Louis XIV (Louis-Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi Soleil), was King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest of any sovereign in history whose date is verifiable.[lower-alpha 1] Although Louis XIV's France was emblematic of the Age of Absolutism in Europe, the King surrounded himself with a variety of significant political, military, and cultural figures, such as Bossuet, Colbert, Le Brun, Le Nôtre, Lully, Mazarin, Molière, Racine, Turenne, and Vauban.
|King of France|
|Reign||14 May 1643 – 1 September 1715|
|Coronation||7 June 1654|
|Regent||Anne of Austria (1643–1651)|
|Born||5 September 1638|
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
|Died||1 September 1715 76) (aged|
Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France
|Burial||9 September 1715|
(m. 1660; died 1683)
|Mother||Anne of Austria|
|Religion||Catholicism (Gallican Rite)|
Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France; by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, he succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde during his minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchy in France that endured until the French Revolution. Louis also enforced uniformity of religion under the Gallican Catholic Church. His revocation of the Edict of Nantes abolished the rights of the Huguenot Protestant minority and subjected them to a wave of dragonnades, effectively forcing Huguenots to emigrate or convert, as well as virtually destroying the French Protestant community.
During Louis's long reign, France emerged as the leading European power and regularly asserted its military strength. A conflict with Spain marked his entire childhood, while during his personal rule, the kingdom took part in three major continental conflicts, each against powerful foreign alliances: the Franco-Dutch War, the Nine Years' War, and the War of the Spanish Succession. In addition, France also contested shorter wars, such as the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined Louis's foreign policy and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled by "a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique", he sensed that war 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. Upon his death in 1715, Louis XIV left his great-grandson and successor, Louis XV, a powerful kingdom, albeit in major debt after the War of the Spanish Succession that had raged on since 1701.
Significant achievements during his reign which would go on to have a wide influence on the early modern period well into the Industrial Revolution and until today, include the construction of the Canal du Midi, the patronage of artists, and the founding of the French Academy of Sciences.