Nor did he do very much to help it. Anne of Austria, who was to blame for this negligence, inspired him with a lasting fear of “crimes committed against God.”. Louis XIV had a brother named Philippe, who was two years younger. Louis XIV succeeded his father as king of France on May 14, 1643, at the age of four years eight months. He would never forgive either Paris, the nobles, or the common people. Questions and answers about the French king Louis XIV. During this time he brought absolute monarchy to its height, established a glittering court at Versailles, and fought most of the other European countries in four wars. He has been accused of having dug the grave of that monarchy, particularly through his religious policy, his last will, and his isolation of the court from the people. Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, was the longest-reigning monarch in European history, ruling France for 72 years and 110 days. He was backed up first by the great ministers Jean-Baptiste Colbert, marquis de Louvois, and Hugues de Lionne, among whom he fostered dissension, and later by men of lesser capacity. (Weakness for the people, and strength for himself) Mar 9, 1661. In 1653 Mazarin was victorious over the rebels and then proceeded to construct an extraordinary administrative apparatus with Louis as his pupil. The reign of Louis XIV is often equated with the great age of French culture. A French king had to be a soldier, and so Louis served his apprenticeship on the battlefield. He is best known for contributing to the decline of royal authority that led to the French Revolution in 1789. Louis XIV's godfather, Italian-born Chief Minister Cardinal Jules Mazarin, was responsible for tutoring the boy in history, politics and the arts. Although he had been proclaimed of age, the king did not dream of disputing the cardinal’s absolute power. Louis was known as the Sun King for his power and splendor. These mistakes could have been corrected. He once narrowly escaped drowning in a pond because no one was watching him. His first goal as absolute monarch was to centralize and rein in control of France. To Louis XIV's relief, Mazarin finally achieved victory over the rebels in 1653. He succeeded his father on May 14, 1643. After the civil war ended, Mazarin began to build an elaborate administration as Louis XIV stood by and observed his mentor. Dissatisfied with the outcome, Louis XIV engaged his country in the Franco-Dutch War from 1672 to 1678, during which France managed to acquire more land in Flanders and the Franche-Compté. This had not occurred since the reign of Henry IV. On April 8 in 1711, Wednesday in Easter week, Monseigneur, as the… Louis was nine years old when the nobles and the Paris Parlement (a powerful law court), driven by hatred of the prime minister Jules Cardinal Mazarin, rose against the crown in 1648. His goal, also acquainted with absolutism, was, “one king, one law, one faith;” Furthermore, Louis wanted to promote religious unity, royal dignity, and security of the state. From 1672–1678 he engaged France in the Franco-Dutch War. Louis XIV and his women Louis XIV’s love of women is well-known. Louis XIV had a real eye for the ladies. No one suspected his thoughts. The long war was so costly for France that it prompted famine and placed the country deep in debt. In this vein, the Academy of Inscriptions and Belle-Lettres was founded in 1663, followed by the Royal Academy of Music in 1666. Louis XIV, byname Louis the Great, Louis the Grand Monarch, or the Sun King, French Louis le Grand, Louis le Grand Monarque, or le Roi Soleil, (born September 5, 1638, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France—died September 1, 1715, Versailles, France), king of France (1643–1715) who ruled his country, principally from his great palace at Versailles, during one of its most brilliant periods and who remains the symbol of absolute monarchy of the classical age. The elder son of Charles X, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine, is sometimes said to have legally been the King of France as Louis XIX. The king informed his astonished ministers that he intended to assume all responsibility for ruling the kingdom. Louis XIV was the foremost example of the monarchy that brought France to its pinnacle. The marriage ensured ratification of the peace treaty that Mazarin had sought to establish with Hapsburg Spain. The one of his only son, the person supposed to become King as Louis XV after him, was particularly awful. Louis XIV displays many pathological personality traits that include extreme cruelty, greed, arrogance, megalomania, lack of empathy and contempt towards others. He revoked the Edict of Nantes and is known for his aggressive foreign policy. Looking Eastwards for Style. This was the longest recorded rule of any European monarch. He was an arrogant man focused on his own self-glorification. Internationally, in a series of wars between 1667 and 1697, he extended France’s eastern borders at the expense of the Habsburgs and then, in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), engaged a hostile European coalition in order to secure the Spanish throne for his grandson. The public went from hailing Louis XIV as a hero to blaming him for France's financial devastation. Author of. Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, was emperor of France from 1852 to 1870. From that time, the nobility ceased to be an important factor in French politics, which in some respects weakened the nation. Louis XIV became king at the age of four. Louis XVI was the last king of France (1774–92) in the line of Bourbon monarchs preceding the French Revolution of 1789. