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Lecture

The Wars of Religion / The English Civil War


Department
History
Course Code
HIS109Y1
Professor
Kenneth Bartlett

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HIS109
Oct. 25th, 2010
The Wars of Religion
๎€Greatest lesson taught by the reformers was that the power of the state can and
should be used to control its citizens
๎€Machiavelli โ€“ nothing should come before the needs of the state
๎€After the circumstances of the 16th century the idea of criminal behaviour for
reasons of state was a sinful mechanism
๎€The rights of citizens can be superseded by the rights of the state if wanted by the
ruler
๎€After the reformation this idea was everywhere - drove every institution and
individual
๎€Church realized that it had to fight back, in order to ensure that it would have
complete control over those who still followed Catholicism, and those who they
could attempt to save by organizing a church monarchy
๎€Church re-structured and reorganized in order to seem more sympathetic in order
to fight against Protestantism
๎€At the heart of the religious wars โ€“ struggle for the minds & hearts of Europeans,
however; economic, social, & political forces also played an important role in these
conflicts
Trent
๎€1542: Pope Paul III took the decisive step of calling for a general council of
Christendom to resolve the religious differences created by the Protestants
๎€Council of the church organized in the city of Trent in Italy; the sessions lasted 20
years
๎€Most important matters were the reaffirmations of the points rejected by
Protestants
๎€Scriptures & tradition were affirmed as equal authorities in religious matters;
however, only the church alone could interpret scripture
๎€Faith & good works declared necessary for salvation
๎€Scriptures not sufficient enough, free will endorsed, pre-ordination rejected
๎€Simple, white washed religion of the Protestant church was rejected - Church
favouring Baroque
๎€Roman Catholic Church possessed a clear body of doctrine & a unified church
under the acknowledged supremacy of the popes that triumphed over bishops &
cardinals
Roman Inquisition
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๎€Roman Inquisition was established to dictate who would be accepted, and who
wouldnโ€™t
๎€Books had to be approved, religion had to be strengthened
๎€Roman Catholics were told what they could and could not read (one was forbidden
to read any criticism directed towards the Church)
๎€Reformation spread so quickly due to the invention of the printing press
๎€Attacks on the church by Protestantism was an example of the power of the
printing press (new ideas spread rapidly by means of the printing press)
Ignatius Loyola & the Jesuits
๎€Took on Protestantism
๎€Religious texts convinced him that he should be fighting against the enemies of
Christ
๎€The Spiritual Exercises (book that trained Catholics how to be disciplined) and
the Jesuits
๎€Jesuits came to define the battle against Protestantism
๎€Based on 3 basic principles: teaching, preaching, missionary actions
๎€Were to ensure that newly contacted peoples in the New World would be converted
to Roman Catholicism
๎€Were the Popeโ€™s soldiers, as a religious order they lived out in the world not in
monasteries
๎€Affected not only the elite they educated, but the society around them
๎€Concept of Christโ€™s soldiers was dangerous
๎€Belief that it was the stateโ€™s responsibility to establish a religion within their
borders was commonly accepted
๎€Idea of having one religion in one state was seen as necessary
๎€This idea lead to over a hundred years of warfare
Philip II
๎€Wanted to consolidate & secure the lands he had inherited from his father (incl.
Spain, Netherlands, possessions in Italy, the New World)
๎€This meant strict conformity to Catholicism, enforced by the Spanish Inquisition
& the establishment of a strong, monarchical authority
๎€Philipโ€™s hostility to England was well known (wanted to make Spain a dominant
power in Europe)
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Revolt of the Netherlands
๎€Philip wanted to strengthen his control in the Netherlands, this was strongly
opposed by nobles, towns, & provincial states
๎€Resentment also grew when the Dutch realized that taxes were being used for
Spanish interests
๎€Religion then became a catalyst when Philip attempted to crush Calvinism
๎€Revolt of the Dutch against the Spaniards โ€“ reasons for the revolt of the
Netherlands numerous
๎€Revolutionary change often linked to religion
๎€Philip intervened โ€“ wanted to control the wealth and patronage of ecclesiastics
๎€More and more Dutch convert to Calvinism
๎€Revolt broke out when William of Orange sails in (did not want to be a part of the
Spanish Empire)
๎€William of Orange wished to unify all 17 Dutch provinces
๎€Pacification of Ghent: agreement stipulated that all provinces would stand
together under Williamโ€™s leadership, respect religious differences, & demand that
Spanish troops be withdrawn (but religious differences proved to be too strong for
any lasting union)
๎€Hatred of Spaniards powerful
๎€The mutiny of the Spanish army in Holland resulted in the diminution of
Catholicism in the lower countries
๎€A new nation was formed; as the Dutch state was coming together the same sorts
of things were tearing apart the state of France
Guise vs. Bourbon
๎€Guise (extreme Catholic party) took leadership of the Catholic faction in France
๎€Both the house of Guise and Bourbon related to royal family (40-50% of French
nobility were Huguenot, including the Bourbon)
๎€The conversion of so many nobles made Huguenots a potentially dangerous
political threat to monarchical power
๎€When king Henry II was killed accidently in a tournament, he was succeeded by a
series of weak sons dominated by their mother Catherine de Medici
๎€Civil war erupted in 1562, the moderate Catholic Catherine switched back and
forth between support of Catholics and Protestants (when a faction seemed to
gain power she would switch back and support the seemingly weaker faction)
๎€She did this as a means to defuse political tensions, however; both sides possessed
religious fanatics unwilling to make concessions
๎€St. Bartholomewโ€™s Day Massacre: slaughter of Huguenots (French Calvinists)
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