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EUH 3931 (6)


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University of Florida
EUH 3931
Katalin Rac

IV. French Civil Wars (at least 9 wars between 1562-1598) A. After the death of Henry II in 1559 a power struggle between three noble families for the Crown ensued 1. The throne remained in the fragile control of the Catholic Valois family. · 3 French kings from 1559 to 1589 were dominated by their mother, Catherine de Médicis who as regent fought hard to maintain Catholic control in France 2. Between 40-50% of nobles became Calvinists (Huguenots)—many were Bourbons a. Many nobles ostensibly converted for religious reasons but sought independence from the crown. b. Resulted in resurgence of feudal disorder in France c. The Bourbons were next in line to inherit the throne if the Valois did not produce a male heir. 3. The ultra-Catholic Guise family also competed for the throne; strongly anti-Bourbon 4. Fighting began in 1562 between Catholics & Calvinists · Atrocities against rival congregations occurred B. St. Bartholomew Day Massacre (August, 24, 1572) 1. Marriage of Margaret of Valois to Protestant Huguenot Henry of Navarre on this day was intended to reconcile Catholics and Huguenots. 2. Rioting occurred when the leader of Catholic aristocracy, Henry of Guise, had a leader of the Huguenot party murdered the night before the wedding. 3. Catherine de Médicis ordered the massacre of Calvinists in response · 20,000 Huguenots killed by October 3 4. The massacre initiated the War of the Three Henrys: civil wars between Valois, Guise, and Bourbons Use space below for notes: C. Henry IV (Henry of Navarre) (r. 1589-1610): became the first Bourbon king 1. One of the most important kings in French history 2. His rise to power ended the French Civil Wars and placed France on a gradual course towards absolutism 3. Henry was a politique (like Elizabeth I in England) a. Sought practical political solutions (rather than ideological ones like Philip II): somewhat Machiavellian in nature b. He converted to Catholicism to gain the loyalty of Paris (He allegedly stated: “Paris is worth a mass”) c. Privately he remained a Calvinist 4. Edict of Nantes, 1598: Henry IV granted a degree of religious toleration to Huguenots a. Permitted Huguenots the right to worship privately · Public worship, however, was not allowed · Huguenots not allowed to worship at all in Paris and other staunchly Catholic cities. b. Gave Huguenots access to universities, to public office, and the right to maintain some 200 fortified towns in west and southwestern France for selfprotection. c. In reality, the Edict was more like a truce in the religious wars rather than recognition of religious tolerance. · Nevertheless, the Edict gave Huguenots more religious protection than perhaps any other religious minority in Europe. D. Spain vs. England 1. Queen Mary Tudor (Philip’s wife) had tried to reimpose Catholicism in England a. When she died, Queen Elizabeth I reversed Mary’s course via the “Elizabethan Settlement” b. Elizabeth later refused Philip’s request for marriage. 2. Elizabeth helped the Protestant Netherlands gain independence from Spain 3. Philip sought revenge for England’s support for the Dutch as well as hoping to make England Catholic again. · He thus planned a monumental invasion of England in 1588 Use space below for notes: 4. Spanish Armada, 1588 a. Spain’s attempt to invade England ended in disaster b. Much of Spain’s navy lay in ruins due to a raging storm in the English Channel as well as the effectiveness of England’s smaller but betterarmed navy. c. Signaled the rise of England as a world naval power d. Although this event is often viewed erroneously as the decline of Spain’s “Golden Age”, Spain still remained powerful until the mid-17 thcentury V. Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) – most important war of the 17 tcentury A. Failure of the Peace of Augsburg, 1555 1. The 1555 agreement had given German princes the right to choose either Catholicism or Lutheranism as the official religion of their states. 2. The truce in Germany lasted for 60 years until factionalism in the Holy Roman Empire precipitated a cataclysmic war B. Four phases of the war: 1. Bohemian Phase a. Defenestration of Prague (1618): triggered war in Bohemia · The Holy Roman Emperor placed severe restrictions on Protestantism · Two HRE officials were thrown out a window and fell 70 feet below (did not die because they were saved by a large pile of manure) · The emperor then sought to annihilate the Calvinist nobility in Bohemia b. Protestant forces were eventually defeated and Protestantism was eliminated in Bohemia 2. Danish Phase: represented the height of Catholic power during the war a. Albrecht von Wallenstein (1583-1634): Mercenary general who was paid by the emperor to fight for the HRE · Won a number of important battles against Protestant armies b. Edict of Restitution (1629): The Emperor declared all church territories that had been secularized since 1552 to be automatically restored to Catholic Church 3. Swedish Phase: Protestants liberated territory lost in previous (Danish) phase a. Gustavus Adolphus (King of Sweden): led an army that pushed Catholic forces back to Bohemia · Battle of Breitenfeld, 1631: victory for Gustav’s forces that ended Hapsburg hopes of reuniting Germany under Catholicism · Gustav was killed in another battle in 1632 b. In response, the Holy Roman Emperor reluctantly annulled the Edict of Restitution c. The Swedish army was defeated in 1634; France no
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