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In 17th century France each ruler had very different tactics for gaining and maintaining power Regardless to the extent of power each ruler used some absolutist methods in his reign Although his predecessors are responsible for their own forms of absolutism through politics and war economics and religion Louis XIV was most responsible for the development of the French absolutist state For many rulers the situation in which they start already has problems In 1589 Henry IV inherited the crown and with that civil wars The state of France was very weak at the time terrible harvests and near starvation great depopulation and poor commercial activity At the time of his crowning nobles officials merchants and peasants wanted peace order and stability Henry provided this as a unique ruler who actually cared about his people which proved important to absolutism because of the trust the people had in their ruler Henry appointed the devout Protestant Maximilien de Bethune duke of Sully as his chief minister With the effective actions of Sully public order in France was restored in only twelve years Besides a small successful war with Savoy in 1601 Henry maintained peace After the death of Henry IV in 1610 the queen-regent Marie de Medici headed the government for the child-king Louis XIII and appointed Cardinal Richelieu to the council of ministers Richelieu who became first minister of the crown in 1628 sought the total subordination of all groups and institutions to the French monarchy This policy was a major factor in absolutism because it gave total power with no opposition to the monarchy Richelieu prevented the greatest competitor the nobility from gaining too much power by reshuffling the royal council He also leveled castles which were symbols of feudal independence and stopped aristocratic conspiracies with executions In 1634 Richelieu broke France into thirty-two gnralits districts He used royal comissioners called intendants for specific tasks and to control the gnralits Special intendants called noblesse
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