In the film, “The Taking of Power by Louis XIV”, Louis amasses his power in a way atypical to those who had seized power in previous centuries. There were no battles or coups, which is what comes to mind when I think of someone “taking power”. I envision arguments and separate governments popping up, each according to what one side wishes for the kingdom. Louis simply stated that he wanted to control the nobility, making then entirely reliant on him. His views were sensible of a young king trying to attain power who was surrounded by older, more experienced advisers all seeking to hold power for themselves. Louis makes radical decisions designed to have a level of impact upon his subjects so they understand the seriousness of his taking power over the governing of France.
Fearful of a return to the old government of the Fronde, Louis first demands that any and all paperwork, no matter how insignificant, must go through him for approval. In order to gain control over the nobles of his court he builds his palace at Versailles providing apartments and accommodations for nobles and court life. If the nobility must take out loans to cover their debts the transactions were to go through the king making the nobility entirely dependent upon the graces of Louis XIV. Louis himself would cover the loans of his nobles, binding them more fully to him. He also wanted to gain the favor of his people, doing so by lowering taxes among the poor. To counteract the loss of income from this he required a tax on land, which would put his nobles into further debt.
Considering the background that Louis came from it is not only reasonable the way he takes power, but smart as well. To further emphasize his prestige he begins to dress in a more fanciful way, ensuring that all other court members will follow his lead and do as he does. He makes it a common practice for his subjects at court to stand around and watch him, waiting for the right moment when they would be granted a favor by the king, or a private audience. This only further added to the dependency he wanted his nobles to feel toward him.
Although some scenes in the film were drawn out and lengthier than need be, (such as the opening scene with the death of Cardinal Mazarin), all scenes posed an important point as to how Louis XIV assumed power, enforced, and displayed it making himself into an opposing figurehead, such as his later self-entitled name suggests, the “Sunk King”. One specific scene which emphasizes his need to not only show the power he holds, but to create panic and confusion among his nobles, is the arrest of Fouquet within his own grounds. By arresting Fouquet at his own house Louis is hoping to scare his nobles into loyalty to him and him alone so he does not feel the need to repeat the “favor” he bestowed upon Fouquet.