Some Assumptions behind Medicine for the Poor during the Reign of Louis XIV

  • Alice Stroup
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 110)


The reign of Louis XIV is well known as an era of contrasts. The monarch called himself the “Sun-King”, and his support of Molière, Racine, Lully, and others continued the cultural flowering that earned for the seventeenth century the epithet “le grand siècle”. But Louis’s war policy damaged the finances of the kingdom and the French statist economy never equaled either its English or Dutch competitors. In one respect, however, the French kingdom admitted no rivals. In a time when wealth was measured by manpower, France had the largest population in Europe. His twenty million subjects made Louis the wealthiest ruler on the continent. Even this resource was jeopardized by inequitable taxation, inefficient agriculture, and an unusually inclement climate. The majority of French were peasants whose poverty rivaled that of the urban poor, and whose condition deteriorated during the reign.


Social Responsibility Medical Practitioner Seventeenth Century Ferrous Sulfate Zinc Sulfate 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1985

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  • Alice Stroup

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