85 Facts About Louis XV


Louis XV succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five.


In 1748, Louis returned the Austrian Netherlands, won at the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745.


Louis XV ceded New France in North America to Great Britain and Spain at the conclusion of the disastrous Seven Years' War in 1763.


Louis XV incorporated the territories of the Duchy of Lorraine and the Corsican Republic into the Kingdom of France.


Louis XV was the great-grandson of Louis XIV and the third son of the Duke of Burgundy, and his wife Marie Adelaide of Savoy, who was the eldest daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy.


However Louis XV XIV had distrusted Philippe, who was a renowned soldier but was regarded by the late King as an atheist and libertine.


Louis XV XIV had desired for France to be ruled by his favorite but illegitimate son, the Duke of Maine, who was in the council and who, because of a dramatic change in the laws of succession instituted by Louis XV XIV, and, as his oldest surviving male descendant, could now legally become king if the legitimate direct line of succession became extinguished.

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Philippe, nephew of Louis XV XIV, was named president of this Council, but other members included the Duke of Maine and at least seven of his well-known allies.


Louis XV's guests included the Russian Tsar Peter the Great in 1717; at their first meeting and contrary to ordinary protocol between such great rulers, the two-meter-tall Tsar greeted Louis by picking him up under the arms and giving him a kiss.


Louis XV learned the skills of horseback riding and hunting, which became great passions.


The shy Louis XV was terrified of these performances, and never danced in another ballet.


Louis XV persuaded wealthy Parisians to invest in the Mississippi Company, a scheme for the colonization of the French territory of Louisiana.


Louis XV was said to have fallen in love with Marie instantly, and consummated his marriage to her seven times on their wedding night.


Louis XV's second son, the Duke of Anjou, was born in 1730 and died in 1733.


Louis XV was a musician, read extensively, and played social games with her courtiers.


One of the first serious conflicts that disturbed the early reign of Louis XV was a battle within the Catholic Church over a Papal Bull called Unigenitus.


Louis XV forbade the king to discuss politics with the Queen.


Louis XV downplayed the importance of the French Navy, which would prove be a fatal mistake in future conflicts.


Louis XV first won assurances from Britain and Holland that they would not interfere in the war, while lining up alliances with Spain and Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia in exchange for pieces of the Habsburg monarchy.


Louis XV left Versailles to lead his armies in the Netherlands in person, and French field command was given to the German-born Marechal Maurice de Saxe, a highly competent general.


In 1746 French forces besieged and occupied Brussels, which Louis XV entered in triumph.


Louis XV was eager for a quick settlement, because the naval war with Britain was extremely costly to French maritime trade.


The proposition of Louis XV was surprisingly generous; in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Louis XV offered to return all of the territories he had conquered in the Netherlands to the Austrians, Maastricht to the Dutch, Nice and Savoy to the Sardinians, and Madras in India to the English.


Louis XV's basis was religious; he had been taught by Fleury that the Seventh Commandment forbade taking the property of others by fraud or violence.


Louis XV had been very much in love with the Queen, and they were inseparable in the early years of his reign, but as his family grew, and the Queen was constantly pregnant or exhausted by her maternities, he began to look elsewhere.

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Louis XV first became attached to one of the ladies of the Queen's court, Louise Julie de Mailly, who was the same age as he and from an ancient noble family.


Louis XV was the illegitimate daughter of a Paris fermier-general, and was married to a banker, Charles Guillaume Lenormant d'Etoiles.


Louis XV was noticed by the King following one of his hunts, and formally met him at a costume ball celebrating carnival in 1745.


Louis XV's opinions led to the downfall of some very competent ministers, including Machault d'Aurnouville and the Marquis d'Argenson, and to the promotion of a number of incompetent military commanders.


Louis XV was promoted to Duchess in 1752, and Dame of the Queen's Palace in 1756, and was an important patron of music and the arts, as well as religious establishments.


Louis XV remained close to the King until her death in 1764.


Louis XV was devastated, and remained in seclusion for several weeks after she died.


Louis XV proposed a secret alliance between Austria and France, to meet the threats of the growing power of Prussia, which was still formally an ally of France, and Britain.


Louis XV summoned his doctor and a priest, and then fainted.


Louis XV was saved from greater harm by the thickness of the winter clothing he was wearing.


Louis XV was an advocate of the continuation of the absolute monarchy in the style of Louis XIV.


Louis XV was responsible for creating the first school for engineers in France at Mezieres ; thanks to the trained engineers, France had the finest system of roads and bridges in Europe.


Louis XV established the military academy, the Ecole Militaire, and, following the model of the Prussians, established military training camps and exercises, and helped rebuild French military power.


Louis XV was the creator of the unpopular "Vingtieme" tax, which taxed all citizens, including the nobility, at the same rate, and freed the prices of grain, which initially greatly increased agricultural production.


Louis XV launched a major shipbuilding program to construct eighty vessels and forty-five new frigates, which would allow the French fleet, combined with the allied Spanish fleet, to outnumber the Royal Navy.


