His reign has long been regarded as the best example of the practice of Absolutism in the 17th century. The court of Louis XIV was imitated throughout Europe. Came to power at the age of 4. His government was run by Cardinal Mazarin, who was his chief minister. The nobles revolted against Mazarin and he crushed them, leading many to believe that the best hope for stability is to have a strong monarch..
Louis XIV took control upon Mazarin's death. He established a strict routine from which he seldom deviated. He also fostered the myth of himself as Sun King-- the source of light for all his people.
A key to his power was to control the central policy making machinery of government. He established a royal court at Versailles. It served 3 purposes: 1) Personal household of the King, 2) the chief offices of the state were located there so Louis could watch over them and 3) it was a place where powerful subjects came to find favor and offices for themselves. He wanted to control everything so he took nobles and princes out of the royal council and made them come to his court to keep them busy and out of politics. Louis had complete control over foreign policy, the church and taxes.
Two other points:
1) He often bribled local officials to ensure that his policies were carried out.
2) He wanted an anti-Protestant policy and got it by destroying Huguenot churches and closed down their schools, causing 200,000 to flee to England, the United Provinces and the German States
The cost of building palaces, maintaining court and fighting wars made finances a crucial issue for Louis XIV. He had an able controller general of finances, Jean Baptiste Colbert. Colbert followed the principle of mercantilism, which meant that they needed to have an economy based on a large supply of gold & silver. Colbert was modern economist who worked to expand and strengthen France's economy. Louis XIV fought 4 wars and gained territory and had direct influence in Spain.
In 1715, the Sun King died. He left France deep in debt and with many enemies. On his death bed, he was remorseful when told his successor, his 5 year old great grandson, "soon you will be the king of a great kingdom., try to remain at Peace, I loved war too much. Do not follow me in that or in overspending...lighten you people's burden as soon as possible and do not do what I have had the misfortune not to do myself."