Domestic Policy

Foreign Policy under Henri IV.

Henri IV., King of NAVARRE, was the legitimate candidate to the throne since the death of Henri III. in 1589; as Paris did not want to open her gates to him, he laid siege to it, which was twice broken by Spanish troops commanded by Alessandro Farnese (1590, 1592). in 1594, after having converted to Catholicism, he was crowned at Reims; Paris opened her gates. Actually he did not say the famous quote attributed to him, "Paris is worth a mass".
An ex-Huguenot, he reconciled the Huguenots by signing the EDICT OF NANTES (1598), a measure which was aimed at restoring internal peace. The edict, and the subsequent TREATY OF VERVINS (1598, with Spain and her ally Savoy) ended the period of religious wars in France and guaranteed the Huguenot minority the right to practise their confession in certain regions outside Paris, and to hold synods of their own.
After decades of civil wars, Henri IV strove to see France's wounds of the past healed. He had new buildings erected in Paris, appointed SULLY superintendent of finances.

Biography of Henri IV., from Apercu Historique de l¡¯epoque de Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
Huguenot and Protestant Reformed Chronology, from Pierre Chastain Family Association
Personal and Political Aspects in the Correspondence of Henri IV, by B.C. Weber and G.D. de Rocher
DOCUMENTS Print featuring Henri IV., from MATEO
Edict of Nantes, excerpt, from stetson.edu

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First posted in 2001, last revised on November 9th 2004

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