Fronde: The Fronde of the Princes

The prince de Condé, having aided Cardinal Mazarin and Louis XIV's regent Anne, expected to control them. His overbearing attitude and intrigues caused his arrest in Jan., 1650, and precipitated a second outbreak, the Fronde of the Princes, or the New Fronde. Mme de Longueville called on Marshal Turenne for aid in releasing her brother. Government troops defeated Turenne and his Spanish allies at Rethel (1650), but Mazarin was forced to yield when Retz, Mme de Chevreuse, Gaston d'Orléans, and François de Beaufort all united in demanding Condé's release.

Mazarin fled to Germany in Feb., 1651, but the victorious nobles soon quarreled among themselves, and Condé left Paris to take up open warfare against the government. Although joined by Gaston d'Orléans, Beaufort, Conti, and the provincial parlements of S France, Condé lost the principal support of Turenne, who went over to the government's side after Louis XIV reached his majority. In Dec., 1651, Mazarin was recalled. Condé concluded an alliance with Spain, but was defeated by Turenne at the Faubourg Saint-Antoine beneath the walls of Paris; he was saved by Mlle de Montpensier, who admitted him and his army into Paris. His arrogant conduct there alienated the people.

As the Fronde disintegrated, Mazarin once more left France to clear the air for a reconciliation. In October the king returned to Paris; Mazarin followed in Feb., 1653. The princes soon made peace with the government, except for Condé, who commanded the Spanish forces against France until the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659; see Pyrenees, Peace of the). The Fronde was the last attempt of the nobility to resist the king by arms. It resulted in the humiliation of the nobles, the strengthening of royal authority, and the further disruption of the French economy.

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

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