Absolutism and France Wars of Louis 14 and problems in France in 17th century
Ruling France King Louis XIII Cardinal Richelieu
Louis XIII inherited the throne from his father, Henry IV (formerly Henry of Navarre, a protestant), when he (L13) was a child. • His mother appointed Cardinal Richelieuto act as advisor and raise L13 in an absolutist tradition • Richelieu began to “spin doctor” the idea of The King under divine right, and set up the greatest political administration and bureaucracy in the modern world. Louis doesn’t really need to show up to work.
Why it’s nice to be the King • Groovy castle: The Palace at Versailles
Louis XIV’s commode (yes, really) Louis’ bedroom
Louis XIV – The Sun King • As with his father, Louis 14 becomes king as a child; but he walks into a situation in which absolutism has been endorsed for two previous generations; he is “God’s Grace shining forth on France like the Sun”
Like his father, L-14 will be assisted in childhood by an administrator, Cardinal Jules Mazarin – not as skilled as Richelieu, but holds the fort well, until he dies in 1661
But not before Mazarin concludes the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1660, arranging the marriage of Louis 14th to the Spanish Enfanta Maria Theresa, oldest daughter of King Philip IV of Spain. This napkin was woven especially for the event from linen damask.
Louis XIV – “The Sun King” • In the Salon de Hercules, Louis held council meetings after the death of Mazarin, when Louis announced he would run the country himself
War of Spanish Succession Louis 14th challenges decree signed by his wife, Maria Theresa, that she waived all rights to inheritance of the Spanish throne upon marriage. He argues the precedent (from Flanders) of devolution, in which the child of a first marriage, even if female, should have priority over child of a second marriage, even if a son. Nice, but doesn’t work in France. Netherlands tells him to stop it; war breaks out. Ultimately he’s defeated, but this comes back again in 1700 when he argues that his grandson should inherit Spain, rather than Leopold HRE’s grandson. War breaks out.