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France's Bourbon Monarchy


FAMILY RIVALRIES


  • King lacked power

  • Caused a power struggle between three prominent families:

  • VALOIS (Catholic)

  • ​Family of the kings of France

  • After Henry II dies, dominated by his wife, Catherine de Medici, as regent to the kings.

  • GUISE (Catholic)

  • ​Noble family backed by Jesuits, the Pope and Spain

  • BOURBON (Protestant -- Calvinist Huguenots)

  • Headed by Admiral Coligny

  • And Henry of Navarre (future King Henry IV)

ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY MASSACRE 1572


  • To bring peace between Bourbon & Valois families (against Guise)

  • Catherine de Medici married her daughter, Margaret to Henry of Navarre

  • Thousands of Huguenots came to Paris for the wedding

  • Two days later, Huguenot leader, Coligny was shot and wounded (attempted assassination on Catherine's orders)

  • For fear of retaliation,

  • King Charles IX pressured by his mother, Catherine

  • Ordered a massacre of Huguenots

  • More than 3,000 Huguenots killed in Paris

  • ​About 70,000 in the rest of France

  • Henry of Navarre escaped


BOURBON MONARCHS

HENRY IV (r. 1589-1610)


  • Henry III died 1598, Henry of Navarre become king

  • Because none of Valois kings had sons (Salic Law = a male heir)

  • Because of common ancestor, Louis IX (r. 1226-1270)

  • Because of his Henry's marriage to Margaret

  • Because Henry III wanted Henry of Navarre to succeed him.

  • Personal

  • Married to Margaret in 1572 (see above)

  • Marriage annulled in 1599

  • Married Marie de Medici (1600)

  • Had son Louis XIII

  • Religion

  • As King, Henry IV renounced Protestantism and became Catholic

  • Said "Paris is worth a mass"​

  • But ended religious wars (Protestants v. Catholics) by issuing the Edict of Nantes (1598)

  • Granting Huguenots (French Protestants) religious toleration

  • and 200 fortified cities to protect them against oppression.

  • New nobles

  • To raise money and strengthen support among non-noble wealthy Frenchmen

  • Henry sold offices and ennoblement to rich merchants, lawyers, land owners etc.

  • New nobles known as "nobility of the robe" (old nobles = "nobility of the sword")

  • Nobles don't have to pay taxes.

  • Economics

  • Duke of Sully, Finance Minister

  • Government monopolies on gunpowder, mines, salt

  • Improved transportation by fixing roads, bridges etc.

  • Work was done by free labor (a form of taxation called Corvee)

  • Henry Assassinated 1610 by a fanatical Catholic

LOUIS XIII (1610-1643)


  • Personal

  • Nine years old when father (Henry IV) died

  • His mother, Marie de Medici, was regent

  • (ruler while king was a minor)

  • ​Because of opposition to her regency, Marie called Estates General, 1614 (see below)

  • 1615 Louis XIII married Anne of Austria (Daughter of Philip III of Spain)

  • Had "miracle baby" - Louis XIV

  • Louis XIII began ruling on his own in 1617

  • Put his mother in prison.

  • Cardinal Richelieu (r. 1616-1642)

  • Louis XIII's Chief Minister

  • Nobles

  • To strengthen power of monarchy against nobility

  • Richelieu divided France in 30 districts

  • Each ruled by a court-appointed intendent

  • Took power away from local nobles ruling in the provisional parlements

  • Defiant noblemen were imprisoned and executed, castles destroyed

  • Protestants (Huguenots)

  • In 1629, Protestants lost special military and political privileges from Edict of Nantes

  • No longer allowed to have garrisoned cities, separate political organizations and independent law courts.

