What was the Significance of King Philip IV of France

King Philip IV also known as Philip “the Fair,” was King of France from 1285-1314. He had pretty elevated views on centralization of the government and the power of the monarchy; this was largely influenced by Roman law. He was also a pretty demanding king. But what was the significance of King Philip IV of France?

Well first of all Philip was demanding. He demanded that all of the French people had to be loyal to him; regardless of any feudal obligations they had(the Feudal system in France was still going strong at this point). Also because of Roman law being such an influence to him, he surrounded himself with lawyers who were educated on Roman law, and the authority of the king.

Because of all the military conflicts, Philip always needed money; so like a lot of kings he raised heavy taxes on imports and exports, and also made a special war tax. He debased the currency, and despoiled the Jews, the bankers, and the Templar’s; basically meaning he confiscated the riches of these individuals. Because the French Barron’s owed military duties to the monarchy, Philip let them pay their way out of those duties, which in turn made him more money.

Thanks to him France became the first kingdom with representative assemblies being established. He established the Estates General, which was like a weaker version of the English Parliament; this was intended to help a monarch during a time of crisis. Also he established the Parliament of Paris, which consisted of ninety four lawyers and clerices.

Philip believed that the state and church had to be separate from each other, and that the State was supreme over the Church. He also believed that the French church should be independent from the Pope. The reason why he believed this was because the Pope had been deposing and excommunicating State officials including Kings for many years.

In summary, King Philip IV of France accomplished and did many things, good and bad. But most importantly he established the Estates General and the Paris Parliament which further strengthened and gained the power of the state or government.

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