The Period of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

The Edict of Nantes stopped the terrible religious wars that occurred between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics. It was a bloody, gruesome fight between both groups; there were great chaos and catastrophe in France in the 1560s. For instance, on St. Bartholomew’s day, in Paris, there was a Protestant massacre. The treaty of Nantes brought about much-needed peace for both the Protestants and the Roman Catholics, so that both sides could co-exist.

Edict of Nantes Definition

There was great difficulty bringing about or define the Edict of Nantes. It was a great accomplishment for Henri IV. It stimulated guidelines that saw to the religious harmony between the religious groups. It was dissimilar from the others in that it allowed for an act of sovereignty for both the Protestants and the Roman Catholics. The King deeply wished for his people to be able to “return to the true religion, which was the catholic apostolic and Roman religion.” However, the edict could be considered unbalanced as it restricted the worship of the Protestants.

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Documents of the Edict: Four Distinct Texts

There were four categories of documents of this agreement. They were a first warrant, the actual edict, a second warrant and then 56 articles. In the first warrant, it is stipulated that the Protestants would obtain 4500 crowns, which would permit them to have their services and compensate their ministers or pastors. There were 92 articles in the authentic edict, which had permanent and obligatory clauses that could never be changed. The second warrant, which was revised in 1606 in addition to 1611, gave the guarantee that they had refuge for eight years in 150 locations, some 51 was strongholds. The Protestants, utilizing them strategically as garrisons, this ensured their security. However, in 1629, the Peace of Alès suppressed the warrants. The 56 articles were mentioned as being ‘secret and specific’.

The Clauses of the Edict of Nantes

Within the articles, it was surmised that they favored one group over the other. For example, Roman Catholics were able to have services in most places and the buildings which they owned before, were returned to them. In the entire kingdom, mass was held, even in the Bearn country. Unfairly, the Protestants had to give their tithes to the parish priests, who were Roman Catholics.

However, the Protestants could now express themselves and their opinions freely. They could have synods and both sides had equal educational rights. They were no longer turn away from or deprived of public office. Their worship could only be kept in specific places. They could not have them in the in Paris, in the court, not even five leagues close to the capital, nor within the armed forces.

There were some general provisions within the Edict of Nantes for both the Protestants and the Catholics. Those who did crimes which were not gruesome were given amnesty. It also stipulated that there should be no uprisings or neither were persons to be provoked to do so. Every man was one and the same as another was and could change their religion, or abjure. The courts were to have legal officers from both sides; those were Protestants and those who were Catholics. Finally, all emigrants could return to their homes.

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Registration of the Edict

The agreement was registered in parliament, by all, even though there were those who were very antagonistic. In Paris and in Rouen it took eleven years for it to be ratified in parliament. The King, Henri IV had to impose it on them.

Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

Henri IV enforced the Edict of Nantes throughout his reign. Charenton was close to the capital and he permitted the Protestants to gather there. King Louis XIII was not so thoughtful; he took away all their strongholds. They had to rely on his good graces. The revocation of the agreement was close at hand by 1643. Because there was religious peace up to 1660 and onwards, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. He initially applied limited restrictions, but he was a Catholic king who harshly persecuted them and wanted them to convert. It was a period called the ‘dragonnades’. By 1685, he believed there was no more opposition and as such, he revoked the Edict of Fontainebleau.

Read also: King Louis XIV: One King, One Law, One Faith