Another brilliant writer as well as thinker was a man named Descartes. He examined that the skeptical argument could never be sure of anything. He used such arguments and reasons to argue such arguments.
Michel de Montaigne lived ruring the worst years of the french religous wars. After the death of a friend he started thinking deeply about lifes meaing. He developeda new form of literatureto communicate his ideas, called the essay.
Many Catholics opposed Henry, he chose to give up Protestantism and became a Catholic., Many people hated Henry for his religious compromises., A fanatic leaped into the royal carriage and stabbed Henry to death in 1610., Henry's son Louis XIII reigned, he was a weak king but appointed a strong minister who made up for all of Louis's weaknesses., Cardinal Richelieu, in effect, became the ruler of France., He took steps to increase the power of the Bourbon monarchy., First, he moved against Huguenots, he believed that Protestantism oftern served as an exuse for political conspiracies against the Catholic king., He forbade Protestant cities to have walls, he did not want them to be able to defy the king and then withdraw behind strong defenses., Second, he sought to weaken the nobles' power., He ordered nobles to take down their fortified castles, he increased the power of government agents who came from the middle class., the king relied on these agents so there was less need to use noble officials., He also wanted to make France the strongest state in Europe., To limit Hapsburg power, Richelieu involved France in the Thirty Years' War.
He declared that the Huguenots could live in peace in France and set up their wn houses of worship in some cities., The declaration of religious toleration was called the Edict of Nantes.
Henry restored the French monarchy to a strong position.
In Louis's view he and the state were one in the same, he was only four years old when he began his reign., After Marzarin's death Louis took control of the government at 22 years old., He weakened the power of the nobles by excluding them from his councils., He increased the power of the government agents called intendants, who collected taxes and administered justice., To keep power under central control, he made sure that local officials communicated regularly with him., Louis devoted himself to helping France attain economic, political and cultural brilliance., Jean Baptiste Colbert, minister of finance, assisted him more in achieving those goals., Colbert believed in the theory of mercantilism., To prevent wealth from leaving the country, Colbert tried to make France self-sufficient., To expand manufacturing, Colbert gave government funds and tax benefits to French companies., To protect France's industries, he placed a high tariff on goods from other countries., After Colbert's death, Louis announced a policy that slowed France's economic progress., In 1685 he canceled the Edict of Nantes., Thousands of Huguenot artisans and business people fled the country., Louis's policy thus robbed France of many skilled workers.
Mazarin's greatest triumph came in 1648, with the ending of the Thirty Years' War., Many people in France hated Mazarin because he increased taxes and strengthened the central government., Violent anti-Marzarin riots tore France apart, at Louis' fear of the nobility he was determined to become so strong that they could never threaten him again., The nobles' rebellion failed for three reasons., Its leaders distrusted one another even more than they distrusted mazarin., The government used violent repression., Peasants and townspeople grew weary of disorder and fighting.
Louis kept power easily oneway by using his style, every mornig the chief valet woke him up at 8:30, A hundred nobles wouldwait to help the great king dress and only four would have the honor of handing him his slippers or holding his sleeves., Having the nobles at his palace not only gave him class but also more power over them because it made them totally dependent on them, It also kept them away from there homes making them unable to plan any rebeliions amongst each other.
His castle at Versailles was the center of the arts during Louis reign., One of his favirote writers was Moliere, who wrote some of the funniest plays of french literature., Not since Augustus of Rome had there been a European Monarch who supported the arts as much as Louis., The purpose of art now was to create pieces that glorified and supported Louis reign.
Louis first attempt to take over the dutch lands., His first invasion was particularly successful and took 12 towns. At the surrender of of the dutch he gained several more., When the end of the 1680's came, a Europeanwide alliance was formed to halt any possible french advances. in 1689 the prince of the Dutch became King of England., The prince when King of England he joined the alliance to make sure France would have no chance of taking anymore lands.
The war of spanish succession was a bid by france to try to take spain., Eventually both sides grew tired of the war and a french noble became the lord of spain., When the war was going to end with the peaceful joining of the two sides the european allaince stepped in to prevent the two nations from converging.