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THE REIGN OF LOUIS XIV Section 2. The Reign of Louis XIV Religious Wars and Power Struggles 1562-1598 Huguenots and Catholics fought 8 religious wars,

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Presentation on theme: "THE REIGN OF LOUIS XIV Section 2. The Reign of Louis XIV Religious Wars and Power Struggles 1562-1598 Huguenots and Catholics fought 8 religious wars,"— Presentation transcript:


2 The Reign of Louis XIV Religious Wars and Power Struggles 1562-1598 Huguenots and Catholics fought 8 religious wars, during this time chaos spread through France Huguenots were French Protestants 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre sparked 6 week war between Catholics and Protestants 1589 Henry IV (a Protestant king) takes throne and gives up Protestantism and becomes Catholic to bring peace 1598 Henry issues the Edict of Nantes that allowed Huguenots to live in peace across France and set up their own churches After a generation of war people welcomed peace and Henry began to restore French monarchy and prosperity

3 The Reign of Louis XIV After the death of Henry his son, Louis XIII took over 1624 he appointed Cardinal Richelieu as his minister Richelieu was the real power in France Took steps to increase the power of the Bourbon monarchy in France A. Took power from Huguenots, dictated their living conditions B. Took power from nobles, made them more dependent on the king for protection C. Put middle class in more powerful government positions D. Richelieu also became involved in wars with the most powerful European dynasty the Hapsburgs (the Thirty Years War)

4 The Reign of Louis XIV Writers turn toward Skepticism New French intellectual movement grew at this time, they had witnessed the religious wars Many turned to the idea of skepticism (nothing can be known for certain), and the began to doubt the teaching of the church Montaigne- developed new for of literature, the essay, to express a writers thoughts and feelings Believed that humans could never have an absolute knowledge of what is true Descartes used observations to determine that we could never know what was true Influenced modern thinkers by developing the scientific method

5 The Reign of Louis XIV Louis XIV Comes to Power Louis became king at age 4 in 1642 and ruled for 72 years Believed that he and France were one (“I am the state”) When Louis was young the real power behind the throne was Cardinal Mazarin The nobles hated him because he raised their taxes and made the central government stronger 1648- 1653 many riots broke out across France protesting Mazarin’s policies Louis felt threatened and he never forgot about this, he decided to make the monarchy so strong that this would not happen again Rebellions failed because peasants and townspeople grew tired of the fighting Because they were tired of wars they accepted Louis oppressive laws

6 The Reign of Louis XIV When Mazarin died Louis took control of the government himself ◦ Weakened power of the nobles by removing them from his government ◦ Increased the power of government agents who collected taxes and administered justice (intendants), they were not part of the nobility ◦ Louis made sure local officials kept in touch with him regularly

7 The Reign of Louis XIV Economic Growth Louis used finance minister Jean Baptiste Colbert to help France attain economic and political power Colbert wanted France to become self sufficient and used mercantilist policies to meet his goals  Expanded manufacturing  Placed a high tariff on goods from other countries  Recognized importance of colonies to help economy After Colbert’s death in 1685 economic progress slowed Louis canceled Edict of Nantes Many Huguenot businessmen and artisans left France and it took many skilled workers out of the economy

8 The Reign of Louis XIV Louis surrounded himself with luxury at his palace Versailles Palace became a symbol of wealth, seat of government, home for nobles ◦ Made nobles dependent on Louis ◦ Kept intendants in power in other parts of the country ◦ By keeping nobles at Versailles it kept them from fighting each other, they fought for favor of Louis Louis was a patron of the arts and he made ballet and opera more popular The purpose of art was to glorify the king and promote his absolute rule


10 The Reign of Louis XIV Under Louis France was the most powerful country in the world France had the largest, best trained and equipped army in Europe 1667 Louis invades Spanish Netherlands to expand French boundaries Dutch defeat French 1680’s European alliance established to stop French and achieve a balance of power across Europe (no single country could dominate others) Alliance called the League of Augsburg (England, Spain, Hapsburg Austria, other smaller countries) they equaled French strength Poor harvests and constant warfare and higher taxes weakened France at this time

11 The Reign of Louis XIV War of Spanish Succession War fought between Spain and France, the two greatest European powers Other European countries joined in War lasted for 14 years, ended by the Treaty of Utrecht Big winner was Great Britain British took over Gibraltar that controlled the entrance to the Mediterranean Also gave the British French controlled territories in the Americas

12 The Reign of Louis XIV Louis Death and Legacy Louis death was good news across France, they were tired of the Sun King Legacy 1.Made France a European power 2.France became a military power 3.Led other nations in the promotion of art, literature 4.Constant warfare left France in debt 5.Tax burden and the abuse of power by Louis would eventually lead to rebellion against the monarchy by the end of the 1700’s

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