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Cardinal Richelieu
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Religious Figure
    (September 9, 1585-December 4, 1642)
    Born in Paris, France
    Born Armand Jean du Plessis
    Chief minister under King Louis XIII
    He would to exercise by jumping over furniture.
    King Louis XIII's mother, Marie de Medici, hated him.
    He is portrayed as a villain in Alexandre Dumas, Pere's book 'The Three Musketeers.'
    He is also an antagonist in Ken Russell's film 'The Devils.'
    He imposed taxes on the peasants to finance French wars, which triggered peasant revolts.
    He believed in the concept of absolute monarchy.
    The Huguenots (French Protestants) rebelled against him.
    He tried to contain the power of the Habsburg dynasty by supporting the Protestant Germans against the Habsburg emperor. This earned him the anger of the Catholic church.
    He turned France into a police state, complete with press censorship and spies everywhere.
    Voltaire said that he started wars on purpose to make himself helpful to the King.
    He was the de facto ruler of France during Louis XIII's reign.
    He founded the Academie Francaise and had the Sorbonne rebuilt.
    Although he barred Huguenots from the military, he let them practice their religion.
    He stripped the French nobility of their power.
    He considered it his life's work to serve the French monarchy.
    He advanced the idea of a centralized nation, as opposed to a collection of feudal territories.
    Historian John Ralston Saul calls him the 'father of the modern nation-state, modern centralised power [and] the modern secret service.'

Credit: Truffle

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