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Louis XIV: Sun King of France

Maria Theresa of Austria | Palace of Versailles

After he married Marie-Therese, he devoted himself to her and a year later they had a dauphin. But later he began to pay too much attention to the ladies of his court. One of his lovers was the wife of his own brother- Henrietta of England. Louis was the most powerful man in Europe and every woman was dreaming to be his. 15 Oct The story begins in a “wondrous castle” overlooking the Seine at Saint-Germain- en-Laye, where Louis's mother, Anne of Austria, had repaired to the royal birthing bed, accompanied by her physician, the king and his courtiers. The year-old queen, married at 14, had so far “endured 22 years of childless. 3 Aug Born in a prison in western France into a penniless family in , reduced at the age of 12 to begging for food in the streets of La Rochelle, Françoise d'Aubigné rose to become the Marquise de Maintenon, mistress of one of France's greatest kings, Louis XIV, and then, in , his morganatic wife.

Maria Theresa of Spain m. Starting at the age of 4, his reign of 72 years and days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. Louis began his personal rule of France inafter the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versaillessucceeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority.

By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution. Under his rule, the Edict of Nanteswhich granted rights to Huguenotswas abolished.

The revocation effectively forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnadeswhich managed to virtually destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' reign, France was the leading European power, and it fought three major wars: There were also two lesser conflicts: Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory.

In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war. He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. His mother had experienced four stillbirths between and Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as a divine gift and his birth a miracle of God. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king see more that a Who Was The Wife Of Louis Xiv council would rule on his son's behalf.

His lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, however, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time. Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed that the Queen would spend Who Was The Wife Of Louis Xiv her time with Louis. Both were greatly interested in food and theatre, and it is highly likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother.

This long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as:. But attachments formed later by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed merely by blood.

It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. InNicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. This action abolished the regency council and made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers Chavigny, Bouthilierand she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs; she also nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question.

Anne kept the direction of religious policy strongly in her hand until ; her most important political decisions were to nominate Cardinal Mazarin as her chief minister and her continuation of her late husband's and Cardinal Richelieu 's policy, despite their persecution of her, for the sake of her son.

Anne wanted to give her son an absolute authority and a victorious kingdom. Her rationales for choosing Mazarin were mainly his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until when she was no longer regent.

Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in Anne was virtually under house arrest for a number of article source during her husband's rule, and was physically searched and almost insulted by the chancellor according to certain sources.

By keeping him in his post, Anne was giving a sign that the article source of France and her son Louis were the guiding spirit of all her political and legal actions. 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.

Who Was The Wife Of Louis Xiv

The Queen also gave a partial Catholic orientation to French foreign policy. This was felt by the Netherlands, France's Protestant ally, which negotiated a separate peace with Spain in Its terms ensured Dutch independence Spainawarded some autonomy to the various German princes of the Holy Roman Empireand granted Sweden seats on the Imperial Diet and territories to control the mouths of the OderElbeand Weser rivers.

France, however, profited most from the settlement. Moreover, eager to emancipate themselves from Habsburg domination, petty German states sought French protection.

This anticipated the formation of the League of the Rhineleading to the further diminution of Imperial power.

She surrounded herself with Spanish ladies-in-waiting, but the death of her aunt and godmother Anne of Austriaindeprived her of a precious ally. Create chapters to group lesson within your course. However, Louis altered the sentence to life-imprisonment and abolished Fouquet's post. In she travelled to the Spanish Netherlands, then in the grip of the War of Devolutionwaged largely to defend her claim on the Spanish throne.

As the Thirty Years' War came to an end, a civil war known as the Fronde after the slings used to smash windows erupted in France. It effectively checked France's ability to exploit the Peace of Westphalia. Anne and Mazarin had largely pursued the policies of Cardinal Richelieuaugmenting the Crown's power at the expense of the nobility and the Parlements.

Anne interfered much more in internal policy than foreign affairs; she was a very proud queen who insisted on the divine source of the King of France. All this led her to advocate a forceful policy in all matters relating to the King's authority, in a manner that was much more radical than the one proposed by Mazarin.

The Cardinal depended totally on Anne's support and had to use all his influence on the Queen to avoid nullifying, but to restrain some of her radical actions. Anne imprisoned any aristocrat or member of parliament who challenged her will; her main aim was to transfer to her son an absolute authority in the matters of finance and justice.

One of the leaders of the Parlement of Paris, whom she had jailed, died in prison. The Frondeurspolitical heirs of the disaffected feudal aristocracy, sought to protect their traditional feudal privileges from the increasingly centralized royal government.

Furthermore, they believed their traditional influence and authority was being usurped by the recently ennobled bureaucrats the Noblesse de Robeor "nobility of the robe"who administered the kingdom and on whom the monarchy increasingly began to rely. This belief intensified the nobles' resentment. InAnne and Mazarin attempted to tax members of the Parlement de Paris.

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The members refused to comply and ordered all of the king's earlier financial edicts burned. People in France were complaining about the expansion of royal authority, the high rate of taxation, and the reduction of the authority of the Parlement de Paris and other regional representative entities.

