Absolutism France. Kings came to power in Europe due to the weakening influence of the Church.Henry IV became the ruler (monarch) of France in 1589.He converted from Protestant to Catholicism to bring peace and unity to France.To protect the Huguenots he issued the Edict of Nantes (Nants) which guaranteed freedom of worship and political rights to all..
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1. Absolutism France A political theory that absolute power should be vested in one or more rulers
This theory differs from our current political system in the US…Democracy
Democracy - a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. This makes up the republic.
3. Absolutism France Henry IV continued
During Henry’s reign he faced problems that had already existed, the most important issue being taxation.
Most of the upper class individuals living in Paris and religious nobility were exempt from paying taxes. Meanwhile the middle and lower class individuals were responsible for paying the majority of the tax.
King Henry is reputed to have said that “There should be a chicken in every peasant’s pot every Sunday.”
4. Absolutism France Henry IV continued
To combat the taxation problems Henry IV hired the Duke of Sully. Sully was able to limit taxation abuses but was unsuccessful in eradicating all unfair taxation practices.
Despite his efforts in trying to be a fair ruler Henry IV was murdered in 1610.
5. Absolutism France Henry IV successor would be his son, Louis XIII, however at the time of Henry’s death Louis was only 8 years of age.
Marie de Medici’s ruled as regent (in his place) until 1617.
Due to health issues Louis XIII needed assistance at his new position.
To help in advisement for governing his kingdom he chose Cardinal Richelieu to be his chief minister.
6. Absolutism France Cardinal Richelieu
A political genius who wanted to make the king supreme in France and France Supreme in Europe.
To do this Richelieu removed power from the Nobles and went to war with the Huguenots.
Nobles were replaced with Intendants (representatives of the monarchy in the provinces that made up France)
7. The Sun King In 1643 Louis XIV became the king of France as the successor of Louis XIII
As a child Louis XIV suffered through persecution and political turmoil as the nobles and peasants attacked the royal government.
He survived the attacks and when he began to reign over France he worked hard to make the king’s power absolute; His intentions were fueled by the persecution at the hands of the nobility and the peasants.
8. Absolutism France The Thirty Years War
In 1618 the Thirty Years War began in Prague.
This war was fought between the Protestant rebellion and the Holy Roman Empire, France, Denmark and Sweden.
Richelieu saw the war as an opportunity to strengthen France’s position in Europe
He worked to keep the war going but at the same time kept France from getting involved until the end when the Holy Roman Empire was weakened.
9. Absolutism France The Sun King
At the kingdom’s expense Louis XIV built an elaborate palace at Versailles. The construction strained the French economy. (500 Million $)
However the building of the palace was important to the king because he felt that he had divine rights of kings
God had chosen him to rule the nation
10. Absolutism France The Sun King
He received the nickname ‘Sun King’ because he believed that his influence and leadership reached far and wide like the ray’s of the Sun.
Eventually he moved the nobles to his palace in order to keep an eye on them.
His political influence impacted other European monarchies as they adopted his language and other customs of France.
11. Absolutism The Rule of Louis XIV Involved with the day to day operations of French Government
Built a military force of about 400,000 soldiers
Expanded the territory by fighting four wars between 1667-1713.
Forced other European kingdoms to create a balance of power
Countries have equal strength in order to prevent any one country form dominating others
The wars caused serious financial strain for France
12. War of Spanish Succession – was fought to decide who would become the next king of Spain.
When the last king of Spain died the successor was Philip V, Louis’ grandson.
Other European kingdoms did not like the idea France and Spain being under the same ruling family.
With Louis forces facing defeat after defeat he agreed to a settlement and signed the Treaty of Utrecht.
Treaty of Utrecht – recognized Philip V as king of Spain, states that Spanish and French monarchies could never be united, and relinquished territory in the Americas to Great Britain.
13. Absolutism In the America’s the French crown had carved out it’s own colonies.
Under Louis XIV, Rene-Robert Cavalier LaSalle sailed down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. The area was claimed for the French crown and named Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV.
Louis VIX also ruled colonies in the Caribbean (Haiti and others) and in India.
French Indo-China would eventually give way to one of the most hotly disputed conflicts of the Cold War centuries later.