The Fronde (French pronunciation: [fʁɔ̃d]) was a series of civil wars in France between 1648 and 1653, occurring in the midst of the Franco-Spanish War, which had begun in 1635. King Louis XIV confronted the combined opposition of the princes, the nobility, the law courts (parlements), and most of the French people, and yet won out in the end.
The Fronde was divided into two campaigns, the Fronde of the parlements and the Fronde of the nobles. The timing of the outbreak of the Fronde des parlements, directly after the Peace of Westphalia (1648) that ended the Thirty Years War, was significant. The nuclei of the armed bands that terrorized parts of France under aristocratic leaders during this period had been hardened in a generation of war in Germany, where troops still tended to operate autonomously. Louis XIV, impressed as a young ruler with the experience of the Fronde, came to reorganize French fighting forces under a stricter hierarchy whose leaders ultimately could be made or unmade by the King. A. Lloyd Moote argues that Cardinal Mazarin blundered into the crisis but came out well ahead at the end. The Fronde represented the final attempt of the French nobility to do battle with the king, and they were humiliated. In the long-term, the Fronde served to strengthen Royal authority, but weakened the economy. The Fronde facilitated the emergence of absolute monarchy.