Louis XIV effects  What are some Short term effects and Long term effects Louis XIV had on history?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Louis XIV famously proclaimed, "I am the state." He became king of France in the mid-1600s, the heyday of the doctrine of the "divine right of kings," also known as monarchial absolutism. This ideology decreed that the king, because he was appointed by God, had no obligations to any human being or class of human beings. He could do whatever he wanted regardless of the desires of the aristocracy or of the common people, who had no right to protest or rebel against his rule. 

Louis XIV asserted his so-called divine rights aggressively. Unsurprisingly, Louis's attempts to centralize power that had traditionally been dispersed amongst the aristocracy angered aristocrats. He decided he would make decisions about regional policies in France that had formerly been the right of the noblemen who owned the land in that region. Because of his attempts to centralize so much power in himself, a short term result of his rule was a civil war called the Fronde, in which the nobles rebelled against him. The uprising lasted from 1648–53 before it was finally crushed. 

Despite the short term problem of civil unrest, the long term effect of Louis XIV's reign was to consolidate French governmental power in the monarchy. Louis built Versailles palace outside of Paris, and noblemen and women who wanted the patronage (jobs, gifts, titles, etc.) that Louis and his heirs controlled had to live in or near the palace. This kept the aristocracy close by and under monarchial control.

Possibly the most important long-term effect of the concentration of power and wealth that began with Louis was the French Revolution of 1789. The mass of the French people finally got tired of being poor while a few extremely wealthy people lived in great ease and privilege. France thus guillotined the royal family and established a republic. While the republic was usurped by Napoleon, who became emperor, the ideas of liberty, equality, and fraternity espoused by the revolution have had a long influence on human history. 

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short term, he strenghthened the French monarchy to a degree his successors were incapable of sustaining. He also launched a series of very costly wars of expansion that ultimately led to only slight (but significant, especially Alsace-Lorraine) French territorial gains in Europe, and a net loss of territory in the New World. In the long term, he established an administrative system that would eventually break down by the late eighteenth century, provided an example that his successors would bankrupt the country trying to emulate, and eliminated Protestant presence and influence for the most part in France.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Louis, partly because of his exceptionally long reign, brought a kind of stability to France that had been lacking in the sixteenth century. He helped neutralize threats from Spain and helped France achieve a greater sense of national identity than it had enjoyed during the late 1500s and early 1600s.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short term, Louis managed to take a great deal more power for the French monarchy and to create a system that was as close to absolutism as any in Western Europe.  You could argue that, in the long term, his actions helped to cause the French Revolution.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
He was the longest-ruling king, ruling for almost 73 years. He would be influential in that time amount of time no matter what. Among other effects listed in the long term, his extensive patronage of the arts certainly influenced those that were handed down to us.

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