1600 - 1715
Major Generalizations
 France becomes the cultural and political center of
 Power becomes centralized in the monarchy
 Many Frenchmen believe religious unity is
necessary to achieve national unity
Major Generalizations
 Though the aristocracy resents the centralization of
power, it is unable to thwart this trend
 France establishes colonies in the Western
Hemisphere; few Frenchmen willing to leave
 France’s main interest lies in extending its own
borders in Europe, but constant wars drain the
treasury and hinder such expansion
Domestic Affairs
 Policy of religious toleration
 Edict of Nantes (1598)
 Continuation of Gallican Tradition
 Centralization of power
 Power away from local aristocracy
 Refusal to call Estates General
 Levying and collection of taxes
Royal Absolutism under
Louis XIII and Cardinal
 End of Huguenot fortified towns and armies
in Peace of Alais
 Reduction in the power of the aristocracy
 Dissolution of the Estates General
 Bureaucratic centralization
 Creation of provincial Intendants
 permanent appointments
 supervision of local court system and tax collectors
 central government’s link to regional Parliaments
Regency of Anne of Austria
and Chief Minister Mazarin
 Demands of the Nobles in the Fronde
 Control of Parliaments
 Abolition of Intendants
 No new taxes without consent
 Reasons for failure of the Fronde
Perpetration of too many acts of destruction
Split between bourgeoisie and nobility
Call for alien Spanish troops by Fronde leadership
No clearly enunciated plan
Absolutism of Louis XIV
 Centralization
King as God’s representative on Earth
Restrictions of feudal nobility
Required presence of nobility at Court
Administrative bureaucracy
 restoration of the Intendant system with direct
reporting to the King
 royal control of army and army commissions
 Curtailment of town liberties
 Codification of civil and criminal law
 One national religion
 Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685)
 Repression of Jansenism (Catholics but
behavior was Calvinist)
 Proclamation of Gallican Articles
 New national institutions
 Science Academy
 Painting and Sculpture Academy
 Literary Academy
Prospects for Industry and
 Colbert’s program
subsidies to luxury and wool industries
abolition of some internal tariffs
prohibition on the exportation of foodstuffs
introduction of a commercial code
establishment of French East India Company
Improvement in roads and canals
 Establishment of colonies in North America
 Opening of South America to French trade
 Need for military supplies and armaments
Economic problems
 Agriculture
 opposition to enclosure
 little new technology
 lack of capital
 Industry
 Loss of skill workers with flight of Huguenots
 Lack of investment by rural nobility
 Inefficient and unfair tax system
Foreign Affairs
 Aims
 Maintenance of separate German States
 Extension of French borders
 Importance of Spanish Netherlands and
French Compté
 Limitation of Austrian power
 Enhancement of power on the Continent
 Thirty Years War (1618-1648)
 Maintenance of German separatism
 subsidy to Protestant Swedish King
 French troops to assist German Protestants
 War with Spain for control of Rhineland
 Results
 Treaty of Westphalia
 French control of Alsace and three bishoprics in
 Guarantor of the peace
 Continuation of war with Spain until 1659
 War of Devolution (1667-1668)
 Desire of France to annex Spanish Netherlands
 Result
 Status quo ante bellum
 Dutch War of Devolution (1672-1678)
 French occupation of Spanish Netherlands and
three provinces of the Dutch Republic
 Coalition of Dutch Republic, Spain, Austria,
Brandenburg and Denmark against France
 Results in the Treaty of Nimwegen
 Status quo ante bellum for Dutch land
 French annexation of France Compté from Spain
 Support for Muslim Ottoman Turks
against Catholic Austria (1683)
 War of the League of Augsburg (16881697)
 Coalition of Catholic and Protestant nations
against Louis XIV
 Treaty of Ryswick
 little change of map of Europe
 War of the Spanish Succession (1702-1713)
 Designation of Louis XIV’s grandson as King of
Spain and all its possessions in Charles II’s will
 Opposition by England. Dutch Republic, HRE,
Austria and many German states, Portugal and
 Bavaria an ally of France
 Results
 loss of thousands of lives
 opposition to Louis XIV at home
 Treaty of Utrecht (1713-1714)
 Louis’ grandson, Philip V, King of Spain and its possessions
 permanent separation Spanish and French thrones
 loss of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to G.B.
Seven Years’ War 17561763
 Roots lay in a realignment of diplomatic
alliances prompted by Austria
 Previously, Bourbon-Habsburg rivalry was
cornerstone of European Diplomacy
 By late 1750s, 2 other antagonisms had taken
 French competition with British in N.World
 Austria’s vendetta against Prussia over Silesia
 For Austria rivalry with Bourbon France was no longer
 Its position in the HRE depended on humbling Russia
Seven Years’ War 17561763
 French hostility toward Austria had also lessened.
 Thus, Austria was free to lead a turnabout in alliances: a
diplomatic revolution
 So as to form an anti-Prussian coalition with France and
 Russia was crucial
 Russian Empress Elizabeth I of Russia hated Frederick
 Saw him as an obstacle to Russian ambitions in Eastern
 Prussia’s geographical position made it an inviting target
 So, the stage was set for war
Seven Years’ War 17561763
 Frederick sought to stay out of Anglo-French
 He’d been France’s ally in the past, but now he
sought a treaty with England
 January 1756: English (wanting to protect the royal
territory of Hanover) signed neutrality accord with
Prussia. (Convention of Westminster)
 French saw convention as an insult
 Russia also considered convention a betrayal
by its supposed ally England
Seven Years’ War 17561763
 Thus, the alliance between France, Russia and
Austria was set for the dismemberment of
 Prussians were close to losing until Russian
Empress Elizabeth’s death.
 This brought Tsar Peter III, a passionate admirer of
Frederick to the thrown.
 He quickly pulled Russia out of the war, even
returned Frederick’s conquered eastern domains in
Prussia and Pomerania.
Seven Years’ War 17561763
 Britain brought about a reconciliation with
France; both countries then ended its
insistence on punishing Prussia.
 Austria’s coalition had collapsed
Seven Years’ War 17561763
Peace of Hubertusburg (1763)
Prussia returned Saxony to Austria
Austrians recognized Silesia as Prussian
Status quo restored
Seven Years’ War 17561763
 Peace of Paris (1763)
 Treaty between France & England
corresponding to their war for empire in
the Americas.
 Several sugar-producing islands in West
Indies returned
 France surrendered Canada