European_History_-_Lecture_Notes_-_04_-_16th___17th_Century...

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I.Politics and the Wars of Religion in the Sixteenth CenturyA.The French Wars of Religion (1562 – 1598)1.King Henry II was killed in a tournament and replaced by a series of weak rulers and neurotic sons dominated by their mother Catherine de’ Medicia.This caused a series of civil wars in Franceb.Religious, political, economic and social differences all contributed to the outbreak of war2.French kings persecuted Huguenots (French Calvinists) to stop the spread of Protestantisma.This had little impact as Huguenots came from all levels of societyi.40% to 50% of the Nobility became Huguenotsii.House of Bourbon, next in line for the throne, also became Huguenotsiii.Noble Huguenots were a political threat to the king as they were a strong and well organized minority3.The Valois (Catholic) monarchy under Catherine de’ Medici tried to make religious compromises but both sides were unwilling to make concessionsa.Ultra-Catholics led by the Guise family recruited and paid for large armiesb.Gained support from the papacy and Jesuits4.Towns and provinces resisted monarchial centralization and joined the revolt with the Huguenots5.War started in 1562 as the duke of Guise massacred a peaceful congregation of Huguenotsa.Huguenots, those smaller in number were well equipped to defend themselves, and did so during the 1560s6.St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre 1572a.Henry of Navarre (Huguenot leader), was to marry a Valoisprincessb.Many Huguenot political leaders came to Paris to see the weddingc.The Guise family persuaded the king to eliminate the Huguenot leaders all at onced.A wave of violence gripped Paris for three days killing 3,000 Huguenots, including prominent leadersi.Henry of Navarre saved his life be promising to turnCatholicii.The ultra-Catholics formed the Holy League7.Turning Point – The War of Three Henries (see pg. 403)8.1598 – Edict of Nantes – a.Stated Catholicism was the official religion of Franceb.Guaranteed Huguenots the right to worship in selected places, hold public office, and have fortified towns
9.French Wars of Religion demonstrated the necessity for strong government, which will occur in the 17thcenturyB.Philip II and the Cause of Militant Catholicism1.Philip II’s first goal was to consolidate and secure Spain, the Netherlands, and possession in Italy and the New World2.Also strictly enforced Catholicism with an aggressive use of the Spanish Inquisition3.Wanted to establish strong monarchial authority – this becomes his downfalla.Wanted to make the monarchy less dependent on the noblesby enlarging the system of administrative councilsb.He became the center of the system by supervising all workc.He failed to distinguish between important and trivial matter causing him to maintain the status quo instead of making Spain the most powerful country in Europe4.Spain’s dominance depended on a growing economy focused on gold and silver from the New World, agriculture, commerce and industrya.

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