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. He was shown to be very vengeful and short-tempered, completely disregard human lives, willing to kill even his own father and his loyal men. © 2021 Biography and the Biography logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC. The childhood of Louis XIV was at an end, but no one believed him capable of seizing the reins of power. The War of Devolution, as the conflict was named, lasted a year and ended when the French surrendered and gave the land back to Spain. Not much more than a toddler, Louis XIV succeeded his father to the throne, becoming the leader of 19 million French subjects and a highly unstable government. The war begun in 1635 between France and Spain was then entering its last phase. The young king also acquired Mazarin’s partiality for the arts, elegance, and display. Louis XIV and the French Influence. He succeeded because he faithfully reflected the mood of a France overflowing with youth and vigour and enamoured of grandeur. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-XIV-king-of-France, History Learning Site - Biography of Louis XIV, The Catholic Encyclopedia - Biography of Louis XIV, Peter Paul Rubens: portrait of Anne of Austria, Françoise d’Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon. Louis XIV, the ruler of France from the late seventeenth century to the early eighteenth century, claimed, “I am the state.” He considered this to be absolutism. He began ruling after the death of Cardinal Mazarin, his chief minister. By the 1680s, Louis XIV had begun to generate public hostility, due, in part, to his efforts to establish religious uniformity throughout France. King Louis XIV was the Sun King as he preferred to be referred to, as he believed he was sent by God personally to rule France. In the second half of the seventeenth century, he extended France's frontiers into the Netherlands and Germany, and established colonies in America, Africa and India. France's only conquest was to occupy a few towns in Flanders. He was the first of the Bourbon Kings that lived at Versailles Palace. This status, coupled with Louis XIV's campaigns to continually expand territorial claims through the use of military force, positioned France as a threat to other European nations. He meets criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, making him a psychopath. Although Louis XIV’s mother, Anne, had become his regent when he took the throne as a child, Chief Minister Cardinal Jules Mazarin held the true power throughout Louis XIV's early reign. No one knew his identity or why he was in jail. The revocation and the new edict served to alienate Protestants, prompting many to leave France and seek religious freedom elsewhere. Corrections? She gave birth to healthy boy, the future Louis XIV, nine months later. The young king made his ballet debut as a boy, but it was in 1653 as a teenager that he accomplished his most memorable feat as a dancer. His mother was the Hapsburg Spanish queen Anne of Austria, and his father was Louis XIII, king of France. Louis was the son of Louis XIII and his Spanish queen, Anne of Austria. Throughout his life, he had a number of mistresses including the Marquise de Montespan and the Duchess of La Vallière, both of whom bore him several legitimated children. Louis Joliet was a 17th century Canadian explorer who, aided by Native American communities, explored the origins of the Mississippi River. Although the royal numbering starts with Louis, he was not a king of … Louis XIV, byname Louis the Great, Louis the Grand Monarch, or the Sun King, French Louis le Grand, Louis le Grand Monarque, or le Roi Soleil, (born September 5, 1638, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France—died September 1, 1715, Versailles, France), king of France (1643–1715) who ruled his country, principally from his great palace at Versailles, during one of its most brilliant periods and who remains … Styled Duke of Anjou from birth, Philippe became Duke of Orléans upon the death of his uncle Gaston in 1660. Despite the use of pensions and punishments, the monarchy had been unable to subdue the nobles, who had started 11 civil wars in 40 years. Louis XIV, also popularly known as the Sun King (5 September 1638–1 September 1715) was the King of France and King of Navarre from 14 May 1643 until his death. As for King Louis XIV, he also liked to use perfume abundantly when he was young, but he ceased to endure heavy odors with age. His reign was the longest that ever lasted of any European Monarch. When Louis XIV was crowned his interest in dancing was strongly supported and encouraged by Italian-born Cardinal Mazarin, (formerly Mazarini), who assiste Louis XIV. