Louis' drawings
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Edicts of Beaulieu, Poitiers and Nantes (defining Huguenot rights).


Confirmation of Edict of Nantes after death of Henri IV.


French indirect involvement in the Thirty Years War (1618-48).


Grace of Alais (limiting Edict of Nantes) to lessen danger of Huguenots being a state within the state.


French declaration of war against Spain (war lasted till 1659).


French declaration of war against Austrian Habsburgs (war lasted till 1648).


5 September. Birth of Louis, later Louis XIV, son of Louis XIII and his wife Anne (Ana) of Austria.


Birth of Louis' brother Philippe.


14 May. Death of Louis XIII, accession of Louis XIV, regency of his mother - having set aside the will of Louis XIII -with Mazarin as ,first minister'.


Peace of Westphalia (or of Münster where France had presided, while Sweden had presided at Osnabrück) between France and the Austrian Habsburgs France obtains sovereignty over bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdun and gains the City of Breisach and the Landgravates of Upper and Lower Alsace.


Civil war in France, the Fronde (or Frondes, distinguishing between the parliamentary Fronde, or Fronde of the judges, and the Fronde of the high nobility) directed against the power of the crown and the influence of Mazarin and his nominees.


Louis XIV declared of age.


Louis XIV crowned and consecrated at Rheims.
Louis XIV takes part in war against Spain on northern, north-eastern and eastern frontiers of France.


Louis XIV's journeys to southern and south-western of France.


Peace of the Pyrenees between France and Spain:
France has Roussillon and Cerdagne (ceded in 1493) returned and gains land in the Spanish Netherlands. From Spain's ally Lorraine France obtains the duchy of Bar and military routes across the duchy to keep Communications open with bishoprics ceded in 1648 and with Alsace.


9 June. Marriage of Louis XIV with Maria Teresa, infanta of Spain; she renounces her right to the Spanish throne against a promised dowry (which was never paid).


France returns the duchy of Bar to the duke of Lorraine, the duke in his turn accepts the military routes and French fortifications along them.
The Assembly of the Clergy condemns Jansenism.
9 March. Death of Mazarin; henceforth Louis governs (on Mazarin's advice) without a first minister; cabinet and conseil government develops and the civil service is increasingly bureaucratised.
July. Louise de La Vallière becomes Louis' mistress.
September. Arrest of Fouquet; his trial 1662-3, imprisoned for life at Louis' insistence in 1664.
1 November. Birth of Louis, dauphin of France. Between 1662 and 1672 five more children (two sons, three daughters) are born of Louis' marriage to Maria Teresa, none of whom survived infancy or early childhood.
Birth of Louis' first illegitimate child; between 1662 and 1678 ten acknowledged illegitimate children are born to him; those who survive early childhood are legitimised.
Beginning of military reforms; these continue throughout reign with improvement in discipline and Organisation, abolition of venality, introduction of new weapons, and fortresses built on new principles.
Tax gathering by tax-fanners introduced experiment ally; contracts bought back the next year hut System re-established in 1680.
Work begins to expand the gardens and the palace at Versailles; intensified 1668, completed 1695.


Charles II sells Dunkirk (which Cromwell had won from Spain with French help) to Louis XIV for five million francs.
Institution of hospital services throughout France. Boulonnais peasant revolt.


Sorbonne's declaration against papal infallibility confirmed by Louis and the Paris Parlement
Intendants take over administration of indirect taxation.
French colonists in New France (Canada) reach 25,000 in number.


French academies founded or recognised: 1663, Inscriptions and Medals, and Paintings and Sculpture; 1666, Science, and Academy of Rome; 1669, Music, Dancing; 1671, French Royal Academy; Architecture, and Botanical Garden.


French trading companies founded and commercial treaties to promote trade signed. Companies: 1664, French West India Company and East India Company; 1665, French North Africa Company; 1669, French Company of the North; 1670, French Levant Company; 1673, French Senegal Company; 1682, French Hudson Bay Company; 1698, French China Company; 1701, French Guinea Company. Treaties:
1662, with the Dutch Republic; 1663, with Denmark Norway and Sweden; 1671, with German Baltic free cities; 1683, with Morocco; 1684, with Algiers and Tunis; 1713, with all ex-enemies of the War of the Spanish Succession.


