Historical Figures

Jules Mazarin

Jules Mazarin, who grew up in Rome, showed diplomatic talents very early on. After a stay in Spain, he became apostolic nuncio (diplomatic agent, ambassador of the Holy See to the States) in Milan, attached to the Holy See. The lifting of the siege of Casale in 1630 (conflict forming part of the Thirty Years War), the Treaty of Cherasco in 1631 (treaty having put an end to the war of succession of Mantua), the alliance with the princes of Savoy for the France in 1640 attracted the respect of Richelieu and Louis XIII to him, and he became cardinal in 1642. Mazarin secured the favors of Anne of Austria, who had become regent. She named him Prime Minister then Superintendent (1643-1646). He put an end to the war in Spain by imposing the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. But he faced the Fronde of the nobles against the royal power and the rise of the monarchy and had to go into exile. Louis XIV recalls him and appoints him Minister. Mazarin extends and pacifies the kingdom, convinces the king to marry the Infanta of Spain to end the war (Treaty of the Pyrenees). Thanks to a colossal fortune, he built up a collection of masterpieces, founded the first library and the Royal Academy of Paintings and Sculptures (with the painter Le Brun). At his death, Louis XIV is able to reign alone because he has reinforced absolutism.

July 14, 1602 - March 9, 1661



Prime Minister

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