Authority and society in Nantes during the French wars of religion, 1559–98

This book explores the theory and practice of authority during the later sixteenth century, in the religious culture and political institutions of the city of Nantes, where the religious wars traditionally came to an end with the great Edict of 1598. The Wars of Religion witnessed serious challenges to the authority of the last Valois kings of France. In an examination of the municipal and ecclesiastical records of Nantes, the author considers challenges to authority, and its renegotiation and reconstruction in the city, during the civil war period. After a detailed survey of the socio-economic structures of the mid-sixteenth-century city, successive chapters detail the growth of the Protestant church, assess the impact of sectarian conflict and the early counter reform movement on the Catholic Church, and evaluate the changing political relations of the city council with the urban population and with the French crown. Finally, the book focuses on the Catholic League rebellion against the king and the question of why Nantes held out against Henry IV longer than any other French city.

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