Louis XIV, The Sun King

RonPaulCurriculum History Essay Week 28

Louis XIV was the king of France during the 17th century, ruled for the longest ever of 72 years, and made France the dominant power in the world for a time.

He was born in September 1638, and became king at 4 yrs old, when his father died, he was too young to rule over the kingdom so his mother took his place till he was old enough to rule. He was neglected when he was young, even almost drowned once when left unattended. His mother did not really get involved with his life, but did instill him a fear of committing crime against god which would last his whole life.

During a revolt in France, Louis and his mother were actually captured in one of the royal palaces. Early in his reign he faced hardships, which made him a strong king.

After Richelieu’s death, Cardinal Mazarin became a chief minister, but after Mazarin’s death no minister was appointed, instead King Louis declared himself chief minister, so he would control his own government for the rest of his reign.

He was very found of literature and arts, and built many academy of painting, sculpting, music, science and architecture. An old hunting lodge from Louis XIII was rebuilt to the magnificent Palace of Versailles.

Though his early years were prosperous, he had several battles during the end of his life. The Huguenots were protected by the Edict of Nantes, but Louis revoked this and persecuted the Protestant Christians. Many gave up fighting the king, and left France and settled in England of Switzerland.

He had an argument with the pope, a bad winter in the country, and near financial collapse, all this helped to weaken the country and his power during the end of his reign. He died in 1715, 4 day before his 77th birthday, and suffered from gangrene. He was succeeded by his great-grandson, Louis XV.


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