Lead: Jean-Baptiste Colbert, royal finance minister, was French King Louis XIV closest cabinet advisor. Louis’ war with the Dutch, shot down Colbert’s dreams of making France an economic superpower.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: When his father, Louis XIII, died, the future King was five years old. During the years before he reached maturity, France was wracked by popular unrest and governmental chaos. Once he took the reigns of power, Louis determined that he would not depend on the services of a chief minister as had his father who elevated Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin to unprecedented power. Louis decided to rule France himself and that rule would be iron-fisted, competent and absolute. The closest that one of his servants came to having the chance to wield independent power was Jean-Baptiste Colbert and he had big plans for France.