Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV of France
aliases
le Roi Soleil, The Sun King
Louis XIV (5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715) was King of France and of Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days, and is the longest documented reign of any European monarch.

Louis began personally governing France after the death in 1661 of his prime minister (premier ministre), the Italian Cardinal Jules Mazarin. An adherent of the theory of the divine right of kings, which advocates the divine origin and lack of temporal restraint of monarchical rule, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling the noble elite to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority.

For much of Louis's reign, France stood as the leading European power, engaging in three…more

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