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HIS109Y1 (520)

The Wars of Religion / The English Civil War

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University of Toronto St. George
Kenneth Bartlett

HIS109 Oct. 25 , 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 – nothing should come before the needs of the state After the circumstances of the 16 century the idea of criminal behaviour for reasons of state was a sinful mechanism The rights of citizens can be superseded by the rights of the state if wanted by the ruler After the reformation this idea was everywhere - drove every institution and individual Church realized that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 – 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 Roman Inquisition was established to dictate who would be accepted, and who wouldn’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 Pope’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 Christ’s soldiers was dangerous Belief that it was the state’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 Philip’s hostility to England was well known (wanted to make Spain a dominant power in Europe) 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 – reasons for the revolt of the Netherlands numerous Revolutionary change often linked to religion Philip intervened – 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 William’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. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre: slaughter of Huguenots (French Calvinists) No solution to the problem but civil war Henry IV – unified France, united the kingdom around him by reminding the French that the real threat was the Spaniards; NOT the different types of religions within France Edict of Nantes Against all of the practices of statecraft and government Catholicism recognized as the official religion of France but guaranteed Huguenots equal rights as Catholics Recognized the rights of the Protestant minority, & the principal of religious toleration, however; it did so out of political necessity NOT conviction Act of national reconciliation was the result of the advice given by the Les Politiques Well being of the kingdom superseded everything, including religion Demonstrated that two religions could co-exist amongst one another State shared a set of values that could be easily identified France became a very successful state under Henry IV HIS109 th Oct. 27 , 2010 The English Civil War Fallout of the reformation The king was head of the church Source of tension developing in political life following the reformation The compromise of Elizabeth – granted a religious settlement, England was fortunate because Elizabeth was exceptionall
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