  • Only kept religious liberties

  • Foreign Policy

  • Peace with Spain in 1611 (Treaty of Fontainebleau)

  • Richelieu brought France into the Thirty Years War 1618-1648

  • ​Supported Protestants

  • To weaken power of the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs (awkward for Anne)

  • Economics

  • ​Richelieu doubled taxes to pay for wars


LOUIS XIV (1643-1715)

  • Youth

  • 5 years old when father died

  • Regent was his mother, Anne of Austria and Italian Cardinal Mazarin (1642-1661)

  • Mazarin had replaced Richelieu after his death.

  • Fronde (1648-1652) ("slingshot")

  • Rebellion of French nobility and townspeople

  • Causes

  • Richelieu’s and Mazarin’s decrees against nobles

  • High taxes

  • War (cost of Thirty Years War and war with Spain)

  • Fear of growing power of monarchy

  • 1651-1652 Mazarin, Anne and Louis forced to flee Paris (left chaos)

  • Fronde ended 1653 when Mazarin bought off nobles.

  • Personal

  • Louis XIV married Marie-Thérèse of Spain (1660) (his cousin)

  • Begins ruling on his own in 1661 after Mazarin's death.


  • Absolute Power

  • Known as "Sun King" (symbolic - universe orbits around sun)

  • Proclaimed L’etat, c’est moi (1661) "The state is me" or "I am the state"

  • Believed in Divine Right of Kings"

  • Reinforced by Bishop Bossuet.​

  • Said: All power comes from God and kings were the representatives of God on earth.

  • “Un roi, une foi, une loi” ("One king, one faith, one law")

  • "One King"

  • "Divine Right of Kings" (see above)

  • Limited power of nobles by moving them into the Palace of Versailles and turning them into his eager servants

  • Relied on intendants (see above)

  • Limited power of independent colonels by controlling the military.

  • "One faith"

  • Revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685

  • Repressed Jansenists (left-wing Catholic offshoot)

  • "One law"

  • National laws created to replace differing local laws

  • Economics

  • Direct taxes (like taille land tax) heavy and corrupt tax collectors taking money.

  • Government raised money by selling titles of nobility to bourgeoisie (meant no future tax)

  • Clergy and nobility exempt from paying taxes.

  • Jean Baptiste Colbert (in office 1665-1683) Louis's economic minister

  • ​Proponent of mercantilism (export more than import)

  • ​Protected local industries with high import tariffs.

  • Increased France's reputation for high quality exports.

  • Highly regulated manufacturing

  • Supported arts and founded Royal Academy of Sciences in 1666

  • By 1683, balanced budget


  • Colonies

  • New France (Canada, Acadia, Louisiana, Newfoundland) founded 1608

  • In 1663 became royal province (non-Catholics not permitted to settle in colonies)

  • In 1664, Colbert founded French East India Company

  • To compete with British in Asia

  • (See Seven Years War)

Louis XIV's Wars

  • Thirty Years War ended 1648

  • War of Devolution (1667-69)

  • Fr. v. Spain over French claims in Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comte.

  • United Provinces, England and Sweden joined Spain to prevent France from upsetting balance of power.

  • Grand Alliance

  • Louis later made enemies

  • With Austria: By refusing to help in their war againt Turks

  • And with Protestants: By turning against Huguenots (Revoking Edict of Nantes)

  • Fear that France would upset balance of power

  • Much of Europe formed the Grand Alliance against him.

  • War of League of Augsburg (1688-1697)

  • ​Between France and Grand Alliance

  • Grand Alliance was formed in 1686 among European countries to stop Louis XIV's expansionist policies

  • Led by William of Orange (William III of England)

  • Austria, Dutch Republic, England, HRE, Sweden, Scotland, Savoy, Saxony, Portugal, Ireland, Palatinate of the Rhine.

  • 8-year gained France little territory at cost of much bloodshed and misery

  • War of Spanish Succession (LINK) (1702-1713)

  • Battle over Spanish throne after death of childless Spanish Hapsburg, Charles II in 1700.

