French Wars (1562-1572)

by Hailey Beebe, Mariah Hussey, and Laura Walter


The main groups involved in the French Wars were the Catholic League and the Huguenots (protestants). All of the battles toke place all over France starting in 1562, ending around 1598 lasting as long as 30 years. The French Wars of religion were in fact a war of religion between the Catholic religion and the Calvinist religion. There are four main reasons for the French Wars of religion and they were the faltering monarchy, financial and structural weaknesses, religions, and family rivalries. The major trigger of this war was the massacre of a Huguenot congregation.

Key Figures/Groups

Catholic League: Association of Roman Catholics during the French Wars of Religion of the late 16th century.

Huguenots: Members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. inspired by the writings of John Calvin in the 1530s, and they were called Huguenots by the 1560s

Catherine de Medicis: An Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France. She was one of the most influential personalities of the Catholic–Huguenot wars.

Catholic de Guise Family: Noble French Roman Catholic family that played a major role in French politics during the Reformation.

Gaspard II de Coligny: Admiral of France and leader of the Huguenots during the early years of the Wars of Religion.

Henry IV: King of England and Lord of Ireland.

Timeline 1562-1598

Main significance

A weak monarchy, and a country divided by religion with constant ripples of tension. This what France was like before the wars of their religion. Though the results of their wars was far worse then the tension before, though for the Huguenots it wasn't that bad because they gotten religious tolerance which they hadn't have before. The French wars of religion represented a time of religions and other people fighting for a freedom, and a war started because of the lack of tolerance and the enability to try and understand different people.


The cause of this French War include the reasons listed below:

  • The monarchy
  • Financial Weakness
  • Structural Weakness
  • Weak Personalities


Paris and other specific territories were declared permanently Catholic. Huegenots were granted substantial rights and freedom by the Edict of Nantes.