What Were the Accomplishments of King Louis XIV?

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King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, established a more centralized government, refined the absolute monarchy that defined the French method of governance, created a court at Versailles and led France through four long wars. King Louis XIV assumed the throne as King of France at the age of 4, following in his father’s footsteps. The young king underwent several years of rigorous training in military techniques and academic subjects before gaining the requisite knowledge and skills to begin acting as king.

Although it took King Louis XIV some time to gain the academic and military skills needed to rule, confidence was another story. The young prince had high levels of self-esteem and a bold personality, which made assuming the position of national ruler a natural fit. Not long after assuming the throne, the king and his family faced the onset of the French civil war, which brought humiliation and anger to members of the royal family, forcing them to leave their palace in Paris. Upon return, King Louis XIV appointed himself chief minister of the court, and excluded immediate family members from holding positions as council members. The king instituted policies on domestic and foreign affairs, and advocated for the advancement of the arts, establishing numerous centers for artistic studies.