Grande enquête into the resources of France.
Port Royal closed to stop the spread of Jansenism.
French soldiers take part in the war against Turks in Hungary (victory of St Gotthard).
Silk manufactures begun at Lyons. Regulations for the ,free crafts' (i.e. the non-guild ones) in respect of hours of work, prices, holidays, etc.
Containment of Huguenots begins.
French protective tariff to promote own manufacturers.


Grandes fêtes at Versailles.
Colbert restores council of commerce.
Bull (Regiminis Apostilici) against Jansenists registered by Parlement.
French bombardment against pirates of Algiers and
Tunis preying on French commerce.


Council of justice founded to edit and formulate
French codes, ordinances; work completed by 1685:
1669, for water and forests; 1679, for criminal cases;
1671, for civil cases; 1673, for commercial matters;
1681, for maritime matters; 1685, for colonial matters (code noir)
Special tribunals sent to Clermont-Ferrand to deal with the nobility's harsh treatment of commoners (Grand Jours d'Auvergne); another to Forez next year.
French occupy western half of Santo Domingo.
Construction of the arsenal at Brest and the port of Rochefort.


French participation in Anglo-Dutch war on Dutch side. At Peace of Breda France obtains Acadia, hut cedes to England Antigua, Montserrat and St Kitts.


The Paris Parlement forbidden to discuss or vote on royal edicts before their registration.
Silk manufactures begun in Paris at the Château de Madrid.
Wool manufactures begun at Carcassonne.


Construction of the Languedoc canal (Canal des Deux Mers) connecting the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, completed in 1684.
The Gobelins factory established. Work begun on Louis' Mémoires.
Greation of post of leutenant-general of Paris (minister for Paris) with a great variety of responsibilities.
Francoise (Athenais de Montespan replaoes La Vallie're as Louis' mistress.
French protective tariffs directed against England and the Dutch Republic.
Workers' associations banned after revolts in Rheims and Lyons.
Reduction in number of printers, to facilitate censorship.


War of Devolution (of Queen's Rights) after negotiations with Spain over the unpaid dowry had failed; Flanders offensive (Louis present) successful and French gains made at Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in respect of the northern frontier (twelve fortified places); Franche-Comté (conquered 1668) restored to Spain.


French establishment in Surat (India).
Louis orders ,Church peace', forbidding public controversy between Jansenists, Gallicans and Ultramontanes.
Secret partition-treaty with Leopold 1 for the Spanish inheritance.
Creation of militia by Louis (by drawing of lots in parishes).
The maritime inscription of sailors between the ages of 20 and 60 to serve one year in three or four in navy.


Chamber of Commerce for Marseilles.
First general règlement for the textile industry. Colbert takes over tile administration of the navy.


Southward exploration and expansion from the Great Lakes into the Missouri valley by Marquette, Jollet and La Salle; westward expansion from New France by Jesuit missionaries from 1671.



Antifiscal revolt in the Vivarais.
French factory established at Magilipatam (India).
French preferential duties aimed at Dutch sugar refineries.
Dutch virtual boycott of French goods.


Town of Versailles started. Chapel begun, not completed till 1710.


Dutch war, beginning with French invasion of the territory of the Republic and developing into a general war. French gains: from Spain, Franche-Comté and western Espanola (renamed Haiti); from emperor and Empire, sovereignty over Metz, Toul and Verdun, and French interpretation of sovereignty in respect of Alsace, including the Décapole, all confirmed. French concession: restoration of less harsh tariff (that of 1664) for the Republic.


Controversy with papacy over régale begins.


French re-coinage.
French factory established at Pondichery (India).


Antifiscal revolts in Bordeaux and in many towns in the south and west.
Urban and rural antifiscal revolts in Brittany.


The 'poisoning scandal' (the diabolist affair) breaks in Paris; investigation from 1679.


Vauban put in charge of fortifications; barrière de fer begun in 1679.


Chair of French law established at the Sorbonne.
Palace at Marly started.
French persecution of the Jansenists.


Increasing persecution of the Huguenots.


The Mississippi valley to mouth of river explored by La Salle, Folliette, Marquette, Hennequin and the Iberville brothers; French Colony of Louisiana (named after Louis XIV) established in 1682.


