Choiseul, Étienne François de

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Choiseul, Étienne François de

 

(Comte de Stainville, Due de Choiseul). Born June 27 or 28,1719; died May 8, 1785, in Paris. French state figure.

Choiseul achieved a high rank in the army during the War of the Austrian Succession. He was ambassador to Rome from 1754 to 1757 and to Vienna in 1757 and 1758. Between 1758 and 1761 he served as minister of foreign affairs. He strengthened France’s ties to Austria with the Alliance Treaty of Versailles of 1758 and signed the Family Compact of 1761.

Choiseul was minister of war from 1761 to 1770. He also served as minister of the navy from 1761 to 1766 and for a second time as minister of foreign affairs from 1766 to 1770. Between 1758 and 1770 he was the dominant figure in the French government.

After France’s defeat in the Seven Years’ War of 1756–63, Choiseul began preparing the country to take revenge. His measures included reorganizing the army and navy and reinforcing the artillery. In 1770, Choiseul was removed from office and exiled to his estates at Chanteloup.