Absolutist emperors did not necessarily have complete control over government, but they restricted participation in government, usually that of the aristocracy or nobility, as lower social classes exercised limited, if any, political participation. In ~ the exact same time, absolute monarchs preserved social and also legal privileges of the aristocracy in order to maintain their support.


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Henry IV and also Louis XIII assisted lay the foundations of absolute preeminence in France. Henry IV (previously Henry that Navarre) became king of France after ~ his marriage to Margaret of Valois, throughout a time of religious strife in between Catholics and also Protestants. Henry was a Protestant, yet to help secure his title, he convert to Catholicism and also signed the Edict that Nantes in 1598, confirming Catholicism together the state religion, however granting spiritual tolerance come French Protestants (known as Huguenots).
Henry and also his chef Minister Sully likewise worked to consolidate the bureaucracy and also win assistance from the nobility. Noble were exempt from taxes, leaving the tax burden to loss mostly on the peasants. Sully also helped Henry reduce the national debt, build brand-new roads and canals, and revive the economic climate through industry and also agriculture. To raise money, Henry sold titles that nobility, which came to be known as “robe nobles.” 
Louis XIII concerned power in ~ the age of 9 after ~ Henry IV was assassinated in 1610. Luigi appointed Cardinal Richelieu as Chief Minister in 1624, and Richelieu essentially ruled France till his death in 1642, additional increasing imperial power. The intendant system split France into 32 districts run by imperial officials referred to as intendants, enabling for higher centralization. Finally, Richelieu supported the Protestants in the Thirty years War, resulting in the loss of the Habsburgs and allowing France to arise as the leading European power.
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