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The Rise of Absolutism in France

The Rise of Absolutism in France

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The Rise of Absolutism in France

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  1. The Rise of Absolutism in France

  2. I. Introduction to Absolutism • Absolutism defined; compared with constitutional state • Governments increase spending • Large permanent standing armies • Heavy taxation by poorest classes • Central government controls all other institutions within the country • For example, courts, private armies, etc. • Rise of state bureaucracies—centralization • Appointed by and loyal to the king • From middle class and nobility

  3. II. Absolutism in France • Long-term causes—after The 100 Years’ War • Charles VII (1422-1461) • Taxed (gabelle and taille) • Created first permanent royal army • Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges • Louis XI “Spider King” (1461-1483) • Promoted economic growth, new industries, and trade • Improved the army, increased taxes • Gained feudal territories—Burgundy, Anjou, Provence… • Other • Louis XII: Married Anne of Brittany • Francis I: Concordat of Bologna (1516)—French crown control over church • Creates Catholicism as state religion

  4. II. Absolutism in France Continued • French Civil War (1559-1598) • Roots • Concordat of Bologna—civil service men rewarded with church offices • Many French attracted to Calvinism—”reform” • Weak sons of Henry II—Francis II, Charles IX, Henry III • Nobility converts to Calvinism • Widespread Catholic-Calvinist fighting • St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre—1572 • Margaret of Valois and Henry of Navarre • 12,000 Huguenots massacred • Begins war of three Henrys—Henry Guise (Cath), Henry of Navarre (Prot), Henry III (Cath) • Politiques—restore strong monarchy, accept Huguenots

  5. II. Absolutism in France Continued • Henry IV (1589-1610) • Restored internal peace in France • Issued Edict of Nantes (1598) • Kept France at peace;

  6. Henry IV Quotes: “Paris is well worth a Mass.” “There should be a chicken in every peasant's pot every Sunday.” “If we are without compassion for the people, they must succumb and we will all perish with them.”

  7. II. Absolutism in France Continued • Henry IV (1589-1610) • Restored internal peace in France • Issued Edict of Nantes (1598) • Kept France at peace • Introduced paulette (Fee paid by royal officials) • Appointed Duke of Sully as Chief Minister • Increased trade; subsidized Company for Trade with Indies; started a highway system • Assassinated • Louis XIII (1610-1643) • Marie de’ Medici—headed the government • Feudal nobles run the show • Cardinal Richelieu appointed to Council of Ministers (1624) • Ended Protestant independence • La Rochelle; Weakened Calvinism

  8. II. Absolutism in France Continued • Cardinal Richelieu • All groups subordinated to throne • Curbed power of nobility, leveled castles • Intendants—appointed by king, could not own land in generalites, collected tax, regulated trade, law • Greatly increased power of the throne • Support of Sweden in Thirty Years’ War • French Academy—to standardize French language • Wrote Political Testament • “Finances are the sinews of the state” • Raison d’etat—to justify policies • Had Jules Mazarin appointed successor

  9. II. Absolutism in France Continued • Jules Mazarin • Italian protégé • Continued centralizing policies under Louis XIV • Fronde—Civil wars of 1648-1653 • Those who opposed the policies of the king • Large parts of France refused to pay taxes • Aristocrats, bureaucrats, judges, intendants, peasants, artisans • Affected young Louis XIV—distrust of nobility • Alternative to monarchy is absolute monarchy

  10. II. Absolutism in France Continued • Louis XIV (1643-1715)—Culture, Court and power • Believed God established monarchy • Taught by Mazarin • Married Maria Theresa • Complete control over nobility • Brought court to Versailles • Never called Estates General • Used spies, opened letters • Named Colbert controller of finances • Mercantilism; made France sell abroad; expanded industries; merchant marine