This documentary series follows Rufus Gifford, the U.S. ambassador to Denmark and an advocate for LGBT rights, in his personal and professional life.
Runtime: 30 minutes
I Am the Ambassador - Louis XIV of France - Netflix
Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting at the age of 4, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralization of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, which advocates the divine origin of monarchical rule, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution. Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military, and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished. The revocation effectively forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to virtually destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' reign, France was the leading European power, and it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. There were also two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled “by a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique”, Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war. He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military.
I Am the Ambassador - Turning point - Netflix
The final phases of the War of the Spanish Succession demonstrated that the Allies could not maintain the Archduke Charles in Spain just as surely as France could not retain the entire Spanish inheritance for King Philip V. The Allies were definitively expelled from central Spain by the Franco-Spanish victories at the Battles of Villaviciosa and Brihuega in 1710. French forces elsewhere remained obdurate despite their defeats. The Allies suffered a Pyrrhic victory at the Battle of Malplaquet with 21,000 casualties, twice that of the French. Eventually, France recovered its military pride with the decisive victory at Denain in 1712. French military successes near the end of the war took place against the background of a changed political situation in Austria. In 1705, the Emperor Leopold I died. His elder son and successor, Joseph I, followed him in 1711. His heir was none other than the Archduke Charles, who secured control of all of his brother's Austrian land holdings. If the Spanish empire then fell to him, it would have resurrected a domain as vast as that of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in the sixteenth century. To the maritime powers of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, this would have been as undesirable as a Franco-Spanish union.
I Am the Ambassador - References - Netflix