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Religious conflict and Civil War in France c. 1560-1600 - week 2

Week 2: Socio-Economic Context – the Nobility & the Towns


The Nobility

Was there a 'crisis of the nobility' during the Wars of Religion?

General reading

David Potter, A History of France, 1460-1560 (1995), chap. 6

Robert J. Knecht, The French Civil Wars, 1562-1598 (2000), chap. 2

Davis Bitton, The French Nobility in Crisis, 1560-1640 (1969)

J.B. Wood, ‘The Decline of the Nobility in Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century France: Myth or Reality?’, Journal of Modern History, 48 (1976)

Jonathan Dewald, Aristocratic Experience and the Origins of Modern Culture: France, 1570-1715 (1993)

Henry Heller, Iron and Blood: Civil Wars in Sixteenth-Century France (1991)

E. Schalk, 'The Appearance and Reality of Nobility in France during the Wars of Religion: an Example of How Collective Attitudes can Change', Journal of Modern History, 48 (1976), 19-31

K. Neuschel, Word of Honor: Interpreting Noble Culture in sixteenth-century France, esp. chap. 1

Further reading

J.B. Wood, The Nobility of the Election of Bayeux, 1463-1666: Continuity through Change (1980)

Stuart Carroll, Noble Power during the French Wars of Religion: The Guise Affinity and the Catholic Cause in Normandy (1998), also an e-book

‘The Guise Affinity and Popular Protest during the Wars of Religion’, French History, 9 (1995), 125-52

‘The Peace in the Feud in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century France’, Past and Present, 178 (2003), 74-115

  Blood and Violence in Early Modern France (2006)

'Vengeance and Conspiracy during the French Wars of Religion', in B. Coward and J. Swann (eds, Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theory in Early Modern Europe (2004), pp. 71-86

Jean Marie Constant, ‘The Protestant Nobility in France during the Wars of Religion: A Leaven of Innovation in a Traditional World’, in P. Benedict et al (eds), Reformation, Revolt and Civil War in France and the Netherlands, 1555-1585 (1999), pp. 69-82

J.R. Major, 'Noble Income and Inflation and the Wars of Religion in France', American Historical Review, 86 (1981), 21-48

R.R. Harding, Anatomy of a Power Elite: The Provincial Governors of Early Modern France (1978)

Mark Greengrass, 'Noble affinities in early modern France: the case of Henri I de Montmorency, Constable of France', European Studies Quarterly, 16 (1986), 275-311

'Property and Politics in sixteenth-century France: the Landed Fortune of Constable Anne de Montmorency', French History, 2 (1988), 371-98

Sharon Kettering, 'Clientage during the Wars of Religion', Sixteenth Century Journal, 20 (1989), 221-39

Mack P. Holt, 'Patterns of Clientele and Economic Opportunities at Court during the Wars of Religion: the Household of François Duke of Anjou', French Historical Studies, 13 (1984)

W.A. Weary, ‘The House of La Trémoïlle, Fifteenth through Eighteenth Centuries: Change and Adaptation in a French Noble Family’, Journal of Modern History, 49 (1977)

Joan Davies, ‘The Politics of the Marriage Bed: Matrimony & the Montmorency Family, 1527-1612’, French History, 6 (1992), 63-95

A. Eurich, The Economics of Power: The Private Fortunes of the House of Foix-Navarre-Albret during the Religious Wars (1994)

J.H.M. Salmon, ‘A Second Look at the Noblesse Seconde: The Key to Noble Clientage and Power in Early Modern France?’, French Historical Studies, 25 (2002), 575-93

Arlette Jouanna, Le Devoir de révolte: la noblesse française et la gestation de l'état moderne (1559-1661) (1989)

Denis Crouzet, 'Recherches sur la crise de l'aristocratie en France au XVIe siècle: les dettes de la maison de Nevers', Annales: histoire, économies, sociétés, 1 (1982), 7-50

Documents: Potter: Chap. 1, docs. 3-6, 10; Chap. 4, doc. 1; Chap. 6

Documents: 19


The Towns

To what extent was the French Reformation an 'urban phenomenon'?

Which particular social or occupational groups were attracted to (and opposed) the Reform and why? Is it possible to generalise about religious affiliation on this basis?

General reading

H. Hauser, ‘The French Reformation and the French People’, American Historical Review, 4 (1899), 217-27

Denis Richet, 'Sociocultural Aspects of Religious Conflicts in Paris during the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century', in R. Forster & O. Ranum (eds), Ritual, Religion and the Sacred: Selection from the Annales (1982), pp. 182-212

Penny Roberts, 'Urban Histories of the French Wars of Religion'/'Faire l'histoire des villes au temps des guerres de religion', Moreana, 43 (2006), 115-50

Further reading

Henry Heller, The Conquest of Poverty: the Calvinist Revolt in Sixteenth-Century France(1986)

'Famine, Revolt and Heresy at Meaux, 1521-25', Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 68 (1977), 133-56

Natalie Z. Davis, 'Strikes and Salvation at Lyon', in her Society and Culture in Early Modern France (1975), chap. 1

'The Sacred and the Body Social in Sixteenth-Century Lyon', Past and Present, 90 (1981), 40-70

Philip Benedict, Rouen during the Wars of Religion (1981)

Barbara Diefendorf, Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris (1991)

Penny Roberts, A City in Conflict: Troyes during the French Wars of Religion (1996)

‘Religious Conflict and the Urban Setting: Troyes during the French Wars of Religion’, French History, 6 (1992), 259-78

'Urban Conflict and Royal Authority: Popular Revolts in Sixteenth-Century Troyes', Urban History, 34 (2007), 189-207

Hilary J. Bernstein, Between Crown and Community: Politics and Civic Culture in Sixteenth-Century Poitiers (2004), Part II

Elizabeth Tingle, Authority and Society in Nantes during the French Wars of Religion, 1559-98 (2006)

J.M. Davies, 'Persecution and Protestantism: Toulouse, 1562-75', Historical Journal, 22 (1979), 31-51

James R. Farr, 'Popular Religious Solidarity in Sixteenth-Century Dijon', French Historical Studies, 14 (1985), 192-214

Mark W. Konnert, 'Urban Values versus Religious Passion: Châlons-sur-Marne during the Wars of Religion', Sixteenth Century Journal, 20 (1989), 387-405

 Local Politics in the French Wars of Religion (2006)

Kevin Gould, Catholic Activism in South-West France, 1540-1570 (2006)

Mack P. Holt, 'Wine, Community and Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Burgundy', Past and Present, 138 (1993), 58-93

David Nicholls, 'Protestants, Catholics and Magistrates in Tours, 1562-72: The Making of a Catholic City during the Religious Wars', French History, 8 (1994), 14-33

J.P. Meyer, 'The Success of the French Reformation: the Case of La Rochelle', Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 84 (1993)

A.H. Guggenheim, ‘The Calvinist Notables of Nîmes during the Era of the Religious Wars’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 3 (1972), 80-96

Timothy Watson, ‘When is a Huguenot not a Huguenot? Lyon, 1525-1575’, in K. Cameron et al (eds), The Adventure of Religious Pluralism in Early Modern France (2000), 161-76

Philip Conner, Huguenot Heartland: Montauban and Southern French Calvinism during the Wars of Religion (2002)

Wolfgang Kaiser, Marseille au temps des troubles, 1559-1596 (1992)

Documents: Potter: Chaps. 2, 3, 6 & 8

Documents: 2, 4, 21

Figures: Maps & plans