Cardinal Mazarin Chief Minister of France: Early Modern History (Early Modern History Series Book 8)

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Template:See also2 Major changes in philosophy and science take place, often characterized as the Scientific revolution. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Add Video. Add Image. Contents [ show ]. Retrieved December 21, The savage wars of peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian trap. Cullen Edinburgh University Press. After he was appointed to the royal council of ministers on 29 April , [29] he intrigued against the chief minister, Charles, duc de La Vieuville.

Cardinal Richelieu's policy involved two primary goals: centralization of power in France [31] and opposition to the Habsburg dynasty which ruled in both Austria and Spain. To counter Spanish designs on the territory, Richelieu supported the Protestant Swiss canton of Grisons , which also claimed the strategically important valley. The Cardinal deployed troops to Valtellina, from which the Pope's garrisons were driven out.

To further consolidate power in France, Richelieu sought to suppress the influence of the feudal nobility. In , he abolished the position of Constable of France and ordered all fortified castles razed, excepting only those needed to defend against invaders. As a result, Richelieu was hated by most of the nobility. Another obstacle to the centralization of power was religious division in France. The Huguenots , one of the largest political and religious factions in the country, controlled a significant military force, and were in rebellion.

In , Richelieu ordered the army to besiege the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle ; the Cardinal personally commanded the besieging troops. The city, however, remained firm for over a year before capitulating in Although the Huguenots suffered a major defeat at La Rochelle, they continued to fight, led by Henri, duc de Rohan. Protestant forces, however, were defeated in ; Rohan submitted to the terms of the Peace of Alais.

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Habsburg Spain exploited the French conflict with the Huguenots to extend its influence in northern Italy. It funded the Huguenot rebels in order to keep the French army occupied, meanwhile expanding its Italian dominions. Richelieu, however, responded aggressively; after La Rochelle capitulated, he personally led the French army to northern Italy to restrain Spain. On 26 November , he was created duc de Richelieu and a Peer of France. Marie believed that the Cardinal had robbed her of her political influence; thus, she demanded that her son dismiss the chief minister.

Richelieu, however, was aware of the plan, and quickly convinced the King to repent. Thereafter, the King was unwavering in his political support for him. The nobility also remained powerless. The only important rising was that of Henri, duc de Montmorency in ; Richelieu, ruthless in suppressing opposition, ordered the duke's execution. Richelieu's harsh measures were designed to intimidate his enemies.

He also ensured his political security by establishing a large network of spies in France as well as in other European countries. Richelieu, however, survived the scheme, and Marie was exiled as a result. Before Richelieu's ascent to power, most of Europe had become enmeshed in the Thirty Years' War — France was not openly at war with the Habsburgs , who ruled Spain and the Holy Roman Empire , so subsidies and aid were provided secretly to their adversaries.

In , Richelieu also sent money to Ernst von Mansfeld , a famous mercenary general operating in Germany in English service. Richelieu, alarmed by Ferdinand's growing influence, incited Sweden to intervene, providing money.


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At that time northern Italy was a major strategic region in Europe's balance of power, serving as a link between the Habsburgs in the Empire and in Spain. Had the imperial armies dominated this region, France would have been threatened by Habsburg encirclement. Spain was meanwhile seeking papal approval for a universal monarchy. When in French diplomats in Regensburg agreed to make peace with Spain, Richelieu refused to support them. The agreement would have prohibited French interference in Germany. Military expenses placed a considerable strain on royal revenues.

In response, Richelieu raised the gabelle salt tax and the taille land tax. The clergy, nobility, and high bourgeoisie were either exempt or could easily avoid payment, so the burden fell on the poorest segment of the nation. To collect taxes more efficiently, and to keep corruption to a minimum, Richelieu bypassed local tax officials, replacing them with intendants officials in the direct service of the Crown. Because he openly aligned France with Protestant powers, Richelieu was denounced by many as a traitor to the Roman Catholic Church. Military action, at first, was disastrous for the French, with many victories going to Spain and the Empire.

Richelieu was instrumental in redirecting the Thirty Years' War from the conflict of Protestantism versus Catholicism to that of nationalism versus Habsburg hegemony. When Richelieu came to power, New France , where the French had a foothold since Jacques Cartier , had no more than permanent European inhabitants. Unlike the other colonial powers, France encouraged a peaceful coexistence in New France between Natives and Colonists and sought the integration of Indians into colonial society. The census of New France , conducted some 20 years after the death of Cardinal Richelieu, showed a population of 3, habitants in New France, many more than there had been only a few decades earlier, but also a great difference in the number of men 2, and women 1, Richelieu was displeased by the Pope's refusal to name him the papal legate in France; [59] in turn, the Pope did not approve of the administration of the French church, or of French foreign policy.

However, the conflict was largely healed when the Pope granted a cardinalate to Jules Mazarin , one of Richelieu's foremost political allies, in Despite troubled relations with the Roman Catholic Church, Richelieu did not support the complete repudiation of papal authority in France, as was advocated by the Gallicanists. As he neared death, Richelieu faced a plot that threatened to remove him from power.

Cinq-Mars had become the royal favourite by , but, contrary to Cardinal Richelieu's belief, he was not easy to control. The young marquis realized that Richelieu would not permit him to gain political power. However, Richelieu was now dying. For many years he had suffered from recurrent fevers possibly malaria , strangury , intestinal tuberculosis with fistula , and migraine. Now his right arm was suppurating with tubercular osteitis , and he coughed blood after his death, his lungs were found to have extensive cavities and caseous necrosis.

