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Richelieu and Absolutism

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University of Toronto St. George
Anthony Cantor

Richelieu and Absolutism Du Plessis de Richelieu (1585-1642) Louis XIII (1610-43) Marie de Medici La Richelieu Gaston d’Orleans Castelnaudry Intendant Lettres de cachet Louis XIII  Louis XIII was not favored amongst the people of this time, everyone tended to wonder about the man that was incredibly distrustful and not very well educated.  Louis hated his mother and her friends (especially the Italians) and his mother disliked him. At the age of 16, he ordered _____ to be murdered  Louis decided to become King, he didn’t have any of the capability to become so though. He had decided that he needed someone to give good council.  Richelieu wanted to be a bishop, he couldn’t because he was only 21 and you had to be 22 or 23, went to the pope and lied, became a bishop, asked for forgiveness  The Queen detested her son, so she joined a group that would attempt to restart the French Civil wars. o Creating sides of the king; a silly little boy, and a queen; a smart woman. o The king thought there was only one man that could help him convince the queen to abandon the civil war and make peace with him, that man was Richelieu. o Even though He had absolutely nothing to bargain with, he would do it under one condition. He was able to convince the queen to abandon the civil war and attempt to make some peace with her son and that France once more would be healed and okay under the name of _____. o Richelieu wanted to become a cardinal, and he was granted that from the King for doing the task that was asked at him. He then appointed the chief minster of the crown  Louis had many weaknesses, but he knew when he didn’t understand. He gave Richelieu more and more power because he was trusting him more and more. o He was giving him power to act in his own name to stop problems and what not. Richelieu told the king three things;  we have to hold the Huguenots,  we have to weaken if not destroy the ancient feudal nobility in the provinces,   The affect of the war and of challenging the crown, the protestant has become very watered down. A small group of people feeling that they were being oppressed.  There was fear of them because there was a chance that they would create another civil war in the country, and he was afraid of any place that could be a Trojan horse for his enemies  October 1628, the people against Richelieu gave up and gave into him. Richelieu won the 30 year war. People thought that he was going to basically destroy them morally and physically; that he would enslave them and torture and kill them. But, he let them keep their weapon, he let them have freedom of taxation for the church, he was kind. Protestantism was finally recognized as a religion that was equal to the catholic religion in a sense. They were able to keep their weapons as long as they didn’t fight against the king.  Said that all of the protestants that fought in the war wouldn’t’ be prosecuted because of their actions. The only thing that he required was that there would be no power in France that would challenge the crown.  It was simple what Richelieu wanted; o he was okay with there being two religions in a kingdom, that the good ordering of the kingdom and the functioning of a law was applicable to all of society was far better than religion. Religion is what you do at home; citizenship is what you do in society. That the Protestants were good people.  Richelieu saw them as people who would add to the good well being to the society, even if he didn’t agree with their religion.  No one liked the nobles. The changes didn’t change the great families though of the nobles. They still had enormous influence, especially social interest. Richelieu didn’t like this and he didn’t want the power of the state to continue to dissipate becaus
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