Louis XII of France
Louis XII was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1498 to 1515 and King of Naples from 1501 to 1504. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Maria of Cleves, he succeeded his cousin Charles VIII, who died without a closer heir in 1498. Before his accession to the throne of France, he was known as Louis of Orléans and was compelled to be married to his disabled and supposedly sterile cousin Joan by his second cousin, king Louis XI. By doing so, Louis XI hoped to extinguish the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois, Louis of Orléans was one of the great feudal lords who opposed the French monarchy in the conflict known as the Mad War. At the royal victory in the Battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in 1488, Louis was captured and he subsequently took part in the Italian War of 1494–1498 as one of the French commanders. When Louis XII became king in 1498, he had his marriage with Joan annulled by Pope Alexander VI and instead married Anne of Brittany and this marriage allowed Louis to reinforce the personal Union of Brittany and France.
Louis persevered in the Italian Wars, initiating a second Italian campaign for the control of the Kingdom of Naples, Louis conquered the Duchy of Milan in 1500 and pushed forward to the Kingdom of Naples, which fell to him in 1501. Proclaimed King of Naples, Louis faced a new coalition gathered by Ferdinand II of Aragon and was forced to cede Naples to Spain in 1504. A popular king, Louis was proclaimed Father of the People in 1506 by the Estates-General of Tours for his reduction of the tax known as taille, legal reforms, Louis XII died in 1515 without a male heir. He was succeeded by his cousin Francis from the Angoulême cadet branch of the House of Valois, Louis was born on 27 June 1462 in the Château de Blois, Touraine. The son of Charles, Duke of Orléans, and Marie of Cleves, Louis XI may have been more influenced in this opinion by his opposition to the entire Orleanist faction of the royal family than by the actual facts of this paternity case. Despite any alleged doubts that King Louis XI may have had, King Louis XI died on 30 August 1483.
He was succeeded to the throne of France by his thirteen year-old son, nobody knew the direction which the new king would take in leading the kingdom. Accordingly, on 24 October 1483, a call went out for a convocation of the Estates General of the French kingdom, in January 1484, deputies of the Estates General began to arrive in Tours, France. The deputies represented three different estates in society, the First Estate was the Church, in France this meant the Roman Catholic Church. The Second Estate was composed of the nobility and the royalty of France, the Third Estate was generally composed of commoners and the class of traders and merchants in France. Louis, the current Duke of Orleans and future Louis XII, each estate brought their chief complaints to the Estates General in hopes to have some impact on the policies that the new King would pursue. The First Estate wanted a return to the Pragmatic Sanction, the Pragmatic Sanction had been first instituted by King Charles VII, the current King Charles VIIIs grandfather
Henry IV of France
Henry IV, known by the epithet Good King Henry, was King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first French monarch of the House of Bourbon, baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother Jeanne dAlbret, Queen of Navarre, he inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on the death of his mother. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion, barely escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomews Day massacre, and led Protestant forces against the royal army. Henry, as Head of the House of Bourbon, was a direct descendant of Louis IX of France. Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III of France in 1589 and he initially kept the Protestant faith and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear Frances crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, as a pragmatic politician, he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era.
Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants and he was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII. Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, an unpopular king immediately after his accession, Henrys popularity greatly improved after his death, in light of repeated victories over his enemies and his conversion to Catholicism. The Good King Henry was remembered for his geniality and his concern about the welfare of his subjects. He was celebrated in the popular song Vive le roi Henri, Henry was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn. His parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre. As a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion, on 9 June 1572, upon his mothers death, he became King of Navarre.
At Queen Joans death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II, the wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral. On 24 August, the Saint Bartholomews Day Massacre began in Paris, several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henrys wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed. Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and he was made to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and he named his 16-year-old sister, Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years, Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574. Because Henry of Navarre was the senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice
Marie Antoinette (/ˈmæriˌæntwəˈnɛt/, /ˌɑ̃ːntwə-/, /ˌɑ̃ːtwə-/, US /məˈriː-/, born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, was the last Queen of France and Navarre before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria, and was the fifteenth and second youngest child of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, in April 1770, upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne, she became Dauphine of France. After eight years of marriage, Marie Antoinette gave birth to a daughter, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, the Diamond Necklace affair damaged her reputation further. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the family to take refuge at the Assembly. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished, after a two-day trial begun on 14 October 1793, Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason, and executed by guillotine on Place de la Révolution on 16 October 1793. Maria Antonia was born on 2 November 1755, at the Hofburg Palace and she was the youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa, ruler of the Habsburg Empire, and her husband Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor.
