Want an effective leader? Then Louis XIV would not be a great choice. I believe he is an ineffective leader because of a few reasons; one, he lost all four wars that he placed wages on, leading France to bankruptcy. Two, he failed at his goal of becoming the master of Europe. And third, because protestants would not convert to Catholicism, he threatened to kick them out if they didn’t convert or execute them if they stayed, because they left, the businesses they owned and ran, left with them.
In fact, I thought Louis XIV was effective at one point because he was very smart about something; he built Versailles and paid the nobles well to live there, so he could keep an eye on them. So no, Louis XIV was not an effective leader because he bankrupted France, failed at the one thing he was focused on doing and kicked out the Huguenots. Louis XIV was ineffective because he was very confident in himself and his army that he put wages on wars he was a part of and lost.
He lost four wages, on four wars. Because of that, France went into bankruptcy. France was at war for 30 years under the rule of Louis XIV.
Louis XIV toughest war was the Spanish succession. His grandson inherited Spain, along with all of its possessions. He wanted to unite with him, which would give him other countries, islands and colonies to own. One of the main reasons why Louis XIV lost the wars he did was because of the balance of power. He was much more powerful than the countries he was about to go to war with, smartly, the European countries allied up with each other; balancing out the power between them and France. With the European powers allying to prevent Louis from uniting Spain and France together, they overpowered France.
Louis agreed to the Peace of Utrecht; Spain and France crowns could never unite, giving the allied Europeans what they wanted. If Louis had won, he would have control of Spain’s Territories; of other small countries and American colonies. Putting in a great amount of money and losing the wars was not something Louis had intended, because of this, France was greatly in Debt. The fact Louis XIV lost those wars, couldn’t unite France and Spain and bankrupted France leads to the next reason why I think he is ineffective. Louis’ goal was to be the master of Europe.
He greatly failed. If things went the way Louis wanted them, he would still be the most powerful in Europe, he would also have many islands, countries, and colonies under his control. If this were to happen, he would be the master of Europe, no country would be able to balance the power and defeat him; Louis would have more power then he could imagine with the largest army in the world, allies and control of different parts of the world and would have more money, silver and gold which next to power was the most important thing a ruler could have.
I am sure if he acquired this, he would eventually rule all of Europe, controlling all countries and leaving any other with no chance of defeating him. Lastly, in my Opinion Louis XIV was an ineffective leader due to the fact he made a terrible choice of kicking out the Huguenots. This was certainly one of his biggest failures. The Huguenots; French Protestants, made up 10% of the population. That isn’t a lot, but in the sense of how important they were, it is a lot. He felt they were traitors due to the fact they were not catholic.
Louis XIV threatened to kick them out of the country, or if they stayed, execute them. This was a huge deal because the majority of Huguenots were businessmen, tax payers, had the financial skills France needed and were also producers of important goods. Because hard money displayed how powerful a country was, it was the most important thing to Louis, he wanted to export more goods than import, meaning he would sell a great amount of goods in order to get the most gold and silver he possibly could. Agriculture was encouraged, this way he did not have to import from other countries and lose his hard money.
The Huguenots were industrial people; they were the ones producing these goods and were the center of agriculture for France. They supplied France with goods and gave Louis stuff to sell to other countries. When Louis kicked them out, he lost his main suppliers of exported goods. I get the fact he wanted France to be under one faith under an all Catholic Church, and he needs to do what necessary for that, but getting rid of a very important source of your country is not the smartest thing he could’ve done.
Instead he could’ve just raised their taxes, which he would make more money. So it’s clear to me that Louis XIV was not an effective leader. But, one thing he did stood out to me, giving me a reason why he was an effective leader. Louis wanted complete and absolute power, he did not want the nobles to gain power, nor did he want them taking power from him. Louis got the idea to build Versailles. This was a smart move on his part. Versailles was a palace built for him.
He ended paying the nobles very well to live at Versailles. With them living there, it gave Louis the opportunity to keep an eye on the nobles and make sure they did not try to acquire more power or strip Louis of his. Nobles also received pensions, privileges, and prestige, but no power whatsoever. If other European monarchs were copying his ideas, the construction of Versailles must have been effective. Also because he achieved what he wanted; no power for the nobility.
So no, Louis XIV was not an effective leader because he bankrupted France, failed at the one thing he was focused on doing and kicked out the Huguenots, but building Versailles did make him effective at one point. An effective ruler would not run the country to bankruptcy from losing waged wars. Also he/she would not kick out one of the most valuable parts to the country and lose the hard money he wants. So, Louis XIV could have been an effective ruler if he had thought before acting and changed his mind with his lousy decisions.