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The Age of Confessional Division Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 26 May 2018

The Age of Confessional Division

Upon the death of King Henry II, Queen Catherine and her children failed to keep peace in France that for 40 years tore France apart with civil conflict. “Like a civil conflict, the French Wars of Religion brought bewildering patterns of intrigue, betrayal and treachery. ” (Levak, Muir, Veldman, 2011, p. 476) As John Calvin introduced Calvinism into France with his Protestant document the rulers thought it would be a threat to their power and a step in destruction to the church.

Already hurting from the actions of King Henry VIII in England, Catholic Leaders in France came together to fight the threat of Protestantism. Most of the people in villages were slaughtered for seeking the “wrong” religion other than Catholic. Queen Catherine de Medici, a Roman Catholic was worried about preserving the rights of royal authority power through her three sons and family. As her son, Francis II, raised the persecution of the Huguenots as their plot unfolded in the Conspiracy of Ambroise.

This plot lead to the death of hundreds of Protestants, while Catherine tried to give Huguenots religious rights by having the Edict of Toleration issued. By Catherine doing this infuriated many Catholics and more slaughtering of Huguenots evolved. As Catherine arraigned the marriage of her daughter, Marguerite Valois to Henry of Nevarre, a Huguenot from the House of Bourbon, she plotted the Saint Bartholomew’s day Massacre to occur. She convinced her son Charles IX to lead the deaths of over “3,000 Huguenots in Paris and 20,000 more throughout France.

As Catherine attempt failed to solve the Huguenot problem, Henry of Navarre sent his wife away and reinvigorated Huguenot resistance. With Charles IX and Henry III who remained childless, Henry IV became the hier to the throne and converted to Catholicism. The power of the Catholic was retained, but at the cost of their efforts to enforce that power over Protestants. In 1598 Henry issued the Edict of Nantes, giving partial religious freedom to the Huguenots. Although it was not full equality, it did end the French Wars of Religion.

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