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King Louis XIV was born on September 5, 1638, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. He became king in 1643. As of 1661, he started reforming France. In 1667 he invaded the Spanish Netherlands. From 1672–1678 he engaged France in the Franco-Dutch War. In 1688, he led a war between France and the Grand Alliance. By the 1680s, Louis XIV generated public hostility. He died in Versailles, France, on September 1, 1715.
He became rightful ruler of the throne after his father died when he was just 4, but of course he was too young at the time so Chief Minister Cardinal Jules Mazarin, was responsible for tutoring him in history, politics and the arts.
In 1648, when Louis XIV was just 10 years old, the Parlement of Paris rebelled against his chief minister, Mazarin. In an attempt to overthrow the crown, they waged a civil war, called the Fronde against its supporters. Throughout the long war, Louis XIV suffered many hard times, including poverty and starvation. To Louis XIV’s relief, Mazarin finally achieved victory over the rebels in 1653. Mazarin died on March 9, 1661. The dramatic blow came on March 10. The king informed his astonished ministers that he was very read to assume all responsibility to rule the kingdom. This had not occurred since the reign of Henry IV. Louis XIV’s action was not in accordance with tradition; his view of a dictatorship by divine right was his own. In genuine faith, Louis viewed himself as God’s representative on earth and considered all disobedience and rebellion to be sinful.
In 1667 he invaded the Spanish Netherlands, which he regarded as his wife’s inheritance, which beginning a series of wars that lasted for a good part of his reign. Louis himself on his deathbed said, “I have loved war too much,” but his subjects, who often complained of his prudence and moderation, would not have understood had he not used force to strengthen the frontiers of France.
After a brilliant campaign, the king had to retreat (1668) in the face of English and especially Dutch pressure. He never forgave the Dutch and swore to destroy their Protestant mercantile republic. To this end he allied himself with his cousin Charles II of England and invaded the Netherlands in 1672. The long war that ensued ended in 1678, in the first treaty of Nijmegen with Louis triumphant.
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