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Word Count: 947
Account for the fact that by the end of the 17th Century France was an absolute monarchy and England was a constitutional monarchy While both the French and English empires were growing overseas the modern system of great powers was evolving in Europe itself France became Europes superpower in the 1600s Louis XIV the Sun King served as a model of absolute royal power England in the 1600s by contrast provided an early example of more democratic rule as Parliament limited the power of monarchs From the 1560s to the 1590s religious wars between Huguenots French Protestants and the Catholic majority tore France apart Leaders on each side used the war to make themselves look better Two of the lead families one from each side wanted to replace the declining Valois dynasty The worst of the fighting began on St Bartholomews Day August 24 1572 At a wedding violence erupted that lead to 3000 Huguenot deaths In the coming days many more were murdered St Bartholomews Day stood for the breakdown of France In 1589 Henry of Navarre inherited the throne and became known as Henry IV He became Catholic so the French population would support him in his efforts When he dies in 1610 his nine year old son Louis XIII inherited the throne In 1624 Louis made Cardinal Armand Richelieu his chief minister He spent 18 years strengthening the central government Richelieu was determined to destroy the power of the nobles and the Huguenots two groups that would not tolerate royal authority He defeated their armies and destroyed their castles He got them back by giving them positions at court or in the army Richelieu outlawed their armies yet he allowed them to continue to practice their religion Richelieu picked Cardinal Jules Marazin as his able successor When Louis XIV inherited the throne he was able to serve as his chief minister Soon after Louis XIV became king disorder ran
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