The Reign of Louis XIV Mr. Beck World History
Kickoff Question • Would you submit to a ruler with absolute power if it meant your country being strong and wealthy?
Objectives • Analyze positive and negative aspects of Louis XIV’s legacy • Outline Louis XIV’s and France’s rise to power
Setting the stage • 1559, King Henry II of France dies • Left power to four sons who ruled one after the other (all incompetently) • Their mother (Catherine) actually held the country together but could not prevent a series of 8 religious wars between Catholics and Huguenots (French Protestants)
Religious Wars and power struggles • 1572: St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre • Many Huguenot nobles were in Paris attending marriage of Catherine’s daughter to Henry of Navarre • Most nobles were slaughtered, Henry of Navarre survived
Henry of Navarre • Became king when Catherine and her sons all died • Did not want to fight Catholics so gave up Protestantism and became Catholic • Edict of Nantes- act of religious tolerance which allowed Huguenots to set up their own houses of worship in certain cities • Was stabbed to death by a fanatic who did not agree with his religious compromises
Question • Would you give up your religion if it meant saving your country from war? Why or why not?
Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu • Henry’s son Louis took over the throne after Henry’s death • Louis was a weak king but appointed a strong minister (Cardinal Richelieu) to make up for his weaknesses • Richelieu essentially ruled France and took two steps to increase monarch power • Went against Huguenots (saw them as threat) • Weakened the nobles (tore down their castles)
Question • Why did Richelieu go against the nobles?
Richelieu • Wanted to make France the strongest state in Europe • Saw Hapsburg Dynasty (Spain, Austria, and Netherlands) as a threat • Waged thirty years’ war with Hapsburg Dynasty
Louis XIV Comes to Power • Began reign when he was 4 years old • French monarchy had already been strengthened • Boasted “I am the state”
Louis, the Boy King • When Louis took the throne the true ruler at the time was Cardinal Mazarin, the successor to Richelieu • Mazarin raised taxes and sparked a series of riots with the nobles who threatened to kill Louis • Louis would never forget his fear or hatred of the nobles • Nobles lost rebellion and people accepted Louis’ laws because rebellion was worse
Question • Would you accept the rules of a tyrant because it was easier than rebelling? Why or why not?
Louis gains total power • Mazarin died when Louis was 22 • Louis excluded nobles from his councils • Increased power of intendants-officials who collected taxes and administered justice
Economic Growth • Jean Baptiste Colbert was Louis’s minister of finance • Wanted to make France self-sufficient • Taxed imports • Gave tax breaks to French companies • Encouraged people to move to France’s colony of Canada (fur trade) • Louis cancelled Edict of Nantes after Colbert’s death and many Huguenots fled (declined economy)
The sun king’s grand style • Louis spent a fortune on personal luxuries • Surrounded himself with nobles as servants • Made the nobles rely on him • Kept nobles away from their families and increased power of his intendants • Was a patron of the arts for his Palace at Versailles
Louis fights disastrous wars • 1667, Louis invaded Spanish Netherlands to gain land • War of Spanish Succession- England, Austria, the Dutch Republic, Portugal, and German and Italian states joined forces to prevent spread of the Bourbon Dynasty’s power • Causes by Louis’s grandson being given the throne of Spain • From war, Great Britain gained Gibraltar (key fort) and permission to participate in profitable slave trade
Louis’s Death and Legacy • Louis died in 1715 and people celebrated due to the hardships and wars he brought the country • His enemies in Prussia and Austria had been experimenting with absolute monarchies
Mixed legacy • France was power in Europe • Ranked tops in Europe in art, literature, statesmanship • France was military leader in Europe • Warfare and Palace at Versailles put France in huge debt • Resentment over taxing poor would plague Louis’s heirs and lead to revolution Positive Negative
Homework/Closure Read page 600 and answer questions 1 and 2