. Another Bible verse commonly quoted bible verse that claimed support of the divine right of kings was Romans 13: 1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisted the power resisted the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Both of the quotes are from New American Bible, New International Version. Also it is stated in The Divine Right of Kings that “Kings should not believe that they are its master and may use it as they wish. They should exercise it with fear and restraint as a thing which has come to them from God.
I find that of all the absolute rulers in Europe, by far the best example of one and the most powerful, was Louis XIV of France. He indeed believe in absolute Monarchy which was the political doctrine and practice of unlimited centralized authority and absolute sovereignty as vested especially in a monarch or dictator. He believed in the “divine right” of a French monarch that is the appointed of god to govern the country as he wished. Although Louis had some failures, he also had many successes. He controlled France’s money and had many different ways to get, as well as keep his power, and he knew how to delegate jobs to smart but loyal people. Louis XIV achieved royal absolutism and helped France become the most powerful nation in the world. His ideas and actions made him a model of absolutism. He created a strong army, gave the nobles special privileges and revoked the Edict of Nantes which insured his policies would be followed and to eliminate turmoil. He took away religious freedom from the Huguenots which is the French Protestants. This encouraged absolutism because it insured religious unity and eliminated the Protestant threat. The actions and ideas of Louis XIV both reflected and encouraged absolutism. These helped him to gain power, symbolize his importance to society and to insure his policies. He ruled for seventy two years and wrote a book for his heirs on how to be an absolute monarchy.