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King Louis XIII

Louis XIII (1601–43), king of France (1610–43), born in Fontainebleau. He succeeded his father, Henry IV, under the regency of his mother, Marie de' Medici. He was the first of the Bourbon kings of France. He married Anne of Austria; daughter of Philip III, king of Spain, in 1615. Even after being declared of age in 1614, he was excluded from affairs of state by his domineering mother. In 1617 he caused the assassination of her minister Concino Concini, with the aid of his own favorite, Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes, and Marie de' Medici was forced into retirement. He was reconciled to her in 1622 and entrusted (1624) the government to her protégé, Cardinal Richelieu. In 1630, urged by his mother to discharge Richelieu, he instead sent his mother again into exile. He gave full support to Richelieu and his successor, Cardinal Mazarin. Richelieu strengthened royal authority and centralized government control.

Under Richelieu's anti-Habsburg foreign policy, France entered (1635) the Thirty Years' War as an ally of Sweden and the Protestant princes of Germany. Louis's reign was marked also by occasional religious strife between Roman Catholics and the French Protestants, or Huguenots, and by the many conspiracies against Richelieu. Richelieu died in 1642.

Louis was succeeded by his son Louis XIV. Louis's reign was remarkable for the establishment of the French Academy; and for the work of St. Francis of Sales, and St. Vincent de Paul in religion; René Descartes in philosophy; and Pierre Corneille in literature.

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