Edict of Fontainebleau

Edict of Fontainebleau

The Edict of Fontainebleau (October 1685) was an edict issued by Louis XIV of France, also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes of 1598, which had granted to the Huguenots the right to worship their religion without persecution from the state.

Effects of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

By this edict, the "Sun King" revoked the Edict of Nantes (1600) and ordered the destruction of Huguenot churches, as well as the closing of Protestant schools. This policy officialized the persecution already enforced since the "dragonnades" created in 1681 by the king in order to intimidate Huguenots into converting to Catholicism. As a result of the persecution by the "dragons" soldiers and the subsequent Edict of Fontainebleau, a large number of Protestants — estimates range from 210,000 to 900,000 — left France over the next two decades, seeking asylum in England, the United Provinces, Denmark, the Habsburg's Holy Roman Empire, South Africa and North America. [Spielvogel, "Western Civilization — Volume II: Since 1500" (5th Edition, 2003) p.410] On January 17 1686, Louis XIV himself claimed that out of a Huguenot population of 800,000 to 900,000, only 1,000 to 1,500 had remained in France.

Louis XIV's pious second wife Madame de Maintenon was a strong advocate of Protestant persecution and urged Louis to revoke Henri IV's edict; her confessor and spiritual adviser, François de la Chaise, must be held largely responsible.

The revocation of the Edict of Nantes created a state of affairs in France similar to that of virtually every other European country of the period (possibly with the exception of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), where only the majority state religion was tolerated. The experiment of religious toleration in Europe was effectively ended for the time being. In practice, the revocation caused France to suffer a kind of early brain drain, as it lost a large number of skilled craftsmen, including key designers such as Daniel Marot. Upon leaving France, Huguenots took with them knowledge of important techniques and styles — which had a significant effect on the quality of the silk, plate glass, silversmithing (see: Huguenot silver), and cabinet making industries of those regions to which they relocated. Some rulers, such as Frederick Wilhelm of Brandenburg, who issued the Edict of Potsdam, encouraged the Protestants to seek refuge in their nations.

The Edict of Fontainebleau is compared by many historians with the 1492 Alhambra Decree, ordering the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain. The two are similar both as an outburst of extreme religious intolerance where there was relative tolerance before, and because the social and economic effects of the Alhambra Decree in Spain were similar to the above-mentioned effects in France.


See also

*1702 Camisard rebellion in the Cevennes
*French Wars of Religion
*Religions in France
*Edict of Potsdam

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fontainebleau — French commune name = Fontainebleau caption = Château de Fontainebleau in the town centre region = Île de France department = Seine et Marne ( sous préfecture ) arrondissement = Fontainebleau canton = Fontainebleau (chief town) intercomm =… …   Wikipedia

  • Edict of Nantes — The Edict of Nantes was issued on April 13, 1598 [The Edict itself states merely that it is given at Nantes, in the month of April, in the year of Our Lord one thousand five hundred and ninety eight . A detailed chronological account of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Edict — An edict is an announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism. The Pope and various micronational leaders are currently the only persons who still issue edicts.Notable edicts*Edicts of Ashoka, by Ashoka the Great, of the Mauryan dynasty… …   Wikipedia

  • Edict of Compiègne — The Edict of Compiègne ( fr. Édit de Compiègne), issued from his Château de Compiègne [A second Edict of Compiègne issued from the same château in August 1765, in the name of Louis XV, aimed at a minor adjustment of the process of electing mayors …   Wikipedia

  • Edict of toleration — An edict of toleration is a declaration made by a government or ruler and states that members of a given religion will not be persecuted for engaging in their religious practices and traditions. The edict implies tacit acceptance of the religion… …   Wikipedia

  • Edict of Châteaubriant — The Edict of Châteaubriant, [Often Châteaubriand ; the modern spelling of the place is Châteaubriant; the château had been rebuilt magnificently by Jean de Laval, baron de Châteaubriant, whose wife, Françoise de Foix, had been a mistress of… …   Wikipedia

  • Edict of Potsdam — The Edict of Potsdam ( de. Edikt von Potsdam) was a proclamation issued by Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, in Potsdam on 29 October 1685, as a response to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by the Edict of Fontainebleau. The Edict… …   Wikipedia

  • Fontainebleau — /fon tin bloh /; Fr. /fawonn ten bloh /, n. a town in N France, SE of Paris: famous palace, long a favorite residence of French kings; extensive forest. 19,595. * * * Château in northern France, southeast of the town of Fontainebleau. One of the… …   Universalium

  • Treaty of Fontainebleau — The Treaty of Fontainebleau refers to a number of agreements signed at Fontainebleau, France, often at the Château de Fontainebleau:* The Treaty of Fontainebleau (1631), signed on May 30, 1631 between Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Palace of Fontainebleau — Palace and Park of Fontainebleau * UNESCO World Heritage Site …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.