  • Louis XIV wanted his grandson, Philip to be ruler of Spain and France (as his successor)

  • Hapsburg Emperor Leopold wanted his son, Charles, to be ruler of Spain

  • Peace of Utrecht (1713)

  • Philip, Duke of Anjou (Louis's grandson) would be king of Spain

  • But he and his descendants could never rule France

  • Crown of France to Louis XIV's other grandson, Louis XV

Louis XV (1715-1774)

  • Great-grandson of Louis XIV

  • To power age 5 (1715)

  • His uncle, Duke d’Orleans, ruled as regent

  • Returned some of power that nobles had lost under Louis XIV

  • Because of suffering in Louis XIV's wars.

  • Reinstated parlements (including Parlement of Paris)

  • Judges of the parlements had bought their positions with titles of nobility.

  • Because they owned their offices, they could not be removed by the king.

  • Parlements broadened power to refuse to enforce govt. laws they didn't suppoort.

  • Hired John Law (a Scottish economist) for financial management

  • In 1716, Law established the Banque Generale.

  • A bank with the authority to issue notes.

  • Also took over collection of French taxes and minting of money.

  • 1717 established the Compgnie d"Occident ("Company of the West")

  • To develop French territoires in the Mississippi River valley in N. America.

  • Monopolized French tobacco and African slave trade.

  • By 1719, the Company (now called Compagnie des Indes) had monopoly of France's colonial trade.

  • French public bought shares of the company (price per share from 500-18,000 livres) - 625,000 stock shares were sold.

  • Law merged Banque Generale with Compagnie des Indes.

  • Hoped to retire public debt from Louis XIV's reign

  • by selling his company's shars to the public

  • in exchange for state-issued public securities (billets d'etat) which consequently rose sharply in value.

  • Frenzy of wild specualtion tht led to stock-market boom across Europe.

  • French govt. jprinted more money - causing inflation.

  • Both paper money nd the billets d'etat began to lose their value.

  • And profits from compny slow to mateiralize.

  • Because stock and state's finances were linked.

  • caused complete disaster 1720

  • when the value of the shares plummeted

  • causing general stock market crah in france and other ountires.

  • Law forced to fee France Dec. 172.

  • Debt of compny and bank consolidated and take over by the state

  • which raised taxes to retire it.

  • Louis XV was a gambler

  • Cardinal Fleury (1653-1743)

  • Louis XV's chief minister from 1726

  • Worked to block nobility

Louis XVI (1774-1791)

  • Married Marie Antoinette, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, April 1770

  • At age 20, Louis XVI becomes absolute monarch of France 1774

  • Supported American colonists against Britain in American Revolution (1778)

  • To humiliate Britain

  • and regain territory lost during Seven Years War

  • Caused increase in bread prices by deregulating grain market (under minister Turgot)

  • Because of financial crisis, Louis XVI called the Estates General in 1789

  • Meeting of three "estates":

  • 1st: clergy, 2nd: nobility, 3rd; everyone else

  • Resulted in creation of Constituent Assembly dominated by the Third Estate

  • July 14th, 1789 mobs stormed the Bastille prison

  • Signals the beginning of the French Revolution

  • October 1789, King and Queen forced to move back to Paris (from Versailles)

  • In June 1791, Louis and Marie try to flee to Austria but are stopped at Varennes.

  • August 1792, Louis XVI is arrested

  • Tried by the National Convention for high treason

  • September 1792, the First French Republic is proclaimed

  • Louis is executed by guillotine January 1793 (Marie is executed soon after)

ESTATES GENERAL

  • Assembly of the three estates

  • First: Clergy

  • Second: Nobility

  • Third: Everyone else

  • Primary role: to present petitions from the estates to the king.

  • No power in its own right (unlike Britain's parliament)

  • But was advisory body to king

  • In Middle Ages (until mid 14th c.) king couldn't levy general taxes

  • Only lords could collect taxes in their regions

  • Then king collected royal taxes (like taille and gabelle)

  • Origin:

  • Created 1302 and called intermittently (for example, to collect money for Wars of Religion)

  • Called in 1614 (under Marie de Medici)

  • Then in 1789 (under Louis XVI)


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