The Reign of King Louis XIV
Louis XIV had a passion for glory and used it to fight four wars because he was motivated by personal and dynastic considerations.
King Louis XIV was born in 1638. He became king at age four, and received only a mediocre education. He was taught nothing beyond pious works and decorous behavior at religious observances. He came into full power of France in 1661. Louis married Maria Theresa of Spain in 1659. When Mazarin died in 1661, Louis decided he didn’t want a powerful advisor and then started to change history. Louis had the longest reign in European history of 73 years.
King Louis XIV distrusted the Protestants and everything they stood for. Because of that, he revoked the Edict of Nantes and torn down the walls that surrounded Protestant towns. The walls were erected to help the Protestants feel safer. He spent a lot of tax money building Versailles. That angered most people, because Versailles was only for Louis and his rich noblemen and their wives. Louis also increased taxes to stave off financial disaster, which failed. The people revolted when he allowed bread prices to be priced as seen fit by merchants.
Some people say that Louis XIV had a positive influence on France. Louis XIV was charitable. He did open a veterans’ hospital in 1670 to house ex-soldiers. He opened academies for dance, inscriptions, sciences, architecture and music. These academies set standards for taste. He annexed valuable land such as Flanders and Franche-Comte. Louis’ decision to suppress the Protestant religion can be seen as a political move to join France under one religion and to build national unity.
Louis became unpopular because he was so sure of himself. He felt that everyone should revolve around him, so he took the sun as his image, because they had just...