Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu, known as Cardinal Richelieu, was a French statesman and clergyman.
74 Facts About Cardinal Richelieu
Cardinal Richelieu was known as l'Eminence rouge, or "the Red Eminence", a term derived from the title "Eminence" applied to cardinals and the red robes that they customarily wear.
Cardinal Richelieu continued to rise through the hierarchy of both the Catholic Church and the French government by becoming a cardinal in 1622 and chief minister to King Louis XIII of France in 1624.
Cardinal Richelieu retained that office until his death in 1642, when he was succeeded by Cardinal Mazarin, whose career he had fostered.
Cardinal Richelieu became engaged in a bitter dispute with the king's mother, Marie de Medicis, who had once been a close ally.
Cardinal Richelieu sought to consolidate royal power and restrained the power of the nobility in order to transform France into a strong centralized state.
However, although he was a powerful political figure in his own right, events such as the Day of the Dupes, or Journee des Dupes, showed that Cardinal Richelieu's power was still dependent on the king's confidence.
An alumnus of the University of Paris and headmaster of the College of Sorbonne, Cardinal Richelieu renovated and extended the institution.
Cardinal Richelieu was famous for his patronage of the arts and founded the, the learned society responsible for matters pertaining to the French language.
Cardinal Richelieu is known for being the inventor of the table knife.
Annoyed by the bad manners that were commonly displayed at the dining table by users of sharp knives, who would often use them to pick their teeth, in 1637 Cardinal Richelieu ordered that all of the knives on his dining table have their blades dulled and their tips rounded.
Cardinal Richelieu has frequently been depicted in popular fiction, principally as the lead villain in Alexandre Dumas's 1844 novel The Three Musketeers and its numerous film adaptations.
Cardinal Richelieu's family belonged to the lesser nobility of Poitou: his father, Francois du Plessis, seigneur de Richelieu, was a soldier and courtier who served as the Grand Provost of France, and his mother, Susanne de La Porte, was the daughter of a famous jurist.
When he was five years old, Cardinal Richelieu's father died of fever in the French Wars of Religion, leaving the family in debt; with the aid of royal grants the family was able to avoid financial difficulties.
At the age of nine, young Cardinal Richelieu was sent to the College of Navarre in Paris to study philosophy.
Cardinal Richelieu had strong academic interests and threw himself into studying for his new post.
In 1606, Henry IV nominated Cardinal Richelieu to become Bishop of Lucon.
Cardinal Richelieu became the first bishop in France to implement the institutional reforms prescribed by the Council of Trent between 1545 and 1563.
At about this time, Cardinal Richelieu became a friend of Francois Leclerc du Tremblay, a Capuchin friar, who would later become a close confidant.
Later, Cardinal Richelieu often used him as an agent during diplomatic negotiations.
In 1614, the clergymen of Poitou asked Cardinal Richelieu to be one of their representatives to the Estates-General.
Cardinal Richelieu was the most prominent clergyman to support the adoption of the decrees of the Council of Trent throughout France; the Third Estate was his chief opponent in this endeavour.
In 1616, Cardinal Richelieu was made Secretary of State, and was given responsibility for foreign affairs.
Cardinal Richelieu's patron having died, Richelieu lost power; he was dismissed as Secretary of State, and was removed from the court.
The King and the duc de Luynes recalled Cardinal Richelieu, believing that he would be able to reason with the Queen.
Cardinal Richelieu was successful in this endeavour, mediating between her and her son.
Cardinal Richelieu's policy involved two primary goals: centralization of power in France and opposition to the Habsburg dynasty.
Cardinal Richelieu saw the reestablishment of the Catholic orthodoxy as a political maneuver of the Habsburg and Austrian States which is detrimental to the French national interests.
The Cardinal Richelieu deployed troops to Valtellina, from which the Pope's garrisons were driven out.
Cardinal Richelieu's early decision to support a Protestant canton against the Pope was a foretaste of the purely diplomatic power politics he would espouse in his foreign policy.
In 1627, Richelieu ordered the army to besiege the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle; the Cardinal personally commanded the besieging troops.
Cardinal Richelieu responded aggressively; after La Rochelle capitulated, he personally led the French army to northern Italy to restrain Spain.
Marie believed that the Cardinal Richelieu had robbed her of her political influence; thus, she demanded that her son dismiss the chief minister.
Cardinal Richelieu was aware of the plan, and quickly convinced the King to repent.
In 1634, the Cardinal Richelieu had one of his outspoken critics, Urbain Grandier, burned at the stake in the Loudun affair.
Cardinal Richelieu ensured his political security by establishing a large network of spies in France as well as in other European countries.
