The Absolute Monarch Louis XIV of France
France's Louis XIV was born in 1638. He was the son of King Louis XIII and Queen Anne. When King Louis XIII died in 1643, Louis XIV became king at just four years old. The young toddler’s mother and regent, or head minister, ruled unsuccessfully until he was old enough to rule himself.
Louis XIV ruled the country of France from 1643 to 1715 - a staggering 72 years, much longer than any monarch in Europe at the time. He gave himself the nickname of the “Sun King” because he believed he was like the sun to France. He believed he was chosen by God to rule and that everything revolved around him. He made the sun his royal symbol.
During his reign, Louis XIV worked to expand France’s territory. He did this through a series of wars with neighboring countries. In his 72 years of rule, he went to war with the Dutch, England, and Spain. Because of these wars, King XIV claimed land in central Europe for France.
Other than going to war, Louis XIV would annex, or “absorb” towns that border France, slowly increasing the size of the country. These wars and annexations helped France become the most dominant country on the mainland of Europe.