King Louis XIV
By the time Louis XIV came to power in 1643 at the tender young age of
five. The king was made progressively aware that France indeed needed
large amounts of money to pull themselves out of bankruptcies and
later on to be able to get the luxuries, which would become available
at the court of France.
Louis XIV born in 1638 reined France from 1643- 1715, which is the
longest reign in European history.
Louis was born at Saint- Germain- en- Laye, and was the third monarch
of the Bourbon Family. Louis was the unexpected child of King Louis
XIII and Anne of Austria, who had not beard a child during their 22
Louis was christened Louis Dieudonne meaning, "gift of god". In 1643
before his 5th birthday, his father died and Louis inherited the crown
of France. While Louis was a child, his mother served as regent,
ruling France in his place. Jules Cardinal Mazarin, the Italian
financier who had been the principal minister of Louis XIII, assisted
her. This period was marked by a rebellion known as the Fronde,
approximately 1648- 1653, this was first led by the nobility and later
by the urban commoners. The young king felt humiliated
By the arrogant nobles and threatened by the people of France.
The King of France Governs alone
Louis married Marie -Therese out of diplomatic necessity she was the
eldest daughter of King Phillip IV of Spain. The marriage was arranged
via a treaty that the explicitly excluded Marie's heir from inheriting
the Spanish Crown once Phillip had paid her dowry. However the full
dowry was never paid and consequently Louis refused to relinquish his
family's claim to the Spanish inheritance, a claim that was to
influence French policy later in Louis reign.
So in 1660 Louis married Maria Theresa, infanta of Spain.. The
following of the death of his god father and prime minister, Cardinal
Mazarin the 23 year old monarch announced that he would govern.
Although no one believed him and yet he still insisted on conveying a
council on a daily a basis from which he excluded all grand nobles
surrounding him instead with ministers.
Louis fought four major wars. His great aim was to make himself
supreme in Europe. In the first three wars, fought between 1667 and
1697, Louis hoped to recapture all lands that had ever been under
French rule. He gained important territories, but his aggressive moves
led other countries to form alliances against him. In the fourth war,
the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), Louis fought to protect
his grandson Philip V's right to be king of Spain. To this day, the
descendents of Louis XIV are on the throne in Spain.
Louis married Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660, but he was more
attracted to mistresses. His first mistress was Louise de Valliere.