Choiseul, Étienne François, duc de


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Choiseul, Étienne François, duc de

(ātyĕn` fräNswä` dük də shwäzöl`), 1719–85, French statesman. After successful service in the army he entered the diplomatic service and gained support from Mme de PompadourPompadour, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson Le Normant d'Étioles, marquise de
, 1721–64, mistress of King Louis XV of France. She was the king's mistress for about five years after 1745 and remained his confidante until her death.
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. As ambassador to Vienna (1757) he strengthened the Austrian alliance by conducting first negotiations toward the marriage of Marie Antoinette with the future Louis XVI. Later, in his capacity as minister of foreign affairs (1758–70), Choiseul negotiated the Family CompactFamily Compact,
several alliances between France and Spain in the form of agreements between the French and Spanish branches of the Bourbon family. The first of the three compacts, the Treaty of the Escorial (1733), was continued and extended by the second agreement (1743).
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 and the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Seven Years War, and he annexed Lorraine (1766) and Corsica (1768). As minister of war (1761–70) and of the navy (1761–66) he reorganized the fighting forces and introduced reforms. He supported the publication of the Encyclopédie and aided suppression of the Jesuits, which weakened his position at court. A clique surrounding King Louis XV's mistress Mme Du BarryDu Barry, Jeanne Bécu, comtesse
, 1743–93, mistress of King Louis XV of France. A courtesan of illegitimate birth, she was the mistress of Jean Du Barry when her beauty attracted (1768) the king's attention.
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 caused his exile from court (1770).

Bibliography

See his memoirs (1790).