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Topic 2 - Louis XIV (1648-1688) Topic 2 - Louis XIV (1648-1688)

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Vasilis Dimitriadis

Topic Two Louis XIVAscendency of France France after the Thirty Years War emerged as the greatest nation as well as the greatest threat in the Western Europe a Population 20 million b Political claims Louis XIVs absolute monarchy c Good solid efficient democracy d Huge efficient and professional army which is unmatchable at that time e Skilled diplomatic relations Mazarin Louis XIV Foreign Policy Objective1 Aggressive Subjugate the rest of Europe European hegemony 2 Defensive Only natural borders Alps The Rhine 3 Nothing less but the crown of the Holy Roman Empire 4 The crown of Spanish Habsburg and its huge territory But one consensus was reached the ultimate decision belonged to Louis himself and his absolute power Gloire played a huge role in Louis decision making Louis XIVs foreign policy is hard to generalize because during Louis XIVs long reign of 55 years he himself is changed from a 22yearold hotblooded young man into a cautious old man French foreign policy shifted because his characters shifted during his lifeFive Borders a South borders with Spain Pyreneeslast priority because Spain is in decline marriage with Maria Theresab South east Alpslittle importance for the mountainous region because few passes allowed for invasion easily defended c Both a and b are very far from Paristhe center and heart of France d Eastern Border with the Holy Roman Empiregeopolitical significance e Northern low lands Spanish Netherlands Luxemburgmost important border because 1 Flat land easy to attack hard to defend 2 All rivers run into France from the North easy to attack hard to defend 3 Paris the heart of France is almost by the border crucial importance 4 Every other nation is fully aware of this weakness The Dynastic Union and the Law of DevolutionLouis XIV married the Spanish Infanta Maria Theresa It was agreed that with this marriage Maria Theresa explicitly renounced all rights to her fathers inheritance As compensation a huge dowry is going to be paid by Spain Louis XIV agreed this treaty only because he knew Spain would not be able to pay the amount and he could use this as excuses to claim Spanish territory The Law of Devolution an inheritance law favoring female from the first marriage rather than boys from the second marriage on inheritance This is Louis XIVs political agenda because this law is never intended for
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