Edict of Nantes

(252 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

By the Edict of Nantes (April 13, 1598) Henry IV of France sought to bring to an end the Wars of Religion (1562-98) in France. He gave full civil rights to Protestants and permitted them freedom conscience and of worship, except in Paris. The Protestants (usually called Huguenots) agreed in return to permit Catholic worship in areas controlled by them.

Whilst the Edict bought nominal peace after thirty years of war, the tolerance it granted was resented by Pope Clement VIII and by the Roman Catholic clergy. Cardinal de Richelieu (1585-1642; first minister of Louis XIII) viewed Huguenot wealth and control of major cities as a Trojan horse within the French state. Factional fighting in the 1620s enabled him to lay siege to their s…

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Editors. "Edict of Nantes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=309, accessed 05 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. European Dynastic and Religious Wars 16th-17th Centuries: France