Her godparents were Joseph I and Mariana Victoria and Queen of Portugal, Archduke Joseph, shortly after her birth, she was placed under the care of the Governess of the Imperial children, Countess von Brandeis. Maria Antonia was raised with her older sister Maria Carolina. As to her relationship with her mother, it was difficult, despite the private tutoring she received, results of her schooling were less than satisfactory. At the age of ten she could not write correctly in German or in any language used at court, such as French. Under the teaching of Christoph Willibald Gluck, Maria Antonia developed into a good musician and she learned to play the harp, the harpsichord and the flute. During the familys gatherings in the evenings, she would sing and she excelled at dancing, had an exquisite poise, and loved dolls. Following the Seven Years War and the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, Empress Maria Theresa decided to end hostilities with her longtime enemy, on 14 May she met her husband at the edge of the forest of Compiègne.
Upon her arrival in France, she adopted the French version of her name, a further ceremonial wedding took place on 16 May 1770 in the Palace of Versailles and, after the festivities, the day ended with the ritual bedding. The lack of consummation of the marriage plagued the reputation of both Louis-Auguste and Marie Antoinette for the seven years. The initial reaction to the marriage between Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste was mixed, on the one hand, the Dauphine was beautiful and well-liked by the common people. Her first official appearance in Paris on 8 June 1773 was a resounding success, on the other hand, those opposed to the alliance with Austria, and others, for personal reasons, had a difficult relationship with Marie Antoinette. Madame du Barry, for example, was Louis XVs mistress and had political influence over him
Yolande de Polastron
She was considered one of the great beauties of pre-Revolutionary society, but her extravagance and exclusivity earned her many enemies. Yolande Martine Gabrielle de Polastron was born in Paris in the reign of King Louis XV and her parents were Jean François Gabriel, Count of Polastron, seigneur de Noueilles, Venerque and Grépiac, and Jeanne Charlotte Hérault de Vaucresson. As was customary with aristocrats, most of whom more than one Christian name. While Gabrielle was still an infant, her parents moved to the family Château of Noueilles, when Gabrielle was three, her mother died and her welfare was entrusted to an aunt, who arranged for her to receive a convent education. At the age of 16, Gabrielle was betrothed to Jules François Armand, comte de Polignac, marquis de Mancini, whom she married on 7 July 1767, polignacs family had a well-bred ancestry similar to Gabrielles family, and was in equally uncomfortable financial straits. At the time of his marriage, Polignac was serving in the Régiment de Royal Dragons, within a few years of the marriage and Gabrielle had two children, a daughter Aglaé and a son.
Two more sons followed several years later, including Jules, prince de Polignac who became the minister of France in 1829. Most surviving portraits show her to be pretty, one historian said that Gabrielle, in her portraits by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, generally looks like some harvested and luscious fruit. She had dark hair, very pale white skin and, perhaps most unusually. Compiling the contemporary accounts of her, one historian has summarised her physical appearance thus. With her cloud of dark hair, her big eyes, her neat nose, the cost of maintaining oneself at the court of Versailles was ruinous and Gabrielle replied that her husband did not have the money to finance a permanent move to the palace. Determined to keep her new favourite by her side, the Queen agreed to settle the many outstanding debts. She was, resented by other members of the entourage, particularly the Queens confessor and her chief political adviser. Charismatic and beautiful, Gabrielle became the leader of the Queens exclusive circle.
She was considered by many of her friends to be elegant, sophisticated, in 1780, her husband was given the title of duc de Polignac, thus making her duchesse, a further source of irritation to the courtiers. By the late 1780s, thousands of pornographic pamphlets alleged that Gabrielle was the Queens lesbian lover and those who were not themselves swept into the whirlpool, stood at the marge contemplating it with astonishment. The Queens hand was guided by the violet-eyed, the lovely. In 1782, the Governess to the Children of France, Victoire de Rohan, princesse de Guéméné, the Queen replaced the princess with Gabrielle
Louis, Dauphin of France (son of Louis XV)
Louis, Dauphin of France was the only surviving son of King Louis XV of France and his wife, Queen Marie Leszczyńska. Son of the king, Louis was styled Fils de France, as heir apparent, he became Dauphin of France. However, he died before ascending to the throne, three of his sons became kings of France, Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X. French royal family, Louis was baptised privately and without a name by Cardinal Armand de Rohan. On 27 April 1737 when he was seven years old the public ceremony of the other baptismal rites took place and it was at this point that he was given the name Louis Ferdinand. His godparents were Louis, Duke of Orléans and the Dowager Duchess of Bourbon, Louis governess was Madame de Ventadour who had previously served as his fathers governess. When he was seven years old, the Duke of Châtillon was named his governor, the Count of Muy was named under-governor, from an early age Louis took a great interest in the military arts. He was bitterly disappointed when his father would not permit him to join the 1744 campaign in the War of the Austrian Succession, when his father became deathly ill with fever at Metz, Louis disobeyed orders and went to his bedside.
