Today In History
The wars — particularly the first Fronde, the Fronde Parlementaire — were not necessarily revolutionary. The objective was to protect the ancient rights of the parlements — a false friend, our linguist friends would say, because they were not like parliaments in the English sense, but rather courts of appeal that had the ability to nullify royal edicts if they ran counter to tradition.
To pay for the Thirty Years War, the King (through his clerical puppetmasters, first Cardinal Richelieu and later Cardinal Mazarin) needed to raise taxes, but the nobles refused to pay, citing their ancient exception. The bourgeoisie were left to bear the brunt, leading to insurrection in Paris. Meanwhile, the Peace of Westphalia was signed and French troops returned to Paris to quell the uprising.
Very little blood was shed in this first Fronde, but nevertheless, it was in everyone’s best interest to halt the fighting.