Louis XIV

the Sun King, 1643-1715

Goals and accomplishments

By the late 1600's, Louis XIV was an absolute monarch in France and most of Europe. Yet, just a 100 years earlier, France has been torn apart by turbulent wars of religions.
In 1643, he inherited the thrown at age 5.
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Nobility

During his reign, Louis did not once call a meeting of the estates general. Louis took the sun as the symbol of his absolute power. Just as the sun stands at the center of the solar system, so the sun king stands in the middle of the nation. Louis created an immense palace of Versailles. Versailles became the perfect symbol of the sun kings wealth and power. It housed at least 10,000 people from nobles and officials, to servants.

Taxes & spending

Louis appointed attendants to collect taxes, recruit soldiers, and carry out polices to the provinces. Doing this, Louis cemented ties between the middle class and monarchy.

Military

Under Louis XIV, the French army became the strongest in Europe. The state paid fed, trained, and supplied up to 300,000 soldiers. He used this highly disciplined army to enforce his polices at home and abroad.

I am the state

Louis firmly believed that he had the Devine right to rule just as his great- grandfather, Phillip II of Spain.
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Map of Louis XIV's nation

Louis XIV strengthened royal power

Louis XIV ruled France for 72 years, far longer than any other monarch. During his reign, French culture, manners, and customs replaced those of Renaissance Italy as the standard for European taste. In both foreign and domestic affairs, however, many of Louis's policies were costly failures.

Religion

After the war that broke up France, Henry IV brought in religious freedom. Louis XIV continued the religious tolerance.

Peasantry

Louis XIV treated his servants well. For example, he sheltered them in his versailles palace.