Strengths And Weaknesses Of Louis Xiv

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When he was nearly five years old, King Louis XIV acquired the throne of France, one of the most powerful states in Europe at the time, although Louis’ intention was to expand this supremacy further than any antecedent king had before. Directed by Cardinal Mazarin for the first 18 years of his rule, King Louis XIV developed an affinity for absolutism early on, a form which he would pursue in almost every aspect of his life, begetting consequences that both harmed and benefited him. His title as “The Sun King” became synonymous with autocrat, especially when Cardinal Mazarin died, leaving a young Louis with the reigns to France. Over the span of his 72-year reign, King Louis XIV brought about governmental reform, triumphed in wars, and established his royal estate Versailles, each of which, among others, provided their own challenges and defined Louis’ reign and character as perceived by those around him and abroad. Every aspect of Louis’ rule has been interpreted deeply, exposing faults in some while revealing strengths in others, creating an imbalance of accomplishment which has produced debate over Louis’ overall success in his role as the King of France. However, King Louis XIV’s susceptibility to flattery and immoral persuasion, paired with his personal motivations and immoral decision-making, deem him an inadequately educated monarch who fell vastly short of ideal, for the entirety of his monarchy ultimately left France deprived of resources and its people impoverished.
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