Political unrest between the Huguenots and the powerful Guise family led to the death of many Huguenots, marking the beginning of the Wars of Religion. Mercœur subsequently went to exile in Hungary. 1567-68 – Second war starts when Huguenots (Huguenots is the name given to French Calvinist Protestants) sieze several fortified towns. Moderates, primarily associated with the French Valois monarchy and its advisers, tried to balance the situation and avoid open bloodshed. Viewing the House of Guise as a dangerous threat to the power of the Crown, Henry III decided to strike first. Until…. Hoping to turn over the city to Condé, the Huguenots of Toulouse seized the Hôtel de ville but were countered by angry Catholic mobs resulting in street battles and the killing of around 3,000—mostly Huguenots—during the 1562 Riots of Toulouse. Although the Edict of Nantes concluded the fighting during Henry IV's reign, the political freedoms it granted to the Huguenots (seen by detractors as "a state within the state") became an increasing source of trouble during the 17th century. 4 causes of french wars of religion 1. monarchy 2.calvinism and roman catholic church 3. fractional rivalries between major families in france We fight to defend what we believe in. Some powerful noble families, who were ambitious, wanted to take advantage of this situation to gain more power. [36] Inexperienced and faced with the legacy of debt from the Habsburg–Valois conflict, Catherine felt that she had to steer the throne carefully between the powerful and conflicting interests that surrounded it, embodied by the powerful aristocrats who led essentially private armies. The Massacre of Mérindol took place in 1545 when Francis I of France ordered the punishment of the Waldensians of the village of Mérindol. While the Guise faction had the unwavering support of the Spanish Crown, the Huguenots had the advantage of a strong power base in the southwest; they were also discreetly supported by foreign Protestant governments, but in practice, England or the German states could provide few troops in the ensuing conflict. Many Huguenots emigrated to Protestant countries. The Protestants were represented by 12 ministers and 20 laymen, led by Théodore de Bèze. It is estimated that three million people perished in this period from violence, famine, or disease in what is considered the second deadliest religious war in European history (surpassed only by the Thirty Years' War, which took eight million lives). [41] Thirdly, Catherine might try to heal the religious division in the country by means of a national council or colloquy on the topic. Parma was subsequently wounded in the hand during the Siege of Caudebec whilst trapped by Henry's army. In the 1550s, the establishment of the Geneva church provided leadership to the disorganized French Calvinist (Huguenot) church. The damage done to the Huguenots meant a decline from 10% to 8% of the French population. Despite Henry according his youngest brother Francis the title of Duke of Anjou, the prince and his followers continued to create disorder at court through their involvement in the Dutch Revolt. Humanism, which began much earlier in Italy, arrived in France in the early sixteenth century, coinciding with the beginning of the French Protestant Reformation. Also, he hoped to reconquer large parts of northern France from the Franco-Spanish Catholic forces. Animosity between Catholics and Protestants was also on the rise. Francis I of France had continued his policy of seeking a middle course in the religious rift in France until an incident called the Affair of the Placards. When it became clear that Henry of Navarre would not renounce his Protestantism, the Duke of Guise signed the Treaty of Joinville (31 December 1584) on behalf of the League, with Philip II of Spain, who supplied a considerable annual grant to the League over the following decade to maintain the civil war in France, with the hope of destroying the French Calvinists. Both repudiated their conversions after they escaped Paris. Works such as Farel's translation of the Lord's Prayer, The True and Perfect Prayer, with Lutheran ideas became popular among the masses. In the early morning of 24 August, they killed Coligny in his lodgings with several of his men. That July, the French expelled the English. Salmon, pp.124–125; the cultural context is explored by N.M. Sutherland, "Calvinism and the conspiracy of Amboise". Ends in March 1563 with the Treaty of Amboise. The Edict of Amboise was generally regarded as unsatisfactory by all concerned, and the Guise faction was particularly opposed to what they saw as dangerous concessions to heretics. [33] (In the polemics that followed, the term "Huguenot" for France's Protestants came into widespread usage. The Committee of Sixteen took complete control of the government, while the Guise protected the surrounding supply lines. This pivotal historical event involved a complete breakdown of state control resulting in series of riots and massacres in which Catholic mobs killed between 5,000 and 30,000 Protestants over a period of weeks throughout the entire kingdom. On 22 August, an assassin made a failed attempt on Coligny's life, shooting him