KING LOUIS XIV
"The Sun King"
King Louis XIV of France reigned
for 72 years (1643-1715). His reign was a prime example of an ABSOLUTE
government. He became King when he was only 5 years old. Until he
was old enough to take control of the country (population: 17 million at the
time), the ruling of the kingdom was done by CARDINAL MAZARIN, with Louis'
mother acting on her son's behalf.
Louis as a young man.
Even though his formal education
was neglected, Louis grew up to be an extremely intelligent man. He was
also considered hard-working and pleasant.
Louis had many goals for France and took
his position very seriously. By today's standards, Louis would be
considered a Type-A personality and a "control freak". He kept
total control over everything that happened in the country. He chose
"non-nobles" as his advisors, people less likely to question his
decisions and motives) and kept the nobles around him socially, as they
depended on him for their positions and wealth.
Louis also worked towards
religious harmony in France.
He figured that a united population would be easier to rule. He wanted to
to "glory". He wanted the other European nations to fear,
respect, and imitate France.
Louis lived at the "PALACE OF VERSAILLES",
about 18 kms outside of Paris. He wanted to distance himself
form the "common" people of France,
and enjoy the outside lifestyle that Versailles
could give him.
The palace began as his father's
hunting lodge. Louis added pieces at different times over a 20 year
period. The town of Versailles
had a population of 35000 (today is has 100 000). The cost of the construction topped
Features of the Palace:
-forests for hunting
-man-made canal for sailing
-heat by fireplace only
smaller guests "palaces"
and Petit Trianon)
-grand dining room, ball rooms
food was almost always cold--the kitchen was too far from dining area!
-formal gardens, several statues
and fountains (if the fountains were turned on, Paris went without water!)
-the King changed styles and
colors of drapes, furniture, etc. with the changing of the seasons.
EVERYTHING ABOUT VERSAILLES WAS DONE IN
EXCESS! THIS WAS EXACTLY HOW THE KING WANTED IT...THE PALACE WAS MUCH
ADMIRED AND COPIED BY THE OTHER MONARCHS OF EUROPE.
of the Palace of Versailles
Louis was involved in several
wars during his reign. He built a huge standing army (ready
to go at any time). Louis thought that successful wars would bring glory
and respect to France.
He wanted other nations to fear him and his country. The three major wars that
Louis was involved in were:
The War of Devolution
The Dutch War
The War of the Spanish
"THE SUN KING"
Louis XIV did give France glory, but at a price.
Was that price too high????