Dauphiné

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Dauphiné

(dōfēnā`), region and former province, SE France, bordering on Italy. It is now divided into three departments, Haute-Alpes, Isère, and Drôme. In the east the Alps culminate in the Barre des Écrins; their magnificent scenery attracts many tourists. The lower districts are fertile and warm, with many notable vineyards. GrenobleGrenoble
, city (1990 pop. 153,973), capital of Isère dept., SE France, at the foot of the Alps on the Isère River at the confluence of Drac River. It is the hydroelectric center of France and has an important nuclear-research center.
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 (the historic capital), VienneVienne,
town (1990 pop. 30,386), Isère dept., SE France, on the Rhône River. It is a farm trade center with textile, metallurgical, and footwear industries.
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, and ValenceValence
, city (1990 pop. 65,026), capital of Drôme dept., SE France, in Dauphiné, on the Rhône River. Its many manufactures include metallurgical products, textiles, leather goods, and jewelry. It is also a processing and trade center for a fertile farm area.
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 are the chief towns. In the kingdom of Provence (879) and after 933 in that of Arles, Dauphiné was nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire. The rulers assumed the title dauphindauphin
[Fr.,=dolphin], French title, borne first by the counts of Vienne (also called Viennois) and later by the eldest son of the king of France, or, if the dauphin came to die before the king, by the dauphin's eldest son.
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. In 1349 the area was sold to France by Dauphin Humbert II, who was childless, and for the next century it was governed as a separate province by the eldest son of the king of France. In 1457 it was annexed by the crown.

Dauphiné

 

a historical region in southeastern France, lying mostly in the Alps and the Rhône valley. The territory of Dauphiné corresponds to the departments of Isère, Drôme, and Hautes-Alpes. Area, 20,400 sq km. Population, 1.3 million (1968). About 20 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture and 37 percent in industry (1962). Electrochemistry and electrometallurgy, which are based on water power, are developed. There are machine-building, textile, and food industries (Grenoble, Valence, and Romans). Cereals, grapes, fruits, and vegetables are grown, primarily in the valleys of the Rhône and Isère rivers; livestock is raised in the mountains. It is a tourist area.

The territory of Dauphiné took shape after the disintegration of the kingdom of Burgundy in the llth century. Its nucleus was the countship of Viennois, to which a number of other feudal domains were gradually annexed. The Viennois counts of the d’Albon family assumed the title of dauphin, and it was for this reason that the name of Dauphiné was bestowed on their possessions in the 13th century. In 1349, Count Humbert II sold Dauphiné to Charles of Valois (the future French king, Charles V). But it was not annexed to the royal domain. Instead, it became an appanage (with the center at Grenoble) of the heirs to the throne, who took the title and coat-of-arms of the dauphins of Viennois. Dauphiné retained its privileges, including the provincial estates, up to the early 17th century (1357-1628). In the second half of the 16th century, it became an arena of the religious wars. The persecution of the Huguenots in the late 17th century and early 18th century prompted the emigration of about one-fourth of the population. During the period of the wars of Louis XIV, who ruled from 1643 to 1715, the province of Dauphiné was subjected to invasions by the troops of Savoy. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Dauphiné was the seat of large popular movements. With the division of France into departments in 1790, the province of Dauphiné ceased to exist.

REFERENCES

Blet, H. E., and G. Letonnelier. Le Dauphiné, recueil de textes historiques, choisis et commentés. [Grenoble, 1938.]
Letonnelier, G. Histoire du Dauphiné [2nd ed.]. Paris, 1958.
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