An analysis of french king louis xivs central system of government

He or she made the laws, executed the laws, and judged those who violated the laws.

An analysis of french king louis xivs central system of government

He or she made the laws, executed the laws, and judged those who violated the laws. It was a form of dictatorship or tyranny combined with the Medieval trappings of monarchy. Its justification was the theory of the Divine Right of Kings.

It has report suggestions, chapter quizzes, and a final examination. Perfect for high school level study. When Henry IV took the throne of France at the conclusion of the War of the Three Henrys in he took a firm grip on the reigns of government.

The people of France, in the main, had grown tired of the chaos bred by weak kings, obstreperous nobles, and religious strife. The people were ready for a strong king, or at least strong government from the monarchy.

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In Henry, this is what they got. In he effectively put an end to religious strife by issuing the Edict of Nantes, which granted religious toleration to the Huguenots a Protestant, Calvinist group.

Henry was supported by a strong finance minister, the Duke of Sully. He did much work to bring honesty to the government by revamping accounting practices. Although the tax burden on the productive classes remained heavy, he saw to it that projects expanding the nation's infrastructure were given first priority.

Roads, canals and highways were built.

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This facilitated trade as well as the movement of military forces. It also had the effect of tying the provinces closer to the capital of Paris.

On the heels of these improvements Sully devised a system of royal officials, which came to be known as intendants, to wield the king's power throughout the country.

This also reduced the power of the local nobility.


The loss of the strong king brought chaos to the land. His mother, Marie de Medici, became regent and botched the running of the government.

An analysis of french king louis xivs central system of government

The nobles attempted to re-establish their own power. When Louis XIII came into his majority, he had the foresight and intelligence to choose an able man as his first minister, Cardinal Richelieu. Richelieu continued the process of undermining the power of the nobles through the use of intendants.

He also worked to remove the nobility from the levers of the central administration. In he put down a revolt by Huguenots, and after the siege of La Rochelle, took away the power of Huguenots to maintain fortified positions within France. He was wise enough to continue the policy of religious toleration allowed by the Edict of Nantes.

An analysis of french king louis xivs central system of government

Although he was a Cardinal of the Catholic church, Richelieu was not a fanatic. He did this from fear of the growing Hapsburg power. He realized with Hapsburgs controlling Germany, Austria, and Spain, as well as the Netherlands, and parts of Italy that France was in danger of being surrounded.

France's victory against the Spanish at Rocroi established her as the pre-eminent state in Europe. Louis XIV was only five years old when he became king. Of course, his mother, Anne of Austria, ruled as regent until he could reach his majority. However, even the accession of an able minister could not prevent another rebellion of the nobilitytaking advantage of the death of Richelieu.

The Fronde, a kind of child's slingshot, gave its name to the rebellion. Again the country began a descent into chaos.The reign of France’s Louis XIV (), known as the Sun King, lasted for 72 years, longer than that of any other known European sovereign.

In that time, he transformed the monarchy. For example, whereas the French army was often commanded by the most senior noble in the camp, Louis changed this to a more meritocratic system and one in which the king himself could command. Engraving of King Louis XIV by Robert Nanteuil, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art’s open access collection.

The Sun King, Louis XIV. mainly due to the emphasis on fortification and the innovations of a brilliant French engineer, Vauban. Louis XIV identified himself directly with the governing of the nation.

They were not fighting for a say in the central government. Watch video · Follow King Louis XIV's reign during France's classical age, including his revocation of the Edict of Nantes and aggressive foreign policy, on In Embezzlement and High Treason in Louis XIV’s France, Vincent Pitts tells the story of the trial of one of Louis XIV’s finance ministers, Nicolas Fouquet, for abuse of his public office.

In so doing he elucidates how private and public interests coexisted in seventeenth century France.