Louis XIV

Louis XIV (1638-1715) was five when he became king of France in 1643. He began his personal rule in 1661 after the death of Mazarin, his chief minister, and made the sun his emblem. Marked by the Fronde (1648-1653), he strengthened the monarchy which he brought to its peak as the absolute monarchy of divine right. Under his reign, the administration is centralized, the economic activity is encouraged and the unity of France is achieved by conquests (Flanders, Franche-Comté). The end of his rule is gloomier with the finances’ weakening and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685). However, Versailles becomes the symbol of the French arts’ influence.