The 17th century was marked by a period of exeptional power and glamour for the French Monarchy. Starting with King Louis XIII and the Cardinal Richelieu who together transformed the feudal French Monarchy to an Absolute Monarchy, by controlling the opposition of the “Grands” (the Lords) and the growing power of the Protestant (siege of La Rochelle, 1628). Mazarin, Louis XIV’s regent, ended the popular revolts of La Fronde. Louis XIV, in turn, managed to keep all the Princes and Lords at his court in Versailles, to better control and display his glorious power.
Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, was the most powerful and opulent monarch Europe had seen since the Roman Empire. Political brillance in this period was matched only by the genius of the writers, architects and musicians generously promoted by the royal court. Alas, all of this exuberance, including Louis XIV’s endless wars, had a cost which was to be paid by the entire nation, largely impoverished towards the end of his reign. The growing resentment of the Bourgeoisie, who demanded political rights more in keeping with their expanding power and wealth, would prove to be a political challenge to the king’s successors.
Founding of Quebec
Louis XIII crowned at the age of 17
Cardinal Richelieu becomes principal minister
Louis XIV becomes king with Mazarin as principal minister
Royal court moves to Versailles
Louis XIV dies and Louis XV accedes