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Life And Times Of Louis Xiv

3475 words - 14 pages

The life and times of Louis XIVLouis XIV ruled France from 1651 until his death in 1715 (Bernier, Foreward). Louis XIV was on one the most well-known monarchs in France and in Europe. "When twentieth-century men speak of a king, the image that usually comes to mind is Charlemange or Louis XIV; no other rulers so completely dominated their lands both in their own times and in the memory of posterity." (Wolf, ix). He is portrayed in The Man in the Iron Mask as a selfish and dishonest king who will do anything to get what he wants. He was the total anangoist of the musketeer saying, "All for one and one for all." Louis learned to cover his feelings and intentions behind an austere presence, and ...view middle of the document...

Louis XIV knew his father, Louis XIII, for a small period. "Only a short time had they known each other, and even then there was no warmth in their relationship. The boy feared the gloomy man who, so very rarely, found a few minutes to peek into the nursery." (Aspler 22). In a letter Louis XIII once bitterly complained to Cardinal Richelieu: "I am very dissatisfied with my little son. As soon as he sees me, he cries as if he has seen the devil. He always runs after his mother. He must be removed from the queen as soon as possible..." (Aspler 22). Louis XIV's mother, Anne of Austria, has a major role in Louis's life since his father died a young age. Anne of Austria, daughter of the King of Spain, Philip III, had married Louis XIII in 1615. (Panicucci 4). Her role as queen was just to produce an heir. ""I am the king's wife," she told herself thousands of times," and my first duty is to produce an heir to the throne. Soon they will send me back to Spain in disgrace, and the whole world will sneer." (Aspler 15). She was left to mold Louis into the royal king he was to become. Before Louis XIII's death he had another son. Two years after Louis's birth, his brother Philip came into the world. (Wolf 3). Philip was brought up to defer to his brother all things; he was dressed as a girl much of the time until he was well past adolescence, and he continued occasionally to dress in women's clothing as an adult. His latest biographer insists that Anne's rearing of this boy was probably responsible for his homosexual tenancies." (Wolf 3-4). The treatment of being second rate to Louis given to Philip as a child and an adult left his life meaningless and miserable. For this Louis took advantage of Philip to assume total control of the family. Along with being raised by his mother, Anne of Austria, Louis XIV was trained by Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the prime minister, to fulfill the role of king. Jules Marazin had been a confidential assistant to Richelieu. As the old statesman neared his end, he still wielded enough influence to have Marazin installed as successor. (Aspler 25). Marazin was also the lover of Anne of Austria. When Louis became the king at the age of five, Mazarin took the opportunity to rule France in his name. He was very unpopular. The peasants hated him because they were bitterly burdened by the taxes with which he waged war. The merchants him because he did not agree with them about the virtues of feudalism. The parlements hated him because he set himself and the King above the law. (Durant 5). These corrupt values were installed by Mazarin into Louis. The mistreatment of the French people lead to two Frondes (Civil War). The Parlement of Paris launched the first Fronde (1648-49, seeking to duplicate the movement that in England had just raised Parliament above the king as the source and judge of law. (Durant 5). After this attempt failed, a second Fronde was attempted in January 18, 1650. The Fronde was not broken until 1652, when...

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