Louis XIV of France

This mind map outlines the life of the Sun King Louis XIV from his birth, early and personal life, his control over France, such as his foreign policy and religion.

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Louis XIV of France por Mind Map: Louis XIV of France

1. The Sun King Louis XIV portrayed in 1661

1.1. Born on September 5, 1638

1.2. Father

1.2.1. King Louis XIII of France (1601-1643)

1.3. Mother

1.3.1. Habsburg queen, Anne of Austria (1601-1666)

1.4. Christened Louis-Dieudonné meaning 'gift of God'

2. Early and Personal Life

2.1. On May 14, 1643, 4-year-old Louis inherited the crown of a fractured, unstable and nearly insolvent France

2.1.1. Anne served as sole regent for her son, assisted by her chief minister and close confidant, the Italian-born Cardinal Jules Mazarin (1602-1661)

2.2. Anne and Mazarin introduced policies that further consolidated the monarchy’s power

2.2.1. In 1648, their discontent erupted into a civil war known as the Fronde

2.2.1.1. Forced the royal family to flee Paris and instilled a lifelong fear of rebellion in the young king

2.3. Mazarin suppressed the revolt in 1653 and by decade’s end had restored internal order and negotiated a peace treaty with Hapsburg Spain

2.3.1. France was a leading European power

2.4. In 1660 the 22-year-old Louis married his first cousin Marie-Thérèse of Austria (1638-1683), daughter of King Philip IV of Spain

2.4.1. A diplomatic necessity

2.4.1.1. The union produced six children, of whom only one, Louis (1661-1711), survived to adulthood

2.5. Louis also had a number of public affairs.

2.5.1. His first serious mistress was Marie Mancini between 1657 to 1660. She was the niece of Mazarin.

2.5.2. Between 1661 to 1667 his mistress was Louise de la Valliere with whom he had four children.

2.5.3. Louis XIV’s third major mistress was Athenais de Montespan with whom he had seven children.

3. Louis XIV Assumes Control of France

3.1. Mazarin died in 1661

3.1.1. Louis XIV broke with tradition and astonished his court by declaring that he would rule without a chief minister

3.1.1.1. He viewed himself as the direct representative of God

3.1.1.1.1. The absolute power of the monarchy

3.1.1.1.2. To illustrate his status, he chose the sun as his emblem and cultivated the image of an omniscient and infallible “Roi-Soleil” (“Sun King”) around whom the entire realm orbited

3.1.1.2. Louis is often remembered for the bold and infamous statement “L’État, c’est moi” (“I am the State”)

3.2. His finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), implemented reforms that sharply reduced the deficit and fostered the growth of industry

3.2.1. His war minister, the Marquis de Louvois (1641-1691), expanded and reorganized the French army

4. The Arts and the Royal Court Under Louis XIV

4.1. Louis XIV appreciated art, literature, music, theater and sports.

4.1.1. He appointed himself patron of the Académie Française, the body that regulates the French language, and established various institutes for the arts and sciences.

4.1.2. Louis built several lavish châteaux that depleted the nation’s coffers while drawing accusations of extravagance.

4.2. He transformed a royal hunting lodge in Versailles, a village 25 miles southwest of the capital, into one of the largest palaces in the world, officially moving his court and government there in 1682.

4.2.1. Versailles’ festive atmosphere dissipated to some extent when Louis came under the influence of the pious and orderly Marquise de Maintenon (1635-1719)

4.2.2. All the power of the government was brought to bear in the construction of Versailles.

4.2.3. In 1682 the seat of government was transferred to Versailles.

4.3. In 1683 Queen Marie-Thérèse died

4.3.1. The king secretly married Mme de Maintenon, who imperceptibly gained in political influence.

5. Louis XIV and Foreign Policy

5.1. In 1667 Louis XIV launched the War of Devolution (1667-1668)

5.1.1. Invading the Spanish Netherlands

5.1.1.1. Under pressure from the English, Swedish and especially the Dutch, France retreated and returned the region to Spain, gaining only some frontier towns in Flanders.

5.2. Franco-Dutch War (1672-1678)

5.2.1. France acquired more territory in Flanders as well as the Franche-Compté

5.2.1.1. At the height of his powers and influence, Louis established “chambers of reunion” to annex disputed cities and towns along France’s border through quasi-legal means.

5.3. In the late 1680s, responding to yet another spate of expansionist campaigns by Louis’ armies, England, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and several smaller countries formed a coalition known as the Grand Alliance.

5.3.1. The ensuing war, fought on both hemispheres, lasted from 1688 to 1697

5.3.1.1. France emerged with most of its territory intact but its resources severely strained

5.4. More disastrous for Louis XIV was the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714)

5.4.1. The aging king defended his grandson Philip V’s inheritance of Spain and its empire

5.4.1.1. The long conflict plunged a famine-ridden France into massive debt, turning public opinion against the crown.

6. Louis XIV and Religion

6.1. In 1685, the devoutly Catholic king revoked the Edict of Nantes

6.1.1. Issued by his grandfather Henry IV in 1598, which had granted freedom of worship and other rights to French Protestants (known as Huguenots)

6.2. With the Edict of Fontainebleau, Louis ordered the destruction of Protestant churches, the closure of Protestant schools and the expulsion of Protestant clergy.

6.2.1. Protestants would be barred from assembling and their marriages would be deemed invalid.

6.2.2. Baptism and education in the Catholic faith would be required of all children.

6.2.3. Roughly 1 million Huguenots lived in France at the time, and many were artisans or other types of skilled workers.

6.2.3.1. Emigration of Protestants was explicitly forbidden by the Edict of Fontainebleau

6.2.3.1.1. 200,000 to 800,000 fled in the decades that followed, settling in England, Switzerland, Germany and the American colonies

6.3. Louis XIV’s act of religious zeal (advised, some have suggested, by the Marquise de Maintenon) had cost the country a valuable segment of its labor force while drawing the ire of its Protestant neighbors.

7. Death of Louis XIV

7.1. On September 1, 1715, four days before his 77th birthday, Louis XIV died of gangrene at Versailles.

7.1.1. His reign had lasted 72 years

7.1.1.1. Longer than that of any other known European monarch

7.1.1.2. Left an indelible mark on the culture, history and destiny of France

7.1.2. Shortly after the Peace of Utrecht which ended the War of the Spanish Succession

7.2. His 5-year-old great-grandson succeeded him as Louis XV.

7.2.1. All of his intermediate heirs had died before him.