King Louis Essay

This essay has a total of 2392 words and 9 pages.

king Louis

Perhaps one of the most famous of European monarchs, King Louis XIV ruled France for some
72 years, the longest by any French head of State. It is believed that reign of King Louis
XIV was reputably famous as one of 'Absolute government', primarily because the King had
his own particular and dominating style of governing the nation. Attaining the powers of a
King at a young age of only 5 years, King Louis XIV would rule through his mother's
guidance and Cardinal Mazarin acting as the head of state deciding most of the official
and civilian matters concerning the governance of France. With no proper or formal
education to his credit, King Louis XIV nevertheless gained immense insight on practically
all matters of governance and grew up to be an extremely intelligent head of state. From
the onset of his adulthood, King Louis XIV had perceived numerous plans for his country,
and if one were to grade the King according to today's standards, one would certainly
place him in the category of 'Type-A personality'. This was because the King had learnt,
and that too from childhood' that the best way to rule would be to control the subject
with absolute authority. In doing so, the King chose his advisors and consultants from the
category of 'non-nobles, with the objective of inviting least opposition, and for reasons
of imposing his decisions and motives without being questioned. The nobles too were
useful, and had to be retained around the King's circle, primarily to win over their
confidence, in return for the positions and wealth offered to them on behalf of the state.
Also famous as a hard working and pleasant natured, the King sought to bring 'glory' for
France, and strived for a united France, simply because it was easier to rule. The King's
ideas about making France a glorious state were also exhibited in his desires for other
European nations to fear, respect as well as imitate France in all matters of governance,
aspects which only remained merely a set of ideas.

Born in 1710 at Versailles, King Louis XIV gained the title of "Louis the Well Beloved",
yet this title only remained so until the King remained a monarch of France, and
practically diminished upon his death. Unlike heirs of monarchs, King Louis XIV was
neither formally educated in worldly discipline, nor was he nurtured to become a head of
state. It was perhaps these primary factors together with the ineffective upbringing
during his childhood, which kept the King weak through out his life, in turn implying the
King was the head of a weak government. Add to this his attaining the powers of a King at
the young age of only 5 years, as also reiterated in the opening lines and his marriage at
the young age of 15 years. Thus, it was not until the King had reached the age of 34
years, when he finally decided that he did not the assistance of any intermediaries, a
practice which had continued since he was the King of France at age 5. Yet, his lack of
education, self-confidence and failure to have a grasp on matters of governance
continually hampered his role as a successful monarch. The result of this somewhat
disastrous set of policies, and the King's pre-occupation with the ladies of the court in
contrast to the more needed matters of national policy and governance led the nation into
the 7-years War. As a result, France lost most of its territories across the world,
including those of North America. Though King Louis XIV did try to improve the judicial
system at home, and enhance his political and moral authority. Nevertheless, the King had
generally lost support from majority of the French populations, in particular the French
working class. This culminated in the Great French Revolution of 1789, only to be replaced
by King's grandson Louis XVI. (King Louis XIV, 2004) Influence of Childhood and Youth on
the Personality and Reign of King Louis XIV

An overview on the childhood and youth of King Louis XIV reveals that when the King was
only a child, he suffered the trauma of loosing both his parents, with a brother as his
only surviving immediate family. Though there are some sources, which grade the King as
the only heir to the throne, the majority of works on the life of King XIV cite that he
had a brother. Thus, one may observe that the King was crowned at the young age of 5, he
was duly assisted in the affairs of governance by his mother and through a regent Philippe
II, Duke of Orleans. In addition, the King was represented in the governance of the State
through Cardinal Fleury. This also implied that no particular attention was paid towards
the education, upbringing, or character building, which would prepare the young heir for
the post of a King of France. The inability to acquire any formal education, training or
character building all led to the upbringing of an individual who would have to rely on
his own intuition, insight, and personal experiences to rule an entire nation.

Belonging to a royal bloodline, King Louis XIV was no doubt handsome and presented a
figure of imposing personality. Yet these characteristics were more than spoiled and
exploited through the nurturing of such thoughts as the King being the sole heir and owner
of all the property as well as the subjects (individuals) left behind by his parents. The
resultant implications for such line of teachings only proved to be disastrous, as the
young King barely had any concerns for the welfare of the larger French populations. In
addition, the circle of French nobles and well wishes of the King continuously encircled
the young King and did not allow him to move outside the vivid and lively affairs of the
court. Thus, emphasis was on the importance of the King's personal being as owner and head
of state, while at the same time, the same courtiers made every effort to dissuade the
King from contacting, or inquiring about the general welfare of the French populations, or
for the matters of the nation state for that matter.

An example of his early years as the King of France shows that it was not until he reached
the age of 30 years, that finally chose to take all the official matters of the state into
his own hands. The King thus removed all the ministers and advisors including the chief
minister through whom the nation was governed, while the King was still young. Yet, even
after having taken over the reins of the state into his own hands, Louis XIV was 'indolent
and lacking in self-confidence' truly making him incapable of taking any firm decision, or
coordinate the various activities concerning the national policy of France.

Though the King's preoccupation with the line of court's mistresses disallowed him to take
any serious interest in the governance of the nation, yet there are instances where the
King tried to use his passive ruling skills. For example, he could not remain oblivious to
the fact that most of the mistresses of the court, with whom the King enjoyed lively
moments of his life, enjoyed considerable political clout and influence in matters of
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