Edict of Nantes

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The Edict of Nantes (1598) was the edict issued as a charter of religious freedoms for Protestants in predominantly Catholic France. It was issued by Henry IV in Old Regime France to allow French Calvinists, called Huguenots, certain rights in France. It was revoked in 1685 by Louis XIV.

The main provisions of the Edict of Nantes were as follows; 1) Huguenots were allowed to hold religious services in certain towns in each province; 2) They were allowed to control and fortify eight cities; 3) Special courts were established to try Huguenot offenders; 4) Huguenots were to have equal civil rights with the Catholics.

Its signing ended the so-called French "Wars of Religion" which had plagued the country on and off since 1562.


see also Old Regime

Further reading

  • Ruth Whelan and Carol Baxter. Toleration and Religious Identity: The Edict of Nantes and Its Implications (2003) 304 pages