Summary Of Affray In The Rue Saint-Jacques, September 1557

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This primary source analysis will focus on an account describing the hostile confrontation of French Huguenots unwillingly trapped inside a house by a Catholic Parisian mob on the night of 4 September 1557, Saint-Jacques street in Paris. The document titled ‘Affray in the rue Saint-Jacques, September 1557’ is a 1996 English translation by historian Robert J. Knecht (in the second edition of his compilation of sources French Renaissance Monarchy: Francis I and Henry II) of the French Calvinist theologian Theodore Beza’s (1519-1605) account of the event in the third volume of Histoire ecclesiastique de eglises reformees au royaume de France first published in French in 1580. While the account is detailed and somewhat convincing, it is known that the original author Theodore Beza was by the time of writing residing in Geneva in…show more content…
The reader is expected to believe that there was a state of Catholic impunity in France as members of the populace are portrayed assaulting Protestants with apparent free-reign. The most important aspect of this description however is the assistance and encouragement of the Catholic clergy in provoking widespread panic without facing repercussions. The source also denotes that the Protestant population was minimal and come 1557 was openly vilified and hunted due to a Catholic consensus in the France state to pursue all Huguenots. Indirectly, the source indicates that it was the Catholic population that started the civil war by committing such abhorrent acts during the state-imposition of a zero-tolerance policy on those who practiced the Protestant faith. Finally, this proposes the notion that even in 1557, relations between the two religions had become so intractable that France was already a kingdom divided before the outbreak of civil war in

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