The French Monarchy (1483-1789) - Vol. 2

The French Monarchy (1483-1789) - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

The French Monarchy (1483-1789) - Vol. 2

The French Monarchy (1483-1789) - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The Peace of the Pyrenees, closely followed by the death of Mazarin, materially changed the situation in France. Since the time of Sully the power of the Monarchy had been maintained and enhanced chiefly by the great ministers of the King. Richelieu had broken the power of the nobility and restored and raised the international prestige of France. Mazarin had eluded or quelled the last rally of aristocratic revolt, and following in the steps of his predecessor had exhibited France, both in war and diplomacy, as decidedly the first power in Europe. But Richelieu and Mazarin had left no obvious successor, though public opinion confidently expected that one would appear, for it had passed into a proverb that "the King and the ruler were two different persons." Such anticipations, however, were falsified by the unexpectedly energetic action of Louis XIV. The King was barely 22, and had not yet given any indications, even to those who stood nearest to him, of the self-confidence and tenacity that he was soon to manifest. He had seen, without any apparent jealousy, Mazarin regarded as the source of influence and power; the minister's rooms had been thronged with politicians, whilst the King's apartments were comparatively empty, but Louis, instead of resenting this, had exhibited towards his minister a certain amount of deference and submission. Immediately upon Mazarin's death he.

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