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HIST201: History of Europe, 1000 to 1800

Unit 5: The Age of Religious Wars, 1546-1648   From Martin Luther’s death in 1546 to the middle of the seventeenth century, religiously- and politically-inspired violence dominated Europe.  France endured nearly fifty years of civil war and strife—mainly due to conflicts between Calvinists and Catholics.  Catholic Spain struggled against Protestant England and the Netherlands.  The Thirty Years’ War, a conflict between Catholics and Protestants within the Holy Roman Empire, devastated central Europe.  In this unit, we will see how the religious conflicts unleashed by the Reformation caused war, devastation, and political divisions throughout Europe.

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 9 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 6 hours
☐    Subunit 5.1.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.1.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.1.5: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.2.5: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 5.2: 3 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the major causes and personalities of the religious wars.
  • Recognize the intersection of faith and politics in the age of religious wars.
  • Identify major shifts in political thought in this period.

  • Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 6: Europe in the Age of Religious Wars, 1560-1715” and West Chester University: Jim Jones’ World History Timeline: “European Wars (16th-17th Centuries) Links: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 6: Europe in the Age of Religious Wars, 1560-1715” (HTML) and West Chester University: Jim Jones’ World History Timeline: “European Wars (16th-17th Centuries)” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read Dr. Kreis’s whole lecture linked above.  Then, read the “European Wars” timeline in its entirety.  The first reading offers a broad overview of the religious, military, and economic upheavals that characterized Europe in the decades following the Protestant Revolution.  The second reading, “European Wars,” outlines the major events of the post-Reformation period—the French wars of religion, the Dutch revolt, the Spanish Armada, and the Thirty Years’ War. 

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5.1 European Conflicts   5.1.1 The French Religious Wars   - Reading: Le Poulet Gauche: C.T. Iannuzzo’s “The Wars of Religion: Part I” and “The Wars of Religion: Part II;” Hanover College: Hanover Historical Texts Project’s version of J.H. Robinson’s (ed.) “The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day” Links: Le Poulet Gauche: C.T. Iannuzzo’s “The Wars of Religion: Part I” (HTML) and “The Wars of Religion: Part II” (HTML); Hanover College: Hanover Historical Texts Project’s version of J.H. Robinson’s (ed.) “The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read both of the Le Poulet Gauche webpages linked above.  Then, read the excerpt “The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day” in its entirety.  “The Wars of Religion” discusses the political, religious, and military components of the civil wars that erupted in France between Huguenots and Catholics.  Described by the historian De Thou, the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day was a series of assassinations followed by mob violence unleashed by the Roman Catholics against the Protestant Huguenots in 1572.  De Thou’s account illustrates the gruesome nature of the French Wars of Religion, which involved the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the common people.
 
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5.1.2 The Revolt of the Netherlands   - Reading: Boise State University’s “Europe in the Age of the Reformation”: “The Revolt of the Netherlands” Link: Boise State University’s “Europe in the Age of the Reformation”: “The Revolt of the Netherlands” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage linked above.  This reading provides a good overview of the Dutch revolt against Charles V.
 
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5.1.3 Phillip II and the Spanish Armada   - Reading: Luminarium Encyclopedia Project’s Entry on “The Spanish Armada, 1588” and Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of “Queen Elizabeth I: Against the Spanish Armada, 1588” Speech Links: Luminarium Encyclopedia Project’s Entry on “The Spanish Armada, 1588” (HTML) and Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of “Queen Elizabeth I: Against the Spanish Armada, 1588” Speech (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire encyclopedia entry linked above.  Then, read the Queen Elizabeth I speech on Fordham University’s website.  The encyclopedia entry provides an overview of the Spanish Armada of 1588—a naval contest between England and Spain.  The second reading will give you a sense of the principles at stake in the conflict between Protestant England and Catholic Spain that came erupted during the Spanish Armada.  In this speech, Queen Elizabeth I of England tries to rouse support among her troops for an ensuing naval battle against Catholic Spain.  
 
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5.1.4 Queen Mary and Continuing Religious Conflicts in England   - Reading: Tudorhistory.org: “Mary I: Queen of England” Link: Tudorhistory.org: “Mary I: Queen of England
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article linked above.  Make sure to click on the “Continue to Mary Biography Part 2” link at the bottom of the webpage to read both pages of the article.  This reading describes the religious turmoil that plagued England and Scotland in the post-Reformation era.

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5.1.5 The Thirty Years’ War   - Reading: Professor Gerhard Rempel’s “The Thirty Years’ War” Link: Professor Gerhard Rempel’s “The Thirty Years’ War” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article, which discusses the protracted religious conflict that plagued the Holy Roman Empire between 1618 and 1648.
 
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5.2 Effects of Religious Wars and Expansion   5.2.1 Post-Reformation Political Philosophy   - Reading: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 21: Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century” Link: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 21: Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of “Chapter 21” linked here.  This reading describes the political philosophies that surfaced during the European age of religious wars.
 
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5.2.2 Intellectual Currents of the 1600s   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European Intellectual History: “Lecture 8: The New Intellectual Order: Man, Nature and Society;” Luminarium’s Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book I: Chapter XXX, “Of the Caniballes,” and Book II: Chapter XIX, “Of the Liberty of Conscience”  
Links: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European Intellectual History: “Lecture 8: The New Intellectual Order: Man, Nature and Society” (HTML); Luminarium.org’s version of Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book I: “Chapter XXX: Of the Caniballes” (HTML)and Book II: “Chapter XIX: Of the Liberty of Conscience” (HTML)
 
Also available in:

[PDF](https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/766/montaigne.pdf?sequence=1)  
    
 Instructions: Please read Dr. Kreis’s entire lecture linked above.
 Then, read both “Chapter XXX” and “Chapter XIX” of Montaigne’s
*Essays* linked above.  
    
 Dr. Kreis’s lecture discusses how European philosophers and
thinkers, such as René Descartes, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes
began to view man’s role in the world differently as a result of
European religious conflicts and exploration abroad.    
    
 Montaigne examines the world through the lens of his own judgment
in this series of essays, a literary genre that he popularized in
the sixteenth century.  His goal in these essays is to describe
man—and himself— with utter frankness.  “Of the Caniballes” will
give you a sense of how overseas exploration influenced Montaigne’s
criticism of European society, while “Liberty of Conscience” will
give you a sense of how the French religious wars influenced
Montaigne’s view of Christianity.  In Montaigne’s *Essays,* the
French writer Michel de Montaigne adopts a skeptical tone when
depicting Renaissance society.    
    
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