Louis XIV and Foreign Affairs
IT HAS BEEN SAID that “when Louis XIV took the reins of government into his own hands he was in the prime of life, possessing a combination of qualities rare in kings—the advantages of youth allied with experience.” The major role he played from that time on, in affairs of state in general and in the direction of foreign affairs in particular, cannot be disputed. The young king had permitted Mazarin to be all-powerful as minister until the time of his death. But during the cardinal’s long illness, he had given much thought to how he would organize the ministry. As early as January 25, 1661, the rumor circulated that “there would be no more ministry of state, and that the King himself would govern.” On March 23 Anne of Austria told Madame de Motteville that Le Tellier, Fouquet, and Lionne “were not going to govern but to serve the King.” On the 5th of March, according to the Abbé de Choisy, Louis XIV apprised Le Tellier, who some people were sure would be the cardinal’s successor, of his intention to govern by himself.
KeywordsForeign Policy Foreign Affair Foreign Minister Council Meeting Peace Negotiation
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