King Louis Xiv

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Louis XIV of France, Palace of Versailles, Louis XIII of France
  • Pages : 12 (2161 words )
  • Download(s) : 50
  • Published : May 7, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
King Louis XIV’s Life and Reign
Maureen Bauer
HUM 361

King Louis XIV’s Life

Louis XIV was born September 5, 1638 to his parents Louis XIII and Anne of

Austria. He was their first child after twenty-two years of marriage. His brother,

Philippe, was born in 1640. His parents did not have a happy marriage as they were

chosen for each other and the King’s duties often kept them apart.

The Beginning

At the age of four King Louis XIII became ill with tuberculosis and rushed to have

his son baptized. His baptismal name was Louis-Dieudonne which means gift of God.

At this period in time the baptism would normally have taken place at the age of seven.

King Louis XIII died about a month after the baptism, leaving his son to become King

Louis XIV.

Louis XIV became king on May 14, 1643, just short of his fifth birthday. Control

of the government was handed over to his mother and the First Minister, Mazarin, due

to his young age. Since Louis XIV became king at such a young age he did not have

the education or background that most kings would have. Mazarin took it upon himself

to try to pass on his knowledge to him. He focused his teachings on what he

considered to be the necessities to run a country. Mazarin continued to run the

government until his death in 1661. At this time Louis XIV took control and began

running the government and country himself.

A series of financial and administrative reforms were necessary to begin

controlling the government on his own. One of the first changes was to sentence

Nicolas Fouquet, the superintendent of finances, to life imprisonment. King Louis XIV

had him charged with peculation. It is believed that Fouquet did not commit financial

indiscretions but was charged due to his ambitions to become First Minister. He would

have interfered with Louis plans to rule alone. Louis appointed Jean-Baptiste

Colbert as the controller of finances. Colbert then reduced the national debt by

increasing taxation and improving the method in which it was collected.

Wars, Gains, Losses and Alliances

Early in his reign he wanted to establish himself as a warrior king. He

planned to accomplish this by conquering and gaining land. He began this with a series

of wars with the Dutch in which he formed an alliance with England. The Dutch

army had been neglected so France had no trouble marching into the republic and

taking Utretch. France attempted to extort sixteen million guilders in order to obtain

peace. This enraged the Dutch and pushed them to flood the land and form a

alliance with the Elector of Bradenburg, the Holy Roman Emperor and Charles II of

Spain. This left Louis with no choice but to abandon the war of six years. He accepted

the areas he had gained and ordered his troops to retreat.

The wars did continue with French victories in his neighboring countries. He

Seized Strasbourg in 1681. This was followed by the War of the Spanish Succession.

This war was a result of conflict over the succession to the throne of Spain. Louis XIV

believed that because he married Marie- Therese of Spain, a half-sister of the King of

Spain, that upon the King of Spain’s death his wife should inherit Brabant. The King of

Spain did not have any children which was the cause of the conflicts. Charles II, King of

Spain, reached an agreement with Louis that upon his death Louis’s grandson Philip

would become his sole heir. The other countries fought to protect their own claim to the

Spanish inheritance. France continued to expand their territories and the other nations

came together to stop them .

The War of Spanish succession was finally concluded with the treaties of Utretch

and Rastatt. As a result of these treaties, Philip V remained the King of Spain. In order

to prevent Spain and France from making a...
tracking img