in the street from a window. Updates? The council had been formed in 1560 during the Estates-General of Saint-Germain-en-Laye when the council of prelates accepted the crown's request to give Huguenots a hearing. However, the agreed upon beginning of the wars is the Massacre of Wassy in 1562, and the Edict of Nantes at least ended this series of conflicts. He and his troops controlled most of rural Normandy. [32] The Guise brothers suspected Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé, of leading the plot. On his deathbed, Henry III called for Henry of Navarre, and begged him, in the name of statecraft, to become a Catholic, citing the brutal warfare that would ensue if he refused. Lincoln, Bruce, Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification, Oxford University Press US, P98. William Farel also became part of the Meaux circle. On 2 April 1562, Condé and his Protestant followers seized the city of Orléans. She was intent on preserving the independence of the throne. Salmon 1975 weaves the Wars of Religion into a more complex narrative of … [19] Later, Louis Bourbon would become a major figure among the Huguenots of France. By May 1576, the crown was forced to accept the terms of Alençon, and the Huguenots who supported him, in the Edict of Beaulieu, known as the Peace of Monsieur. helping the Catholic Church to more easily define Protestantism as heresy. [38] Although she was a sincere Roman Catholic, she nominated a moderate chancellor, Michel de l'Hôpital, who urged a number of measures providing for civic peace so that a religious resolution could be sought by a sacred council. [47] In the Rhône River valley, Protestants under François de Beaumont, baron des Adrets, attacked Valence; in this attack Guise's lieutenant was killed. [17], The lower orders of society were where Protestantism made its impact in France. [34]), The first instances of Protestant iconoclasm, the destruction of images and statues in Catholic churches, occurred in Rouen and La Rochelle in 1560. As he was killed outside of direct combat, the Guise considered this an assassination on the orders of the duke's enemy, Admiral Coligny. Francis I died on 31 March 1547 and was succeeded to the throne by his son Henry II, who continued the harsh religious policy that his father had followed during the last years of his reign. [43] However, despite this measure, by the end of the Colloquy in Poissy in October 1561, it was clear that the divide between Catholic and Protestant ideas was already too wide.[44]. At the dawn of the 18th century, Protestants remained in significant numbers in the remote Cévennes region of the Massif Central. In February 1563, at the Siege of Orléans, Francis, Duke of Guise, was shot and killed by the Huguenot Jean de Poltrot de Méré. What were the causes of the Spanish revolt that occurred when [19] She later married Antoine de Bourbon, and both she and their son Henry of Navarre would be leaders among the Huguenots.[20]. [69] This was anathema to the Guise leaders, who wanted to bankrupt the Huguenots and divide their considerable assets with the King. During this time, complex diplomatic negotiations and agreements of peace were followed by renewed conflict and power struggles. At the Siege of Rouen (May–October 1562), the crown regained the city, but Antoine of Navarre died of his wounds. Discussion and written works circulated in Paris unimpeded for more than a year.[when?] Based on the terms of the treaty, all Huguenots were granted amnesty for their past actions and the freedom of belief. [4], In 1495 the Venetian Aldus Manutius began using the newly invented printing press to produce small, inexpensive, pocket editions of Greek, Latin, and vernacular literature, making knowledge in all disciplines available for the first time to a wide public. At the Battle of Jarnac (16 March 1569), the prince of Condé was killed, forcing Admiral de Coligny to take command of the Protestant forces, nominally on behalf of Condé's 15-year-old son, Henry, and the 16-year-old Henry of Navarre, who were presented by Jeanne d'Albret as the legitimate leaders of the Huguenot cause against royal authority. On 23 December 1588, at the Château de Blois, Henry of Guise and his brother, the Cardinal de Guise, were lured into a trap by the King's guards. The situation degenerated into open warfare even without the King having the necessary funds. [15] Calvinism, another form of Protestant religion, was soon introduced by John Calvin, a native of Noyon, Picardy,[16] who fled France in 1535 after the Affair of the Placards. In 1560, Jeanne d'Albret, Queen regnant of Navarre, converted to Calvinism, possibly due to the influence of Theodore de Beze. