The First Years of Richelieu’s Ministry, 1624–30
No statesman begins his public career with a tabula rasa; he inherits the problems that had faced his predecessors and the policies that they had pursued. He does not necessarily have to continue those policies, but even the process of modifying, or if necessary reversing, them can be difficult and time-consuming. The head of government has to be persuaded of the necessity for a new policy, the resource implications have to be assessed, and the mechanisms for change have to be set in motion. In the international sphere, Richelieu was faced with a context which, on the whole, was unfavourable to France, but with two major developments excepted: the creation of a defensive alliance with England and the Dutch Republic in 1624 and the successful outcome of negotiations, conducted by La Vieuville before his dismissal, for a marriage between Henriette and Charles I of England. The wedding took place on 1 May 1625.
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