Throughout his long reign Louis XIV — never lost the hold over his people he had assumed at the beginning. He succeeded his father on May 14, At the age of four years and eight months, he was, according to the laws of the kingdom, not only the master but the owner of the bodies and property of 19 million subjects. He once narrowly escaped drowning in a pond because no one was watching him.
Upon becoming the de facto ruler of France after the death of Cardinal Mazarin, Louis implemented a wide range of reforms to make his country financially and militarily strong. He led France in several major wars and by the middle of his reign he had established his country as the most powerful nation in Europe.
Louis XIV also appreciated the arts and, through his support, there was great cultural development during his reign. Know more about the one of the most famous monarchs in history by studying the 10 major accomplishments of Louis XIV.
He inherited a country whose treasury verged on bankruptcy. With help from his Minister of Finance, Louis implemented a wide range of plans to increase commerce and trade.
New industries were established and there was encouragement to manufacturers and inventors, such as the Lyon silk manufacturers.
Manufacturers and artisans were invited from all over Europe to France, such as Murano glassmakers and Swedish ironworkers. This increased French exports while decreasing foreign imports and outflow of precious metals.
With these measures, and improved taxation, the deficit of was turned into a surplus by He was known for corruption and had accumulated immense power and wealth.
Colbert introduced more efficient taxation which included aides and douanes both customs dutiesgabelle tax on salt and taille tax on land. The major challenge was that the rich used the out-dated tax clauses to pay the least tax.
Though this problem was not entirely solved, false claims for exemption were denied and there was an increase in indirect taxes, from which the privileged could not escape. The revenue from indirect taxation progressed from 26 million in to 55 million in Towards the end of his reign, under stress from wars, Louis XIV imposed direct taxes on the aristocratic population for the first time in French history.
Civil law was reformed in ; criminal law was reformed in ; a Maritime Code was introduced in and a Commercial Code in It played an important part in French legal history and was the basis for the Napoleonic code, which is considered one of the most influential documents in world history.
He patronized visual arts by providing funds and commissions for famous artists like Charles Le Brun and Pierre Mignard.
All these artists contributed greatly to European culture and their works remain famous and influential.
He also established various institutes for the arts and sciences. The nobles, who had initiated 11 civil wars in 40 years, were lured by him into his lavish court where he diminished their powers by involving them in leisure activities and making their destinies dependent on him.
Remote provinces in France had developed a culture of governing themselves. Louis used intendants, or administrative officers, to establish royal power in the provinces.
He increased their numbers and functions; and used them to reform regional financial, judicial and legal systems.
Intendants reported to the center and carried out its orders in the provinces. By diminishing the power of the nobility and eliminating feudalism, Louis XIV transformed France into a centralized state and became one of its most powerful monarchs. Strength of the French army grew from 30, in to aroundby the year Not only was the size of the army considerably increased, it was also reformed into a professional, disciplined and well-trained force which was completely controlled by the state.
Aristocracy no longer had monopoly over senior military positions with merit being given its due importance. The navy, considered a weakness of France, was also modernized and grew from a squadron of 20 ships to a fleet of by A strong navy allowed France to adopt an aggressive expansionist policy in both colonization and commerce.
This forced Louis to end the war. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed by which France returned most of the territory it had captured, apart from a part of Flanders. However, the territory acquired was valuable as it provided France with a defensible northern border.
This was one of the primary reasons which led to the Franco-Dutch War —78 between France and its allies which included England and Sweden; and the Dutch Republic and its allies which included Spain.
France was mostly successful in the war and established itself as the dominant power in Europe.The Palace of Versailles, the seat of French royalty, is about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Paris. of its architectural grandeur and political history.
Louis XIV Louis XIV Holding a Plan of the Maison Royale de Saint-Louis at Saint-Cyr by Nicolas-René Jollain; in the Versailles Museum, France.
French School—The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images At the same time, great changes were occurring in . Nov 18, · Mr. Richey introduces students to Louis XIV, the "Sun King" of France, and his creation of an absolute monarchy in France.
Louis XIV's accomplishments are discussed within the context of his motto. Watch video · Louis XIV was born on September 5, , in Saint-Germaine-en-Laye, France, and christened Louis-Dieudonné—French for "Gift of God." His mother was the Hapsburg Spanish queen Anne of Austria.
Louis XIV, byname Louis the Great, Louis the Grand Monarch, or the Sun King, French Louis Le Grand, Louis Le Grand Monarque, or Le Roi Soleil, (born September 5, , Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France—died September 1, , Versailles, France), king of France (–) who ruled his country, principally from his great palace at Versailles, during one of its most brilliant periods and who remains .
Just a few years later, Louis XIII fell ill and died, and his young son became Louis XIV, King of France, at only four-and-a-half years old.