In 1764, at the urging of the Parlement, Madame de Pompadour and his foreign minister, the Duc de Chosieul, Louis XV decided upon the Suppression of Jesuit Order in France.


Louis XV persuaded the Parlements and the chambers of commerce of the major French cities to sponsor the construction of warships, and rebuilt the French Navy.


Louis XV travelled with the King to the Palace of Fontainebleau.


Louis XV was the illegitimate daughter of Anne Becu, a seamstress.


Louis XV was raised by the Dames de Sacre-Coeur, and had various jobs as a shop assistant and designer of dresses before she became the mistress of Jean du Barry, the brother of a count.

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Louis XV began to hold a salon, which attracted writers and aristocrats.


Louis XV invited her to Fontainebleau, and then asked her to live in the Palace of Versailles.


Louis XV described the Comtesse as "the most stupid and impertinent creature imaginable".


Louis XV was the target of dozens of scandalous pamphlets accusing her of every possible immoral act.


The Republic of Genoa did not have the military forces to conquer the island, and permitted Louis XV to send French troops to occupy the ports and major cities, to keep the island from falling into British hands.


Louis XV sent the army to subdue the Corsican rebels; the army on the island eventually numbered twenty-seven thousand soldiers.


Louis XV was a critic of government regulation, and coined the term "bureaucracy".


Louis XV provided the army with hundreds of new cannon, which would be used with great success decades later during the French Revolution and by Napoleon.


Louis XV was an efficient and relentless tax collector; he opened a school to train tax inspectors, and worked to see that taxes were imposed and collected with the same precision and vigor in all regions, without interference from the local nobility.


Louis XV reimposed the regulation of the price of grain, which had been freed in 1763 and 1764; these controls were an issue which would disturb the government and provoke agitation until the French Revolution.


Louis XV had a long meeting with Louis XV, who promised to support him.


The King continued his grand construction projects, including the opera theater of the Palace of Versailles, completed for the celebration of the wedding of the Dauphin and Marie Antoinette, and the new Place Louis XV in Paris, whose centerpiece was an equestrian statue of the King, modeled after that of Louis XIV on the Place Vendome.


Louis XV participated in the hunt the next day, but rode in his carriage instead of on horseback.


Louis XV was bled three times by the surgeons, without effect.


Louis XV was gentle, an excellent father, and the most honest individual in the world.


Louis XV always saw more correctly than others, but he always believed he was wrong.


Louis XV had the greatest bravery, but a bravery that was too modest.


Louis XV never dared to decide for himself, but always, out of modesty, turned for advice to others, even when he saw more accurately than they did.


Louis XIV had been too proud, but Louis XV was not proud enough.


The most famous remark attributed to Louis XV is Apres nous, le deluge.

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Louis XV was a major patron of architecture; he spent more money on buildings over the course of his reign than Louis XV XIV.


Louis XV began construction of the Church of Saint-Genevieve, now the Pantheon.


Louis XV constructed monumental squares and surrounding buildings in the centers of Nancy, Bordeaux, and Rennes.


Louis XV's workshops produced fine furniture, porcelain, tapestries and other goods in the Louis XV Style which were exported to all the capital cities of Europe.


The King himself, like his grandfather Louis XV XIV, was taught to dance ballet but danced only once in public, in 1725.


Louis XV, guided largely by Madame de Pompadour, was the most important art patron of the period.


Louis XV commissioned Francois Boucher to paint pastoral scenes for his apartments in Versailles, and gave him the title of First Painter of the King in 1765.


Louis XV went to Berlin, where he became a counselor to Frederick the Great, before living in Geneva and Savoy, far from Paris.


For much of his lifetime Louis XV was celebrated as a national hero.


Edme Bouchardon's equestrian statue of Louis XV was originally conceived to commemorate the monarch's victorious role in the War of the Austrian Succession.


French culture and influence were at their height in the first half of the eighteenth century, but most scholars agree that Louis XV's decisions damaged the power of France, weakened the treasury, discredited the absolute monarchy, and made it more vulnerable to distrust and destruction.


The view of many historians is that Louis XV was unequal to the high expectations of his subjects.


Louis XV did not keep up the practice of Mass and performing his religious obligations to the people.


Young Louis XV' failings were attributed to inexperience and manipulation by his handlers.


Ultimately, he wrote, Louis XV failed to overcome these fiscal problems, mainly because he was incapable of pulling together conflicting parties and interests in his entourage.


Olivier Bernier in his 1984 biography argued that Louis XV was both popular and a leader in reforming France.


Louis XV changed the tax code to try to balance the national budget.


Guy Chaussinand-Nogaret wrote that Louis XV's tarnished reputation was created fifteen years after his death, to justify the French Revolution, and that the nobility during his reign were competent.


Louis XV's reign was marked by ministerial instability, while his "prestige was ruined by military failure and colonial losses", concluded Jean-Denis Lepage.


Louis XV had several illegitimate children, although the exact number is unknown.

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