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Religions 2013, 4(4), 529-549; doi:10.3390/rel4040529

Towards A New Reading of the Political Thought of the Dévot Faction: The Opposition to Cardinal Richelieu’s Ministériat

Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta, 8406, rue Marie-Anne Gaboury (91 St) Edmonton, AB T6C 4G9, Canada
Received: 27 September 2013 / Revised: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 25 October 2013 / Published: 31 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Work on Catholicism)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [169 KB, uploaded 31 October 2013]

Abstract

For a long time, historiography has considered the political thought of the dévot party, led by Mathieu de Morgues and Michel de Marillac, to be supportive of a traditional monarchy, Catholicism and the extermination of Protestants, while being opposed to the Thirty Years War. This faction’s political thought has been looked upon as being in contrast to that of Cardinal Richelieu, which was comparatively regarded as profoundly absolutist and modern. Such an understanding of the dévots’ political thought, albeit disputed, continues to prevail. The present article intends to demonstrate that the dévots were in fact on the side of the absolutists, which explains their opposition to Richelieu. Indeed, they never criticized absolutism, but rather, the illegitimate leadership of the government by an all-powerful premier ministre, namely, Richelieu. According to the dévots, the ministériat actually betrayed the very essence of absolute monarchy. Before proposing a new perspective on its political thought, it is important to reflect upon the definition of the dévot party. This will be followed by an overview of the lives and work of the principal representatives of this faction, Mathieu de Morgues (1582–1670) and Michel de Marillac (1560–1632). An examination of the historiography on this subject enables this article’s conclusions to be situated in a broader context.
Keywords: dévots; absolutism; ministériat; Mathieu de Morgues; Michel de Marillac; Richelieu dévots; absolutism; ministériat; Mathieu de Morgues; Michel de Marillac; Richelieu
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Maillet-Rao, C. Towards A New Reading of the Political Thought of the Dévot Faction: The Opposition to Cardinal Richelieu’s Ministériat. Religions 2013, 4, 529-549.

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