Taxes farmed again (gabelle, aides, traites and royal domains).
City of Paris bestows title ,Le Grand' on Louis XIV.


Reunion policy to annex to France or to claim sovereign rights over dependencies which formerly belonged to the gains of 1648, 1659, 1668 and 1678/9.


Strassburg (which opened its bridge to Imperial troops in 1674 and 1677, permitting invasion of France) joins France under pressure (henceforth Strasbourg); local autonomy and religious freedom survive.
The duke of Mantua sells Casale to France.
French bombardment of Tripoli pirates.


Birth of Louis' first grandchild, a boy from the marriage of the dauphin in 1680 with the Bavarian princess Marie-Christine; in all three legitimate grandchildren were born alive or survived infancy; by his legitimised children Louis had nine grandchildren.
Louis moves his court and central administration to Versailles.
The four Gallican articles attack papal authority in France.


Death of Louis' wife Maria Teresa.
Reduction in taille benefits peasants.
Spain declares war on Louis to stern the French reunion policy in the Spanish Netherlands, and in the duchy of Luxembourg, where the fortress of the City of Luxembourg seems threatened; after the war has started the fortress is taken by the French.


Louis sends expeditions against Algiers, eventually an undertaking is given that French shipping will not be molested.


French bombardment of Genoa, Spain's ally, to deny Spain use of Genoese fleet.
Probable date (1682 and 1689 also possible ones) of Louis XIV's second (morganatle) marriage to Mme de Maintenon.
Truce of Ratisbon (Regensburg) for twenty years with Spain and the emperor; Louis is to keep his reunions and conquests (such as Luxembourg) for that period and hopes to make the settlement permanent at a later date.


French influence established in Siam.
16 October. Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
22 October. Edict of Fontainebleau permitting, liberty of conscience.
Water pumped from the Seine to Versailles.


Persecution of the Protestant Vaudois in Savoy en couraged by Louis XIV; Louis forbids Geneva to protect French refugees. School of St Cyr (Hôtel de St Cyr) founded by Louis XIV and Mme de Maintenon for the education of 250 girls, noble and commoners; by 1692 converted into a religious institution.
Madagascar annexed by France.


Revolts in Maine, Orléans and Touraine.
Conflict with the papacy over the franchise (quartiers), that is, right of asylum in embassies in Rome.


Dutch encourage revolt against French influence in Siam.
Journey of French explorer Grefillon through Mongolia.
French militia arrangements improved.
William III lands in England; his invasion leads to the flight of James II to France and the establishment of a Jacobite court at Saint-Germain.



Nine Years War (also called War of Orlêans because of Liselotte's claim to the Palatinate; or the War of the League of Augsburg, somewhat misleadingly, after the 1686 league since not all the signatories took part in the war. The aim of the league was to confine Louis to his 1659 boundaries by moral solidarity and diplomatic pressures.)
1689-1717 English embargoes and/or prohibitive duties on French goods (wine hit in particular).


Famine year in France.
Louis XIV ends the regale dispute with the papacy, setting aside the Gallican articles.
Saint-Simon arrives at court; begins notes for his memoirs, 1694.
Establishment of French factory in Senegal.


Vauban suggests capitation tax; it is enforced in 1695 according to class (twenty-two classes), not income; abolished in 1697, reinstated in 1701.


Fénelon's letter to Louis XIV.


Duke of Savoy signs separate peace with France (obtains Casale and Pignerol) and opens the way to a general peace; marriage arranged for the duc de Bourgogne, Louis' eldest grandson, to Mane-Adelaide of Savoy.


Peace of Ryswick: Louis XIV restores the reunions, but keeps Strasbourg, Longwy and Saar-Louis. Fenelon exiled from court.
Quietism is condemned by Pope Innocent XI.


Senegal conquest is completed.


Relaxation in persecution of Huguenots by Louis XIV.

1698 &

Partition treaties between Louis XIV, William III and the Dutch Republic to solve the Spanish succession problem: France stands to gain important areas both by first (Naples and Sicily) and second (Milan to be exchanged for Lorraine, Naples and Sicily) treaties.


Conseil de Commerce revived; inquiry into methods to encourage trade, great efforts in respect of overseas trade and exploration.
Louis' emissary Poncet travels overland from Cairo to Ethiopia.
Attempts to establish lieutenant-generals of police also in provincial towns.


