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The History of the Church 186 Catholics against Catholics in France In an attempt to pacify his kingdom, Henry III of France extended an offer of peace to the Huguenots through the Edict of Beaulieu, the result of which was an uprising of Catholics. The most intransigent among them created a holy union, commonly called the Holy League. Its leader, the Duke de Guise doubtlessly desired to defend Catholicism , but he also wanted, at least as much, to seize the royal throne. Ever trying to reconcile the unreconcilable, Henry III declared himself the head of the League, seeking to bring it under his control. In 1588, the response from the Duke de Guise and his fellow League members was to conduct a day of rioting and barricades, which succeeded in chasing the king from his capital. The royal reply to this was the assassination of the Duke de Guise in Blois at the end of that same year. However, the League still held Paris and other cities under its control. The following year, the Dominican friar Jacques Clément killed Henry III, and total confusion ensued. Henry IV, Prince of Navarre and the legitimate successor of the murdered king, took to arms, while the League, which was supported by Spain and the papacy, proclaimed Cardinal Charles de Bourbon the new king, under the name of Charles X. Little enthused by the idea, the cardinal preferred to recognize the legitimacy of Henry, his nephew, but the League adamantly refused any compromise. Thus, the war of religion led to a crisis of succession in France that would only be resolved by recourse to arms. French, Anonymous (sixteenth century) Procession of the League at the Grève Musée Carnavalet, Paris ...


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