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Louis XIV, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Louis XIV indeed strove to promote the interests of the state and to protect France’s stature in Europe, but at considerable loss of his subjects: the king’s mishandling of the economy and his involvement in decades of warfare had disastrous social consequences[1]. Louis’s personal rule could be deemed ‘glorious’ only by disregarding the hardship endured by the mass of his subjects[2].

Under Louis, France became the most powerful military power in Western Europe and shattered Spain’s European empire. The foundations of French military power were evident. Hatton argued that Louis XIV was a fairly sensible and moderate ruler in his dealings in foreign affairs[3]. Louis XIV’s long personal leadership (1661-1715) lasted much longer than the rule of his neighbors, and this fact contributes to the difficulty of understanding the Sun King’s seemingly confused foreign policy. The Sun King made some serious miscalculations that resulted in hostile relations with his fellow monarchs[4].

Louis XIV’sgovernment excelled in several ways. It represented a breakthrough in the development of bureaucracy, with organized departments of professionals serving where once small groups of amateurs had sufficed[5]. Within the military sphere, a highly significant progress was the emergence of a modern army under the direction of Michel Le Tellier, war minister[6]. Of larger significance perhaps were the creation of a proper tariff free zone in northern France called the Five Great Farms and the creation of Languedoc Canal in the south, both designed to facilitate commerce[7]. During his reign the king drew up several law codes, for France the most ambitious project of its kind[8].

If the wars did not obscure views, we could more easily see Louis XIV’s reign as a time of renovation and reform – particularly in Paris, the king’s capital and by the largest city in the realm[9]. Under Louis’s effective leadership, with advisors such as Colbert, France has an experienced significant development and change[10]. Louis’s attempts at reform brought greater prestige to him, to his nation, and to the royal throne.

Bibliography

Blumberg, Arnold.Great Leaders, Great Tyrants: Contemporary Views of World Rulers who Made History. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995.

Goubert, Pierre.Louis XIV and Twenty Million Frenchmen. Translated by Anne Carter. London: Allen Lane, 1970. 350 pp.

Hatton, Ragnhild. M, Louis XIV and his World.Thomas and Hudson, 1972.

McNeese, Tim.History of Civilization – The Age of Absolutism. Lorenz Educational Press, 2000

Notes

[1]Pierre Goubert,Louis XIV and Twenty Million Frenchmen. Translated by Anne Carter, (London: Allen Lane, 1970),187

[2] Goubert, Louis XIV, 112

[3] Ragnhild Hatton M, Louis XIV and his World (Thomas and Hudson, 1972), 160

[4] Hatton, Louis XIV, 180

[5] Arnold Blumberg, Great Leaders, Great Tyrants: Contemporary Views of World Rulers who Made History (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995), 167

[6] Blumberg, Great Leaders, Great Tyrants, 168

[7] Blumberg, Great Leaders, Great Tyrants, 168

[8] Ibid, 170

[9] Quoted in McNeese, Tim, History of Civilization – The Age of Absolutism (Lorenz Educational Press, 2000), 7

[10] McNeese, History of Civilization, 8

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