Jules Mazarin

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Mazarin, Jules

(zhül mäzärăN`), 1602–61, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, b. Italy. His original name was Giulio Mazarini. After serving in the papal army and diplomatic service and as nuncio at the French court (1634–36), he entered the service of France and made himself valuable to King Louis XIII's chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, who brought him into the council of state. Although he had received only minor orders and had never been ordained a priest, he was raised to cardinal upon the recommendation of Louis XIII (1641). After the deaths of Richelieu (1642) and Louis XIII (1643), Mazarin was the principal minister of the regent Anne of AustriaAnne of Austria,
1601–66, queen of France, daughter of King Philip III of Spain. Married to the French king Louis XIII (1615), she was neglected by her husband and sought the society of the court intriguer, Mme de Chevreuse.
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. The theory that Mazarin was secretly married to the widowed queen has been widely credited. He won favorable terms for France in the Peace of Westphalia (1648), but his attempts to raise money through taxation and his centralizing policy provoked the troubles of the FrondeFronde
, 1648–53, series of outbreaks during the minority of King Louis XIV, caused by the efforts of the Parlement of Paris (the chief judiciary body) to limit the growing authority of the crown; by the personal ambitions of discontented nobles; and by the grievances of
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 (1648–53), during which he was several times forced to leave France. After the defeat of the Fronde, Mazarin was securely in control of France. By clever diplomacy he strengthened the crown and negotiated the favorable Peace of the PyreneesPyrenees, Peace of the,
1659, treaty ending the warfare between France and Spain that, continuing after the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War, had been complicated by French intervention in the revolt of the Catalans (1640–52) and by Spanish
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 at the end of the war with Spain (1659).


See J. B. Perkins, France under Mazarin (1886); A. Hassall, Mazarin (1903, repr. 1970); W. F. Church, The Impact of Absolutism in France (1969).

Mazarin, Jules


Born July 14, 1602, in Pescina; died Mar. 9, 1661, in Vincennes. French statesman. Son of a member of the Sicilian gentry.

Mazarin served in the papal troops, and from 1630 he was in the pope’s diplomatic service. At the conclusion of the Treaty of Cherasco in 1631 and in his daily work as papal nuncio in Paris (1634-36), Mazarin distinguished himself by his extraordinary diplomatic abilities; he attracted the attention of Cardinal Richelieu and became his trusted agent. In 1640, Mazarin transferred to the French diplomatic service and became a cardinal in 1641. Before Cardinal Richelieu’s death he proposed that Mazarin be given the position of prime minister as his successor. Appointed to the post in 1643 by Anne of Austria (with whom he later entered into a secret marriage), Mazarin continued the policy of strengthening French absolutism under difficult circumstances.

In 1643 he crushed a conspiracy of the French aristocracy (the “cabale des Importants”); he harshly suppressed numberless popular uprisings, which were caused by increasing tax oppression. Beginning in 1648, Mazarin led the struggle against the Fronde. One of the demands of the latter was the removal of Mazarin from office, and there were numerous “Mazarinades” (publicistic works and pamphlets) directed against him; the Paris Parliament proclaimed Mazarin to be an enemy of the state. On two occasions (in 1651 and 1652) Mazarin left France; he returned in 1653 after the Fronde had been crushed, and he remained in power until the end of his life. In his foreign policy, thanks to his artful diplomacy, Mazarin achieved great successes (the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, peace and commercial treaties with England in 1655, a military alliance with England in 1657, and the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1659), all of which consolidated France’s political hegemony in Europe.


Lettres…, vols. 1-9. Paris, 1872-1906.


Chéruel, A. Histoire de France sous le ministére de Mazarin, vols. 1-3. Paris, 1882.
Bailly, A. Mazarin. Paris, 1935.
Mazarin. Edited by G. Mongrédien. Paris, 1959.


References in periodicals archive ?
Like the characters of the Le Cid whom French subjects condemned or praised in moral terms, Queen Anne and Cardinal Mazarin were subjected to similar scrutiny.
Although there is a link between the private sphere and gender, it is important to note that Cardinal Mazarin was also presented as a private and corrupted individual in the apparition Mazarinades.
This device once formed the uppermost part of the crown surmounting the royal coat of arms present on a number of existing Mortlake tapestries of the early 1630s, and on a now lost set of Mortlake Senses that was in the collection of Cardinal Mazarin.
In 1645 the French ambassador, Jan de Montereul, recommended to Cardinal Mazarin that Moray be promoted to colonel of the Scots Guard.
D'ARTAGNAN reunites his former companions to save the queen from the evil Cardinal Mazarin but the Cardinal's cunning plan pits the heroes against each other.
It was passed to Cardinal Mazarin and then to Louis XIV.
D'Artagnan reunites his former companions to save the Queen from the evil Cardinal Mazarin in this 1989 film directed by Richard Lester, the man behind the two successful 1970s Musketeer movies.
It has been argued that they once belonged to Cardinal Mazarin, for a 1661 inventory of his collection refers to a set of tapestries of the same size, subject and border pattern.
Fallon traces this system of shared power to Milton's understanding of the French monarchy, which was nominally ruled in the 1650s by the child-king Louis XIV but whose real power had been delegated by the Queen Mother to Cardinal Mazarin.
In December 1689 Louis XIV decided to sacrifice his silver furniture--treasures inherited from his mother, Anne of Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin as well as newly-commissioned objects.
However, under both Richelieu and his successor Cardinal Mazarin, royal intendants assumed a greater role in local administration, thereby contributing to a decline in the authority of some provincial estates.