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Under Louis XIV, France arguably reached its zenith as a global and European power. He is primarily remembered as a great monarch due to the cultural achievements that took place during his reign, which included the massive expansion of Versailles and patronage of arts and literature. Louis was also a very successful self-promoter, portraying himself as a benevolent yet absolutely powerful monarch. The image of the "Sun king" has in many ways endured.
Louis also supervised colonial expansion, fought a series of expansionist wars against virtually every other European power, constructed a massive bureaucracy, and established the French economy on a mercantilist footing. All of these achievements came at a massive cost, however, and Louis established a legacy of debt that would haunt his successors until Louis XVI.
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