Overview

Louis XIV

(1638—1715)


Related Overviews

Jules Mazarin (1602—1661) Italian-born French statesman

Fronde

War of the Spanish Succession

Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619—1683) French statesman

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'Louis XIV' can also refer to...

Abby E. Zanger. Scenes from the Marriage of Louis XIV: Nuptial Fictions and the Making of Absolutist Power. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1997. Pp. xv, 244. $45.00

Absolutism, Feudalism and Property Rights in the France of Louis XIV+

The Absolutism of Louis XIV as Social Collaboration*

American Pogrom: The East St. Louis Race Riot and Black Politics. By Charles L. Lumpkins. (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008. xiv, 312 pp. Cloth, $55.00, ISBN 978-0-8214-1802-4. Paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-8214-1803-1.)

Andrew Trout. City on the Seine: Paris in the Time of Richelieu and Louis XIV. New York: St. Martin's. 1996. Pp. x, 275. $39.95

The Bellicose Dove: Claude Brousson and Protestant Resistance to Louis XIV, 1647–1698

Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler. The Archaeologist Was a Spy: Sylvanus G. Morley and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 2003. Pp. xiv, 450. $32.50

Charles H. Harris, Louis R. Sadler. The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution: The Bloodiest Decade, 1910–1920. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. 2004. Pp. xiv, 673. $37.50

Charles L. Lumpkins. American Pogrom: The East St. Louis Race Riot and Black Politics. (Ohio University Press Series on Law, Society, and Politics in the Midwest.) Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. 2008. Pp. xiv, 312. Cloth $55.00, paper $24.95

Charles-Édouard Levillain. Vaincre Louis XIV: Angleterre, Hollande, France; Histoire d'une relation triangulaire 1665–1688. (Époques.) Seyssel: Champ Vallon. 2010. Pp. 451. €28.00

Church and State from Henri IV to Louis XIV

Civilians, the French Army and Military Justice during the Reign of Louis XIV, circa 1640–1715

Coercion, Conversion and Counterinsurgency in Louis XIV's France

Colin Gordon. Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City. (Politics and Culture in Modern America.) Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2008. Pp. xiv, 284. $55.00

Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis. Ed. by Andrew Hurley. (St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1997. xiv, 319 pp. Cloth, $29.95, ISBN 1-883982-15-4. Paper, 19.95, ISBN 1-883982-16-2.)

Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis. Edited by Andrew Hurley. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, for the Missouri Historical Society Press, 1997. xiv + 320 pp. Illustrations, photographs, maps, notes, index. Cloth $29, 95, paper $19.95

The Crisis of Spending and Appropriations in Louis XIV's Personal Rule

Crown, Church and Episcopate under Louis XIV

Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos. By Louis A. Pérez Jr. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. xiv, 333 pp. $34.95, ISBN 978-0-8078-3216-5.)

Cultivated Power: Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIV

Daniella Kostroun. Feminism, Absolutism, and Jansenism: Louis XIV and the Port-Royal Nuns.

Darryl Dee. Expansion and Crisis in Louis XIV's France: Franche-Comté and Absolute Monarchy, 1674–1715. (Changing Perspectives on Early Modern Europe, number 13.) Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press. 2009. Pp. xi, 245. $80.00

The Devil in the Holy Water, or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon

The Dynastic State and the Army under Louis XIV: Royal Service and Private Interest, 1661–1701

Elizabeth Hyde. Cultivated Power: Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIV. (Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture.) Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2005. Pp. xxiii, 330. $49.95

[Epigram on Louis XIV]

[Epigram on Louis XIV]

[Epigram on Louis XIV]

[Epigram on Louis XIV]

Epistolary Ceremonial: Corresponding Status at the Time of Louis XIV*

 

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Quick Reference

(1638–1715)

King of France (1643–1715). On his father's death in 1643, his mother Anne of Austria became regent and Mazarin chief minister. Louis survived the Fronde, was proclaimed of age in 1651, and married the Infanta Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660. He took over the government on Mazarin's death in 1661 and embarked on a long period of personal rule.

Domestic policy was aimed at creating and maintaining a system of absolute rule: the king ruled unhampered by challenges from representative institutions but with the aid of ministers and councils subject to his will. The States‐General was not summoned, the Parlement largely ignored, the great nobles were generally excluded from political office, and loyal bourgeois office‐holders were promoted. Jean‐Baptiste Colbert expanded the merchant marine and the navy, and encouraged manufacturing industries and trade, though he largely failed in his attempts to improve the tax system. In the provinces the intendants established much firmer royal control. The French army became larger and more efficient; in his later years Louis was able to put between 300,000 and 400,000 men into the field. The greatest victories came in the earlier years, when the generals Turenne and Condé were available to take command. Victories were won in the War of Devolution and the Dutch War, with the French frontiers strengthened by a series of strategic territorial gains, reinforced by the fortifications of Vauban. The Nine Years War and the War of the Spanish Succession saw France hard‐pressed as Europe united to curb Louis's aggressive policies; after 1700 France suffered a series of crushing defeats. The country was seriously impoverished by the burden of taxation.

Religious orthodoxy was strictly imposed, particularly after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and the forced conversion of the Huguenots, at least 200,000 of whom illegally fled the country. Within the Catholic church Jansenists, Quietists, and other deviants were also persecuted. On the positive side, the achievements of the reign in literature and the arts based on the court at Versailles have given it the name Le Grand Siècle. There was, however, a marked decline in these fields during the later part of the reign, and at his death Louis XIV left a series of political, economic, and religious problems of his great‐grandson, Louis XV.

Subjects: world history.


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