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The Accomplishments of Cardinal RichelieuEssay submitted by ljbrownhotmailcomUp until the mid 17th century it was evident that France was by no means a major player in the field of European affairs Spain was still the most powerful state as it held a dominant monopoly over European commerce and economics However by 1648 this power would shift and France would come into its own in terms of political and economic influence The transfer of power was aided by a weakening of the Spanish Empire along with the establishment of an increasingly strong French state This establishment of France would begin to occur prior to the religious wars and would be spearheaded by a strengthening of the centralized government through the development of royal absolutism The most significant contributor to this movement was Cardinal Armand du Plessis de Richelieu political advisor to the king Louis XIII and head of the French Roman Catholic Church The Cardinals capable leadership ambition and strong will fortified Frances move from a second rate country to a European powerhouse During his reign as first minister Richelieu would accomplish numerous tasks and establish himself as a symbol of power and leadership in France Born in Paris in 1585 Armand du Plessis de Richelieu is considered by many to have been the most important single figure in the building of French absolutism Despite his role in distinguishing France on the European map some of the Cardinals greatest personal accomplishments lie before his reign as first minister To best understand these accomplishments in particular how a middle ranking ecclesiast of little influence would become the most successful of the Kings political advisors it is best to look into his personal background Probably the Cardinals greatest assets in his rise to the top were his strong ambition and will These characteristics can be traced back to his father Francois Richelieu whose own ambition and military accomplishment helped gain him the reigning Kings Henry III favor
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