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Fronde

The Fronde of the Parlement

This period (1648–49) began when the parlement rejected a new plan for raising money, proposed by Anne of Austria, mother of and regent for Louis XIV, and her adviser, Cardinal Mazarin. The scheme would have required that the magistrates of the high courts (except the parlement) give up four years' salary. The high courts, including the parlement, opposed the proposal and drafted a reform document limiting the royal prerogative. The government, in retaliation, arrested several members of the parlement, notably Pierre Broussel, but the Parisian populace rose in protest and barricaded the streets (Aug., 1648). Anne and Mazarin were forced to yield and Broussel was released.

Meanwhile, the Peace of Westphalia (Oct., 1648), which ended the Thirty Years War, freed the royal army to take action against the Fronde. Anne, the king, and Mazarin secretly left Paris (Jan., 1649), and the city was blockaded by royal troops under Louis II, prince de Condé (see Condé, Louis II de Bourbon, prince de). Louis's brother, Armand de Conti (see under Conti, family) and his sister Mme de Longueville were among the leaders of the Fronde. Other leaders were Frédéric Maurice de Bouillon and Paul de Gondi (later Cardinal de Retz). A compromise peace was arranged between the parlement and the regent at Rueil in Mar., 1649.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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