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Louis XIV, The Sun King

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

Louis XIV was only four years old when he succeeded his father to the French throne. Often uncared for, he nearly drowned because no one was watching him as he played near a pond. This began to shape in his young mind an early fear of God. Louis' character was also shaped by the French Civil War. In this, the Paris Parlement rose against the crown. For five years, Louis would suffer fear, cold, hunger and other spirit-breaking events. He would never forgive Paris, the nobles, or the common people. Finally, in 1653, Cardinal Jules Mazarin was able to end the rebellion. He began to instruct Louis on his position as king. Even though Louis XIV was now of age, the Cardinal remained the dominant authority in French politics. French kings gained respect as a soldier; Louis served with the French army during France's war with Spain. His biggest battle, however, was sacrificing his love for Mazarin's niece for politics. In 1660 he married the daughter of the king of Spain to bring peace between the two countries. Mazarin died March 9, 1661. On March 10, Louis claimed supreme authority in France. Not since Henry IV had such a claim been made. Louis saw himself as God's representative on earth, therefore, infallible. He oversaw roadbuilding, court decorum, defense, and disputes within the church. He had the support initially of his ministers, then that of the French people. He had given France the image it desired-youth and vitality surrounded by magnificence. Louis won the favor of the nobles by making it evident that their future depended on their ability stay on his good side. This weakened the nobility, and would eventually weaken France. Louis had among his supportors a wide spectrum of individuals. Writers such as Moliere were ordered to glorify him. Monuments rose throughout the country and Louis had palaces built in his honor. The most elaborate was Versailles, located outside Paris. Away from disease, Versailles also isolated the king from his people. The aristocracy became mysterious. France was also undergoing an economic revolution. Exports were increased, and a navy, merchant marine, and police association emerged. Roads, ports and canals were being built. He invaded the Spanish Nederlands in 1667. The restarted war between France and Spain would be on again, off again for the remainder of Louis' reign. In 1668, the French army retreated under pressure from Dutch and English forces. Louis swore to defeat the Dutch...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Biographies

Length:   5 pages (1,018 words)

Views:   1257

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