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Religious conflict and Civil War in France c. 1560-1600 - week 4

Religious Toleration and the Edicts of Pacification


Why was a policy of religious toleration pursued by the authorities in France, what form did it take, and to what extent did it constitute a ‘peace process’?

General reading

Mario Turchetti, ‘Religious Concord and Political Tolerance in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century France’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 22 (1991), 15-25

‘Middle Parties in France during the Wars of Religion’, in P. Benedict et al (eds), Reformation, Revolt and Civil War in France and the Netherlands, 1555-1585 (1999), pp. 165-83

William H. Huseman, ‘The Expression of the Idea of Toleration in French during the Sixteenth Century’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 15 (1984), 293-310

Olivier Christin, ‘From Repression to Pacification: French Royal Policy in the Face of Protestantism’, in P. Benedict et al (eds), Reformation, Revolt and Civil War in Franceand the Netherlands, 1555-1585 (1999), pp. 201-14

Philip Benedict, ‘Un roi, une loi, deux fois: Parameters for the History of Catholic-Protestant Co-existence in France, 1555-1685’, in O. Grell & B. Scribner (eds), Tolerance and Intolerance in the European Reformation (1996), pp. 65-93

R.J. Knecht, Catherine de' Medici (1998)

The French Civil Wars, 1562-1598 (2000), esp. chaps. 6 & 13

Penny Roberts, Peace and Authority during the French Religious Wars, c. 1560-1600 (2013)

Further reading

Penny Roberts, 'The Languages of Peace during the French Religious Wars', Cultural and Social History, 4 (2007), 293-311

'The Kingdom's Two Bodies? Corporeal Rhetoric and Royal Authority during the Religious Wars', French History, 21 (2007), 147-64

Alain Tallon, ‘Gallicanism and Religious Pluralism in Sixteenth-Century France’, in K. Cameron et al (eds), The Adventure of Religious Pluralism in Early Modern France (2000)

Malcolm C. Smith, ‘Early French Advocates of Religious Freedom’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 25 (1994), 29-51

Seong-Hak Kim, Michel de L’Hôpital: The Vision of a Reformist Chancellor during the French Religious Wars (1997)

'The Chancellor's Crusade: Michel de L'Hôpital and the Parlement of Paris', French History, 7 (1993), 1-29

'Dieu nous garde de la messe du chancelier: the Religious Belief and Political Opinion of Michel de L'Hôpital’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 24 (1993), 595-620

H.O. Evennett, The Cardinal of Lorraine and the Council of Trent (1930)

D. Nugent, Ecumenism in the Age of the Reformation: The Colloquy of Poissy (1974)

N.M. Sutherland, ‘The Cardinal of Lorraine and the Colloque of Poissy: A Reassessment’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 28 (1977), 265-89

J. Shimizu, Conflict of Loyalties: Politics and Religion in the Career of Gaspard de Coligny (1970)

C. Bettinson, ‘The Politiques and the Politique Party: A Reappraisal’, in K. Cameron (ed.), From Valoisto Bourbon: Dynasty, State and Society in Early Modern France (1989), pp. 35-50

E.M. Beame, ‘The Politiques and the Historians’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 54 (1993), 355-79

Mack P. Holt, The Duke of Anjou and the Politique Struggle during the Wars of Religion (1986)

Thierry Wanegffelen, Ni Rome ni Genève: des fidèles entre deux chaires en France au XVIe siècle (1997)



The Edicts of Pacification

What problems faced those trying to enforce the edicts of pacification?

What, if anything, was ‘new’ about the Edict of Nantes?


Penny Roberts, Peace and Authority during the French Religious Wars, c. 1560-1600 (2013)

N.M. Sutherland, The Huguenot Struggle for Recognition (1980)

Penny Roberts, ‘Royal Authority and Justice during the French Religious Wars’, Past and Present, 184 (2004), 3-32

'The Most Crucial Battle of the Wars of Religion? The Conflict over Sites for Reformed Worship in Sixteenth-Century France, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, 89 (1998), 247-67

‘One town, two faiths: unity and exclusion in sixteenth-century France’, in Thomas Max Safley (ed.), Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World (Leiden, 2011), 265-285

‘Religious Pluralism in Practice: The Enforcement of the Edicts of Pacification’,

Mark Greengrass, ‘Pluralism and Equality: The Peace of Monsieur, May 1576’,

Daniel Hickey, ‘Enforcing the Edict of Nantes: The 1599 Commissions and Local Elites in Dauphiné and Poitou-Aunis’,

Philip Conner, ‘Peace in the Provinces: Peace-making in Montauban and the Protestant South during the Later Wars of Religion’, all in K. Cameron et al (eds), The Adventure of Religious Pluralism in Early Modern France (2000)

Jérémie Foa, ‘Making Peace: The Commissions for Enforcing the Pacification Edicts in the Reign of Charles IX (1560-1574)’, French History, 18 (2004), 256-74

Gregory Champeaud, ‘The Edict of Poitiers and the Treaty of Nérac, or Two Steps towards the Edict of Nantes’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 32 (2001), 319-34

V.E. Graham & W. McAllister Johnson, The Royal Tour of France by Charles IX and Catherine de Medici: Festivals and Entries, 1564-66 (1979)

J. Boutier et al, Un tour de France royal: Le voyage de Charles IX (1564-1566) (1984)

A. Stegmann, Edits des guerres de religion (1979)

Olivier Christin, La paix de religion: l'autonomisation de la raison politique au XVIe siècle (1997)

Jérémie Foa, Le tombeau de la paix. Une histoire des édits de pacification (1560-1572) (2015)

Michel Grandjean & Bernard Roussel (eds), Coexister dans l’intolérance: L’édit de Nantes (1598) (1998) [There are brief summaries in English of the contents of the chapters at the back of the book]

L’Édit de Nantes (Edns de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 1998)

Thierry Wanegffelen, L’Édit de Nantes: Une histoire européenne de la tolerance (XVIe-XXe siècle) (1998)

Documents: Potter: Chap. 1, docs. 16-17; Chap. 3, docs. 13-28; Chap. 4, docs. 6-8,

10-11, 17-20; Chap. 6, docs. 6-9, 15-19; Epilogue, docs. 8-9

Documents: 10-11, 20-24, 31, 35, 36