"Huguenots" is the name given to French Protestants from about 1560 to 1630. Protestantism was introduced in France as early as 1520, and many of its adherents were from the nobility and the intellectual and middle classes. The new religious group at first enjoyed royal protection, especially from Queen marguerite de navarre and King francis i. Despite persecution, which began at the end of Francis's reign, French Protestants increased in number. At the first national synod in 1559, 15 churches were represented. Two years later, 2,000 churches sent representatives. This increase in Protestantism alarmed French Roman Catholics, and religious hatred was intensified by the political rivalry between the House of valois and the House of Guise. Catherine de' medici at the time allied with the Huguenots but generally opposed them. open civil war broke out and, between 1562 and 1598, eight bitter conflicts were fought between Catholics and Protestants. The Huguenot leaders in the first of nearly four decades of struggle were louis i de bourbon, prince de condé; Admiral gaspard de coligny; and subsequently Henry of Navarre, later henry iv. The principal Catholic leaders, besides Catherine de' Medici, were henry i of Lorraine, the duke de guise, and King henry III. Foreign troops also took part in the conflicts. In 1572, after a peace was concluded, the Huguenots in Paris, lulled into a sense of security, were massacred on August 24, St. Bartholomew's Day (see saint Bartholomew's day massacre). Coligny was among those killed. The eighth civil war took place during the reign of King Henry III. The Catholics were defeated and became divided among themselves. When the House of valois became extinct with the death of Henry III, Henry of Navarre became king. Henry iv, to avoid further strife, converted to Catholicism in 1593. In 1598, he issued the edict of NANTES,by which the Huguenots received almost complete religious freedom. Protestant power in France increased and, to break this, louis хш and especially louis XIV instigated new persecutions. Civil war again broke out, and in 1628, Cardinal richelieu caused the political downfall of the Huguenots by capturing their principal stronghold, La Rochelle. He then sought reconciliation, however. King louis XIV, instead, persecuted Protestants, revoking the Edict of Nantes in 1685. A massive emigration ensued, with hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fleeing to England, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the English colonies in America. About 200,000 emigrated while about 1 million remained in France. Thousands settled in the Cévennes mountain region and became known as CAMiSARDS.The government attempted to extirpate them, and the Camisard War broke out (1702-05). During the Enlightenment of the 18th century, French Protestants gradually regained many of their rights. Although King louis XV issued an edict (1752) voiding Protestant baptisms and marriages, it was later recalled under louis XVI. After 1787, Protestant marriages were granted full legal status. Laws passed during and after the revolution of 1789 gave full religious freedom to all sects in France. since then, French Protestants, although comparatively few, have been influential in all areas of French life.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

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