In their analysis, his early reforms centralised France and marked the birth of the modern French state. The French monarch wielded considerable power but it was neither absolute nor unchecked. Though not necessarily opposed to Spain, she sought to end the war with a French victory, in order to establish a lasting peace between the Catholic nations. Between 300,000 and 400,000 Huguenots converted, as this entailed financial rewards and exemption from the dragonnades. They helped to curb the independent spirit of the nobility, imposing order on them at court and in the army. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children, particularly François de Villeroy, and divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. [117] Europe came to admire France for its military and cultural successes, power, and sophistication. Even before war was officially declared, hostilities began with Imperial aggression in Italy. Secondly, following the proposal of René de Marillac and the Marquis of Louvois, he began quartering dragoons in Protestant homes. Versailles became a dazzling, awe-inspiring setting for state affairs and the reception of foreign dignitaries. [124] Voltaire's history, The Age of Louis XIV, named Louis' reign as not only one of the four great ages in which reason and culture flourished, but the greatest ever. This had several implications. In this way, he aimed to decrease foreign imports while increasing French exports, hence reducing the net outflow of precious metals from France. [122] And Lord Acton admired him as "by far the ablest man who was born in modern times on the steps of a throne". LOUIS XIV COMES TO POWER How did Louis XIV rule? One of Louis' more infamous decrees was the Grande Ordonnance sur les Colonies of 1685, also known as the Code Noir ("black code"). "[71], Peace was broached by Sweden in 1690. It is believed that Louis's policies were rooted in his experiences during the Fronde, when men of high birth readily took up the rebel cause against their king, who was actually the kinsman of some. Although King James II was Catholic, his two Anglican daughters, Mary and Anne, ensured the English people a Protestant succession. [95] Louis established the Paris Foreign Missions Society, but his informal alliance with the Ottoman Empire was criticised for undermining Christendom.[96]. While Louis was a child, his mother, Anne of Austria, served as regent, assisted by Louis XIII's chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin. In an attempt to avoid war, Louis signed the Treaty of the Hague with William III of England in 1698. They were among the most significant means to spread royal propaganda prior to the construction of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. He allowed Classical French literature to flourish by protecting such writers as Molière, Racine, and La Fontaine, whose works remain influential to this day. Ostentation was a distinguishing feature of daily Mass, annual celebrations, such as those of Holy Week, and special ceremonies. [16] The most important arrest, from Anne's point of view, concerned Pierre Broussel, one of the most important leaders in the Parlement de Paris. The depiction of the king in this manner focused on allegorical or mythological attributes, instead of attempting to produce a true likeness. Vehemently anti-French, William (now William III of England) pushed his new kingdoms into war, thus transforming the League of Augsburg into the Grand Alliance. [104] At other times, he would adopt mundane roles before appearing at the end in the lead role. King Charles II ruled a vast empire comprising Spain, Naples, Sicily, Milan, the Spanish Netherlands, and numerous Spanish colonies. . Two days before his death on March 9th, 1661, Cardinal Mazarin summoned the leading Ministers of state, Michel le Tellier, Hugues de Lionne and Nicolas Foucquet, to commend them to the young King in whose name he had ruled for nearly eighteen years. Between 1693 and 1710, over two million people died in two famines, made worse as foraging armies seized food supplies from the villages. [21] However, Louis' coming-of-age and subsequent coronation deprived them of the Frondeurs' pretext for revolt. This, they contend, ended the threat of an aggressive Spain that historically interfered in domestic French politics. Louis XIV (1643–1715) Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–1683) 9 March 1661 6 … Through these liaisons, he produced numerous illegitimate children, most of whom he married to members of cadet branches of the royal family. Louis's formal style was "Louis XIV, par la grâce de Dieu, roi de France et de Navarre", or "Louis XIV, by the Grace of God, King of France and of Navarre". France established contact with Francis II Rákóczi and promised support if he took up the cause of Hungarian independence. He could agree to a partition of the Spanish possessions and avoid a general war, or accept Charles II's will and alienate much of Europe. Pastors could choose either exile or a secular life. Louis' detractors have argued that his considerable foreign, military, and domestic expenditure impoverished and bankrupted France. The sheer number of performances he gave as well as the diversity of roles he played may serve to indicate a deeper understanding and interest in the art form. Anne wanted to give her son absolute authority and a victorious kingdom. Louvois, in particular, pledged to modernize the army and re-organize it into a professional, disciplined, well-trained force. First, in 1685, the Elector Palatine Charles II died. See Article History François-Michel Le Tellier, marquis de Louvois, (baptized January 18, 1639, Paris, France—died July 16, 1691, Versailles), secretary of state for war under Louis XIV of France and his most influential minister in the period 1677–91. However, Louis first had to neutralize Nicolas Fouquet, the Superintendent of Finances, in order to give Colbert a free hand. This belief intensified the nobles' resentment. Before its dissolution eight months later, the Assembly had accepted the Declaration of the Clergy of France, which increased royal authority at the expense of papal power. Fouquet was charged with embezzlement. He also disallowed Protestant-Catholic intermarriages to