Religious Conflict

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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Throughout the Christian era, religion has played a major role in the political issues of England and France. Religious affairs couple with political ones, with the result that both factors produce dramatic consequences. Between the period of 1515 to 1715, religious tensions greatly affected the history of both countries. Religious conflict in England and France led to outright civil war, a redistribution of wealth, and religious colonization.

Religious tensions in both England and France led to warfare within those countries. When King Charles I attempted to arrest six of his opponents in 1640, England erupted in civil war. Parliamentary forces led by Puritan Oliver Cromwell overcame the royalists, and Charles surrendered in 1646. After Charles was publicly beheaded, Cromwell put an end to the monarchy and ran England as a commonwealth. Similar was the civil war, which transpired in France. Political rivalry between Roman Catholics and French Protestants (known as Huguenots) led to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in 1572 when rioters in Paris and other cities killed around 20,000 Protestants around the country.

Between 1562 and 1598 eight bitter wars were fought between French Roman Catholics and Protestants. Eventually, the fighting ceased when Henry IV signed the Edict of Nantes, which called a truce between the Roman Catholics and Protestants by allowing the Huguenots to regain control of the cities they had occupied at the time. Religious divergence's in England and France resulted in full civil war within each country.

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