The First Years of Richelieu’s Ministry, 1624–30

  • David J. Sturdy
Part of the European History in Perspective book series (EUROHIP)


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.


International Sphere Domestic Problem Dutch Republic French Force French Subsidy 
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  1. 3.
    P. Grillon (ed.), Papiers de Richelieu, vol. i (Paris, 1975), pp. 243–4.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    On the chambre and its work, see R. Bonney, The King’s Debts: Finance and Politics in France, 1589–1661 (Oxford, 1981), pp. 117–21.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    On these figures see O. Ranum, Richelieu and the Councillors of Louis XIII: A Study of the Secretaries of State and Superintendents of Finance in the Ministry of Richelieu, 1635–1642 (Oxford, 1963).Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    R. and S. Pillorget, France Baroque, France Classique, 1589–1715 (2 vols, Paris, 1995), vol. i, pp. 267–9.Google Scholar

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© David J. Sturdy 2004

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  • David J. Sturdy

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