Resistance and Opposition to Henry IV of France

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  • Created on: 08-05-14 08:51
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  • Resistance and Opposition to Henry IV of France
    • Opposition from the Nobility
      • In 1589
        • Measures Henry Took
          • He converted to Catholicism in 1593
          • He used bribery with the leader of the Catholic League, Meyenne
          • He had military victories at Arques and Aumale
          • He used propaganda to win over Gallicans
          • He tried to win over moderate nobles such as Francois d'O
        • Overall Effectiveness
          • Effective as he consolidated his power
        • Reasons
          • Henry was a Huguenot in a hugely Catholic country - 90% of the population were Catholic
            • France was backed by the Catholic League and Philip II of Spain
          • The nobility were in favour of Cardinal de Bourbon
      • Even after 1598...
        • Ongoing Opposition from the Nobility of the Sword
          • They regarded themselves as the traditional advisors to the king and resented their role being undermined by limited access to patronage through the Royal Council
          • They felt undermined by the Nobility of the Robe - individuals who had acquired noble status by venality or royal appointment
            • The paulette was a form of tax. From 1604 if 1/60 of the value of the title could be paid then the title could remain in the family
          • Provincial governors had enjoyed considerable independence during the Wars of Religion and they were reluctant to surrender their powers
            • They resented the king restoring law and order after governing themselves
          • They had often raised armies on the king's behalf but had not been reimbursed
          • Henry had divorced Margot, sister of Henry III, in 1592. However in 1599 it was concluded that she would remain as queen
            • Henry then married Marie de Medici in 1601
        • Specific Grievances
          • Duke to Bouillon was a Huguenot based in Sedan. He was livid with the Edict of Nantes
    • Dealing with the Nobility
      • Attitude Towards the Nobility of the Sword and the Robe
        • Henry IV preferred to give important titles to the Nobility of the Robe because he appointed them himself and so they answered directly to the king
        • The king still gave honoury positions and some concessions to the Nobility of the Sword so that they weren't alienated
        • Henry still needed support from the Nobility of the Sword because they had the wealth and man power to oppose him
      • Indebtedness
        • In 1595-6 he acknowledged a liability of 300,000 ecus towards the Duke of Guise
        • 600,000 ecus went to the Duke of Meyenne
      • Careful Management of Provincial Governships and Provincial Lieutenants
        • The Duke of Eperon joined the League fairly late. He got a lesser governship and a proportion of his debt
        • Governors were encouraged to reside at court making them think they were sharing decision-making
      • Method of Creating New Peerages
        • Understanding the value of symbolism, he accompanied each formal submission with ritual acts of homage, which quite effaced in the public terms upon which the submission had been bought
          • He used ceremony and ritual to flatter them
      • Marriage Alliances
        • He encouraged alliances to defuse and promote families
        • Sometimes he encouraged rivalries - rival households that were arguing with each other would not be fighting the king
      • Ban on Duelling
        • Duelling was a way for gentlemen to resolve disputes
        • Henry didn't like duelling because it didn't promote a peaceful society
        • Henry tried to challenge the traditional rights
          • It was banned in 1602, it was relatively successful because 300 disputes had been arbitrated
            • BUT the act had to be reissued in 1609
      • Dealing with Specific Individuals
        • Prince of Conde
          • He deliberately kept him short of money
        • Charles of Auvergne
          • Imprisoned
        • Duke of Biron
          • He was provincial governor of Burgundy in 1596
          • He was seen as becoming too powerful and a threat to the monarchy
            • He admitted to conspiring with Spanish agents, but Henry pardoned him
          • He was executed
      • Success?
        • Henry contained threats
        • The nobles did not unite together
        • Only a short-term success as nobles reemerged as a threat at the Estates General in 1614
    • Dealing with Specific Individuals
      • Prince of Conde
        • He deliberately kept him short of money
      • Charles of Auvergne
        • Imprisoned
      • Duke of Biron
        • He was provincial governor of Burgundy in 1596
        • He was seen as becoming too powerful and a threat to the monarchy
          • He admitted to conspiring with Spanish agents, but Henry pardoned him
        • He was executed
    • Opposition from the Peasantry
      • Henry was struggling to establish his authority throughout France and peasant unrest caused more disruption and hindered the resumption of trade and tax collection
      • Problems throughout Europe
        • Economic depression
        • Inflation
        • Land shortage
        • Harvest failures
        • Population growth
        • Famine
      • Suffering was made worse by the effects of the Wars of Religion
        • There was intermittent fighting between 1563 and 1598
        • The grande et petite guerre caused damage to crops and land so they were less able to pay the taille
        • The taille was a heavy burden upon the poor
      • Peasant Unrest
        • Tax demands of the crown increased and the Third Estate bore the burden
          • Discontent in the increase of the taille occassionally resulted in open revolt
            • Normandy 1589
        • There were also social attacks on the powers of the nobility
          • Peasants revolted in Brittany in 1589, targeting chateaux and other symbols of aristocratic oppression
      • The Croquants
        • In 1594 Henry was hoping to raise about 21 million livres through the taille and a further 8 million by indirect taxes
        • They had anti-fiscal agitation and often there were rebellions in areas that refused taxation
        • They complained about local figures in the noblity
          • They assembled in April and May 1594 to call on their social superiors to lead and direct their large forces
          • Nobles collected their own tax that had been imposed on the peasantry
        • Henry could either make concessions or impose military force to deal with the croquants
          • Concessions would make him seem weak
          • Military intervention would damage his credibility
          • He accepted their demands and sent a commissioner to the Limousin to disperse their armies by persuasion
            • By harvest 1594, all was quiet. But in 1595 the croquants reassembled after suffering from starvation as a result of a bad harvest
              • Henry made more concessions
                • This would be the last rebellion under Henry IV. There was later economic recovery, peace and better harvests

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