King Louis XIV The Sun King

Louis parents.

Louis was born in the year 1638. His parents were Louis XIII, and Anne of Austria. His father died shortly thereafter leaving three year old Louis the throne of France.

Three Year old can't effectively rule a super power, so a first minister was appointed to direct the affairs of the kingdom. Enter Mazarin. Mazarin was a cardinal of the Catholic Church, and had a very close relationship with Louis's mother. Mazarin quickly became the father figure in Louis life.

Along with serving as the first Minister, Mazarin also served as Louis's instructor. He was responsible for instructing the child in the arts, politics, and history. He was instrumental in shaping Louis views on government. There was only one person with more influence over Louis.

His Mother.

Anne of Austria

Anne instilled in her son motive to be great, both on the battlefield and in the world of the arts. It was from his mother that Louis received his sense of regality. She instilled in him the ideology that a king was appointed to rule by divine revelation and right. Along with that she taught young Louis that a king should always live at the top of life.


In the year 1643, Louis became king. A few years later he appointed Jean-Baptiste Colbert as his Minister of Finance. With Colbert help Louis was able to bring stability to France and improve life for all citizens. Louis had always intended to reform France, which he did on more than a financial level. He was a large advocate of the Arts, strongly encouraging their practice. France enjoyed long needed peace and stability in the early days of Louis reign.

Louis was popular enough to earn the nickname, Sun King. Hear he is depicted in the ballet version of the satire of the Sun King.

Not one to forget his own comfort, Louis began construction on the Palace of Versailles.

A Palace of grand proportions, Versailles still stands today as a testament to Louis ambition and love for beauty.

Versailles is absolutely massive. Checking in at 721,206 square feet it would have been the pinnacle of life in it's day. Even today, few other royal estates give Versailles a run for it's money.

One of the most famous sections of Versailles is the hall of mirrors. This famed hall contains dozens of paintings hailing Louis greatness, sculptures of great beauty, and (of course) many dozen massive mirrors and windows.

Louis resided in Versailles since its completion in 1682. From here he directed the affairs of his kingdom, in all the comforts 16th century France could offer.

Sadly Louis ambition was not satisfied with the building of massive royal residences, and eventually stretched to war waging.

From the years 1667-1715 Louis waged war, attempting to gain all the land and power he could.

Depictions of the Nine Year War and like conflicts.

Louis success in military ventures is difficult to measure, as he was able to conquer sizable portions of land from large empires, but he lost all of it by the time he was on his death bed. In the long run the French Army gained very little, and lost very much, especially in the way of finances and army size.

Although France didn't conquer vast swaths of land, the constant war effort showed the rest of Europe that France was a power to be reckoned with.

During a quieter time in his war campaign, Louis revoked the Treaty of Nantes, an agreement signed in the French parliament giving Protestants in France the freedom to practice their religion. This act was widely unpopular as it forced a sizable chunk of France's population to leave the country or convert to a different religion. Not only did it cause demographic upheaval, it also resulted in an economic slow down for France, due to the fact that just about the whole population was either leaving the country or chasing their neighbors out.

French Protestants being forced out of France.

By the time Louis lay on his death bed he was hated all across Europe and especially in France. His failure to conquer more land for France, and the unmitigated use of the French Military, had lost him support fast. His decision to revoke the Edict of Nantes earned him even more hate. Along with that the fact that France was in an economic slump, really helped tank his approval rating .

All the hating aside, we need to understand how Louis changed the world.

For instance, under Louis, France became enormously wealthy.

Louis built France into a superpower.

Under his reign the arts flourished.

Especially Music and Ballet.

Now the bad ways he changed the world.

Louis spit in the face of Religious Freedom by revoking the treaty of Nantes

He than aggravated the situation by evicting a large portion of the French population.

During that whole time Louis was fighting wars all across Europe. He was spending money so freely it started to become a major economic burden on the French people.

So in the end, was he a good king or a bad king? Submit your answer through the Forum linked below.

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