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Cardinal Richelieu was a master in coordinating France's domestic and foreign affairs during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). His chief goal was to prevent France from being encircled by the Habsburg dynasty, which controlled lands in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, and numerous other European possessions. As a result, Cardinal Richelieu actually supported the Protestant Swedes and German statelets against the Catholic Habsburgs, betraying his religious allegiance (he was a Catholic Cardinal), in order to preserve French independence. It was because of Richelieu's expert statesmanship that France would become the dominant power in Europe in the next century after the Peace of Westphalia, especially during the reign of Louis XIV.

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The anti-Habsburg policy

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Q: What was cardinal Richelieu's chief goal?
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