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. On September 1, 1715, a few days before what would have been his 77th birthday, Louis XIV died of gangrene in Versailles, France. Over the course of his childhood, Louis XIV was primed as a leader, receiving a practical education rather than a scholarly one. Louisiana, which once occupied a third of the territory of the present-day United States, is named after him. Ultimately choosing duty over love, in 1660 he married the daughter of the king of Spain, Marie-Thérèse of Austria, instead. His mother served as regent until he was educated enough to become ruling king. He became king in 1643. Jules Cardinal Mazarin, detail of a portrait by Philippe de Champaigne; in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France. Louis lured them to his court, corrupted them with gambling, exhausted them with dissipation, and made their destinies dependent on their capacity to please him. In 1667, 28-year-old all-powerful king of France, Louis XIV, decides to build the greatest palace in the world - Versailles. At Christmas time in 1639, they had a bit of a cuddle again and Philippe was the result. It wasn't until Mazarin died in 1661, when Louis XIV was in his 20s, that the young king finally took control of the French government. In the 1660s he indulged in some patronage of writers, but his benevolence was capriciously bestowed, frequently on secondrate men, and it dried up almost entirely when economic conditions worsened after 1672. Throughout the long war, Louis XIV suffered many hardships, including poverty and starvation. In 1658 Louis faced the great conflict between love and duty, a familiar one for princes of that period. Shortly later, Louis XIII spent a night in Anne’s bedroom, in November 1637, and around six weeks later, the doctors declared Anne to be in happy circumstances. Later Carolingian Transition. Louis XIV is notorious for his overbearing approach to foreign policy. His downfall came during the Franco-Prussian War, when his efforts to defeat Otto Von Bismarck ended in his capture. His first major war extended French territory to include a part of Flanders. Portrait of Louis XIV, After Hyacinthe Rigaud, after 1701 “No one has been more important to this history of power dressing than French King Louis XIV.” Ciara Fitzgerald, writer The visionary French King Louis XIV staged a clothing revolution in the 17th century, which would forever alter the fashion landscape. But drained budget, affairs and political intrigues complicate things. Nevertheless, Jean Racine and Molière were substantially helped by Louis, and it was largely tha… From this conviction he gained not only a dangerous feeling of infallibility but also considerable serenity and moderation. For 54 years Louis devoted himself to his task eight hours a day; not the smallest detail escaped his attention. He died in Versailles, France, on September 1, 1715. Louis XIV Louis XIV rose to power when he was only five years old. Louis XIV also had Colbert oversee the construction of the Paris Observatory from 1667 to 1672. He built the Palace of Versailles. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. He was responsible for moving the center of French government to the Palace of Versailles in 1682. Louis weaken nobles, and strengthen government. Born on September 5, 1638, Louis XIV became a French king less than five years later when his father passed away on May 14, 1643. In 1648, when Louis XIV was still shy of 10 years old, the Parlement of Paris rebelled against his chief minister, Mazarin. 85 × 37 cm. Like many such he was deeply insecure and fearful. That’s why his servants would open all the windows before the King entered a room in order to air out all the perfume aromas. According to the laws of the kingdom, he became not only the master but the owner of the bodies and property of 19 million subjects. Louis XIII, engraving by Jaspar Isac, 1633. Louis XIV was crowned on June 7, 1654 and reigned as king of France for 61 years. Louis XIV put a lot of effort into changing France’s landscapes by … After the war against the Grand Alliance, France still held most of its original territory, but the country's resources were significantly drained. On June 7, 1654, at the age of 15, Louis XIV was … He took power in 1830 after the July Revolution, but was forced to abdicate after an uprising in 1848. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! His reign from the age of 4 in 1643 up until his death at the age of 76 in 1715 makes him the longest-serving monarch not only in the history of France but in all Europe. During his reign, Louis XIV managed to improve France's disorganized system of taxation and limit formerly haphazard borrowing practices. King Louis XIV of French, the Sun King, is known for his exorbitant Court and spectacular events at his palace of Versailles. Louis XIV, the Sun King, was particularly known for his behavior with women. He finally submitted to the exigencies of politics and in 1660 married Marie-Thérèse of Austria, daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, in order to ratify peace between their two countries. Though he was technically king since the age of four, Louis XIV didn't take official control of the French government until the age of 23 after his godfather, Chief Minister Cardinal Jules Mazarin, died. We strive for accuracy and fairness. Aided by politicians such as Jean-Baptiste Colbert, and more especially, Jules Mazarin, Louis stamped his rule on his kingdom. French philosopher Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, was a highly influential political thinker during the Age of Enlightenment. Head, Artistic Exchange Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris, 1946–68. In 1661, Philippe also received the dukedoms of Valois and Chartres. Louis XIV, King of France and Navarre, dominated his age. Anne of Austria, oil on canvas by Peter Paul Rubens, 1621–25; in the Louvre Museum, Paris. Louis-Philippe d'Orléans was France's last king. Mazarin had held the true power from 1643 until his death in 1661, but he was largely unpopular with the nobi… It cannot be overemphasized that Louis XIV’s action was not in accordance with tradition; his concept of a dictatorship by divine right was his own. Louis XIV, king of France (1643–1715), ruled his country, principally from his great palace at Versailles, during one of the country’s most brilliant periods. The king’s chamber, a Versailles room rich in history. He wanted to control everything from court etiquette to troop movements, from road building to theological disputes. Throughout his life, he had a myriad of affairs before, during, and after his marriage to Queen Marie Thérèse. A war between France and the Grand Alliance broke out in 1688 and waged on for nearly a decade, leading to its becoming known as the Nine Years' War. The outcome of the war would transfer European hegemony from the Habsburgs to the Bourbons. