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King Louis XIV Historians of three centuries have both defended and ridiculed King Louis XIVs controversial reign Many people have hailed him as a great king mighty as the sun he took for his emblem Being great as a king entails putting people before personal ambition taking only necessary military action achieving big things for his country and instilling a sense of national pride in the people he rules Louis the XIV did indeed instill national pride but his other faults negate his claim to greatness King Louis XIV staffed his government with men who would obey him without question Instead of appointing nobles he filled all of the positions with advisors drawn from the middle class This way the people only had claim to what the king gave and could easily take away Therefore the nobles couldnt get a chance to overpower him In order to express the power he had and attempt to scare off his enemies he organized civil services reorganized the military and improved the economy He made himself the symbol of the state Louis XIV used the people for his own benefit so that he could completely control the government and keep his power for as long as possible Louis XIV fought many wars some beneficial and others not so worthwhile As previously stated one factor of being great is only taking necessary military action Louis did not fit this requirement Most of his wars were benefit to himself more than to his country while others did not achieve anything The Spanish Succession war was one without national gain This war occurred so that King Louis could get his grandson in the Spanish throne It was fought for 12 years and the territorial changes were minor In addition the war also left both France and Spain exhausted Louis XIV centralized France as a state but his wars added little territory and were costly in both lives
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