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1652The Cardinal, the Prince, and the Crisis of the 'Fronde'$
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David Parrott

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198797463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198797463.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

Condé’s Miscalculation and Mazarin’s Gamble

Condé’s Miscalculation and Mazarin’s Gamble

Chapter:
(p.76) 3 Condé’s Miscalculation and Mazarin’s Gamble
Source:
1652
Author(s):

David Parrott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198797463.003.0003

The chapter begins by looking at the various ways, beyond applying pressure to the queen mother, by which Mazarin had sought to secure his return from exile, and their equal lack of success. This account is interwoven with an account of Condé’s political alienation after his return from imprisonment; his failure to develop stable political relationships either with Anne of Austria or the king’s uncle, Gaston d’Orléans; and the series of self-inflicted blows that he managed to inflict on his own power and standing. Frustrated by his declining influence and afraid of re-arrest, Condé refused to appear at the ceremony of the king’s majority and left Paris to establish a base of military resistance in Guienne, focused on the already rebellious city of Bordeaux. The initial months of Condé’s revolt saw his troops defeated and driven southwards by royalist forces. Despite Mazarin’s absence, the government showed that it had the capacity to crush Condé’s revolt. Yet for the cardinal, Condé’s rebellion was the great opportunity to justify ending his exile, returning at the head of mercenaries that would bring support to a supposedly beleaguered crown. Mazarin’s return to France in January 1652 had precisely the opposite effect, reviving the flagging rebellion and bringing together a wave of opposition from those hitherto neutral or sympathetic to the crown. In the rapidly shifting political and military context of early 1652 Condé slipped away from his army in Guienne, joined up with the forces of Gaston d’Orléans and Spanish troops aiding his rebellion, and inflicted a surprise defeat on royalist forces at Bléneau (6/7 April 1652).

Keywords:   Condé, Gaston d’Orléans, Louis XIV, Guienne, Bordeaux, mercenaries, civil war, Bléneau, Spain

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