L'État, c'est moi ("I am the state", lit. "the state, that is me") is an apocryphal saying attributed to Louis XIV, King of France and Navarre. It was allegedly said on 13 April 1655 before the Parlement of Paris.[1] It is supposed to recall the primacy of the royal authority in a context of defiance with the Parliament, which contests royal edicts taken in lit de justice on 20 March 1655.[2] The phrase symbolizes absolute monarchy and absolutism.

Louis XIV by Juste d'Egmont, 1654

Nevertheless, historians contest that this sentence, which does not appear in the registers of the parliament, was really said by Louis XIV,[1][3] especially since on his deathbed, Louis XIV pronounced a sentence, attested, seemingly contradictory: "I die, but the state will always remain."[4]

The origin of the phrase is attributed to Pierre-Édouard Lémontey in his Essai sur l'établissement monarchique de Louis XIV et sur les altérations qu'il éprouva pendant la vie de ce prince (1818), who writes: "The Koran of France was contained in four syllables and Louis XIV pronounced them one day: "L'État, c'est moi!". As Olivier Chaline and Edmond Dziembowski point out, "if the forger is well forgotten today, his invention has not finished being used...".[5]

Bibliography edit

  • Bély, Lucien (2005). Louis XIV : le plus grand roi du monde. Les classiques Gisserot de l'histoire (in French). Éditions Jean-paul Gisserot. p. 279. ISBN 287747772X. Bely2005.

References edit

  1. ^ a b Bély 2005, p. 77
  2. ^ Bély 2005, p. 47.
  3. ^ Bertière, S. (2007). Mazarin: le maître du jeu. Le livre de poche (in French). Fallois. p. 458. ISBN 978-2-87706-635-8.
  4. ^ "Mort de Louis XIV : "Je m'en vais, mais l'État demeurera toujours"". FIGARO. 2015-09-01. Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  5. ^ in Michel Figeac (dir), État, pouvoirs et contestations dans les monarchies française et britannique et dans leurs colonies américaines (vers 1640-vers 1780), Armand Colin, 2018, p. 8