The Complicated Life Of King Louis XIV
The life of King Louis XIV. Within this research exploration, I will be analyzing the life of King Louis XIV and the effect he made on the French Monarchy. According to Lewis (2016), Louis was born in the “chateau of St. Germain at 2 o’clock in the morning on the 5th of September 1638.” The birth of Louis was a shock, because he came into a family were the parents despised each other. Lewis (2016), states that Louis XIV was nicknamed “Dieudonne.” Louis XIV seemed to be filled with spirit as a young child, he had a passion for music which seemed ironic because his father was the type of man that one would describe as heartless.
Louis XIV became King May 14th 1643. (Ashley, 2012). Craig (n.d), state that Louis came to the throne at age five, but due to obvious reason, he could not rule the nation and a chief minister was appointed to rule until he was able to take control France. Cardinal Mazarin was appointed chief minister. While Cardinal Mazarin was in charge, he caused a vast amount of rebellions among the French known as the “Fronde.” (Craig, n.d). Ashley (2012), states that Louis XIV was able to grasp some of the valuable methods which the cardinal used in politics, however Lewis (2016), contradicts that statement because he argues that the King did not have a good up bringing and the cardinal treated him as a “step father would treat a step son.” Furthermore, Lewis (2016), goes on to state that “ Few King have had a worse upbringing that Louis XIV.” Within these contradicting opinions, I believe that I would have to go with the opinion of Lewis (2016). Simply because he puts a more appealing argument across. More so, Ashley (2012), conveys that it was the cardinals duty to make sure that the young king was educated, but “he neglected it.”
King Louis XIV was badly educated, academically, but he had a taste for the arts of music and dance. According to Lewis (2016), he also states that “For Louis’ deficient education Mazarin has been much blamed…” Louis XIV resumed control of France at the age of twenty three (Craig n.d). He became very aware of the “Fronde” and how it could endanger his monarchy. He made sure to avoid the local social and political institutions. (Craig n.d) Similarly, as stated in Lewis (2016), “…and even more obviously influencing Louis for the rest of his life, sank the lessons of the Fronde,” The Many in the past have compared the Fronde and the contemporary war in England, however the two different rebellions have nothing in common. (Lewis, 2016)
Louis XIV seemed to have some financial trouble as he became King because Mazarin had enriched himself before his passing and left the Kingdom in dire times. As Lewis (2016), states that “But these were only his stage clothes, and at home things were different. he had not pair of sheets without large holes in them, his worn-out dressing gown came only half-way down his legs…” Furthermore, Lewis (2016), conveys that the royal table had owed tradesmen large sums of money, the staff had not been paid and had left their positions. However the tough times did not affect Louis as much as the embarrassment did as Lewis (2016), states, “It was the humiliation, not the hardships, which galled Louis so insufferably.”
Louis XIV goes on to Flanders were was surrounded by French forces. His first war did not go according to plan, the place was infected by dead bodies, and the French warriors had been going without food and money. (Ashely, 2012) However in contrast, Lewis (2016), shows us that Louis XIV evokes some emotion by stating “It happens to few men to lose within a week a grandson, a grand-daughter and a great grandson, all of much promise, and all of whom i loved tenderly.” Louis XIV believes that this is a punishment from God for what he has done over the years.
The 5 nieces of Marazin were brought to the Court for Louis XIV to choose from. At first the King was attracted to the second niece, her name was Olympe Mancini. (Ashley, 2012) but in later years Olympe gets married and Louis XIV has to focus his attention on the third niece who was referred to as the “ugly duckling.” Louis XIV set out to unify France as his number one objective. He was going to use religion as his tool to bring the nation together. “In October 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had extended protections to huguenots.” (Craig, n.d) This led to Protestant schools and church’s being shut down, and Protestant ministers were banished. The rebellion resulted in large numbers of the population migrating to England, Germany, and Holland.
In conclusion, I have come to the understanding that although Louis lived a long life, of seventy two years, it was not always the high life that is associated with being a King. He was neglected as young boy, even when he became King. He suffered financially in his Kingdom and although he dressed like a King, he struggled to pay laborers, the army and even to get new sheets. His life again takes a different path when he gets ill after visiting Flanders and he is taken to the Fontainebleau. He then has his heart set on a girl but she goes off to get married to someone else and he has to settle for the uglier one but later marries a Spanish woman. My personal opinion of Lous XIV is that I feel quite empathic for the reign that he has, although in the end he tries to use the all the money and wealth to lead France in years and years of war, I believe that he was not properly educated and this is shown through his lack of leadership.
- Ashley, M. (2012). Louis xiv and the greatness of france. [Place of publication not identified]: Rarebooksclub Com.
- Craig, A. The Heritage of World Civilizations (2nd ed.).
- Lewis, W. (2016). The Splendid Century. San Francisco: Lucknow Books.