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When Louis XV reached adulthood and his regency ended there were high expectations for reform. But he in fact mostly continued the policies of his predecessor even in cases where they served no obvious purpose. Thus helping maintain internal weaknesses.

On the other hand his foreign policy was radical as France allied with the Habsburgs of Austria, following almost three centuries of near-constant conflict between them. However this alliance brought France in conflict with Prussia and Great Britain in the Seven Year's War (1756 - 1763). There were no major territorial changes in Europe. But France suffered defeat in the other theatres of the war. In the Americas, France lost Canada and part of Louisiana to the British. Louis also agreed to ceed the rest of Louisiana to the Spanish in exchange to maintain an alliance with them. In India, any colonial foothold France had gained was lost to the British. This was part of a process which would eliminate any European presense in India but the British one. Louis' popularity within France was almost nonexistant following this defeat, something which would not change much until his death.

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