Portrait of Louis XV (1710-1774), King of France (1715-1774), Regency (1715-1723)
Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who ruled as King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. Until he reached maturity in 1723, his kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as Regent of France. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until the Cardinal's death in 1743, at which time the young king took sole control of the kingdom. His reign of more than 58 years was the second-longest in the history of France, exceeded only by his predecessor and great-grandfather, Louis XIV. In 1748, Louis returned the Austrian Netherlands, territory won at the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745. He ceded New France in North America to Spain and Great Britain at the conclusion of the disastrous Seven Years' War in 1763. He incorporated the territories of the Duchy of Lorraine and the Corsican Republic into the Kingdom of France.
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