Henry of Navarre

Came to throne in 1589 when his mother and last brother died in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Upon inheriting the throne Henry became the first king of the Bourbon dynasty.

As king of France, Henry proved himself to be: decisive, fearless in battle, and a smart polititian.

At the beginning of his reign, Henry converted from Protestant to Catholic in order to begin healing Frances wounds from the Massacre on St. Bartholomews Day. The next thing he did was to give Huguenots religious freedom in France through the Edict of Nantes. This Edict may have brought some peace between Catholics and Huguenots, but it also caused Henry to be hated by some. The hate from the people eventually lead to his assassination at the hands of the fanatic Ravaillac in 1610.

Overall, Henry dedicated his reign to rebuilding France and its prosperity. Through him the French monarchy was restored and peace was brought to most of France.

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Louis XIII (Cardinal Richelieu)

After his fathers assassination in 1610, Louis XIII came to power. Louis was a weak ruler who ruled only to please his mother. After her death, Louis appointed Cardinal Richelieu; and due to Louis' weak ruling Cardinal Richelieu became in effect Frances true ruler.

Cardinal Richelieu

Appointed by Louis XIII in 1624 at the age of 39. Before being appointed as Prime Minister, he was a hard working leader in the Catholic Church. Richelieu was an ambitious person who liked to excersize his power, and though he tried to live by what he preached he failed, and was able to pursue his abitions politically.

As Minister he did two things to increase the Bourbon Monarchy's power:

  • He moved against the Huguenots

  • He sought to weaken the power nobles had

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As he increased the power of the French, Richelieu and Louis XIII paved the way for Frances greatest ruler; Louis XIV.