The New Student's Reference Work/Mazarin, Jules

Mazarin (mä′zȧ′răn′), Jules, cardinal and chief minister of France during the youth of Louis XIV, was born on July 14, 1602, at Piscina, Italy. His ability for diplomacy was early seen, and he accompanied a papal legate to the court of France. Here he met Richelieu, who, foreseeing his future, engaged him to further French interests in Italy. In 1639 he openly entered the service of Louis XIII, was naturalized a Frenchman, and through Richelieu’s influence gained a cardinal’s hat. Richelieu further, before his death, recommended Mazarin to the king as his successor. He ruled with less friction than Richelieu, though with almost as great power. The opposition of parliament to his taxes, followed by the arrest of the leaders, brought on the first of the wars of the Fronde. When he had Condé and Conti arrested in 1650, he had to go into exile. He now saw his mistake in separating himself and the queen from every party in the state, and bent all his masterly powers to form a new royal party. In 1653 Mazarin came back in triumph, and from that time his power was re-established, while he quickly regained his popularity. Under his rule the influence of France abroad was greatly increased. He gained the alliance of Cromwell by giving up Dunkirk; made French influence felt in southern Germany by the treaty of Westphalia in 1648; while the league of the Rhine, formed in 1659, and the marriage of Louis XIV in 1659 with the infanta Maria Theresa made France a claimant of the throne of Spain. Mazarin died at Vincennes, March 9, 1661. See Gustave Masson’s Mazarin.