Causes of the First French Religion War

  • Created by: eshabains
  • Created on: 09-11-22 16:47
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  • Causes of the First French War of Religion
    • Social Unrest and Factionalism
      • Tumult of Amboise
        • The Tumult of Amboise emphasised the view that Huguenots were dangerous rebels that wanted the crown for themselves in the eyes of Catholics.
      • Massacre of Vassy (March 1562)
        • A Culmination of Catholic hostility towards Protestants. This event directly triggered the First War of Religion.
        • After the massacre, the Duke of Guise marched with his followers to Paris to raise an army.
          • In response to this, Protestants held a National Synod at Orleans and troops were to be mobilised under the Prince of Conde.
      • Clientage
        • When a noble converts to Calvinism a lot of their clients and peasants living on their land do so as well. This deepens the divisions between the two groups and creates a lot of regionalism.
    • Economic Depression and Finances
      • Nobles of the Sword
        • The Nobles of the Sword had just returned from a long period of fighting wars. They expected to be rewarded for their efforts but the crown did not have the facilities to do so.
          • As a result they were disappointed and disillusioned. In quiet rebellion, some of these nobles converted to Calvinism.
      • A lot of pressure was put on the Third Estate (in the form of taxation) because of the cost of war, debt and economic depression.
        • This had the potential to cause civil unrest.
    • Weak Kingship
      • Francis II
        • Francis was not only young but also sickly so he was vulnerable to domination.
        • His weak image meant that he could not squash insurgency among his people or his nobles.
      • Catherine de Medici
        • Catherine's status as monarch was disputed as she was Italian and a woman.
          • According to salic law she shouldn't be able to be a regent and her italian upbringing led people to believe she could not rule France
        • Catherine's attempted toleration of Huguenots was not successful and caused dissatisfaction among Catholics.
    • Religion
      • Catholics
        • Catholics regarded Huguenots as dangerous rebels who wanted the crown so there was already lingering hostility towards them.
          • Lingering hostility escalated to outright violence with events such as the Tumult of Amboise and the Edict of January.
      • Edict of January (January 1562)
        • First act that legally allowed Huguenot worshipped. This was not a successful as it directly resulted in the Massacre of Vassy which triggered the First War of Religion.


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