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Wars of Religion Outline – say thank you to Cathy Sager for this outline =)
I. French Wars of Religion
A. Renewed Religious Struggle
1. After Peace of Augsburg, not Lutherans, but other Protestant groups
struggling for freedom
2. Baroque art arose, especially in the Catholic Church; it is characterized
by grand, ornate designs and 3D realism.
3. The intertwined nature of politics and religion was a huge problem
B. The French Wars of Religion (1562-1598)
1. Anti-Protestant Measures and the Struggle for Political Power
a. French Protestants called Huguenots
b. Guise family influences the power of the inept king Francis II
(regent Catherine de Medici); they are reactionary, militant
c. Bourbon family sides politically with the Huguenots
2. Appeal of Calvinism
a. people associated it with being against the monarchy and in
favor of territorial rule
b. it was a safe haven for political dissidents
3. Catherine de Medici and the Guises
a. The duke of Guise showed up at a Protestant Church in 1562 and
massacred worshipers, starting the war
b. The Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye “ended” the civil war
between Protestants and Catholics (1570)
c. The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre- Catherine de Medici
and the Guises convinced the king falsely that the Huguenots were
going to attempt a coup, so they slaughtered the leader of the
Protestant political faction and about 20,000 Huguenots over the
next three days
d. Protestant Resistance Theory- they at first didn’t believe in
rebellion, but St. Bartholomew’s day showed them they had to
fight back for their lives
C. The Rise to Power of Henry of Navarre
1. Leader of Protestant military forces, married to Marguerite of Valois,
Bourbon Huguenot and heir to the throne because of his marriage
2. Childless Valois king Henry III was planning with Henry of Navarre to
attack the Guises in Paris, but a radical mortally stabbed him and Henry of
Navarre thus became Henry IV.
3. He wanted to unify the country and so once he became king, he
instituted tolerant Catholicism, saying that “Paris is worth a mass”
4. This ends the French Wars of Religion
D. Edict of Nantes, April 13, 1598, recognized minority religious rights
II. Imperial Spain and the Reign of Philip II
A. Pillars of Spanish Power
1. New World Riches- bullion coming in from the colonies
2. Note-Philip was stupid with his money, and eventually he was in huge
debt, defaulting on his loans from the Fuggers, which contributed to their
eventual collapse. But that’s later…
B. Increased Population
1. Coupled with new bullion, caused huge inflation
2. Class gaps widened drastically, those who had had everything while
those who didn’t were suffering greatly and heavily taxed
C. Efficient Bureaucracy and Military
1. Philip II micromanaged and delegated, doing everything himself on
paper; named “king of paper”
2. He was a huge supporter of the arts and of the Catholic faith
D. Supremacy in the Mediterranean
1. Philip suppressed the Moors (Islamic) in Granada, which gave them
Mediterranean access
2. Philip, the Pope, and Venice formed the Holy League to remove
Turkish presence from the Mediterranean in 1571 (Battle of Lepanto)
3. Spain annexed Portugal in 1580 and took over its New World Empire
E. The Revolt in the Netherlands- Philip wanted to control them but he couldn’t
1. Cardinal Granvelle- Philip’s chosen leader of the Netherlands section of
his kingdom
a. merchant towns were very independent and very Calvinist
b. a very tolerant people with much variety
c. Granvelle butted heads with William of Orange (note: remember
him) and he organized to remove Granvelle from office and
loosen his Catholic hierarchy
2. The Compromise
a. The Netherlands pledged to resist the Council of Trent and the
Inquisition that Philip II was trying to force on them
b. a full-scale rebellion against the crown was in the making
3. The Duke of Alba-ruled for six years, was hugely hated
a. He suppressed the rebellion and ran an army around to show the
Protestants who was boss
b. Held the Council of Troubles, or “Council of Blood” and
executed several thousand alleged “heretics”
c. King Philip added new taxes, making the Netherlands pay the
cost of suppressing their own rebellion
4. Resistance and Unification
a. William of Orange comes back from exile to lead the unification
and independence movement for the Netherlands (he was the
Stadtholder of northern Netherlands provinces)
b. The revolution spread throughout the country, but the southern
provinces weren’t all on board as many of them were still very
5. The Pacification of Ghent
a. Spanish mercenaries went crazy and slaughtered 7,000 people in
Antwerp streets, called the Spanish Fury
b. The southern provinces got angry with Spanish brutality and
jumped on the rebellion bandwagon; they put religion aside for
political independence and peace, union called the Pacification of
c. It was a “peace of Augsburg” for the Netherlands, and they
fought Spain on a unified front until 1577, when Spain lost and
granted them independence, with William of Orange as the leader
6. The Union of Arras and the Union of Utrecht
a. by 1570, the Spanish presence had worked its way back into the
southern Catholic Netherlands and they formed their own union of
b. The northern response was the union of Utrecht- effectively reseparated the Netherlands into two
7. Netherlands Independence
a. Philip II thought he could break Netherlands resistance by
declaring William of Orange an outlaw and placing a bounty on
him, but it only strengthened northern resistance
b. They declared independence on July 22, 1581 but had to fight
for it until 1609. Philip was stupid and decided to take on fighting
Britain and France at the same time, so he lost.