Paris erupted in rioting as a result, and Anne was forced, under intense pressure, to free Broussel. Moreover, a mob of angry Parisians broke into the royal palace and demanded to see their king.

Led into the royal bedchamber, they gazed upon Louis, who was feigning sleep, were appeased, and then quietly departed. The threat to the royal family prompted Anne to flee Paris with the king and his courtiers. Beaufort, who had escaped from the prison where Anne had incarcerated him five years before, was the military leader in Paris, under the nominal control of Conti.

After a few battles, a political compromise was reached; the Peace of Rueil was signed, and the court returned to Paris. This situation did not last long, and Mazarin's unpopularity led to the creation of a coalition headed mainly by Marie de Rohan and the duchess of Longueville.

BIO Shorts: Louis XIV and Maria Theresa

This aristocratic coalition was strong enough to liberate the princes, exile Mazarin, and impose a condition of virtual house arrest on Queen Anne. All these events were witnessed by Louis and largely explained his later distrust of Paris and the higher aristocracy.

Louis XIV: Biography, Wives & Children |

It was not only that life became insecure and unpleasant — a Who Was The Wife Of Louis Xiv meted out to many children in all ages — but that Louis had to be taken into the confidence of his mother and Mazarin and political and military matters of which he could have no deep understanding". The Fronde years planted in Louis a hatred of Paris and a consequent determination to move out of the ancient capital as soon as possible, never to return. Just as the first Fronde the Fronde parlementaire of — ended, a second one the Fronde des princes of — began.

Unlike that which preceded it, tales of sordid intrigue and half-hearted warfare characterized this second phase of upper-class insurrection. To the aristocracy, this link represented a protest against and a reversal of their political demotion from vassals to courtiers. Queen Anne played the most important role in defeating the Fronde because she wanted to transfer absolute authority to her son.

In addition, most of the princes refused to deal with Mazarin, who went into exile for a number of years.

The description of the marriage as morganatic is inaccurate as French law does not define such marriages. Unsurprisingly, the pope repudiated the Declaration. While pharmacology was still quite rudimentary in his day, the Invalides pioneered new treatments and set new standards for hospice treatment. But later he began to pay too much attention to the ladies of his court. This poor public opinion was compounded by French actions off the Barbary Coast and at Genoa.

The Frondeurs claimed to act on Louis' behalf, and in his real interest against his mother and Mazarin. The Fronde thus gradually lost steam and ended inwhen Mazarin returned triumphantly from exile.

From that time until his death, Mazarin was in charge of foreign and financial policy without the daily supervision of Anne, who was no longer regent.

During this period, Louis fell in love with Mazarin's niece Marie Mancinibut Anne and Mazarin ended the king's infatuation by sending Mancini away from court to be married in Italy. While Mazarin might have been tempted for a short period of time to marry his niece to the King of France, Queen Anne was absolutely against this; she wanted to marry her son to the daughter of her brother, Philip IV of Spainfor both dynastic and political reasons.

Mazarin soon supported the Queen's position because he knew that her support for his power and his foreign policy this web page on making peace with Spain from a strong position and on the Spanish marriage.

Additionally, Mazarin's relations with Marie Mancini were not good, and he did not trust her to support his position. All of Louis' tears and his supplications to his mother did not make her change her mind; the Spanish marriage was very important both for its role in ending the war between France and Spain, and because many of the claims and objectives of Louis' foreign policy in the next 50 years would be based on this marriage.

Louis XIV was declared to have reached the age of majority on 7 September On the death of Mazarin, in MarchLouis assumed personal control of the reins of government and astonished his court by declaring that he would rule without a chief minister: It is now time that I govern them myself. You [he was talking to the secretaries and ministers of state] will assist me with your counsels when I ask for them. I request and order you to seal no orders except by my command.

I order you not to sign anything, not even a passport. Praising his ability to choose and encourage men of talent, the historian Chateaubriand noted: Louis began his personal reign with administrative and fiscal reforms. Inthe treasury verged on bankruptcy. However, Louis first had to neutralize Nicolas Fouquetthe Superintendent of Financesin order to give Colbert a free hand. Although Fouquet's financial indiscretions were not very different from Mazarin's before him or Colbert's after him, his ambition was worrying to Louis.

The court was left with the impression that the vast sums of money needed to support his lifestyle could only have been obtained through embezzlement of government funds.

These acts sealed his doom. Fouquet was charged with embezzlement. The Parlement found him guilty Who Was The Wife Of Louis Xiv sentenced him to exile. However, Louis altered the sentence to life-imprisonment and abolished Fouquet's post. With Fouquet dismissed, Colbert reduced the national debt through more efficient taxation. The principal taxes included the aides and douanes both customs dutiesthe gabelle a tax on saltand the taille a tax on land.

The taille was reduced at first; financial officials were forced to keep regular accounts, auctioning certain taxes instead of selling them privately to a favored few, revising inventories and removing unauthorized exemptions for example, in only 10 per cent from the royal domain reached the King.

Who Was The Wife Of Louis Xiv

Reform proved difficult because the taille was levied by officers of the Crown who had purchased their post at a high price: Nevertheless, excellent results were achieved: