1508-1608 1635-1697

Lorraine, 1608-1635

The Duchy of Lorraine (in German : Lothringen), mostly French-speaking, while technically a part of the Holy Roman Empire, had established a large degree of autonomy (liber, non incorporatus). Her capital was Nancy. The Dukes of Lorraine also were Dukes of Bar; Bar partly was part of the Holy Roman Empire, partly part of the Kingdom of France.
In 1608, Duke Charles III. was succeeded by Henri II. (1608-1624). In 1609, Spain and the Dutch Republic signed the 12 years' truce (-1621); Lorraine, hitherto affected as a transit route for Spanish soldiers, now experienced a period of peace and economic prosperity. The population increased. Duke Henry attempted to encourage economic growth; trade fairs were promoted, moneylenders were permitted to charge interest. Lorraine produced and exported salt, glass, iron and ironwares; Duke Henri promoted the development of the textile industry. Immigration of persons with technical know-how, notably glass-blowers, was encouraged. Duke Henri had many places in Lorraine-Bar fortified.
The Jesuit university at Pont-a-Mousson flourished, attracting students from far beyond the borders of the duchy. Lorraine was an explicitly Catholic territory. The persecution of (perceived) witches and magicians continued.
The princebishoprics of Toul, Metz and Verdun since 1552 were French territory. Since 1602, French policy aimed at increasing the dependence of the three bishoprics on the French administration in Paris, a policy which conflicted with the interests of the Dukes of Lorraine who during the Huguenot Wars had succeeded in establishing political influence on these bishoprics.
Lorraine had joined the (Imperial) Catholic League; a Lorraine contingent participated in the invasion of Bohemia in 1620, under the command of Bavarian general Tilly, early in the Thirty Years War. In 1622, a protestant army under Count Mansfeld marched through Lorraine. In 1621 war between Spain and the Dutch Republic resumed, causing an economic crisis. Wheat prices rose, the silver mines were closed; at the same time Duke Henri resorted to collecting dubious additional taxes, in part to finance apanages for relatives. Henri II died in 1624, succeeded by Charles IV. (1624-1675). France confiscated Bar Mouvant, those parts of the Duchy of Bar, which were French fief since 1301. Charles IV., in the ongoing 30 Years' War, sided with the Emperor, a policy which increased the tension with France. A contested succession in Lorraine proved costly to the state. Duke Charles occupied the (Lutheran) county of Saarwerden in 1629. When, in 1634, Charles IV. checked the Swedish advance, French troops occupied the country; they did not leave until 1661.

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Histoire de Lorraine, from en-lorraine.com, in French
Histoire de Nancy, from en-lorraine.com, in French
Article Lorraine, from Catholic Encyclopedia
DOCUMENTS List of Dukes of Lorraine, from Kessler History Files (scroll down)
Regnal Chronologies : France, scroll down for Guise and Lorraine
REFERENCE Coins of Lorraine, 1601-1700, in Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Seventeenth Century 1601-1700, 2nd ed., 2000, pp.268-270
Yves le Moigne, Das französische Königtum und die Aufteilung des lothringischen Raumes (1608-1697) (The French Kingdom and the Partition of the Region of Lorraine), pp.281-330, in : Michel Parisse (ed.), Lothringen, Geschichte eines Grenzlandes (Lorraine, History of a Border Country), Saarbrücken 1984
Franz Pesendorfer, Lothringen und seine Herzöge. Im Zeichen der drei Adler. (Lorraine and her Dukes. Under the sign of the three eagles), Graz : Styria 1994, in German [G]
Geoffrey Parker, The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road 1567-1659, Cambridge : UP 1972 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on November 4th 2003, last revised on January 15th 2007

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