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History short paper - Essay Example

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Bramlett. The Edict of Nantes is a law that was signed by King Henry IV in 1598. The law reinstated the freedom of worship back to all Protestants present in France during that period. The edict principally just…
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Edict of Nantes The source for this topic is the internet, Eurodocs, by M. Bramlett. The Edict of Nantes is a law that was signed by King Henry IV in 1598. The law reinstated the freedom of worship back to all Protestants present in France during that period. The edict principally just recognized the French Protestants and their religious beliefs. It sought to acknowledge that indeed, King Henry’s subjects had varying interests and there was no need to persecute those who did not share the same interests as his. The edict, therefore, ended the wars of religion (Bramlett 1).
The primary source indicates that during this time period, religion was prevalent and almost all France citizens and residents could identify with some sort of religious belief. The edict was basically addressing religious issues. The law outlines that during this time period, Catholic was the recognized religion, with most of the French practicing or being expected to practice Catholic as a religion, as provided by the edicts and statues.
The Edict of Nantes also brought out the fact that identifying with a particluar religion was a cause for religious discrimination. The Protestants were not permitted to worship freely and in public. In addition, it shows that during this time period, the government was biased and did not serve its subject as equals. Apart from denying them their religious freedom, the government did not recognize protestant marriages and termed them as illegal leaving the children to be branded as illegitimate. This, therefore, was a hindrance to property rights and property inheritance. The increased level of discrimination and conflicts among religions resulted into violence in various regions. In France, for example, there were a total of eight outbreaks of violence as a matter of religious differences. The greatest being St Bartholomew’s Day massacre in Paris (Bramlett 2-4).
The greatest issue that the Edict of Nantes intended to address was religious freedom. It indeed o recognize that France had many subjects who had different interests. These interests included issues such as worship and it was crucial for them to be allowed to practice what they believed.
The other issue that the edict clearly brought out was that marriage had to be legal, regardless of ones religion. This was beneficial for the protestants whose marriages, as indicated above, were not recognized as legal. Legalizing marriages for all religions ensured that all children attained the right to inherit property. The edict, however, still emphasized on Catholic being a dominant religion by allowing the Protestants to worship only in a number of public areas or otherwise in private. The recognized festivals of the church were also only for the Catholic Church (Bramlett 3).
The other issue that the edict addressed was the notion that the number of subjects dictated the politics of the state. King Henry was a initially a protestant, but later converted to Catholic which was the main religion. His action was based on the fact that it is the majority of the subjects that dictated the political sway of the country at that moment; hence, gaining political power required one to be with the majority (Bramlett 4).
Works Cited
Bramlett, M. n.d. Henry IV, Edict of Nantes (1598). Web. March 18 2014. Read More
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