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Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting at the age of 4, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralization of power.

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Palace of Versailles

This was one of Louis XIV's greatest accomplishments.

Contributed by Juanita Harris

Louis XIV (the 14th) had firmly believed in divine right. This meant that he believed the only person fit to rule was the one who inherited the throne through bloodline. Over-confident, he had ruled over France, starting in 1661. 1) He strengthened the state by following the policies of Richelieu. He did this by expanding the bureaucracy and appointing intendents who were royal officials that collected taxes, recruited soldiers and carried out his policies in the provinces. 2) He had created the most strengthened army in Europe. This was done by having the state pay, feed, train and supply 300,000 soldiers. 3) His appointed finance minister, Jean Baptiste Colbert, created policies that made France the wealthiest state of Europe. This included clearing new lands for farming, encouraging mining and other basic industries, and building up luxury trades. Colbert had put high tariffs on imported goods to protect French manufacturers. He also encouraged overseas colonies.

Contributed by Christina A. Zito

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