Worksheet 8:   Jensen, Ch. 7  France During the Wars of Religion

Essential Question: Why did France suffer a series of wars after 1559 and what role did religion play in them?

1. French Government and Administration
What role did the Estates General and the provincial estates play in French governance?  How did the French central government function?  What was the role of the Parlement de Paris?  Who controlled provincial supervision and law enforcement?  In practice, what was the most important instrument of royal government? 


2. The Crisis of the French Crown
How did Henri II die?  Why did the monarchy decline after his death?  Who was the one stabilizing influence of the decadent Valois monarchy?  Around which "principle" did Catherine de' Medici shape her public policy?  What type of woman was Catherine de' Medici?  What was her greatest character flaw?  What obstacles stood in her way of being able to secure the success and tranquility of France? 


3. Social and Economic Upheaval
What was the chief reason that Henri II had agreed to the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis?  What factors contributed to making the latter half of the sixteenth century an "unsettled period" in  French economic history?  How did governmental invovlement both help and hinder trade and industry?  What were the principal problems in the agricultural sector during the latter half of the sixteenth century?  On what resources did the French crown depend upon for revenue? What explains the relative frequent summoning of the Estates General during the reigns of Francis II and Henri III?  Why percentage of the French population was the peasantry?  Why were their lives so "fragile" and how did the attempt to cope?


4. Religious Schism
What factors contributed to the deterioration of French administration under Catherine de' Medici and her sons?  Among which groups did Calvinism spread and what appealed to them about Calvinist doctrine?  What sense of "mission" did the Calvinist possess in reference to the French government?  Which were the four major factions invovled in the struggle for power? 


5. Catherine de' Medici and the French Civil Wars
How did Catherine de' Medici attempt to reconcile the contending forces in France and bring about a deescalation of tension?  Why did a permanent compromise prove impossible?  What event prompted the beginning of the French Wars of Religion? How did Catherine meet the initial Protestant threat?  How was the Peace of Saint Germain "sealed" in Paris?  Why did the queen mother decide to use violence against the Protestants? How did the Huguenots react to the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre?  How did Huguenot theorists and pamphleteers justify armed rebellion against the crown?  How did the Catholics react to the Peace of Monsieur (1576)?  What event in June 1584, brought Henri of Navarre to the threshold of victory? 


6. Politiques and the Catholic League
How did Huguenot political philosophy after 1584 change?  What was the nature of the politique political position?  Why did they defend religious toleration?  What attitude did the politiques maintain toward the monarchy?  What was the chief motive that brought them to this position?  How did the Catholic faction react to the idea of a Huguenot king?  What brought upon the "War of the three Henries" and what were the results?  How did Henri IV manage to undercut the power of the Catholic League?  Who were the three "victors" of the French Wars of Religion?


7. Recovery Under Henri IV
What type of man was Henri IV?  What were the chief problems he faced as king and how did he deal with them?  What common cause did Henri IV give the French?  Why was the Treaty of Vervins (1598) so welcomed by both the French and Spanish?  What did Henri IV achieve by the Edict of Nantes and what did it give the Huguenots?  How did Henri's ministers, especially Sully and Bellievre revitalize France?  Under Henri IV, what was the main goal of French foreign policy?  How was Henri IV killed? 


8. The Cultural Conflict in France
Who was the principle patron of the French arts throughout the period of the French Wars of Religion?  What "trend" can be detected in French art during this time?  What was the purpose to the Pleiade and to what extent was it successful?  How did the Academie de Poesie et de Musique differ from that of the Academie du Palais?  What was the result of the Academy of the Palace's amalgam of Platonic and Aristotelian moral and intellectual virtues?  For what literary form is Montaigne most noted?  What was Montaigne's basic philosophical position?  How does Montaigne define the "greatness of the soul"?


9. Popular Culture and the Wars of Religion



What type of popular literature was most widely read?  What sixteenth century taste in literature has a remarkable modern ring?  Why did the noble, clerical and courtly culture consciously attempt to separate itself from popular culture?  


Peace of Cateau-Cambresis (1559)
"bastard feudalism"
Guise faction
Bourbon faction
Jeanne d'Albret (1528-72)
Louis of Bourbon, prince of Conde
Conspiracy of Amboise (1560)
Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre (1572)
Jean Bodin's Six livres de la Republique
"une foi, une loi, un roi"
Day of the Barricades (9 May 1588) 
"Paris is worth a Mass"