Huguenot Heritage in France, Episode 427

Category: French History

This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.

The Huguenots were a Protestant minority in France during the 16th and 17th centuries. They faced intense persecution from the French Catholic majority and the monarchy. The persecution of Protestants in France resulted in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572. Thousands of Huguenots died on that day.

Despite terrible challenges, Huguenots made significant contributions to French society, particularly in the fields of art, science, and commerce. Many Huguenots eventually emigrated from France to other countries, such as England, Germany, the Dutch Republic, and the Americas, where their beliefs were accepted better.

A Brief History of Protestants in France

There are many monuments and museums dedicated to the history of Protestants in France and we'll talk about a few of them. We also discuss how French kings saw the new church as a threat to their power and they imposed drastic restrictions to them.

As the influence of Protestants increased in France, rulers went to more extreme measures which eventually lead to the Wars of Religion. Catherine de Medici tried to de-escalate the tensions early, but was unsuccessful. Decades later, she joined in the persecution of Protestants. The Duc de Guise took the upper hand in since they were fanatical Catholics they soon ordered a massacre in the Champagne area and things escaladed from there. The wars of religion went on at full throttle for 36 years and "ended" with the Edict of Nantes.

A Moment of Peace Between Catholics and Protestants

There was a moment of peace between Catholics and Protestants under Henri IV who was raised a Protestant but became a Catholic in order to become king. The Edict de Nantes gave religious freedom to the Protestants in France. But in 1610 Henri IV is assassinated by a fanatical Catholic and the fighting starts up all over again. Between the revokation of the Edict of Nantes and the French Revolution there is no more freedom of religion in France.

Museums dedicated to the history of Protestants in France

Right now there are about 3 million Protestants living in France. They are mostly concentrated in Alsace, Franche-Comté, the Juras, Languedoc, Occitanie,  and the Cévennes

Table of Contents for this Episode

#huguenots, #protestants, #france, #history, #podcast

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Discussed in this Episode

  • Catherine de Medici
  • Duc de Guise
  • Wars of Religion
  • Saint Barthélemy's Day Massacre
  • Protestant cities like Montpellier and Montauban
  • Dragonades
  • Reformed Church
  • Protestant Temples
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If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s):

Séminaire Prottestant in Paris: Huguenot Heritage in France episode
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Category: French History