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#1. ...The underlying motive for the French wars [of 1562-1598] was not religious, but dynastic. By the mid-16th century, the Valois family of kings, who had ruled France since 1328, was losing its grasp on political power. Valois King Henry II died in 1559, leaving four sons, all too young or too feeble to rule alone, and three rival noble families, all eager to seize power. One, the Guise (who had married into the royal family), were Catholic; their enemies, the Bourbon and the (more moderate) Montmerency, were Protestant. The Bourbon, in particular, were supported by the many small local Protestant churches that had been set up in France by supporters of Calvin's teachings. Unlike Protestants in England or Germany, they were not controlled by powerful rulers or city councils; some were prepared to use violence and other forms of lawlessness to further Protestant reform. Concerned by this threat to public order, and continuing the Valois' kings generally hostile policy toward reform, in 1562 the Guise ordered the massacre of 74 Protestants at a church service.
Fiona MacDonald Quotes #568266
#2. At a deeper psychological level, the reformers' ideas of salvation introduced a major change in the way people saw their world. They could no longer free themselves from sin through magical rituals. Instead, they had to be active in adopting a new lifestyle, based on private prayer, worship, study, and individual ethical choice. This was difficult for many to do.
Fiona MacDonald Quotes #1521856

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