King Louis the 14th was King of France for seventy-two years, and he reigned during the classical age of France.
Louis was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, in 1638, September fifth. He was the son of a Hapsberg Spanish queen Anne of Austria and Louis the 13th, who was the King of France. Two years after his birth he had a little brother Philippe.
When Louis was only four years old and a little bit in May fourteenth, 1643 his father passed away, leaving him as the heir of the throne. Louis was crowned King of France, and his mother Anne regent, this was because he was very young.
He got a good and practical education, he was also somewhat of a neglected child since he almost drowned once thanks to not being watched.
His childhood was not exactly an easy one, when he was almost ten in 1648 the Parlement of Paris rebelled against his chief minister, Mazarin, this was an attempt to overthrow him. A civil war started called the Fonde. Louis suffered much during this time, these hardships included poverty and hunger, these suffering did help shape his personality as King though. Thankfully the civil war ended in 1653 thanks to Mazarin victory over the rebels.
Even though he was King and his mother regent, Mazarin the chief minister was the one that had the true power over France during Louis’s early years of his reign, but after Mazarin’s death in 1661 this all changed.
The Middle Years
After Mazarin’s death Louis began governing the government of France. After he began having more control he began reforming France according to what he liked. He had a goal to centralize and rein in control of France. He was able to accomplish with the help of the finance minister Jean Baptiste Colbert to get rid of the deficient financial ways and promoted industrial growth; he also improved France’s disorganized taxation, limiting the problematic borrowing ways. He created a more middle class society, and brought more Arts into France.
Louis is probably most well known for his overbearing foreign policy approach. In 1667 he invaded the Spanish Netherlands, and regarded it as his wife’s rightful inheritance, but this did not last and a conflict began known as The War of Devolution forced France to surrender the land back to Spain, except a few towns in Flanders. Louis was not happy with this so he got France to start a new war called the Franco-Dutch war, this helped France acquire more land in the Flanders region. This new position and the constant campaigns to expand the amount of
territories with the use of military force put France as a threat to other countries in Europe. In 1688 other European countries including Spain and England formed an alliance and a new war against France breaks out, this war is also known as the nine years war.
Louis was a Catholic and he persecuted Protestants, he even went far enough to destroy Protestant churches and schools.
After the nine years war France had managed to keep much of its original land, but financially the country was drained. His reign began to decline, especially after another war, The War of the Spanish Succession, which went on from 1701 to 1714, this war showed to many people that Louis had other interests above his country, since the war was too defend his grandson’s right to the Spanish throne. The war was long and expensive and France was financially devastated after.
On September first, 1715th, right before his seventy seventh birthday Louis passed away from a disease called gangrene. After his death his five year old great-great-grandson, Louis the 15th inherited the throne.