which third parties objected, encouraged missions to the Protestants, and rewarded converts to Catholicism. On the death of Mazarin, in March 1661, Louis assumed personal control of the reins of government and astonished his court by declaring that he would rule without a chief minister: "Up to this moment I have been pleased to entrust the government of my affairs to the late Cardinal. [118], Alternatively, Louis' critics attribute the social upheaval culminating in the French Revolution to his failure to reform French institutions while the monarchy was still secure. Based on the laws of primogeniture, France had the better claim as it originated from the eldest daughters in two generations. He inherited the throne with his mother acting as his regent for the initial years. This, in turn, was succeeded by another Siamese embassy under Kosa Pan, superbly received at Versailles in 1686. Thus they do not place much emphasis on Louis' deathbed declarations in assessing his accomplishments. This long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. Europeans generally began to emulate French manners, values, goods, and deportment. France also overran most of the Duchy of Savoy after the battles of Marsaglia and Staffarde in 1693. Louis began his personal reign with administrative and fiscal reforms. Johan de Witt, Dutch Grand Pensionary from 1653 to 1672, viewed them as crucial for Dutch security and against his domestic Orangist opponents. France, however, profited most from the settlement. At the age of 23, Louis XIV took full control of the kingdom and ruled without a chief minister. The Spanish marriage would be very important both for its role in ending the war between France and Spain, because many of the claims and objectives of Louis' foreign policy for the next 50 years would be based upon this marriage, and because it was through this marriage that the Spanish throne would ultimately be delivered to the House of Bourbon (which holds it to this day). 1556332. [74] In exchange for financial compensation, France renounced its interests in the Electorate of Cologne and the Palatinate. Despite military defeat, his ally Sweden regained much of their losses under the 1679 treaties of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Fontainebleau and Lund imposed on Denmark-Norway and Brandenburg.[38]. In 1648, Anne and Mazarin attempted to tax members of the Parlement de Paris. Held numerous offices, of which: In 1696 she married Bernard de Prez, Baron de La Queue. facts about louis XIV (Probably Far more than you need to know) While Louis technically became king at the age of four, in 1643, he did so under the watchful eye of his mother and Cardinal Mazarin. French diplomacy secured Bavaria, Portugal, and Savoy as Franco-Spanish allies.[83]. If the Spanish empire then fell to him, it would have resurrected a domain as vast as Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's in the 16th century. “Glory” and “good sense” were the watchwords adopted by Louis XIV for his reign, writes J.H. Their stated intention was to return France to at least the borders agreed to in the Treaty of Nijmegen. Held the office of. To the maritime powers of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, this would have been as undesirable as a Franco-Spanish union.[87]. Both of these royal houses were descended in the male line from Henri II, Prince of Conde, a second cousin of French King Louis XIII (the father of Louis XIV) in the male line. These varying interpretations of Louis abounded in self-contradictions that reflected the people's amalgamation of their everyday experiences with the idea of monarchy.[109]. In 1699, he re-confirmed his 1693 will that named Joseph Ferdinand as his sole successor.[77]. [113] Orléans, however, had Louis' will annulled by the Parlement of Paris after his death and made himself sole regent. The War of the League of Augsburg, which lasted from 1688 to 1697, initiated a period of decline in Louis's political and diplomatic fortunes. Louis generously supported the royal court of France and those who worked under him. Louis used court ritual and the arts to validate and augment his control over France. [123] The historian and philosopher Voltaire wrote: "His name can never be pronounced without respect and without summoning the image of an eternally memorable age". In 1910, the American historical novelist, Louis is a major character in the 1959 historical novel, A character based on Louis plays an important role in, The 15-year-old Louis XIV, as played by the Irish actor, Louis XIV, King of France and Navarre, 1638–1715, Gabrielle Angelique, Duchess of La Valette and Epernon, This page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 20:50. This anticipated the formation of the 1658 League of the Rhine, leading to the further diminution of Imperial power. This approaches the career of a professional ballet dancer.[104]. It arose from two events in the Rhineland. The memoirist Saint-Simon speculated that Louis viewed Versailles as an isolated power center where treasonous cabals could be more readily discovered and foiled. Warfare defined Louis's foreign policy and his personality shaped his approach. All these events were witnessed by Louis and largely explained his later distrust of Paris and the higher aristocracy. Six months later, Joseph Ferdinand died. [3] The King surrounded himself with a variety of significant political, military, and cultural figures, such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Vauban, Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Charpentier, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles Perrault, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre. [66], In light of his foreign and domestic policies during the early 1680s, which were perceived as aggressive, Louis's actions, fostered by the succession crises of the late 1680s, created concern and alarm in much of Europe. European apprehension at growing French might and the realisation of the extent of the dragonnades' effect (discussed below) led many states to abandon their alliance with France. Moreover, a mob of angry Parisians broke into the royal palace and demanded to see their king. The impact of this victory won the support of Portugal and