After the reign of Louis XIV, the Bourbon kings continued to take up residence in the lavish Versailles palace, a habit that was quite expensive. More costly, however, were France's war debts. The War of Spanish Succession, the Seven Years' War, the American Revolution, you name it...France seemed to be involved in every major war both in Europe and abroad. With droughts damaging the French harvests and the nobility scoffing at spending restrictions, Louis XVI needed to raise taxes, but to do that he needed to get everyone on board. So, in 1789, he called a meeting of the Estates General, a "governing body" that hadn't met in some 175 years. Bourbon monarchs, you'll recall, ruled under divine right, so no other input was generally seen as necessary. But the king's poor financial situation made it necessary.