The Fundamental Role of Religion in The French Wars Essay

The Fundamental Role of Religion in The French Wars
Analyzes the motivations driving the participants of the "Wars of Religion" which began with the death of Henry II in 1559.
# 5473 | 2,500 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2002 | GB
Published on Feb 11, 2003 in History (European) , Religion and Theology (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper looks at the genuine religious motivations and secular concerns, with recourse to the following:
1) Concept of 'clash of faiths' discussed.
2) Networks of clientage facilitating spread of dissent.
3) Individuals expressing religious insincerity.
4) Noble/Artisan divide.
5) Weakness of new kings.
6) Zeal in lower orders.
7) Rites of violence.
8) Calvinism as a binding force and intensifier.

From the Paper:

"Any attempt to ascertain the 'role' of religion in the French Wars requires strict definitions in order to succeed, especially given the complexities attached to any examination of the motivations prevalent in the conversions which occurred in France. If one is to define religion as a particular system of faith and worship, then its fundamental role in initiating, aggravating and motivating the civil war is clear - one only need acknowledge the number of converts which allied themselves to Calvinism to appreciate this. Yet this neglects the questions invariably thrown up by the study of dissent during the wars; namely the extent to which converts were genuinely motivated by religious concerns. This entails an appreciation of the array of non-religious concerns which were vital ingredients in the conflicts, and demands for there to be constructed a second definition which might enable progress to be made along this route. If, therefore, one defines religion as something suggestive of spiritual belief and conviction, its fundamental role is less clear, for the traditional conclusions reached by historians, whilst never ruling out the importance of true religiosity, have tended to place a great deal of emphasis upon the political, economic and social concerns of the participants of the French Wars."

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

The Fundamental Role of Religion in The French Wars (2003, February 11) Retrieved May 30, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Fundamental Role of Religion in The French Wars" 11 February 2003. Web. 30 May. 2023. <>