How did rulers in France from 1589 pave the way for Louis XIV’s greatness?

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Louis XIV’s reign would not have been so great had it not been for his three very capable precursors: Henry IV, Cardinal Richelieu, and Cardinal Mazarin. If it had not been for these three important figures, Louis would not have enjoyed as much power as he did. These figures paved the way for Louis’s greatness by enforcing new laws and policies, winning important wars, expanding the state, signing peace treaties, and in general making France a more prosperous and important country. The first of these three important men was King Henry IV (1589-1610), who did two main things that set up Louis’s reign’s grandeur. Firstly, he worked hard to bring peace to France by ending the torrid French Wars of Religion. By doing this he restored royal power. The people of Paris opposed Henry because of his Huguetonism beliefs, so in 1593 Henry demonstrated his intelligence by converting to Catholicism. In 1598, he declared the Edict of Nantes, which gave circumscribed toleration to the Huguenots. Secondly, Henry helped the economy of France to grow, thus leaving his heirs with a large wealth that could be used (for example by Louis XIV) to bring greatness or power to France. He wanted France to become self-sufficient by barring the importation of goods. He also gave rise to the silk industry. He encouraged French people to start new companies, invest in new crops, for example maize (thus increasing agriculture), and he encouraged trading companies (de Monts in North America). To help the flow of this economic expansion Henry (and de Sully) improved communication, mainly via the water. Canals were made deeper so that all sea vessels could get through, and harbours were improved so that they could support the increase of trading vessels. The second of these men was Cardinal Richelieu, the Chief Minister for King Louis XIII between 1624 and 1642. Although Richelieu did not
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