Reign and Life of Louis XIV
The reign of Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, was a long and eventful one. Louis’ reign consisted of many positive and negative events and aspects. Though he benefited France in many ways, he also made several mistakes during his rule, and his personal life was not all good either.
The most positive aspect of Louis XIV’s reign was his reform of France’s military. The old army under Mazzarin’s rule had been corrupt and performed poorly, and Louis wanted to change the condition of the military immediately after coming to power. Reforming the military was a very fitting task for Louis, who had enjoyed military life since childhood. He enlisted the help of Michelle Tellier and his son to carry out his plans.
Louis’ reforms concerned several aspects of the military. First, regiments were made directly responsible to him rather than their captains. He set up training schools for officers, and replaced the old methods of living off the countryside with a proper supply system. Louis improved the navy as well, increasing the number of ships as well as making improvments to naval training.
Louis put his reformed military into action shortly after his reforms were complete. He successfully acquired much of Flanders, and only left Franche-Comte because of English, Swedish, and Dutch opposition. However, just 5 years later, Louis went for Franche-Comte a second time, and was successful.
The most disastrous political event during the reign of Louis XIV was the death of Charles II of Spain. At the time of Charles’ death, there were two potential successors for the Spanish throne. One was Archduke Charles of Hapsburg, the other Louis’ grandson, Philip of Anjou. Though both were of relation to previous Spanish kings, Charles’ will specifically called for Philip to be his replacement.
Driven further by Louis’ invasion of Flanders, the Holy Roman Empire, England, and the Netherlands formed the Grand Alliance, declaring war on Louis...