Louis XIV said, "I am the state." John Locke said that all men are entitled to "life, liberty, and property." These two men had very conflicting views on politics, society, religion, and basic rights.
First I will discuss Louis XIV's views. He ruled based on the "divine right of kings." the divine right of kings came from political theorist Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bosset (1627-1704) who argued, "only God could judge a king"(pp592). Louis declared "L'etat, c'est moi" or "I am the state" because it was believed that he was above the laws and dictates of nobles and parliaments. Being that France was made up of people of mostly the Catholic faith, they believed that God gave Louis XIV the power to rule and thought of him as higher than any law that was made.
Although King Louis XIV was a divine ruler, he did not display too strong of a control over his subjects' lives in everyday society as police states would do in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (pp592). For rights, when he was at his strongest rule, the local institutions' administrative authority still remained in the hands of townspeoples and nobles who controlled them. Although the King would not allow local elites to attain to some of his power on a national level, he did support their financial and social privileges.
The main religion in France at this time was Catholicism. Because of that, many people followed the idea of divine rule, and that God himself gave Louis XIV and other kings the right to rule. In October of 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes which allowed and protected the freedoms and rights of French Protestants. Louis XIV believed that a country has to be under one king, one law, and one religion in order for it to be under one control. He did not allow the Protestants to assemble for public worship and he threatened Protestant priests. Children who were born to Protestant parents must be sent to Catholic church to be baptized or pay a 500 livres fine if they don't and the children must be brought up Catholic. Louis XIV stated that Protestants can "continue their occupation there (France) and enjoy their possessions...on condition...that they do not make a public profession of [their religion]." (pp595)
John Locke had very different ideas from King Louis XIV on many issues. Two were on politics and rights. Locke believed that political power lies with the people. The government is set up by the people and the people have the right to revolt and change the government when they feel that it should be changed. The main job of the government is to attend to people's rights and their best interests. The government only exists to protect the property of the people and maintain civil order. When it doesn't do that, the people should be able to adjust it so it does. Locke was against absolutism and for a limited-power government.
Locke's view on society was simple. He rejected the Christian view that human beings were creatures permanently flawed by original sin. (pp666) He thought that people did not have to wait for God to make their lives better. He said that they can take charge of their lives and make their own destinies. Locke believed that human nature could be changed and altered by the environment that people lived in. Humans follow the Law of Nature that, Locke believed, shaped the society that people live in.
John Locke's Letter on Toleration explained his views on religion. He stated that each person was responsible for his own religious salvation. (pp667) At first, Locke was against the toleration of Roman Catholics and Unitarians but he eventually advocated for toleration of all faiths. As I stated in one of the above paragraphs, Locke also believed that Christians were not flawed by original sin and that people could form their own futures and did not have to rely on aid from God.
John Locke and King Louis XIV both had very strong views on certain topics. Although they were totally opposite on politics, society, religion, and rights, both views served their times well and helped society adjust to the events of their time period.