4-2 Presentation France Under Louis XIV

Chapter 4 Section 2
Rebuilding France
• From 1560s to the 1590s
they had religious wars that
tore France apart
• Worst Incident
– Began on St. Bartholomew’s
Day, August 24, 1572
– Huguenot and Catholic
nobles gathered to celebrate
a royal wedding
– When violence interrupted,
it led to the massacre of
3,000 Huguenots
– Symbolized the complete
breakdown of order in
• In 1589, a Huguenot prince inherited the
French throne as Henry IV
• Knowing that being a Protestant would
face many problems with a Catholic land
he became a Catholic
• To protect the Protestants he issued the
Edict of Nantes in 1589
– It granted the Huguenots religious
toleration and let them fortify their own
towns and cities
• His goal as a prince was to put a chicken in
every pot
• Royal officials
administered justice
Improved roads
Built bridges
Revived agriculture
• Henry IV was assassinated in
• His nine year old son Louis
XIII took over the throne
• In 1624 Louis appointed a
chief minister, Cardinal
Armand Richelieu
• He sought to destroy the
power of the Huguenots and
Louis XIV, the Sun King
• After Louis became king, disorder came against France
– This was called Fronde
– Nobles, merchants, peasants and the urban poor people rebelled
• Louis used the sun as the symbol for his absolute power
– He argues, just as the sun stands at the center of the solar system, the
Sun King stands at the center of the nation
• He is quoted by saying, L’eta, c’est moi
– I am the state
• He expanded the bureaucracy and appointed intendants, royal
officials, who collected taxes, recruited soldiers, and carried out his
policies in the provinces
• The army was the strongest under his rule
• He has a finance minister named Jean Baptiste Colbert
– His policies helped make France the wealthiest state in Europe
Versailles, Symbol of Royal Power
• Louis XIV turned a royal hunting lodge into the
immense palace of Versailles
– Became the perfect symbol of the Sun King’s
wealth and power
• Louis perfected and elaborate ceremonies
that emphasized his importance
– Every morning he had a ritual known as the levee,
or rising
– At night they did the ceremony in reverse
Successes and Failures
• Louis XIV ruled France for 72 years
• He poured vast resources into wars to expand French
• Led by the Dutch or the English alliances fought to maintain
the balance of power, a distribution of military and
economic power that would prevent any one nation from
dominating Europe
• In 1700 Louis’s grandson Philip V inherited the throne of
• In 1685, Louis revoked the Edict of Nantes because he saw
France Protestant minority as a threat to religious unity
– 100,000 Huguenots fled France
• Intendant- official appointed by French King Louis
XIV to govern the provinces, collect taxes, and
recruit soldiers
• Levee- morning ritual during which nobles would
wait upon King Louis XIV
• Balance of power- distribution of military and
economic power that prevents any one nation
from becoming to strong
• Henry IV of France- Huguenot [protestant]- Converted
to Catholicism to rule France and be accepted
• Louis XIV- Sun King ruled France for 72 years- built
Versailles, changed styles of all of Europe
• Palace of Versailles- Hunting lodge turned into the
grandest of all European Palaces by Louis XIV.
• Balance of Power- Distribution of Military power- try to
keep peace- you have big army, I have big army
• War of Spanish Succession- Fought to stop the
unification of France and Spain
• Edict of Nantes- Toleration of Huguenot’s in France,
created by Henry IV

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