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Disintegration and Reconstruction of France

Disintegration and Reconstruction of France

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Disintegration and Reconstruction of France

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  1. Disintegration and Reconstruction of France By: Claire Solomon

  2. The Wars of Religion in France • Almost 40 years of civil war (1562-1598) • No more religious than political • Caused France to fall into an advanced state of decomposition • Was a kind of feudal rebellion against a higher central authority • Involved towns, provinces, craft guilds, the church, and nobles

  3. New Monarchy in France • Resumed the work of medieval kings • King made treaties & dealt with subordinate bodies of all kinds • The country was 3x as large as England and 5x as populous (about 18 million in the 16th century) • Below the king there was almost as little unity as there was in the Holy Roman Empire • 300 areas with their own legal systems • Had provinces as great as some European kingdoms (Brittany, Burgundy, Provence, Languedoc) – ruled by the French King but each had its own identity, autonomy, laws, courts, tariffs, taxes, and parliament

  4. Religion • Calvinism had spread in France very rapidly – Calvin was by birth & upbringing a Frenchman • Was not attached to the papacy, Rome, or Catholicism • French clergy had long struggled for its national liberties • French kings had dealt rudely with popes • Ignored the Council of Trent • Allied for political reasons with Lutherans & Turks • Since 1516 the king of France had the right to nominate the French bishops • France had no middle-of-the-road Protestantism

  5. Huguenots French Calvinists Always a minority but were neither small nor modest in their demands More than 1/3 (and almost ½) of the French nobility was Protestant in the 1560’s or 1570’s Frequently the seigneur (lord of one or more manors) believed that he should have the ius reformandi (right to regulate religion on his own estates) Peasants became Huguenots under the influence of their lords

  6. Opposition to Calvinism • Francis I & Henry II opposed the spread of Calvinism • Seemed to threaten not only the powers of monarchy but also the very idea of a nationally established church • Persecution of Huguenots, with burnings at the stake, began in the 1550’s • King Henry II was accidentally killed in a tournament in 1559 • Left 3 sons – eldest was only 15 • Their mother & his widow was Catherine de’ Medici – Italian woman who brought to France some of the polish of Renaissance Italy • She attempted to govern a distracted country for her royal sons • She didn’t have firm control – the country fell apart • Various powerful factions tried to get control of the youthful monarchs for their own purposes • Huguenots and Catholics • Huguenots were too strong a minority to go into hiding – took naturally and aggressively to arms

  7. Civil and Religious Wars • Fought in the absence of government • Roving bands of armed men wandered about the country, fighting and plundering • Peasants formed protective leagues & some small towns maintained diminutive armies • Huguenot Leaders • Admiral de Coligny & Henry of Bourbon, king of Navarre, a small independent kingdom at the foot of the Pyrenees between Spain & France • Catholic Leaders • Guise family – headed by the Duke of Guise & the Cardinal of Lorraine • Catherine de’ Medici was in the middle – opposed to Calvinism but unwilling to fall under the domination of the Guises • Guises wished to weed out heresy and govern France while Huguenots fought for local liberties and to drive out “idolatry” and “popery” from France

  8. St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre & Renewal of War Catherine feared the growing influence of Coligny over the king Led Huguenots in Paris to celebrate the marriage of Henry of Navarre Some thousands of Huguenots were dragged from their beds after midnight and unceremoniously murdered Coligny was killed & Henry of Navarre escaped by temporarily changing his religion Led to a renewal of civil war – mounting atrocities committed by both sides Both parties hired companies of mercenary soldiers, mainly from Germany Spanish troops invaded France at the invitation of the Guises England invaded from the appeal of Protestant towns – reminded Elizabeth of England that kings of England had once reigned over their parts of France Neither side could subdue each other

  9. Politiques • Concluded that too much was being made of religion • Country needed civil order above all else • Secular view • Believed people lived primarily in the state • Willing to overlook the religious ideas of people in different churches if such persons would obey the king & go peaceably about their business • Jean Bodin – first thinker to develop the modern theory of sovereignty • Held that in every society there must be one power strong enough to give law to all others, with or without their consent • Played a part in developing the idea of royal absolutism and of the sovereign state

  10. Henry IV Huguenot Henry of Navarre reigned after the assassination of Henry III (the reigning king) & Henry of Guise (the Catholic party chief) First of the Bourbon dynasty – lasted until the French Revolution Catholic party refused to recognize him & called in the Spaniards Paris especially refused to admit the heretic king Supposedly remarking that “Paris is well worth a Mass,” Henry IV in 1593 left the Calvinistic faith & subjected himself to the elaborate processes of papal absolution

  11. Edict of Nantes • Huguenots were outraged and demanded positive guarantees for their personal security & religious liberty • Edict of Nantes – 1598 • Granted to every seigneur (noble who was also a manorial lord) the right to hold Protestant services in his own household • Allowed Protestantism in towns where it was the prevailing form of worship • Barred Protestantism from Catholic Episcopal towns • Promised Protestants could enjoy the same civil rights as Catholic, same chance for public office, and access to the Catholic universities • Gave Protestants their own means of defense – 100 fortified towns to be held by Protestant garrisons under Protestant command • Huguenots were reassured an became less rebellious • Majority of the French people viewed the Edict with suspicion • The king forced its toleration & subdued Catholic opposition by doing favors for the Jesuits

  12. Recovery Henry IV’s ideal: “a chicken in the pot for every Frenchman” Worked to put the ruined government back together, collect taxes, pay officials, discipline the army, and supervise the administration of justice Roads & bridges were repaired Never summoned the Estates General National government was to be conducted by and through the king

  13. Cardinal Richelieu Control of affairs in France came into the hands of an ecclesiastic, Cardinal Richelieu He worked to further the interests of the state Prohibited private warfare & ordered the destruction of all fortified castles not manned & needed by the king himself The Huguenots had become something of a state within the state 1627: The Duke of Rohan led a Huguenot rebellion which received military support from the English Richelieu suppressed the rebellion & amended the Edict of Nantes 1629: Huguenots lost their fortified cities, Protestant armies, and all their military and territorial rights

  14. Cardinal Richelieu

  15. References [Cardinal Richelieu]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Clouet, F. (n.d.). Henry II of France [Image]. Retrieved from http:// Clouet, F. (n.d.). Portrait of Catherine de' Medici (1519-1589) [Image]. Retrieved from Dubois, F. (n.d.). St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre [Image]. Retrieved from http:// Jean Bodin [Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from File:Jean_Bodin.jpg Palmer, R. R., Colton, J., & Kramer, L. S. (2002). A history of the modern world (9th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.