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King Louis XIV of France led an absolute monarchy during France’s classical age. He revoked the Edict of Nantes and is known for his aggressive foreign policy.
The Palace of Versailles (0:47)
Louis XIV - Mini Biography (3:12)
Louis XIV - Versailles (3:14)
Louis XIV - Marriage (3:42)
Louis XIV put many years and drained the treasury to build his grand palace at Versailles.
Louis XIV became king in 1643 and started reforming France in 1661. In 1667 he invaded the Spanish Netherlands and engaged in the Franco-Dutch War in 1672. By the 1680s, he was public shunned and died in France in 1715.
Learn about the history of Versailles and how it became the grand architectural feat it is today.
Learn about the many women in Louis XIV's life and the one he was forced to marry, Maria Theresa of Spain.
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The War of the Spanish Succession, from 1701 to 1714, further hastened Louis XIV's decline as a leader. In this conflict, Louis XIV appeared to many of his subjects to place his personal interests above his country's, as his goal was to defend the right of his grandson, Philip V,
to inherit the Spanish Empire. The long war was so costly for France that it prompted famine and placed the country deep in debt. The public went from hailing Louis XIV as a hero to blaming him for France's financial devastation.
On September 1, 1715, a few days before what would have been his 77th birthday, Louis XIV died of gangrene in Versailles, France. Following Louis XIV’s death, his 5-year-old great-grandson, Louis XV, who was the last male heir of the Duc de Bourgogne, inherited the throne.
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