“Casual" Dress - 1641 to 1683

This was a turbulent era,. In the UK, Charles I was executed in 1649, leading to a republic led by a father and then his son à la Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. The people in the UK were happy to see royal rule restored in 1660. But religion continued to plague the country, particularly because Charles II's successor was Catholic. Parliament asked the daughter of Henrietta Mary Stuart, Mary, and her husband William to take the crown, done in 1689. Charles II was not to be outdone in the infidelity department by Louis XIV. Two of his mistresses are the subjects of subalbums, Barbara Palmer and French superspy Louise de Kerouaille.

In France, underage Louis XIV became King in 1643. He assumed complete power in 1661, but there were some troubles in the meantime. Local courts of appeals (parlements, not to be confused with legislative parliaments as in London) resisted increasing royal power being pursued by Cardinal Mazarin leading to a resistance. According to Wikipedia's article about Louis XIV, "A mob of angry Parisians broke into the royal palace and demanded to see their king. Led into the royal bedchamber, they gazed upon Louis, who was feigning sleep, were appeased, and quietly departed. The threat to the royal family and Monarchy prompted the Regent Anne (the subject of a subalbum) to flee Paris with the young King and his courtiers." The Fronde parlementaire petered out, but the hereditary nobles resisted expanding royal power (taxation and demoting them from vassals, with a major role in war, to mere courtiers adorning the royal court) leading to a second Fronde, the Fronde des princes,  from 1650 - 1653. Many leading nobles, including the Duchesse de Longueville, participated. Cardinal Mazarin ultimately triumphed and royal authority was restored. No doubt with memories of the Fronde ever fresh in his mind, Louis XIV imposed absolute rule. Internal strife waned, but Louis XIV engaged in numerous border wars. In one triumph, he brought German states near France into the French orbit, something undone only in 1870 by Bismarck.

Louis XIV was married to a Habsburg Princess, Marie Thérèse of Austria/Spain, but is famous for his string of mistresses, the true leaders of fashion. Four are the subjects of subalbums,  Marie Anne and Olympia Mancini, Louise de la Valliere, and the Marquise de Montespan. He was also involved with the Duchesse de Fontanges.

The Netherlands attained independence, but the Habsburgs still ruled what is now Belgium. In the next century, Marie Antoinette did not attempt to flee to Austria. She attempted to flee to Habsburg Belgium and was caught at Varennes near the Belgian border.

Germany and Italy were assemblages of various kingdoms, principalities, and ecclesiastical entities, somewhat recalled by the "Duchy of Grand Fenwick" in the 1959 film comedy "The Mouse that Roared." Religion was still a source of intense conflict in Germany, and just about everywhere else in Europe, with the north turning protestant while the south remained Catholic.

Why end this album at 1683? This is when Louis XIV married Madame de Maintenon who exerted a profound influence on him. This may have contributed to the rigidity of that period.


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