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The Sun King died in this bedchamber on September 1, 1715, at the age of 77. The victory promoted France to the status of a dominant power. During the reign of King Louis XIV, an enigmatic man spent several decades confined to the Bastille and other French prisons. In so doing, he constructed a more centralized administration with the bourgeoisie, or middle class, as its foundation. Louis XIV's governor, Nicolas de Neufville, was appointed to keep watch over the lad, but incidents like young Louis XIV’s near drowning indicate that the monarch was overlooked as a child, if not as a ruler in the making. Mazarin died on March 9, 1661. He wrote in his Mémoires: In my heart I prefer fame above all else, even life itself.…Love of glory has the same subtleties as the most tender passions.…In exercising a totally divine function here on earth, we must appear incapable of turmoils which could debase it. This marked the beginning of the long civil war known as the Fronde, in the course of which Louis suffered poverty, misfortune, fear, humiliation, cold, and hunger. Near the end of the 1680s, those nations, including Spain, England and the Holy Roman Empire, responded by banding together to form the Grand Alliance. In 1667 he invaded the Spanish Netherlands. Louis XIV was born on September 5, 1638, in Saint-Germaine-en-Laye, France, and christened Louis-Dieudonné—French for "Gift of God." Louis XIV [ (looh-ee) ] A king of France in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In genuine faith, Louis viewed himself as God’s representative on earth and considered all disobedience and rebellion to be sinful. His older brother was the "Sun King", Louis XIV. King of France and Navarre 1638 – 1715 The reign of Louis XIV is often referred to as “Le Grand Siècle” (the Great Century), forever associated with the image of an absolute monarch and a strong, centralised state. Along with his changes to the government, Louis XIV created a number of programs and institutes to infuse more of the arts into French culture. On May 14, 1643, when Louis XIV was just 4 and a half years old, his father passed away. In the last years of his reign, Louis XIV had to witness the demise of a lot of his family members. Louis XIV was born on September 5, 1638, in Saint-Germaine-en-Laye, France. Etiquette became a means of governing. By the 1680s, Louis XIV generated public hostility. In an attempt to overthrow the crown, they waged a civil war, called the Fronde, against its supporters. The War of the Spanish Succession, from 1701 to 1714, further hastened Louis XIV's decline as a leader. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. He is often seen as the typical example of absolutism. Louis XV was king of France from 1715 to 1774. In 1688, he led a war between France and the Grand Alliance. Louis XIII was king of France from 1610 to 1643. A few years later, Louis XIV fell in love with Marie Mancini, Mazarin's niece. As of 1661, he started reforming France. Trade with the “Orient” (the Middle East and other parts of Asia) … Louis XVII was recognized by royalists as the King of France from 1793, when he was 8, until his death in 1795. The dramatic blow came on March 10. The princess Louis XIV married was his first cousin. Coming to the throne at a tender age, tutored by Cardinal Mazarin, the Sun King embodied the principles of absolutism. Louis XIV, France's Sun King, had the longest reign in European history (1643-1715). In 1667, he launched the invasion of the Spanish Netherlands, deeming it his wife's rightful inheritance. https://www.biography.com/royalty/louis-xiv. In implementing administrative reforms toward a more orderly and stable French government, Louis XIV forced provincial nobles to relinquish their former political influence. The policies of William the Conqueror, king of England from 1066 until his death in 1087, may be largely responsible for eventually making Britain the most powerful nation in Europe. Although he was saluted as “a visible divinity,” he was, nonetheless, a neglected child given over to the care of servants. These trials shaped the future character, behaviour, and mode of thought of the young king. Following Louis XIV’s death, his 5-year-old great-grandson, Louis XV, who was the last male heir of the Duc de Bourgogne, inherited the throne. He was married to Marie Antoinette and was executed for treason by guillotine in 1793. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives. In this conflict, Louis XIV appeared to many of his subjects to place his personal interests above his country's, as his goal was to defend the right of his grandson, Philip V, to inherit the Spanish Empire. King Louis XIV of France led an absolute monarchy during France’s classical age. Omissions? He struggled with himself for two years over his love for Mazarin’s niece, Marie Mancini. To air out all the windows before the king of France, on September 5 1638! Or other sources if you see something that does n't look right, us! 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