The Roman Period
The 100 Years' War
The French Revolution
Restoration of the Monarchy
First World War
Second World War
The Fourth Republic
The Algerian War
De Gaule's Policy
The 1970's - Pompidou and Giscard D'Estaign
Mitterrand and Chirac
Source: France Ministry of Foreigh Affairs, The Library of Congress Country Studies and other sources.
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The 16th and 17th Centuries
Louis XI completed the consolidation of France under the French monarchy. France prospered as a center of commerce, industry, agriculture, learning, and culture throughout the 16th century but was disrupted by religious civil wars stemming from the Reformation.
The Protestant Henry of Navarre, heir to the throne, was obliged to accept Catholicism before being crowned in 1594; he became founder of the Bourbon monarchy.
The consolidation of power under a highly centralized monarchy continued under Henry's heirs. With a foreign policy shaped by the powerful prime ministers Cardinal Richelieu and Cardinal Mazarin, France under Louis XIII and Louis XIV enhanced its stature in Europe by defeating the Habsburgs in the Thirty Years' War (1618–48).
Louis XIV—the Sun King—moved the court from Paris to his new palace at Versailles and presided over the wealthiest and most powerful monarchy in Europe. His persecution of the Huguenots resulted in a great emigration of Protestants from France. A grand alliance of European states thwarted France's expansionist aims on the continent, but France became a major colonial power in North America, controlling Canada and Louisiana (including most of the Mississippi-Missouri valley), and pursued overseas ventures in Africa and Asia as well.
NOTE: The information regarding France on this page is re-published from The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of French History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about France History should be addressed to The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Copyright © 2005 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)