His doctors continued to bleed him frequently, further weakening him. Richelieu died on 4 December , aged His body was embalmed and interred at the church of the Sorbonne. During the French Revolution , the corpse was removed from its tomb, and the mummified front of his head, having been removed and replaced during the original embalming process, was stolen.

It ended up in the possession of Nicholas Armez of Brittany by , and he occasionally exhibited the well-preserved face. His nephew, Louis-Philippe Armez, inherited it and also occasionally exhibited it and lent it out for study. In , Napoleon III persuaded Armez to return the face to the government for re-interment with the rest of Richelieu's body. An investigation of subsidence of the church floor enabled the head to be photographed in Richelieu was a famous patron of the arts.

An author of various religious and political works most notably his Political Testament , he sent his agents abroad [70] in search of books and manuscripts for his unrivaled library, which he specified in his will, leaving it to his great-nephew fully funded, should serve, not merely his family but to be open at fixed hours to scholars; the manuscripts alone numbered some , bound as codices in red Morocco with the cardinal's arms.

The library was transferred to the Sorbonne in He was a lover of the theatre, which was not considered a respectable art form during that era; a private theatre was a feature of the Palais-Cardinal. Among the individuals he patronized was the famous playwright Pierre Corneille.

Since , that role has been fulfilled by the French head of state. In , Richelieu was elected the proviseur or principal of the Sorbonne. Richelieu oversaw the construction of his own palace in Paris, the Palais-Cardinal. The Galerie de l'avant-cour had ceiling paintings by the Cardinal's chief portraitist, Philippe de Champaigne , celebrating the major events of the Cardinal's career; the Galerie des hommes illustres had twenty-six historicizing portraits of great men , larger than life, from Abbot Suger to Louis XIII; some were by Simon Vouet others were careful copies by Philippe de Champaigne from known portraits; [76] with them were busts of Roman emperors.

Another series of portraits of authors complemented the library. The heavily resurfaced and restored Richelieu Bacchus continued to be admired by neoclassical artists. His marble portrait bust by Bernini was not considered a good likeness and was banished to a passageway. The fittings of his chapel in the Palais-Cardinal, for which Simon Vouet executed the paintings, were of solid gold—crucifix, chalice, paten , ciborium, candlesticks—set with rubies and 9, diamonds.

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When the Palais-Cardinal was complete, he donated it to the Crown, in With the Queen in residence, the paintings of the Grand Cabinet were transferred to Fontainebleau and replaced by copies, and the interiors were subjected to much rearrangement. Richelieu's tenure was a crucial period of reform for France. Earlier, the nation's political structure was largely feudal, with powerful nobles and a wide variety of laws in different regions. This system gave way to centralized power under Richelieu.

Equally critical for France was Richelieu's foreign policy, which helped restrain Habsburg influence in Europe. Richelieu did not survive to the end of the Thirty Years' War. However, the conflict ended in , with France emerging in a far better position than any other power, and the Holy Roman Empire entering a period of decline.

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History of France

He continued Richelieu's work of creating an absolute monarchy ; in the same vein as the Cardinal, he enacted policies that further suppressed the once-mighty aristocracy, and utterly destroyed all remnants of Huguenot political power with the Edict of Fontainebleau. Moreover, Louis took advantage of his nation's success during the Thirty Years' War to establish French hegemony in continental Europe.

Thus, Richelieu's policies were the requisite prelude to Louis XIV becoming the most powerful monarch, and France the most powerful nation, in all of Europe during the late seventeenth century. Richelieu is also notable for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power. He censored the press, [83] established a large network of internal spies, forbade the discussion of political matters in public assemblies such as the Parlement de Paris a court of justice , and had those who dared to conspire against him prosecuted and executed.

The Canadian historian and philosopher John Ralston Saul has referred to Richelieu as the "father of the modern nation-state , modern centralised power [and] the modern secret service. Richelieu's motives are the focus of much debate among historians: some see him as a patriotic supporter of the monarchy, while others view him as a power-hungry cynic.

The latter image gained further currency due to Alexandre Dumas ' The Three Musketeers , which depicts Richelieu as a self-serving and ruthless de facto ruler of France. Despite such arguments, Richelieu remains an honoured personality in France. He has given his name to a battleship and a battleship class. His legacy is also important for the world at large; his ideas of a strong nation-state and aggressive foreign policy helped create the modern system of international politics.

The notions of national sovereignty and international law can be traced, at least in part, to Richelieu's policies and theories, especially as enunciated in the Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years' War. A less renowned aspect of his legacy is his involvement with Samuel de Champlain and the fledgling colony along the St.

Lawrence River. The retention and promotion of Canada under Richelieu allowed it—and through the settlement's strategic location, the St. Lawrence— Great Lakes gateway into the North American interior—to develop into a French empire in North America, parts of which eventually became modern Canada and Louisiana.

Early Modern History MA

As of April , the Internet Movie Database listed ninety-four films and television programs in which Cardinal Richelieu is a character. Richelieu is one of the clergymen most frequently portrayed in film, notably in the many versions of Alexandre Dumas 's The Three Musketeers.

Richelieu's Army : War, Government and Society in France, 1624-1642

He is usually portrayed as a sinister character, but the Cyrano de Bergerac shows Richelieu played by Edgar Barrier in a scene not from Rostand's original verse drama , as compassionate to Cyrano's financial plight, and playfully having enjoyed the duel at the theatre.

The play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy , by Edward Bulwer-Lytton , portrayed Richelieu uttering the now famous line, " The pen is mightier than the sword. Many sites and landmarks were named to honor Cardinal Richelieu. They include: [85]. There is also an ornate style of lace, Richelieu lace, named in honor of the cardinal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.