The Camisard Rebellion

A.) Causes for the Rebellion

From 1665 onward, French King LOUIS XIV. became hostile to the HUGUENOTS who since 1598, in the EDICT OF NANTES, had been granted toleration in their stronghold regions, one of which being the CEVENNES mountains in southern-central France. The REVOCATION OF THE EDICT OF NANTES in 1685 was followed by the so-called DRAGONNADES, military expeditions into the protestant areas; the population was faced with the choice to convert to Catholicism or emigrate.

B.) The Camisard Rebellion

The outbreak of the WAR OF SPANISH SUCCESSION (1701) tied the French army, until recently occupied with Dragonnard expeditions, up in foreign warfare. In 1702 the inhabitants of the Cevennes, soon named CAMISARDS after their style of dress, revolted, under the leadership of JEAN CAVALIER and ROLAND LAPORTE. At the beginning of the revolt, the Abbot of Chayla, agent of the Intendant of Languedoc, was assassinated by the rebels. While the French army campaigned in the open, the Camisards resorted to guerilla warfare, frequently undertook nightly raids. In 1704 Jean Cavalier accepted the offers made to him by the commander of the royal forces, which included a command in the royal army; he later left France and was appointed the (British) governor of Jersey.
The Camisard rebellion ended in January 1705, although isolated acts of violence continued until 1710. The protestant community of the region, despite the measures of suppression, survived..

On the Path of Camisards, from Les Cevennes
Liberte de Conscience, from, in French
The Camisards War, from
Article Louis XIV., from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910 edition; explains Louis' policy of suppression toward dissenting religious minorities
DOCUMENTS Article Camisards, from Zedlers Universallexikon (1732), posted by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, in German, 18th century font

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 1st 2003, last revised on November 19th 2004

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