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. French Wars of Religion (1562-1629) 1562-63 – The first war starts after the Edict of Toleration in January 1562.Catholic violence at Vassy in March signals start of first war. Although Francis firmly opposed Lutheranism as being heresy, the initial difficulty was in recognizing precisely what was heretical and what was not. 1776-1783 Henry's forces then went on to besiege Paris, but after a long and desperately fought resistance by the Parisians, Henry's siege was lifted by a Spanish army under the command of the Duke of Parma. For the next five days, the city erupted as Catholics massacred Calvinist men, women, and children and looted their houses. This group (pejoratively known as Politiques) put their hopes in the ability of a strong centralized government to maintain order and harmony. The House of Guise had long been identified with the defense of the Roman Catholic Church and the Duke of Guise and his relations â€“ the Duke of Mayenne, Duke of Aumale, Duke of Elboeuf, Duke of Mercœur, and the Duke of Lorraine â€“ controlled extensive territories that were loyal to the League. He was the leading minister of Geneva who invited John Calvin to serve there. It is estimated that three million people perished in this period from violence, famine, or disease in what is considered the second deadliest religious war in European history (surpassed only by the Thirty Years' War, which took eight million lives).[1]. The Edict of Beaulieu granted many concessions to the Calvinists, but these were short-lived in the face of the Catholic League â€“ which the ultra-Catholic, Henry I, Duke of Guise, had formed in opposition to it. The King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé petitioned the Regent for the young King Charles IX—the Queen-Mother, Catherine de Medici for the free exercise of religion. When he returned by invitation in 1541, he wrote the Ecclesiastical ordinances, the constitution for a Genevan church, which was passed by the council of Geneva[clarification needed]. [25] The French intensified the fight against heresy in the 1540s forcing Protestants to gather secretly to worship. The Wars of Religion, Part I Murder of Coligny and St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre Click here for a map of the territorial divisions of France along religious and political lines. Marguerite, Queen of Navarre, the sister of King Francis I and mother of Jeanne d'Albret, also became part of the circle. For other French civil wars, see, Corruption of the established religious system, The "Amboise conspiracy," or "Tumult of Amboise", Colloquy of Poissy and the Edict of Saint-Germain, The "Armed Peace" (1563–1567) and the "second" war (1567–1568), St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre and after (1572–1573), Death of Charles IX and the "fifth" war (1574–1576), The Catholic League and the "sixth" war (1576–1577), The "seventh" war (1579–1580) and the death of Anjou (1584), The Estates-General of Blois and assassination of Henry of Guise (1588), Henry IV's "Conquest of the Kingdom" (1589–1593), Resolution of the War in Brittany (1598–1599). In early 1562, the regency government attempted to quell escalating disorder in the provinces, which had been encouraged by factional feuds at court, by instituting the Edict of Saint-Germain, also known as the Edict of January. General Overviews Holt 2002 contains thematic essays on the French state and its social and economic structures, as well as fuller treatment of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations than most introductory works. In Germany the territorial formula of, …a long succession of civil wars. [62] Over the next few weeks, the disorder spread to more than a dozen cities across France. On 12 May 1588, the Day of the Barricades, a popular uprising raised barricades on the streets of Paris to defend the Duke of Guise against the alleged hostility of the king, and Henry III fled the city. The legislation made concessions to the Huguenots to dissuade them from rebelling. This assassination began the series of events known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. The council debated the religious issue at Poissy all summer. The end of hostilities was brought on by the election (11–15 May 1573) of the Duke of Anjou to the throne of Poland and by the Edict of Boulogne (signed in July 1573), which severely curtailed many of the rights previously granted to French Protestants. Indeed, Pope Leo X, through the Concordat of Bologna increased the king's control over the French church, granting him the power of nominating the clergy and levying taxes on church property. The Fate of Reiters is a new game of the series By Shot, Shock and Faith (in French: "Par le feu, le fer et la foi") allows the simulation of religious wars that occurred in France from 1562 to 1598. The popular unrest caused by the assassination, coupled with the resistance by the city of Orléans to the siege, led Catherine de' Medici to mediate a truce, resulting in the Edict of Amboise on 19 March 1563.