Refugees of Conscience :
the Huguenots



In 1685, King LOUIS XIV. revoked the Edict of Nantes. Several 100.000s of Huguenots now fled France, emigrating into many directions. The Huguenots were the single largest group of refugees of consciousness in modern European history prior to the 20th century. Many of these refugees were skilled craftsmen. Huguenots headed mainly for protestant countries. Large groups went to the Netherlands, a country famous for it's religious tolerance. Others settled in German protestant territories, such as BRANDENBURG, where the French Gymnasium in Berlin is a lasting monument of Huguenot settlement, and HESSEN-KASSEL, where the port city of KARLSHAFEN was founded entirely for the purpose of settling Huguenots. Others found their way to the colonies on the North American continent or to the Cape Colony, which was Dutch in those days.
The Duke-Elect of Brandenburg and the Count of Hessen-Kassel were enlightened princes who welcomed the immigrants, as they brought know-how which stimulated the economy and raised the state's income. France, the country which began the policy of MERCANTILISM, however damaged it's economic interests by causing the Huguenots to emigrate.


EXTERNAL
FILES
Who were the Huguenots, from the Huguenot Society of South Africa
Huguenot Timeline, from the Pierre Chastain Family Association
The Edict of Nantes (comment), from Mairie Nantes
DOCUMENTS Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 1685, from Hanover College



This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on February 20th 2002