Cardinal Richelieu survived the scheme, and Marie was exiled as a result.
Cardinal Richelieu considered the Dutch Republic as one of France's most important allies, for it bordered directly with the Spanish Netherlands and was right in the middle of the Eighty Years' War with Spain at that time.
In 1625, Cardinal Richelieu sent money to Ernst von Mansfeld, a famous mercenary general operating in Germany in English service.
Cardinal Richelieu, alarmed by Ferdinand's growing influence, incited Sweden to intervene, providing money.
When in 1630 French diplomats in Regensburg agreed to make peace with Spain, Cardinal Richelieu refused to support them.
Therefore, Cardinal Richelieu advised Louis XIII to refuse to ratify the treaty.
Cardinal Richelieu crushed the revolts violently, and dealt with the rebels harshly.
Cardinal Richelieu was instrumental in redirecting the Thirty Years' War from the conflict of Protestantism versus Catholicism to that of nationalism versus Habsburg hegemony.
When Cardinal Richelieu came to power, New France, where the French had a foothold since Jacques Cartier, had no more than 100 permanent European inhabitants.
Cardinal Richelieu encouraged Louis XIII to colonize the Americas by the foundation of the Compagnie de la Nouvelle France in imitation of the Dutch West India Company.
Samuel de Champlain, governor of New France at the time of Cardinal Richelieu, saw intermarriage between French and Indians as a solution to increase population in its colony.
The 1666 census of New France, conducted some 20 years after the death of Cardinal Richelieu, showed a population of 3,215 habitants in New France, many more than there had been only a few decades earlier, but a great difference in the number of men and women.
Towards the end of his life, Cardinal Richelieu alienated many people, including Pope Urban VIII.
Cardinal Richelieu was displeased by the Pope's refusal to name him the papal legate in France; in turn, the Pope did not approve of the administration of the French church, or of French foreign policy.
In 1641, he participated in the comte de Soissons's failed conspiracy against Cardinal Richelieu, but was not discovered.
Richelieu's spy service discovered the plot, and the Cardinal received a copy of the treaty.
Cardinal Richelieu's doctors continued to bleed him frequently, further weakening him.
Cardinal Richelieu's body was embalmed and interred at the church of the Sorbonne.
Cardinal Richelieu was a lover of the theatre, which was not considered a respectable art form during that era; a private theatre, the Grande Salle, was a feature of his Paris residence, the Palais-Cardinal.
Cardinal Richelieu was the founder and patron of the, the pre-eminent French literary society.
The institution had previously been in informal existence; in 1635 Cardinal Richelieu obtained official letters patent for the body.
In 1622, Cardinal Richelieu was elected the proviseur or principal of the Sorbonne.
Cardinal Richelieu presided over the renovation of the college's buildings and over the construction of its famous chapel, where he is entombed.
The heavily resurfaced and restored Cardinal Richelieu Bacchus continued to be admired by neoclassical artists.
Cardinal Richelieu's taste ran to massive silver, small bronzes and works of vertu, enamels and rock crystal mounted in gold, Chinese porcelains, tapestries and Persian carpets, cabinets from Italy, and Antwerp and the heart-shaped diamond bought from Alphonse Lopez that he willed to the king.
Cardinal Richelieu's tenure was a crucial period of reform for France.
Cardinal Richelieu did not survive to the end of the Thirty Years' War.
Cardinal Richelieu's successes were extremely important to Louis XIII's successor, King Louis XIV.
Cardinal Richelieu 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.
Cardinal Richelieu is notable for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.
Cardinal Richelieu censored the press, established a large network of internal spies, forbade the discussion of political matters in public assemblies such as the Parlement de Paris, and had those who dared to conspire against him prosecuted and executed.
Cardinal 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.
Cardinal Richelieu has given his name to a battleship and a battleship class.
Cardinal Richelieu's legacy is 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.
Cardinal Richelieu's pioneering approach to French diplomatic relations using raison d'etat vis-a-vis the power relationship at play were first scorned upon but later emulated by other European nation-states to add to their diplomatic strategic arsenal.
Cardinal Richelieu is one of the clergymen most frequently portrayed in film, notably in the many versions of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers.
Cardinal Richelieu is usually portrayed as a sinister character, but the 1950 Cyrano de Bergerac shows Richelieu as compassionate to Cyrano's financial plight, and playfully having enjoyed the duel at the theatre.
Cardinal Richelieu is indirectly mentioned in a famous line of Alessandro Manzoni's novel The Betrothed, set in 1628, as a Lombard peasant expresses his own conspiracy theories about the bread riots happening in Milan.