Louis XIV was born in the Palace of Versalles, France, the 15th September of 1638. His reign lasted 72 years and it’s one of the longest reigns in Europe. His parents were King Louis XIII and Anne of Austria. He is know as the Sun King. He was from the House of Bourbon. France was the leading European power and fought in three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. The War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions also occuried during his reign.
Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661 after the death of his prime minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. He agreed with the divine right of kings, and continued with the policy of his father (and many other kings that came before) of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling the noble elite to inhabit his Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy. He consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that lasted until the French Revolution.
"Up to this moment I have been pleased to entrust the government of my affairs to the late Cardinal. It is now time that I govern them myself. You [secretaries and ministers of state] will assist me with your counsels when I ask for them. I request and order you to seal no orders except by my command, . . . I order you not to sign anything, not even a passport . . . without my command; to render account to me personally each day and to favor no one." This showed his policy of absolutism. Louis words after his coronation:
<ul><li>Louis XV was born February 15th in 1710 and died May 10th in 1774. His father was Louis, Dauphin of France and his mother was Marie Adélaïde of Savoy. His reign lasted 58 years. He was from the House of Bourbon </li></ul><ul><li>At the age of three he was an orphan, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his great-grandfather Louis XIV, under the regency of Philippe II, duke d'Orléans. His marriage to Princess Marie Leszczynska of Poland in 1725 led to France's involvement in the War of the Polish Succession. In 1726, he chose André-Hercule de Fleury as his chief minister. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Louis XV proclaimed that he would henceforth rule without a chief minister. While his government degenerated into factions of scheming ministers and courtiers, Louis isolated himself at court and occupied himself with a succession of mistresses. Louis's mistresses, particularly the marchioness de Pompadour, held considerable political influence. Louis brought France into the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War , in which France lost. As the crown's moral and political authority declined, the Parlaments gained in power, preventing fiscal reform. </li></ul>
Louis XVI was born the 23 August 1754 and died 21 January 1793 and ruled as King of France from 1774 until 1792. His father was Louis XV and his mother was Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, He was from the House of Bourbon. He was suspended and arrested as part of the insurrection of 10 August during the French Revolution, and was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of high treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793 as "Citoyen Louis Capet" . He is the only king of France ever to be executed.
Louis XVI was beloved in the first part of his reign, however his indecisiveness and conservatism led to the people of France to view him as a symbol of the tyranny of the Ancien Régime and gave him the nickname Oncle Louis ("Uncle Louis"). After the abolition of the monarchy in 1792, the new republican government gave him the surname Capet, a nickname in reference to Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty. He married Marie Antoinette (an Austrian princess) on 16 May 1770 and had 4 children after several years of marriage; Marie-Therese-Charlotte, Louis-Charles-Xavier-Francois, Louis-Joseph and Sophie-Helene-Beatrix.
Louis was absolutist and had problems with the burguese in 1789. The Parliament met in 1789. It was formed by 3 States; the Nobles, The Clergy and The Commons. This convocation was one of the events that transformed the general economic and political of the country into the French Revolution, which began in June 1789, when the Third Estate (Commons) unilaterally declared itself the National Assembly. Louis's attempts to control it resulted in the Tennis Court Oath, on 20 June, and the declaration of the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July. The majority of the king's executive authority had been transferred to the elected representatives of the people's nation. The storming of the Bastille on 14 July served to reinforce and emphasize this radical change in the mind of the masses.