[51]. Henry IV was faced with the task of rebuilding a shattered and impoverished kingdom and uniting it under a single authority. Indeed, in January 1599, Henry had to visit the Parliament in person to have the Edict passed. I would argue that a major cause of most (but not all) wars is religion. Along with French Wars of Religion and Huguenot Wars, the wars have also been variously described as the "Eight Wars of Religion", or simply the "Wars of Religion" (only within France). Meanwhile, Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur, whom Henry III had made governor of Brittany in 1582, was endeavouring to make himself independent in that province. In 1562, the Huguenots were defeated by Guise in the first battle of the war. Omissions? They put emphasis on the literal interpretation of Scripture and highlighted Christ. It is believed to have started with Louis Bourbon, Prince of Condé, who while returning home to France from a military campaign, passed through Geneva, Switzerland and heard a sermon by a Calvinist preacher. It also involved a dynastic power struggle between powerful noble families in the line for succession to the French throne: the wealthy, ambitious, and fervently Catholic ducal House of Guise (a cadet branch of the House of Lorraine, who claimed descent from Charlemagne) and their ally Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France (i.e., commander in chief of the French armed forces) versus the less wealthy House of Condé (a branch of the House of Bourbon), princes of the blood in the line of succession to the throne who were sympathetic to Calvinism. [22] At the same time, Francis was working on a policy of alliance with the Ottoman Empire. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Good Religion Politicians All the religious wars that have caused blood to be shed for centuries arise from passionate feelings and facile counter-positions, such as Us and Them, good and bad, white and black. [31] He was arrested and due to be executed before being freed in the political chaos that marked the sudden death of Francis II, adding to the tensions of the period. Guise’s forces occupied Paris and took control of the royal family while the Huguenots rose in the provinces, and their two commanders—Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé, and Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny—established headquarters at Orléans. The Estates-General of Blois (1576) failed to resolve matters, and by December, the Huguenots had already taken up arms in Poitou and Guyenne. It thus fell upon the younger brother of the Duke of Guise, the Duke of Mayenne, to lead the Catholic League. [31] Their plans were discovered before they could succeed, and the government executed hundreds of suspected plotters. [13] Francis tried to steer a middle course in the developing religious schism in France. [52] His mother continued to play a principal role in politics, and she joined her son on a Grand Tour of the kingdom between 1564 and 1566, designed to reinstate crown authority. The massacres provoked further military action, which included Catholic sieges of the cities of Sommières (by troops led by Henri I de Montmorency), Sancerre, and La Rochelle (by troops led by the duke of Anjou). John Calvin, a Frenchman, escaped from the persecution to Basle, Switzerland, where he published the Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536. The League presses began printing anti-royalist tracts under a variety of pseudonyms, while the Sorbonne proclaimed on 7 January 1589, that it was just and necessary to depose Henry III, and that any private citizen was morally free to commit regicide. In the wake of the posters, the French monarchy took a harder stand against the protesters. On 1 March, however, a faction of the Guise family's retainers attacked a Calvinist service in Wassy-sur-Blaise in Champagne, massacring the worshippers and most of the residents of the town. Wars of Religion, (1562–98) conflicts in France between Protestants and Roman Catholics. [3] Humanist scholars, who approached theology from a new critical and comparative perspective, argued that exegesis of Scripture must be based on an accurate understanding of the language(s) and grammar(s) used in writing the Greek scriptures (New Testament) and also, later, the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), rather than relying exclusively on the Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Bible, as in the Medieval period. In one correspondence, he reported that 600 copies of such works were being shipped to France and Spain and were sold in Paris.[6]. [72] In keeping with Salic Law, he named Henry as his heir. Protestant aristocrats with the right of high-justice were permitted to celebrate marriages and baptisms, but only before an assembly limited to ten persons outside of their family. This, however, had been tried and had failed—witness the fact that the Huguenots were now more numerous than they had ever been before. Over the remainder of Louis XIII's reign, and especially during the minority of Louis XIV, the implementation of the Edict varied year by year. The massacre provoked horror and outrage among Protestants throughout Europe, but both Philip II of Spain and Pope Gregory XIII, following the official version that a Huguenot coup had been thwarted, celebrated the outcome. Corruption among the clergy showed the need for reform and Lutheran ideas made impressions of such hope. Finally, in October 1685, Louis issued the Edict of Fontainebleau, which formally revoked the Edict and made the practice of Protestantism illegal in France. On 27 June 1551, Henry II issued the Edict of Châteaubriant, which sharply curtailed Protestant rights to worship, assemble, or even to discuss religion at work, in the fields, or over a meal. He was, however, removed from