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King Louis the 13th and the Hero Generation

A few years ago, King Henry the 4th of France died, leaving his drooling 8 year old son, King Louis the 13th, on the throne, and his overwrought mother, Queen Marie, as regent. Chaos has reigned France ever since. Queen Marie thinks her son is mentally deficient and she feels overwhelmed so she has been drawing on the experience of her Italian friends who seem to care more about enriching themselves than ruling France. Queen Marie rules France so poorly that it looks like it will soon break up into feudal provinces again. King Louis is now 17 years old and even though he is in poor physical shape there is nothing wrong with his mind. He sees no easy path from his mother's regency to his own rule because of his mother's favorite advisor, Concino Concini. With a word from the young King, Concino is soon taking the long dirt nap. Queen Marie protests, so she is exiled. The new King is taking control. He will try to fix the failure of the state by using absolute power. They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely, but at this point, things couldn't get any worse. Could they? Actually, they can and will get worse, but there is hope. The Catholic Church in France is in the midst of a reform and the future Cardinal Richelieu (pronounced, RISH-el-loo) is rising through the ranks. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In 1617, Vincent de Paul (the man who will one day become a Saint Vincent de Paul) returned to France and organized the women of Paris into the Ladies of Charity in order to fund hospitals and free Christians who had been sold into slavery. Vincent, himself, had just been freed from a Muslim slave master. Vincent also reorganized the priesthood into centralized groups. Vincent de Paul wanted the people to trust the priesthood and that required stricter standards so he began educating the priesthood. Vincent de Paul and King Louis were part of a generation of heroes. That sounds like a good thing but if you've ever had to deal with heroes, they are a double-edged sword. During World War 2, the Greatest Generation went to war and saved us all. They were a hero generation. So were the Nazis. A hero generation can do wondrous things and incredibly destructive things depending on its leadership. A new hero generation is on deck right now. The Millennials are in their 20s and they have been looking for a leader. Let's hope they don't pick Bernie Sanders. [6]

Sir Francis Bacon and the Injustice of Accepting Gifts *

This year Sir Francis Bacon is appointed Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Essentially, he will use his power to maintain business monopolies for the favorites of King James the 1st of England. He is what is called in the modern day... a "Company Man"... in polite company, that is. He will eventually fall out of favor and retire to his estate to write lengthy books on the scientific method. He will also discover himself in many ways and repent what he is doing right now, but that is for later years. For now, he is dispensing the best justice that money can buy. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Sir Francis Bacon is considered an ethical man for his times. This is a somewhat backhanded compliment. Government officials didn't make a lot of money so it became a custom for them to accept gifts. These gifts were not necessarily bribes but one can see where it might lead. Modern justice requires not only that justice be done but that justice appear to be done. That is often a difficult task, made all the more difficult when a judge accepts a gift or the promise of a cushy job after retirement. Nevertheless, it seems ridiculous to require people to make a report when one is given a coffee mug in appreciation because it exceeds a certain monetary value, but one need not report accepting sexual favors from a lobbyist. The North Carolina Ethics Committee recently ruled that a lobbyist can offer sexual favors to government officials because it is impossible to place a monetary value on sex. If that is true, then prostitutes have been doing something impossible for centuries now. (I'm exaggerating a little here but not by much. You can read the article cited below.) [10]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1617, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. The Age of Reason Begins: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Shakespeare, Bacon, Montaigne, Rembrandt, Galileo, and Descartes: 1558-1648, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster. “Louis was some inches a king. Suddenly, still a lad of sixteen, tired of Concini's impudence and peculations, he gave secret orders for his assassination (1617); and when the Queen Mother protested against this termination of her favorite, he banished her to Blois and chose as his chief minister Charles d'Albert, who had suggested the stroke, and who was now made Duke of Luynes.” 
  2. Louis XIII of France - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 31 July 2015. “Louis succeeded his father Henry IV as king of France and Navarre a few months before his ninth birthday. His mother, Marie de' Medici, acted as regent during Louis's minority. Mismanagement of the kingdom and ceaseless political intrigues by Marie de' Medici and her Italian favourites led the young king to take power in 1617 by exiling his mother and executing her followers, including Concino Concini, the most influential Italian at the French court.”
  3. Edward III of England - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 31 July 2015. “Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother and her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, and began his personal reign.”
  4. Concino Concini - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 31 July 2015. “Concini had to be eliminated because he was perceived by Louis XIII as a menace - a powerful politician, having a personal army of 7,000 soldiers and important supporters and contacts among the aristocrats of France.”
  5. Marie de' Medici - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 31 July 2015. “Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until he came of age. She was noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court and extensive artistic patronage.”
  6. Vincent de Paul - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 August 2015. “In 1617, Vincent founded the 'Ladies of Charity' (French: Dames de la Charité) from a group of women within his parish. He organized these wealthy women of Paris to collect funds for missionary projects, found hospitals, and gather relief funds for the victims of war and to ransom 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa. From these, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, came the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul (French: Filles de la Charité).”
  7. Francis Bacon (Statue, 1910). London Remembers, Aiming to capture all memorials in London (2015). Retrieved on 3 August 2015. “Lord Keeper 1617”
  8. The Age of Reason Begins: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Shakespeare, Bacon, Montaigne, Rembrandt, Galileo, and Descartes: 1558-1648, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster. “As Keeper of the Seal he defended and protected the most oppressive monopolies, apparently to keep the good will of Buckingham. As judge he accepted substantial presents from persons suing in his court. All this was in the loose custom of the age: public officials were poorly paid, and they recompensed themselves with 'gifts' from those whom they aided” 
  9. Bacon, Francis. The Galileo Project (2015). Retrieved on 3 August 2015. “Appointed member of Privy Council, 1616. Appointed Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, 1617. Appointed Lord Chancellor, 1618-21. Created Lord Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621.”
  10. Sex between lobbyists and state legislators not considered a 'gift'. The Daily Tar Heel (February 18, 2015). Retrieved on 4 August 2015. “The North Carolina Ethics Committee has ruled that sex between lobbyists and government officials does not have to be included in disclosure reports.”

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