HIST 1010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Michael I Of Russia, Spanish Treasure Fleet, Elective Monarchy

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10 Aug 2016
Week #5 – October, 6-8th, 2014
Europe At War, 1555-1648: Chapter 14 – page #321-342
The Crises of the Western States:
Society was an integrated whole, equally dependent on monarchial, ecclesiastical, and civil
authority for its effective survival
The coexistence of Catholics and Protestants in a single realm posed a stark challenge to
accepted theory and traditional practice the problem proved intractable because it admitted
only one solution: total victory
o Religious beliefs were profoundly held
o Religious controversy was more than a life-and-death struggle: it was a struggle
between everlasting life and eternal damnation
o The practical solution of toleration was doomed toleration wasn’t a practical
solution in a society that admitted no principle of organization other than one
king, one faith
The French Wars of Religion:
The Spread of Calvinism and Religious Division
Protestantism came late to France it wasn’t until after Calvin reformed the Church in
Geneva and began to export his brand of Protestantism did French society begin to divide
along religious lines
By 1560, Protestant membership totaled nearly 10% of the French population
Calvin and his successors achieved their greatest following among the middle ranks of urban
society: merchants, traders, and artisans; they also found a receptive audience among
aristocratic women, who eventually converted their husbands and children
The wars of religion were brought on by more than the rapid spread of Calvinism
The vacuum of power that had been created when Henry II died was equally important
Catherine de Medicis, the wife of Henry II of France, was the real power behind the throne
during the reigns of oh her sons; her overriding concern was to ensure her sons’ successions
and to preserve the power of the monarchy
The Guise family was allowed to dominate the great offices of state and to exclude their rivals
from power they controlled two of the most powerful institutions of the state: the army and
the Church
The Guises were Catholic and among their enemies were the Bourbons, princes of the blood
with a direct claim to the French throne but also a family with powerful Protestant members
The revelation of a Protestant plot to remove the king from Paris provided the Guises with an
opportunity to eliminate their most potent rivals
The leading Protestant peer of the ream, the Bourbon duc de Conde, was sentenced to death
Francis II died and Guise power evaporated
King Charles IX was 10 years old and was under the grip of his mother, Catherine de
Medicis, who declared herself regent of France
Civil War
Protestants and Catholics alike raised armies and in 1562, civil war ensued
Once the wars began, the leading Protestant peers fled the court, but the position of the
Guises was not altogether secure
Henry Bourbon was the next in line to the throne should Charles XI and his brothers die
without male heirs
Henry has been raised in the Protestant faith with a family line dating back to the earliest
protectors of the Huguenots, as the French Calvinists came to be called
The inconclusive nature of the early battles might have allowed for the pragmatic solution by
Catherine de Medicis had it not been for the assassination of the duc de Guise in 1563 by a
Protestant fanatic
The assassination added a personal vendetta to the religious passions of the Catholic
leaders they encouraged the slaughter of Huguenot congregations and openly planned the
murder of Huguenot leaders
Noble factions and irreconcilable religious differences were pulling the government apart
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Week #5 – October, 6-8th, 2014
The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
By 1570, Catherine was ready to attempt another reconciliation she planned a marriage
between her daughter Margaret and Henry of Navarre a marriage that would symbolize the
spirit of conciliation between the crown and the Huguenots
The arrival of Huguenot leaders from all over France to attend the marriage ceremony
presented an opportunity of a different kind to the Guises and their supporters if leading
Huguenots could be assassinated in Paris, the Protestant cause might collapse. and the
truce of that the wedding signified might be turned instead into a Catholic triumph
On August 24th, 1572, the streets ran red with Huguenot blood and although frenzied, the
slaughter was inefficient Henry of Navarre and a number of other important Huguenots
escaped the carnage and returned to their urban stronghold
The violence spread from Paris to the countryside and thousands of Protestants paid for their
beliefs with their lives
One King, Two Faiths:
The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre was a transforming event
It prolonged the wars a whole new generation of Huguenots now had an arrangement to
the continuation of warfare: their fathers and brothers were mercilessly slaughtered and it
screamed for revenge
The target for retaliation was no longer limited to the Guises and their follows
By accepting the results of the massacre, the monarchy sanctioned it and spilled Huguenot
blood on itself
For over a decade, Catherine de Medicis maintained a distance between the crown and the
leaders of the Catholic movement but that distance no longer existed