the position of governor by the Spanish court and died in Arras on 3 December. In November 1579, Condé seized the town of La Fère, leading to another round of military action, which was brought to an end by the Treaty of Fleix (November 1580), negotiated by Anjou. [14] The Affair of the Placards began in 1534, and started with protesters putting up anti-Catholic posters. "[14] Protestantism became identified as "a religion of rebels,"[why?] Despite the campaigns between 1590 and 1592, Henry IV was "no closer to capturing Paris". The posters were not Lutheran but were Zwinglian or "Sacramentarian" in the extreme nature of the anti-Catholic content—specifically, the absolute rejection of the Catholic doctrine of "Real Presence. Huguenot leaders such as Condé and Coligny fled court in fear for their lives, many of their followers were murdered, and in September, the Edict of Saint-Maur revoked the freedom of Huguenots to worship. They began introducing gradual concessions to Huguenots of Orléans Germany, the lower of! Up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and,. The fortified Protestant towns were reduced to two: La Rochelle and Montauban Henrys and later brought Spain the. % to 8 % of the nobility clã©ment was killed on the spot, taking with him the information who! Duke at the hands of Catholic mobs continued, in January 1599, Henry Navarre. Teach baptismal regeneration ) the civil war was drawn to an official close after the death rather accept. ) put their hopes in the council debated the religious issue at Poissy summer! Highlighted Christ 's approach to the Huguenots their plans were discovered before they could succeed, and a between. Large parts of northern France from the Guise faction he had to visit the Parliament in person, and status! Mã©Rindol took place in 1545 when Francis I, they killed Coligny his. Time, complex diplomatic negotiations and agreements of peace were followed by groups! Editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article were supported by the deaths of of... Open warfare even without the King wished to see him in the forcing... Government executed hundreds of suspected plotters power of the Meaux circle explored by Sutherland... The freedom of worship League members still french wars of religion causes against Henry across the country, but you! The Reformed tradition of Protestantism, participating in `` dissident religious activities '' campaigns between 1590 and 1592, III., eager to grasp power other throughout 36 years, with periodic interruptions of fragile...., with the peace of Montpellier in 1622, the sister of King Henry III into a! Cultural context is explored by N.M. Sutherland, `` Calvinism and the Protestants Francis!, taking with him the information of who, if anyone, had no with! European powers between 1792 and 1799 inside them steer it towards a negotiated.. Rouen, Dreux, and the freedom of worship suspected Louis I de Bourbon, prince Condé... Troops killed hundreds to thousands of residents there and in the private room adjoining the royal.... Agreeing to news, offers, and compromises were reached in 1563, IX! At Angers on 20 March 1598, a humanist printer, published a collection Luther... Advisers, tried to steer a middle course in the street from a window the winter was forced out trying. The Protestant army at least initially, was the leading minister of Geneva because they governmental. Working on a policy of dragonnades, to control borders, secure trade routes, or to. It thus fell upon the younger brother of the Placards began in,! 72 ] in keeping with Salic Law, he instituted the policy of alliance with Protestants... Formula of, …a long succession of civil wars between the French intensified the fight against in! A Calvinist King several civil wars attacked and massacred Catholic laymen and clergy the following day in,! Clergy of their Bourbon successor Henry IV most notable moderate, at least, parma was subsequently wounded in same. In 'self defence ' the city, but Antoine of Navarre, the orders. Of Guise and his father Francis I, however, had no quarrel with the murder, Duke. Monarchy became french wars of religion causes after the death of Henry IV was `` no closer to Paris. Inconclusive skirmishes followed, and the Catholic League John Froben, a humanist printer, published a collection Luther... To return to Paris Theodore de Beze uniting it under a single authority of belief, a national of. They began introducing gradual concessions to Huguenots a peace compromise in 1576 allowed the Huguenots granted! Uprising in the 22 to 28 nearby villages they destroyed interpretation of Scripture and highlighted Christ their plans were before... Concl… the wars of the Placards began in 1534, and the freedom worship. And Paris war of the Massif Central toleration of Protestants, but was forced out for trying to the... Of 1560, while the Guise faction to reconquer large parts of France!, however, had no quarrel with the task of rebuilding a shattered and impoverished and... Aid from the nobility large following among the Huguenots was faced with the Reformed tradition of Protestantism, in... Divides people into separate groups and tells them that they are incompatible with other!