III. England and Spain (1553-1603)
A. Mary I (r. 1553-1558)
1. Henry VIII’s daughter
2. She married Philip II (but he wasn’t king yet) in 1554, which people
knew was a militant Catholic political marriage
3. Restored Catholicism, was called “Bloody Mary” for her executions of
lots of Protestants
B. Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603)
1. Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
2. Made politics more important than religion, passed the 39 Articles to
make moderate Protestantism the official religion in the Church of
3. Catholic and Protestant extremists existed, and Elizabeth tolerated them
as long as they weren’t a threat- if they were, they were dead. She didn’t
kill very many though
4. Congregationalists (extremist Puritans) were a problem, so Elizabeth
issued them an ultimatum: Church of England, exile, or death.
5. Deterioration of Relations with Spain-she funded the Netherlands revolt
after the St. Bartholomew’s day massacre and united with France in
defense of Spain
6. Elizabeth executed the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, heir to the
Scottish and English thrones, who wanted to be the Queen.
7. This sparked the Pope to support a Spanish invasion of England, and
England owned the Spanish Armada in 1588, leaving England and
Protestantism dominant in Europe.
IV. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648)
A. Preconditions for War
1. Fragmented Germany- Germany was over 360 autonomous
principalities, each with its own alliances to either Catholics or Protestants
2. Religious Division- Lutheran and Catholic leaders in opposing lands
were being stripped of their power, also, Calvinists were fighting into the
mix, also the infancy of the Sci Rev was making religious people nervous.
3. Calvinism and the Palatinate- Elector Palatine Frederick III was a
Calvinist, and the Lutherans didn’t like him. His alliance with anti-Spanish
Protestants made a three-way struggle for religious rights.
4. Maximilian of Bavaria and the Catholic League- Jesuits used it as a
stronghold base for launching military missions in the Empire, their
reaction to a Calvinist alliance began the war
B. Four Periods of War
1. Bohemian Period
a. war began in Bohemia after the Catholic leader revoked the
freedoms of Protestants
b. Spain sent troops to help out the Catholic government
2. Danish Period
a. King Christian IV of Denmark, duke of German province,
gathered English, French, and Dutch support to organize Protestant
b. The Protestants lost, and the subsequent Edit of Restitution
(1629) outlawed Calvinism and required Lutherans to return all
conquests, which were unrealistic and stupid demands but they
scared the Protestants.
3. Swedish Period
a. Sweden took over the Protestant resistance movement, financed
by France and the Dutch, and turned the tide of the war
b. They reached a diplomatic agreement, but the Swedish knew
they could benefit more from extending the war, proving that it
was greed and politics, not religion, governing things now
4. The Swedish-French Period
a. France joined in with men and supplies, not just money
b. The German people were tired of fighting; approximately 1/3 of
the population was killed
C. The Treaty of Westphalia
1. Ended the war
2. Legally recognized Calvinism
3. Switzerland recognized as a nation
4. Unifies and matures many countries, except for Germany, which
remains divided (petty regionalism) BUT Brandenburg-Prussia and
Austria emerge as leading principalities
5. Spain and France continue to fight outside the HRE