The Theory of Resistance
After Saint Bartholomew’s Day, Huguenot theorists began to develop the idea that resistance
to a monarch whose actions violated divine commandments or civil right was lawful
Huguenot writers provided a justification for rebellion
A number of Catholic peers joined with the Huguenots to protest the excess of the crown and
the Guises these Catholics were called the politiques, from their desire for a practical
settlement of the wars
They were led by the duke of Anjou, who was next in line to the throne
Against them, in Paris and a number of other towns, the Catholic League was formed, a
society that pledged its first allegiance to the religion
The League slaughtered ordinary people who professed the wrong religion; the massacre
The duke of Anjou died and Henry of Navarre, the Huguenot, was next in line for the throne
By 1585, when the final civil war began, the crown was in the weakest position possible
Paris and Catholic towns were controlled by the League and the Protestant strongholds were
controlled by Henry of Navarre
King Henry III couldn’t abandon his capital or religion, but neither could he gain control of the
Catholic party
In December 1588, Henry III summoned Henry Guise and Guise’s brother to a meeting
where they were murdered by the King’s order
The politiques were blamed for the murders revenge was taken on many of them and
Henry III had to flee his capital
He made a pact with Henry of Navarre, and together royalist Huguenot forces besieged Paris
1589, Catherine de Medicis died and in the same year a fanatic priest gained revenge for the
murder of the Guises by assassinating Henry III
Henry VI
Henry of Navarre came into his inheritance but after 30 years of continuous civil war, it was
certain that a Huguenot could never rule France if Henry was to become king of all France,
he would have to become a Catholic King
He finally made his conversion public and in 1594 and was crowned Henry VI
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Week #5 – October, 6-8th, 2014
1598, Henry proclaimed the Edict of Nantes, which granted limited toleration to the
It was the culmination of decades of attempts to find a solution to he existence of two
religions in one state
It was a compromise that satisfied no one, but it was a compromise that everyone could
Neither Henry’s conversion nor the Edict of Nantes stilled the passions that had spawned and
sustained the French wars of religion the sporadic fighting between Catholics and
Huguenots continued, and fanatics on both sides fanned the flamed of religious hatred
Henry VI survived 18 assassination attempts but fell by an assassin’s knife in 1610, but by
then he had established the monarchy and brought a semblance of peace to France
The World of Philip II
Spain achieved the status of the greatest power in Europe by the mid 16th century
The dominions of Phillip II of Spain stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Philip saw himself as a Catholic monarch fending off the spread of heresy
He came to the throne at just the moment that Calvinism began its rapid growth in northern
Europe and provided the impetus for the greatest crisis of his reign: the revolt of the
The Netherlands, one of the richest and most populous regions of Europe, was an
international leader in manufacturing, banking, and commerce
Catholics, Lutherans, Anabaptists, and Calvinists peaceably coexisted but this situation
changed dramatically with the spread of Calvinism
Philip II initiated a scheme to reform the hierarchy of the Church by expanding the number of
bishops, and he invited the Jesuits to establish schools for orthodox learning
He strengthened the power of the Inquisition and ordered the enforcement of the decrees of
the Council of Trent
The Protestants sought the protection of their local nobles, who, Catholic or Protestant, had
their own reasons for opposing the strict enforcement of heresy laws
Provincial nobles and magistrates resented both the policies that were being pursued and the
fact that they disregarded local autonomy
Town governors and noblemen refused to cooperate in implementing the new laws
The Revolt of the Netherlands:
The passive resistance of nobles and magistrates was soon matched by the active resistance
of the Calvinists
Bands of Calvinists unleashed a storm of iconoclasm in the provinces, breaking stained glass
windows, and statues of the Virgin and the saints, which they claimed were idolatrous
Helpless in the face of determined Calvinists and apathetic Catholics, local authorities could
not protect Church property
Iconoclasm gave way to open revolt
Fearing social rebellion, even the leading Protestant noblemen took part in suppressing these
Rebellion and War
Philip was determined to punish the rebels and enforce the heresy laws
A large military force under the command of the duke of Alba was sent from Spain as an
army of occupation
Alba lured leading Protestant noblemen to Brussels, where he publicly executed them in
He also established a military court to punish participants in the rebellion the council
handed down over 9,000 conviction, 1,000 of which carried the death penalty
Alba made an example of several small towns that had been implicated in the iconoclasm
he allowed his soldiers to pillage the towns at will before slaughtering the entire population
and raxing them ot the ground
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