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How Historically Accurate is season 1 of Versailles?

163 bytes added, 22:15, 15 December 2016
History and Key Events
==History and Key Events==
[[File:The-BBC-confirmed-the-news-to-fans-tonight-619209.jpeg|thumbnail|Versailles Season 1 image.]]
The story begins with Louis having a vision to build a great and grand palace at Versailles. The palace is depicted as a symbol for France and in the first season Louis attempts to instill in his nobility that the palace is to represent all of France and his role in building it is essentially to unify the country(Figure 1). Rebellion by nobles during the reign of his father was a major problem in France, weakening the country. The series rightly indicates that the construction of the palace was in part used as a way to control the government and put it more in the hands of the king. Paris had been rife with plots against the royal family, likely prompting Louis to move the court at a distance that allowed him to have better control of the government while not being trapped by the demands of the ever rebellious nobles. One major plot developments is Louis asks his nobles to produce papers to prove their nobility. Louis XIV is known to have instigated a major program that verified the lineage of the nobility.
Another key even in the early episodes is his war in Holland and the Spanish Netherlands. While initially very successful, Louis was persuaded to make peace with the Dutch after the war threatened to become much larger and involve other major European powers. Louis could not afford, early in his reign, to fight a long and protracted war, particularly given his problems with the nobles and financial situation, particularly as the construction of Versailles got underway. By 1671, the war rekindled and this time France marched into Dutch territory along with English support. The war continued until 1678, by which time Louis had gain territorial concessions from the Spanish Netherlands. The series did not give much detail about this prolonged conflict, where much of the focus was more on Louis' domestic problems with his nobles. Nevertheless, Louis is shown as trying to make alliances and treaties with the English and even African nobles visiting so that French trade could be placed in a more superior position. These events were largely true and Louis did try to position French trade interests in the growing African and Atlantic trade networks.
Perhaps the most prominent plot revolved around a group of nobles and others conducting a conspiracy to make the king loose power and control over the country. This involved poisoning of some of the characters, shooting prominent families on the road to Versailles, where even Philippe's wife and Louis' lover Henriette, who was the sister of the King of England Charles II, was killed in one of these attempts. This part of the story does differ from likely historical accounts, as it is not clear Louis ever faced any major threats to his kingdom from internal unrest despite having some troubles from the nobles as he centralized the state early in his reign. There were various plots, including a series of poisonings called the Affair of the Poisons, that lasted from the 1670s-1680s. The Huguenot, or French Protestants, also attempted to conduct a campaign against the king, although Louis' major persecution of them only began in the 1680s, a period after when the first season took place. The Huguenot's came closer to threatening the French crown long before Louis' reign in the 1620s.
[[File:Chateau de Versailles 1668 Pierre Patel.jpeg|thumbnail|Figure 1. The Palace of Versailles in 1668 during the period represented in the series.]]
==Main Characters==

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