Louis Xiv: a Machiavellian Ruler? Essay

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Louis XIV: A Machiavellian Ruler?
Louis XIV followed many Machiavellian teachings but conspicuously disregarded others, due to some of his fiscal policies (or lack of them) and personal tendencies. Louis XIV is the longest reigning monarch in European history, and during his impressive reign, France enjoyed a Golden Age of arts and commerce. He expanded its territories and shifted the balance of power to France becoming one of the most powerful European countries in the 17th century. Machiavelli wrote in The Prince that it was better to be considered miserly than generous with one’s finances as a monarch. This was a prime example in which Louis XIV demonstrated himself an Un-Machiavellian ruler. Machiavelli said that being generous would
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He had a deep mistrust of the aristocracy from The Fronde: an attempted rebellion by the nobles resulting in him being forced to flee Paris numerous times. One of the main reasons he built Versailles was to house the nobility and keep them focused on trivial court life and ceremony, as well as to keep an eye on them. Eventually, he manipulated them to such an extent that they would compete to watch him wake up and help dress him.
Machiavelli wrote that there was a need to avoid flatterers of any kind. As an absolute ruler this was entirely contrary to Louis XIV’s nature, since the Sun King absolutely craved flattery and foolishly gave precedence to those courtiers that praised him. He promoted many unqualified people who deceived him in this way and demoted many who were more honest. It got to the point that no one wanted to tell him the truth so he hired informers to spy on people.
Overall, Louis XIV was a remarkable ruler of France, even though he wasn’t entirely a Machiavellian one. He was the complete opposite of a miserly ruler yet because of Colbert’s temporary fixes his people did not begin to hate him for most of his reign. One of his more foolish tendencies was a love for flattery, which The Prince cautioned against. He was Machiavellian in his ability to select ministers and in his Intendant system. In addition, he exemplified the characteristics of a lion, aggressive and