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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

This page Huguenots is a part of the protestantism series.  Illustration: The image breakers, c.1566 –1568 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder
This page Huguenots is a part of the protestantism series.
Illustration: The image breakers, c.15661568 by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder

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In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name Huguenot was applied to a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, historically known as the French Calvinists. They were a French counterculture avant la lettre. Used originally as a term of derision which the Huguenots took up as a badge of honour, the derivation of the name Huguenot remains uncertain. The origin of Huguenot beliefs (and perhaps of some of the Huguenots themselves) lies among the Cathars in the medieval past of the eastern Mediterranean.


Huguenots were French Christians who broke away from the Catholic Church. The name Huguenots beginnings is not known. Some people say that it is a mixture of a man’s last name and a German word for rebel. Regardless of the name the Huguenots suffered a great deal because of their religious convictions while they were in France.

The Huguenots were breakers of the law in seventeenth century France. Although the persecution of the Huguenots was not deadly until the nineteenth century they had limited rights and were regarded much the same as would the African Americans in the south United States after they had been freed, they could do things but no one was comfortable with them around. From the 1600-1700 the Huguenots were rebels but they did not do anything wrong. Much of this was because of the weak Kings France had at this time. But when Louis XIV was crowned king he put a stop to all of that nonsense and took away all rights, going as far as saying Huguenots could not emigrate. This was the greatest point the climax of the persecution of the Huguenots where every one either was killed or fled. Some went to slavery and others were burned at the stake. Some lucky Huguenots made it all the way to Cape of Good Hope, setting up small towns down there that even exist today. Some fled to England, the Americas, the Netherlands, and many more. The Huguenots were mistreated but they handled it well and ultimately showed the strength and persistence with which they used to fight through much of the hardships that they encountered.

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