The Edict of Nantes 1598

A brief outline for the Edict of Nantes and rights given to the Huguenots - AS level History AQA

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  • Created by: Clodagh
  • Created on: 11-04-13 14:26
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  • The Edict of Nantes, 1598
    • Specific rights the Edict allowed Huguenots
      • Where they could worship
        • On the estates of nobles
        • Where it could be proved there was Huguenot worship in the years 1596-7
        • Two places of worship in each bailliage (small district), decided by commissioners
      • Huguenots could be in office (e.g Sully)
        • Sully had served the King since he was 16 years old
      • New law courts were established: "Chambre de l'edit" and the  "Chambre mi-parties"
        • Huguenots could have either civil or criminal cases heard for a fair hearing
          • This had been a long term demand from Huguenots
      • Granted the same civil rights as Catholics
      • Protestant literature can be printed in the towns and districts where the public exercise of the religion was allowed only
      • Brevets (clauses in the Edict that did not need to be registered by Parlement)
        • There were two brevets that gave special rights to Huguenots
          • 50 garrisons would be paid for by the crown as well as 80 forts and 150 other places of refuge
          • The crown was to pay for the stipend of Huguenot ministers
      • They were given access to education and hospitals
        • This is one area where the Huguenots only gained an equal footing with Catholics
    • Restrictions on Huguenots
      • Catholicism could be practiced in all places and districts, Protestantism was limited
      • Huguenot literature could only be published in certain places unlike Catholic literature
      • They had to respect canon laws in matters related to marriage
      • They had to observe religios holidays to the Catholic calendar
      • Huguenots could not attempt to force Catholics to give up their faith
      • They weren't allowed to hold political assemblies
      • They could not own schools, hospitals or churches as a body
      • Huguenots didn't have the right to impose taxes
      • There were 5 leagues of Paris in which Huguenots could not worship within
    • Why was the Edict issued in 1598?
      • Henry was a Huguenot before his conversion in 1593. He had sympathy towards them and needed to wait until his throne was secure
        • He had to convert if he wanted to become King of France as 90% of the population were Catholic
        • It may buy Huguenot loyalty and so they would be less likely to start another war with Catholics. The Wars of Religion had ended in 1598
        • Catholics could not afford to object to the Edict, they no longer had help from the Spanish
      • War with Spain had ended with the Treaty of Vervins which agreed to remove Spanish troops from French soil. He proved himself to be a good military leader
      • King Philip II of Spain died in 1598. A major Catholic power was no longer backing the Catholic League
    • Other knowledge to mention in exam questions
      • Huguenots had been very disappointed with the terms of the previous Edict, the Edict of Mantes, in 1591
        • The name of the Huguenot noble that protested against this Edict was Bouillion
      • Commissioners was the name given to the officials who checked on how the Edict was implemented
      • It took Rouen until 1609 to accept the terms of the Edict
      • The Edict was a decree made by the king, giving more rights to Huguenots in order to create tolerance and bring an end to religious wars
      • It took nearly a year for the Parlement of Paris to register the Edict


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