Louis Xiv, the Sun King

Topics: Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV of France, French Revolution Pages: 3 (1010 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Louis XIV, the Sun King
Historians over three centuries have both defended and criticized Louis XIV’s controversial reign. Many people hailed him as a great king; supreme as the sun he deemed his emblem. A great king is an unselfish one who is able to consider the people’s interest before their own. This is a direct contrast to how Louis XIV ruled France, but he still accomplished a remarkable amount for France. Even with his selfish agenda and lavish spending, it is without question that Louis still remains the most excellent and most powerful absolute monarch in European history. He is the epitome of an absolute monarch. Having so much authority making a few mistakes was inevitable. But in his successes, France was altered for the better, permanently. Louis challenged the status quo by doing what had never been attempted. His bold choices changed the lifestyle and attitude of Europe, by creating one of the most dynamic monarchies in history. Although some may question his effectiveness, under Louis XIV’s reign France achieved political, militarily, and cultural dominance. In regards to politics, Louis’ attitude can be summarized in one infamous statement:  "L'État, c'est moi" (I am state). In other words, he possessed total control over his people, as an absolute monarch. He often referred to himself as the Sun King; strategically coming up with such a name because the world revolves around the sun, as he wanted the people to revolve around him. His egotistical thinking earned him a few harsh critics but his dominance remained unquestioned. When in rule, he made it clear that his word was law. This was an effective approach for him. Through his absolute monarchy he was able to accomplish much for France, specifically in the early years of his reign. The Sun King even managed to strip parliament of their traditional power to obstruct legislation. Implementing the idea; once more, that he was absolute ruler of all things. When Louis came to power, France was...
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