The Edict of Nantes

Here in America most Americans aren’t very aware of the freedom that has been bestowed upon us.Thousands of men, women, and children died in various wars over the years to protect our basic rights: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.As for myself I know I take that freedom for granted and I know many others have also.If we believe in one God or six gods, it doesn’t matter here in America.You won’t be killed for your religious beliefs unless you’re some crazy activist.Up until the late 1500’s that was the case.If you did not follow the religious beliefs of the King or the Lord of the land you were killed or exiled from the land.In 1598 King Henry IV passed the Edict of Nantes granting religious freedom to the commoners, also known as Huguenots.
Henry IV (1589-161O) was the Protestant king of Navarre who led the Huguenot cause during the French wars of religion. His grandmother was Marguerite de Navarre and his mother Jeanne d’Albret, both educated and remarkably talented women. Henry achieved the French throne through a series of accidents, the last of which was the assassination of Henry III in 1589. It was clear that no Protestant could ever command the allegiance of the mass of French people or peaceful rule in the Catholic capital of Paris. Henry converted to Catholicism, defeated his enemies, and ended the long years of religious warfare.
The Edict of Nantes was the compromise settlement that granted limited toleration for the Huguenots.It was a landmark in the history of religious toleration, though its main features were watered down under Louis Xlll. The Edict was finally rescinded under Louis XIII in 1685. The Edict of Nantes ended the series of religious wars between Catholics and Protestants that ravaged France from 1562 to 1598. During these wars, several ineffective treaties were concluded, embodying privileges for the Huguenots. These “French wars of religion”pitted Calvini

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