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16381715 king of France 16431715 son and successor of King Louis XIII Early Reign After his fathers death his mother Anne of Austria was regent for Louis but the real power was wielded by Annes adviser Cardinal Mazarin Louis did not take over the government until Mazarins death 1661 By then France was economically exhausted by the Thirty Years War by the Fronde and by fiscal abuses But the centralizing policies of Richelieu and Mazarin had prepared the ground for Louis under whom absolute monarchy based on the theory of divine right reached its height Domestic Policy Louiss reign can be characterized by the remark attributed to him Ltat cest moi I am the state Louis continued the nobilitys exemption from taxes but forced its members into financial dependence on the crown thus creating a court nobility occupied with ceremonial etiquette and petty intrigues The provincial nobles also lost political power Louis used the bourgeoisie to build his centralized bureaucracy He curtailed local authorities and created specialized ministries filled by professionals responsible to him Under his minister Jean Baptiste Colbert industry and commerce expanded on mercantilist principles and a navy was developed The war minister the marquis de Louvois established the foundations of French military greatness Religious Affairs Louis increasingly imposed religious uniformity His persecution of the Huguenots in the 1680s culminated 1685 in the revocation of the Edict of Nantes The resultant exodus of Protestants many of whom were merchants and skilled artisans intensified the kingdoms economic decline and further alienated the Protestant powers Louis also suppressed Jansenism Despite this concern with religious orthodoxy he favored Gallicanism and controversy with the popes approached schism 167393 before Louis abandoned this position Foreign Policy Louis strove vigorously for supremacy in foreign affairs His marriage 1660 to the Spanish princess Marie Thrse served as a pretext for the War of Devolution 166768 which netted him part of Flanders although the Dutch then moved against him with the
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