This rash action, which could have resulted in the deaths of both Louis and his father, resulted in a permanent change in the relations between father and son, until then, Louis XV had doted on his son, but now the relationship was more distant. He was very close to his three oldest sisters, the marriage contract was signed 13 December 1744, the marriage was celebrated by proxy at Madrid 18 December 1744 and in person at Versailles 23 February 1745. Louis and Maria Teresa Rafaela were well-matched and had an affection for each other. They had one daughter, Princess Marie Thérèse of France, three days after the birth of their daughter, Louiss wife, Maria Teresa Rafaela, died on 22 July 1746. Louis was only 16 years old and he grieved intensely at the loss of his wife, but his responsibility to provide for the succession to the French crown required he marry again quickly. In 1746, Louis received the Order of the Golden Fleece from his father-in-law King Philip V of Spain, a second marriage ceremony took place in person at Versailles on 9 February 1747.
Marie Zéphyrine of France, died in childhood, Louis Joseph of France, Duke of Burgundy, died in childhood. Xavier of France, Duke of Aquitaine, died in infancy, Louis XVI of France, married Marie Antoinette and had issue. Louis XVIII of France, married Princess Marie Joséphine of Savoy, Charles X of France, married Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy and had issue Marie Clotilde de France, married Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia, no issue. He was well-educated, a man, and a lover of music, he preferred the pleasures of conversation to those of hunting, balls. With a keen sense of morality, he was very committed to his wife, Marie-Josèphe
The French nobility was a privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the revolution in 1790. The nobility was revived in 1805 with limited rights as an elite class from the First Empire to the fall of the July Monarchy in 1848. Hereditary titles, without privileges, continued to be granted until the Second Empire fell in 1870 and they survive among their descendants as a social convention and as part of the legal name of the corresponding individuals. In the political system of pre-Revolutionary France, the nobility made up the Second Estate of the Estates General, although membership in the noble class was mainly inherited, it was not a fully closed order. New individuals were appointed to the nobility by the monarchy, or they could purchase rights and titles, sources differ about the actual number of nobles in France, proportionally, it was among the smallest noble classes in Europe. For the year 1789, French historian François Bluche gives a figure of 140,000 nobles and states that about 5% of nobles could claim descent from feudal nobility before the 15th century, with a total population of 28 million, this would represent merely 0. 5%.
Historian Gordon Wright gives a figure of 300,000 nobles, in terms of land holdings, at the time of the revolution, noble estates comprised about one-fifth of the land. The French nobility had specific legal and financial rights and prerogatives, the first official list of these prerogatives was established relatively late, under Louis XI after 1440, and included the right to hunt, to wear a sword and, in principle, to possess a seigneurie. Nobles were granted an exemption from paying the taille, except for lands they might possess in some regions of France. Furthermore, certain ecclesiastic and military positions were reserved for nobles and these feudal privileges are often termed droits de féodalité dominante. With the exception of a few isolated cases, serfdom had ceased to exist in France by the 15th century, in early modern France, nobles nevertheless maintained a great number of seigneurial privileges over the free peasants that worked lands under their control. They could, for example, levy the tax, an annual tax on lands leased or held by vassals.
Nobles could charge banalités for the right to use the lords mills, alternatively, a noble could demand a portion of vassals harvests in return for permission to farm land he owned. In the 17th century this system was established in Frances North American possessions. However, the had responsibilities. Nobles were required to honor and counsel their king and they were often required to render military service. The rank of noble was forfeitable, certain activities could cause dérogeance, most commercial and manual activities were strictly prohibited, although nobles could profit from their lands by operating mines and forges. The nobility in France was never a closed class