Savoy. [50] However, the pensions and privileges necessary to live in a style appropriate to their rank were only possible by waiting constantly on Louis. [75] In any case, peace in 1697 was desirable to Louis, since France was exhausted from the costs of the war. Louis secured permanent French sovereignty over all of Alsace, including Strasbourg, and established the Rhine as the Franco-German border (as it is to this day). Led into the royal bedchamber, they gazed upon Louis, who was feigning sleep, were appeased, and then quietly departed. Salmon, and “good sense” on the whole prevailed so long as Colbert was the King's chief Minister. First, the “reign of the cardinal ministers,” in which a religious minister had the ear of the king, was effectively over. Although Louis XIV was not known to repose in any one of them the kind of confidence that his father had bestowed on Richelieu or his mother, Anne of Austria, on Mazarin, the appointment of a new first Minister was expected. Louis's extravagance at Versailles extended far beyond the scope of elaborate court rituals. If he could not achieve this within the year, the war would resume. Before this happened, Louis expected William's expedition to England to absorb his energies and those of his allies, so he dispatched troops to the Rhineland after the expiry of his ultimatum to the German princes requiring confirmation of the Truce of Ratisbon and acceptance of his demands about the succession crises. [12] She left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. Nevertheless, excellent results were achieved: the deficit of 1661 turned into a surplus in 1666. "[131][132] Louis is recorded by numerous eyewitnesses as having said on his deathbed: "Je m'en vais, mais l'État demeurera toujours." The taille was reduced to 42 million in 1661 and 35 million in 1665; finally the revenue from indirect taxation progressed from 26 million to 55 million. Protestant lords called on the Dutch Prince William III of Orange, grandson of Charles I of England, to come to their aid. Following these annexations, Spain declared war, precipitating the War of the Reunions. Conseil royal des finances ("Royal Council of Finances") who was headed by the "chef du conseil des finances" (an honorary post in most cases)—this was one of the few posts in the council that was opened to the high aristocracy. In 1705, the Emperor Leopold I died. Mazarin soon supported the Queen's position because he knew that her support for his power and his foreign policy depended on making peace with Spain from a strong position and on the Spanish marriage. The portrait also became a model for French royal and imperial portraiture down to the time of Charles X over a century later. The threat to the royal family prompted Anne to flee Paris with the king and his courtiers. Legitimised on 20 December 1673. If the Duke of Berry declined it, it would go to the Archduke Charles, then to the distantly related House of Savoy if Charles declined it.[79]. Mazarin and the queen instituted policies that led to rebellion and a civil war known as the Fronde. French military successes near the end of the war took place against the background of a changed political situation in Austria. Shortly thereafter, the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia allowed Condé's army to return to aid Louis and his court. He sailed for England with troops despite Louis's warning that France would regard it as a provocation. Over his lifetime, Louis commissioned numerous works of art to portray himself, among them over 300 formal portraits. After a few battles, a political compromise was reached; the Peace of Rueil was signed, and the court returned to Paris. Bernini's plans were eventually shelved in favour of the elegant Louvre Colonnade designed by three Frenchmen: Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun, and Claude Perrault. Louis XIV (1624–1715) As ruler of France for 72 years, Louis XIV had a tremendous impact on his nation’s domestic institutions. To remind the people of these triumphs, Louis erected permanent triumphal arches in Paris and the provinces for the first time since the decline of the Roman Empire. The expenditure was around 18 million pounds, leaving a deficit of 8 million. The final phases of the War of the Spanish Succession demonstrated that the Allies could not maintain the Archduke Charles in Spain just as surely as France could not retain the entire Spanish inheritance for Philip V. The Allies were definitively expelled from central Spain by the Franco-Spanish victories at the Battles of Villaviciosa and Brihuega in 1710. He was born in the royal family to Louis XIII but could not enjoy much of the lavish life as his father passed away when he was just four. Few rulers in world history have commemorated themselves in as grand a manner as Louis. In addition, France also contested shorter wars, such as the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. The French claim derived from Louis XIV's mother Anne of Austria (the older sister of Philip IV of Spain) and his wife Maria Theresa (Philip IV's eldest daughter). Louis pressed her claims to land and chattels, hoping the latter, at least, would be given to her. The anti-Bourbon Napoleon described him not only as "a great king", but also as "the only King of France worthy of the name". Jean-Baptiste Colbert's reforms. In Brabant (the location of the land in dispute), children of first marriages traditionally were not disadvantaged by their parents' remarriages and still inherited property. As supporting evidence, they cite the literature of the time, such as the social commentary in Montesquieu's Persian Letters. He also attracted, supported and patronized such artists as André Charles Boulle, who revolutionised marquetry with his art of inlay, today known as "Boulle Work". [28] The Code Louis played an important part in French legal history as the basis for the Napoleonic code, from which many modern legal codes are, in turn, derived. Arguably, Louis also applied himself indirectly to "the alleviation of the burdens of [his] subjects." Louis provided support in the 1665-1667 Second Anglo-Dutch War but used the opportunity to launch the War of Devolution in 1667. 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