Absolute Monarchs of France The Bourbons 1589 - 1789

Absolute Monarchs of France The Bourbons 1589 1789 Henry of Navarre, Henry IV the first of the Bourbon Dynasty in France Twenty-one years old when he assumed the throne Converted to Catholicism to preserve the peace between Catholic and French protestants (Huguenots) Issued the Edict of Nantes, a

peace between Huguenots and Catholics in France and enforced by the king Restored the French monarchy to a position of power Assassinated in 1610 Louis XIII Young son of Henry IV and Maria de Medici, becomes king Appoints Catholic Cardinal Richelieu to run the affairs of state Cardinal Richelieu

Had been head of the Catholic Church in France As minister to Louis XIII he in effect became the ruler of France Weakened the protestant Huguenots by outlawing their armies and walled cities Outlawed nobles private armies Increased the power of the government by hiring government agents from the middle class Wanted France to be the strongest state in Europe Efforts of Henry IV and Richelieu paved the ways for Frances most powerful ruler, Louis XIV

Louis XIV Boy King 1643 -1715 Became King at age 14 after the death of his father Louis XIII in 1643 Was aided by Richelieus successor Cardinal Mazarin Mazarin protected the young king from threats from the nobles Louis XIV the Sun King

Cardinal Mazarin died in 1661 and 21-year-old Louis took control of France Decreased the power of the nobles Increased the power of the central government through the use of agents who collected taxes and administered justice Devoted to helping France attain economic, political, and cultural superiority 1685 - canceled the Edict of Nantes and Huguenots fled the country Spent vast sums to surround himself with luxury Constructed the vast palace of

Versailles Was a patron of the arts Louis XIV Problems 1660 France was a country of 20 million and the most powerful in Europe Attempted to extend France into the Netherlands Imposed new taxes to finance the wars War of Spanish Succession further drained France of money France was left in debt due to high cost of wars and Louis life of luxury Louis XV 1715 1774 Considered an enlightened

despot ruler Was a weak and disinterested ruler of France Struggled through his reign with problems of taxation and debt of the French government Seven Years War (French and Indian War in North America) added a humiliating defeat and more debt Louis XVI

Grandson and successor of Louis XV He was 20 when he took the throne in 1770 He was married to Marie Antoinette, daughter of the empress Maria Theresa Recalled the old parliament in 1774 Faced the same problems of : war costs, debt, deficit, new taxes, and resistance from parliament Nobility had regained power Called for Estates General to meet in 1789 at Versailles Closed the Estates General and in protest the National Assembly was formed

In a dispute between the nobles and the commoners, he sided with the nobles Louis XVI failed to exert his powers to restore order in France Economic depression, food shortages, and political turmoil quickly led to the French Revolution The French people hated Marie Antoinette, his Austrian wife Louis XVI and his wife Marie were both executed by guillotine, Louis on January 21, 1793, Marie on October 16, 1793.

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