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Louis XIV

             Affected by the turbulent events in his youth, Louis the XIV was greatly influenced to make France an absolute monarchy under his rule. He became a master of propaganda and political image creation. Louis never missed an opportunity to impress his strong sense of the grandeur of his crown to the French people. As his authority in France grew, he made sure that the French nobles would not be left out. Although, he maintained control over foreign affairs and limited the influence of noble institutions on the monarchy, he never tried to abolish those institutions or limit their authority at the local level. Using these principles of propaganda and cooperation, Louis enforced his policies and crushed his opposition.
             One of his main goals was to control the French nobility. Louis knew from history that the nobles of France had and continued to cause problems in the form of social uprisings and other conflicts. Since Louis sought absolute power, he could not be preoccupied by civil conflicts, so he set out to control the nobles by constructing the palace court at Versailles. A spectacular estate with magnificent fountains and acres of orange groves, it became home to thousands of the more important nobles, royal officials, and servants in France. Here the nobles received a sense of importance because they could consult with Louis and receive personal attention. The nobility understood that Louis, unlike Richelieu and Mazarin would not threaten their local social standing.
             One downfall of Louis was that he spent extravagantly, sparing no expense for himself or his nobles. His ultimate goal was to once again make the court of France the center of fashion and art. Louis bankrupted the Treasury of France through another extravagance as well, his wars. Louis fought four major wars, the War of Devolution, the war against the Netherlands, the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession.

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