Louis XIV & the Distant Worlds

* This course is located in Paris, France. *
Louis XIV was a man in search of glory, a king committed to the influence of his dynasty and a sovereign inclined to the expansion of his nation. The motto he adopted at the beginning of his personal reign in 1662 was an expression of his hopes and desires: “Nec pluribus impar”, literally, “I am sufficient for many worlds”. In other words, it meant that he could claim to rule over many worlds, that he was above his enemies. The man who considered himself 'the greatest king in the world' maintained diplomatic ties with the Ottoman Empire, Morocco, and some African rulers, took an increasing interest in the colonies in America, initiated relations with Siam, sent missionaries and mathematicians to the emperor of China and engaged in a commercial struggle with the English and the Dutch. We shall see the reasons for these ephemeral contacts or interventions. We will try to understand their logic and chronology. In these very different spaces, the French sought to master the practices of negotiation while gathering a large and varied amount of information on the new worlds. This fed an intellectual curiosity in France itself and strengthened a desire to explore and discover the Other, never far from a desire for religious conversion, military domination, or commercial speculation. We will also see the monarchy supporting and organizing the more lasting settlement of French people in America, Canada, and the Caribbean. The development of the plantation economy led France to become involved in the African slave trade, and thus to take an interest in the African sovereigns to promote this human traffic.
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FREN 6639F

All Sections in Summer 2023 Language Schools, Paris 6 Week Session

Summer 2023 Language Schools, Paris 6 Week Session

FREN6639FA-L23 Lecture (Le Person)