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Étienne François Choiseul, duc de

Choiseul, Étienne François, duc de (ātyĕnˈ fräNswäˈ dük də shwäzölˈ) [key], 1719–85, French statesman. After successful service in the army he entered the diplomatic service and gained support from Mme de Pompadour. As ambassador to Vienna (1757) he strengthened the Austrian alliance by conducting first negotiations toward the marriage of Marie Antoinette with the future Louis XVI. Later, in his capacity as minister of foreign affairs (1758–70), Choiseul negotiated the Family Compact and the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Seven Years War, and he annexed Lorraine (1766) and Corsica (1768). As minister of war (1761–70) and of the navy (1761–66) he reorganized the fighting forces and introduced reforms. He supported the publication of the Encyclopédie and aided suppression of the Jesuits, which weakened his position at court. A clique surrounding King Louis XV's mistress Mme Du Barry caused his exile from court (1770).

See his memoirs (1790).

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

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies

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