English and French political developments in the seventeenth century are a study in contrasts. Through a civil war and a later, non-violent deposition of a monarch, the English moved decisively towards a parliamentary monarchy. The French, in contrast, moved decisively towards absolutist monarchy in the same time period.
In the early years of the century, both countries were headed toward absolutist governments based on the concept of Divine Rights of Kings. James I and his son Charles I took a much more aggressive stance towards asserting the powers of the monarch than had Elizabeth I. In England, however, this blew up into a Civil War, in part because of the existence of a robust Protestant religious resistance to what was seen as James' and Charles' closet papacy. The Royalists lost the war, and Oliver Cromwell took power, ending the monarchy in England for a time. After the Restoration, fears of papacy and Spanish influence again led to an uprising, this one nonviolent as the British Parliament replaced James II with the Dutch Protestant King William and his wife Mary. (Mary was the daughter of James II and William the grandson of Charles I.) In order to gain the throne, the couple had to agree to the 1689 Declaration of Rights, which limited monarchial power.
In France, Louis XIII, with Cardinal Richelieu, defeated an uprising of nobles, consolidating monarchial power, a contrast to what occurred in England. When Louis XIV became a child king under a regency that included his mother, she paved the way for him to increase royal power. This he did during a very long reign, building the palace of Versailles and concentrating power in that single location, with all patronage flowing from him.
By the beginning of the eighteenth century, Britain was well en route to a constitutional monarchy which would spread power and wealth (to some extent), helping the economic health of the country. By this time, however, France was firmly in the grip of a highly centralized monarchial government in which money funneled to the top without any say by most of the population. An out-of-touch ruling class bled the country dry, inciting an extremely violent revolution some decades later in 1789.
The British turn to constitutional monarchy in the seventeenth century helped Britain become a world power and has had a greater influence on political history than absolutist monarchy established in seventeenth century France.