Essay about Achievments of Louis IX

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The historian Frederick William Maitland was fond of reminding the scholars of his generation to "think the thoughts of medieval men as they thought them" . To assess the achievements of Louis IX we must try to think his thoughts. We cannot make assessments based on what we perceive to be achievements in this age, as this will invariably lead us to false conclusions. From a detached perspective Louis was a golden king. His administration was second to none. His reputation internationally was unexcelled both in his role as arbiter for other countries, peacemaker in his own and, as William Chester Jordan remarked on his securing of the Languedoc "his rapid assimilation of this region must be accounted as one of the most …show more content…
While the magnitude in indisputable would Louis have called into question the quality of his achievements as they did not lead to the sought after apogee...a successful crusade?

Long after Louis' death the citizens of France dreamed of a return of `Monsigneur St Louis' (My Lord St Louis): they saw his reign as a golden age of universal happiness. Memory can be deceptive. There were well documented epidemics and food shortages throughout his reign which stunted the growth resulting from the flourishing economy of the previous century. The last of the French Cathedrals came at a price and impoverishment of the lower classes was that price. This needs to be acknowledged as the disparity between the accepted ideal of St. Louis and the often ignored reality of his rule is an extremely important factor when assessing his achievements. The French monarchy was lucky that Philip Augustus and Louis IX came in that order because Louis' role was essentially to carry on the work of his grandfather. At the time of Louis' reign however, (and this seems to be one of the main causes of his godlike stature in the collective memory of France) France had made her territorial gains and was now in need of a king with a burning zeal for justice and the crusade so that the gains made at the expense of other kings would not be aggravated. Louis filled the position perfectly. All accounts of Louis' reign were written after his

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