After the Thirty Years War Germany remained divided among local rulers and France emerged as the dominant great power in Europe.

The king of France was the most successful of all the European kings in perfecting absolute monarchy.

Two great ministers, Cardinal Richelieu, and Mazarin, built up the power of the crown, and in the process was aided by the long
72-year reign of Louis XIV

His words 'L'etat c'est moi' ('I am the state') express the spirit of a rule in which the king held all political authority. His opulent palace of Versailles became as much European fashion as the French language, customs and culture.

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Absolutism in France