2 October. Carlos II of Spain, on the advice of the pope, nominates Louis XIV's second grandson, Philip, duke of Anjou, his heir on the condition that no partition shall take place.
1 November. Death of Carlos II.
16 November. Louis XIV accepts the will of Carlos II.
Greater freedom of trade permitted to Dunkirk, Marseilles and Bordeaux.
France buys the unexpired portion of hbe asiento held by a Portuguese company.


March. Capitation reintroduced.
April-July. Unsuccessful negotiations at The Hague in which the Maritime Powers fail to obtain cessions of
Spanish land and commercial advantages from Louis XIV acting on behalf of Philip V of Spain.
Paper money introduced in France.
July. The emperor invades Italy.
September. France prohibits entry of English textiles.
Death of Louis' brother Philippe.


Jansenists struggle to the fore once more.
Revolt of the Protestant Camisards in the Cévennes, put down 1704 but flares up again in 1710.


War of the Spanish Succession in Europe; in America Queen Anne's War. The English conquered Acadia in 1711 and kept this at the peace, as also Newfoundland and Hudson Bay. In Europe Philip V had to cede the Spanish Netherlands, Naples, the Tuscan ports and Sardinia to Austria; Sicily to Savoy, and Gibraltar and Minorca to England; but only minor losses were suffered in Spanish America (to Portugal). The asiento trade in slaves was awarded to England for thirty years.


Unrest ('terror') in Casrais, Albigeois and Toulouse and Languedoc.
Introduction of the centime denier.


Birth of Louis XIV's first great-grandchild, a boy who died in 1705; another great-grandson who survived till 1712 was born in 1705; a third great-grandson (later Louis XV who became king in 1715) was born in 1710; there were also three great-grandsons from the marriage of Philip V to Mane-Louise of Savoy.


Papal bull (Vineam Domini) condemns Jansenism once more.


Riot at Cahors, another in 1709.


Circulation of paper money enforced.


Hard winter (bad harvests 1708 and 1709).


Freer French trade with both Indies.


The razing of the church and the convent at Port-Royal; 1711 destruction of the cemetery which had been worshipped as a shrine.
14 October. The dixième tax on all Frenchmen irrespective of privileges (the idea owed much to Vauban and Boisguilbert).


Capture by a French naval force of Rio de Janeiro (restored at peace).
14 April. Death of the grand dauphin.
Louis XIV extends the advantages held by the Dutch in respect of French tariffs since 1678 to Britain, Denmark-Norway and the free Baltic cities of the Empire.
Louis XIV withdraws his promise of freedom of worship in the principality of Orange.


Foundation of the Académie Politique to train foreign office officials and diplomats.
Death of Louis' eldest grandson (18 February), the grandson's wife (12 February) and their elder son (8 March).
Opening of official peace congress at Utrecht after separate negotiations with the English Tory government after 1710 had led to the peace preliminaries of October 1711 and to the Anglo-French separate armistice of 17 July 1712.
Free exchange re-established in France.


March-July. Peace treaties signed between France and her enemies, except the emperor and Empire.
September. Papal bull (Unigenitus) condemns Jansenism; Louis XIV orders Parlement to enforce the bull in February 1715.
November to March 1714. Peace negotiations between Louis XIV and the emperor. Treaty of Rastadt (6 March) whereby emperor gives up claim to Metz, Toul, Verdun and Alsace and lets France keep Landau.


4 May. Death of Louis' youngest grandson, the duke of Berry.
July. Louis makes it possible for his legitimised sons, the duke of Maine and the count of Toulouse, to succeed if the Orleans and Condé families should die out in the male line; both are declared princes of the blood. 2 August. Louis XIV's will, establishing a regency council of fourteen members, the president of which is to be his nephew, the duke of Orleans, on which his two legitimised sons shall have seat.
7 September. Peace treaty between France and the Empire (at Baden in Argau) confirms the Rastadt peace.


August. Louis XIV's illness and final arrangements for the governorship and education of his heir, his great-grandson Louis.
1 September. Death of Louis XIV.


© Elena Steingrad     2000 -

the image of Louis XIV in the menu is taken from PC-Game "Versailles II" created by Cryo Interactive Entertainment. See the description of that game under "Software" for more information.