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France Under Louis XIV
Transcript of France Under Louis XIV
From the 1560s to the 1590s, religious wars from the Catholic majority and French Protestants, called Huguenots, tore France apart. Leaders on both sides used the strife to further their ambitions.
The the worst incident began on St. Bartholomew's Day (a Catholic Holiday), August Bringing Peace To a Shattered Land In 1589 a Huguenot prince inherited the French throne as Henry IV.
Henry fought for four years against Catholic opposition to gain control of France. Finally, to end the conflict, he converted to Catholicism.
1598, Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes granting the Hugenots religious toleration and freedoms.
Henry IV set out to repair France. His goal was a Sunday dinner for every peasant. Bringing Peace to a Shattered Land Cont'd Under Henry, the government reached into every area of French life. Royal officials improved roads, bridges, and revived agriculture.
By building the royal bureaucracy and reducing the influence of nobles, Henry IV laid the foundations on which future French monarchs would build absolute power. Cardinal Richelieu Strengthens Royal Authority When Henry IV was killed by an assassin in 1610, his nine-year-old son, Louis XIII, inherited the throne.
Then in 1624, Louis appointed Cardinal Richelieu as his chief minister. The capable leader devoted the next 18 years to strengthen the central government. Richelieu sought to destroyed the power of the Huguenots and nobles, to groups that did not bow to royal authority. Richelieu allowed Huguenots to practice their religion, he smashed their walled cities and outlawed their armies. Likewise, he defeated private armies of nobles and destroyed their castles. Cardinal Richelieu Strengthens Royal Authority
Cont'd While reducing their independence, Richelieu tied the nobles to the king by giving them high posts at court or in the royal army. Rischelieu also chose his successor, Cardinal Mazarin.
When five-year-old Louis XIV inherited the throne in 1643, the year after Richelieu's death, Mazarin was in place to serve as chief minister.
Like Richeliey, Mazarin worked to extend royal power. An Absolute Monarch Rises Soon after Louis XIV became king, disorder again swept France. In an uprising called the Fronde, nobles, merchants, peasants, and the urban poor each rebelled in order to protest royal power to preserve their own.
On one occasion rioters drove the boy king from his palace. It was and experience Louis would never forget.
Mazarin died in 1661, 32 year-old Louis resolved to take complete control over the government himself. "I Am the State" Like his great-grandfather Philip II of Spain, Louis XIV firmly believed in his divine right to rule. Louis XIV Strengthens Royal Power Louis spent many hours each day attending government affairs. To strengthen the state, he followed the policies of Richelieu.
He expanded the bureaucracy and appointed intendants, royal officials who collected taxes, recruited soldiers, and carried out his policies.
These and other government jobs often went to wealthy middle-class men. In this way Louis cemented his ties with the middle-class, thus checking the power of the nobles and the Church.
He also expanded the French army in to the strongest in Europe. The state paid, fed, and supplied up to 30,000 troops. Louis used this highly disciplined army to enforce his polices at home and abroad. During his reign Louis did not once call a meeting of Estates General, the medieval council made up of representatives of all French social classes. The Estates General did not meet between 1614 and 1789, thus the Estates General played no role in checking royal power. Colbert Builds France's Finances Louis' brilliant finance minister, Jean Baptiste Colbert, ( no relation to Stephen Colbert) used mercantilistic policies to bolster the economy. He had lands cleared for farming, encouraged minning and other basic industries. Colbert put high tariffs on imported goods, regulated trade with the colonies to enrich the royal treasury. Colbert's policies helped make France the wealthiest state in Europe.
Even Colbert's genius could no produce enough income to support the huge cots of Louis' court and his many foreign wars. France Under Louis XIV Patronizing the Arts Versailles: Symbol of Royal Power The age of Louis XIV came to be known as the classical age of French drama. In the countryside near Paris, Louis XIV turned a hunting lodge into a royal palace called Versailles.
It had wonderful paintings, statues, chandeliers, and mirrors, a royal garden, millions of flowers, trees and fountains.
It was a sign of the king's wealth and power and double as his home and as a seat of government.
Louis conducted elaborate ceremonies everyday. each day began in his bedroom with a ritual know as the levée, or rising.
By luring nobles to Versailles, Louis turned them into courtiers angling for privileges rather than for power. this tactic worked because these nobles were free of taxes. French styles became the model for all of Europe. A new form of dance drama, ballet, gained its first popularity at the French court. As a leading patron of culture, Louis sponsored the French Academies, which set high standards for both the arts and science. Louis XIV ruled France for 72 years,far longer than any other monarch. At the end of Louis's reign.
France was the strongest state in Europe. However some of Louis' decisions eventually caused France's prosperity to erode. Waging Costly Wars A Stong State Declines Louis XIV poured vast resources into wars menat to expand French borders. However rival rulers joined forces to check these ambitions. Led by the Dutch or the English these alliances fought to maintain the balance of power. The goal was to maintain a distribution of military and economic power among European nations to prevent any one country from dominating the region.
In 1700, Louis's grandson Philip V inherited the throne of Spain. To maintain the balance of power, neighboring nations led by England fought to prevent the union of France and Spain. The war of the Spanish Succession dragged on until 1713, when an exhausted France signed the Treaty of Utrecht. Philip remained on the Spanish throne, but France agreed never to unite the two crowns. Persecuting Huguenots Louis saw France's Protestant minority as a threat to religious and political unity
In 1685, he revoked the Edict of Nantes. More than 100,000 Huguenots fled France, settling in England, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and the Americas.
The loss of the Huguenots was a large blow to the French economy, because they were some of the hardest working and prosperous of Louis's subjects. Questions