Louis XIV (Louis-Dieudonn) (September 5, 1638 September 1, 1715) reigned as King of France and King of Navarre from May 14, 1643 until his death. He inherited the Crown at the age of four, but he did not actually assume personal control of the government until the death of his chief minister, Jules Cardinal Mazarin, in 1661. Louis XIV, known as The Sun King (French: Le Roi Soleil) and as Louis the Great (French: Louis le Grand), ruled France for seventy-two years a longer reign than any other French or other major European monarch. Louis attempted to increase the power of France in Europe, fighting four major wars: the War of Devolution, the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the Grand Alliance, and the War of the Spanish Succession. He worked successfully to create an absolutist and centralised state; historians and political scientists often cite him as an example of an enlightened despot. Louis XIV became the archetype of an absolute monarch. He is frequently claimed to have said "L'tat, c'est moi" ("I am the state"), though this is considered by historians to be a historical inaccuracy and is more likely to have been attributed to him by political opponents as a way to confirm a stereotypical view of the absolutism he represented. Quite contrary to that spurious quote, Louis XIV is actually reported by Saint-Simon to have said on his death bed: "Je m'en vais, mais l'tat demeurera toujours." ("I am going, but the State shall always remain")..
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