French Wars of Religion  

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"The massacre of Saint Bartholomew or the religious wars were no more the work of kings than the Reign of Terror was the work of Robespierre, Danton, or Saint Just."--The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895) by Gustave Le Bon

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The French Wars of Religion, (1562 to 1598) were a series of conflicts in France fought between Catholics and Huguenots (Protestants) from the middle of the sixteenth century to the Edict of Nantes in 1598, including civil infighting as well as military operations. In addition to the religious elements, they involved a struggle for control over the ruling of the country between the powerful House of Guise (Lorraine) and the Catholic League, on the one hand, and the House of Bourbon on the other. In addition, they may also be considered a war by proxy between King Philip II of Spain and Queen Elizabeth I of England. The wars concluded with the issuing of the Edict of Nantes by Henry IV of France, which granted a degree of religious toleration to Protestants.

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