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"The Huguenots"

A Huguenot is a name which history has given to a class of French people who were cruelly persecuted during the regime Louis XIV. Huguenots had occupied the south-eastern provinces of France, generally an area known as Languedoc. What happened to the Huguenots stands out in history as an example of the pain and misery that can come about as a result of religious intolerance; in the case of the Huguenots, the religious intolerance of Louis the XIV.

France, for the last couple of hundred years has been considered a country filled with catholics; and during these years, to be French was to be Catholic; just as to be English was to be Protestant. However, France like most European countries up to 1685 had its share of protestants. In that year, Louis XIV revoked a treaty (Edict of Nantes) which, in 1598, had provided for religion tolerance and a guarantee to protestants that they could practice their religion without fear. There followed, after the year 1685, the destruction of a people, which came about because of the merciless persecution and resultant dispersal of about a million French Huguenots.1


[1] See The Huguenots in France by Samuel Smiles.


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)