Cardinal Richelieu

Cardinal RichelieuCardinal Richelieu was a French clergyman who lived from 1585 to 1642 AD. Although he was given the title cardinal and he was a member of the clergy, his primary interests in life were not in God or church. Richelieu was a statesman first and foremost. While he was Roman Catholic, it did not bother him to make alliances and work along the side of Protestant Countries. Richelieu believed that the power and glory of France must be protected and upheld before any thought of God would be brought to mind.

In the city of La Rochelle the Huguenots (French Protestants) had become extremely self-sufficient. They ran and governed the city as if it had zero connections to France. The fact that they were autonomous was not a problem for Richelieu. However, since the Huguenots were independent they allowed their port in La Rochelle to be free with no restrictions. This allowed for enemies of France to set foot in the country. Also, dreaded pirates were harassing French trade through this port. It was because of this that Cardinal Richelieu led an assault on La Rochelle ultimately defeating all of the Huguenots. Luckily for the Huguenots the Cardinal believed in religious tolerance therefore he spared all their lives. It is clearly seen hear that Cardinal Richelieu’s chief interest here was not assaulting the Huguenots for religious reasons but for political reasons instead. Furthermore, It is possible that because of his state oriented mindset he may have found more use for some of these Huguenots if they were alive rather than if they were dead.

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