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French Wars of Religion. 1562-1598. The Setting: Henry II. Henry II. 1559 Henry II is unexpectedly killed when a lance pierced his visor during a joust Francis II - His 15 yr old son takes the throne Under the regency of his mother Queen Catherine de Medici .

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henry ii
Henry II
  • 1559 Henry II is unexpectedly killed when a lance pierced his visor during a joust
  • Francis II - His 15 yr old son takes the throne
  • Under the regency of his mother Queen Catherine de Medici
the setting boy kings
The Setting: “Boy Kings”

Francis II 1559-60, (born 1544)

Charles IX, 1560-74 (born 1550)

Henry III, 1574-89 (born 1551)

the setting boy kings6
The Setting: “Boy Kings”

Francis II 1559-60, (born 1544)

guises vs bourbons
Guises vs. Bourbons

Lacking a strong King, French politics becomes a power struggle between 2 aristocratic factions: Guise and the Bourbon

add to the mix religion
Add to the Mix: Religion

Huguenots = French Calvinists

Guises = Catholic

Bourbons = Huguenot

french nobility takes advantage of this monarchial weakness
French Nobility takes advantage of this monarchial weakness.
  • In the second half of 1500’s between 2/5’s and ½ of nobility became Calvinist.
  • For the upper class religion was an excuse to grab for power.
powerful guise influence
Powerful Guise Influence

The Duke of Guise’s niece, Mary Queen of Scots, marries the young King Francis II.

dies of an ear infection
Dies of an Ear Infection!

Francis II 1559-60, (born 1544)

the setting boy kings13
The Setting: “Boy Kings”

Charles IX, 1560-74 (born 1550)

huguenot influence grows
Huguenot Influence Grows

King Charles IX falls under the influence of Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny, and his sister plans to marry another Huguenot leader, Henri of Navarre.

coligny let s help the netherlands
Coligny: Let’s help the Netherlands!

This Huguenot leader wants to support the protestants in the Netherlands. But this support would put France on a crash course with Spain.

coligny survives
Coligny survives

Catherine convinces Charles that a Huguenot retaliation is imminent

st bartholomew s day massacre
St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
  • Wedding of Henry of Navarre to daughter of Catherine de Medici
  • Admiral Coligny & 3,000 Huguenots slaughtered
  • 3 days 20,000 Huguenots dead
  • Significance – reformation is now a struggle to the death for sheer survival against a cruel adversary.
at the popular level the conflict was religious
At the popular level the conflict was religious
  • Catholic Priests and Protestant Pastors encourage violence
  • Mobs attacked those of other religion
  • Calvinists destroy Catholic statues in churches
  • Catholics torture Huguenots
  • You don’t slaughter for a King
war of the three henrys
War of the Three Henrys

Henry of Guise

Henry III

Henry of Navarre

catholic league rules paris
Catholic League rules Paris
  • King Henry III tries to destroy the league with a surprise attack but fails in 1588
  • Henry III assassinates Henry of Guise
paris is worth a mass
“Paris is worth a Mass.”

Peter Paul Rubens, Triumphal Entry of Henri IV into Paris

edict of nantes 159827
Edict of Nantes, 1598
  • Gave the well over 1 million Huguenots
    • Freedom of public worship
    • The right of assembly
    • Admission to public offices and universities
    • Permission to maintain fortified towns
  • Significance – created a state within a state. This problem would not be solved until Louis XIV
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