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Louis Xiv Essay

1392 words - 6 pages

Louis XIV

After being ruled by a prime minister for so long, France needed some changes. That is exactly what Louis the XIV would bring to France. In an age of separation, Louis wanted to start a unification process. He started this by giving himself sole power and also only having one religion for the country. The king is always the center of attention good or bad. Louis was prepared to take the good with the bad, and handled it well. He emphasized the king as the center of attention. While some see him as egotistical and greedy, Louis was one king who knew how to make improvements.

At four years and eight months, Louis XIV became King. His mother, Anne of Austria, ruled until he could take the throne, but it wasn’t until Louis came to power that France began making improvements. Louis made some powerful moves during his reign; one of them was to nullify the Edict of Nantes. He did this to re-establish Catholicism in France (Europe). While there was opposition, the decision went over well because most of France was catholic at the time. Louis also ruled as an absolute monarch (no prime minister), which has not been done for a while. This was a big step because he was taking all of the power and giving it to himself. Also under King Louis’ rule industry and commerce flourished. This came with the help of his counselors. It was at this time that art and literature began to flourish as well. During this period literature and art were made to flatter the King, which is another reason Louis encouraged them. Overall, art, literature, war and statesmanship ranked highest when Louis was in power.

It can be argued that Louis was not good for France because of his spending habits, his egotistical behavior and the way he gave all power to himself. The thing that Louis is remembered for, mostly, is how he left the treasury almost empty when he died. Many think he left France worse off than it started because of the way he left the treasury. It was thought that he spent the money only on himself, leaving the peasants with no money. It is also said that he spent the money on building his residences (Versailles and Marly) and supporting his luxurious lifestyle. Another argument brought up is how he was so egotistical. One reason for his being egotistical was the fact that he was thought of as “God Given” because the court was hoping that Louis XIII would have a child before he died. People talk about how he compared himself to the sun. As ruler Louis, thought of himself as the sun, which meant he was the center of the kingdom and his subjects rotated around him. Some see this as incredibly egotistical and thought that made him less of a ruler. One aspect of his being the sun was the fact that his bedroom was placed in the middle of the castle; he was always center of attention, as the sun would be. The other reason people think he was a negative influence on France was the fact...

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