Siege of Ostend
The Siege of Ostend was a three-year siege of the city of Ostend during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War. A Spanish force under Archduke Albrecht besieged the fortress being held by a Dutch force, reinforced by English troops under Francis Vere who became the town's governor, it was said "the Spanish assailed the unassailable. The commitment of both sides in the dispute over the only Dutch ruled area in the province of Flanders, made the campaign continue for more than any other during the war; this resulted in one of the longest and bloodiest sieges in world history: more than 100,000 people were killed, wounded or succumbed to disease during the siege. Ostend was resupplied as a result held out for three years. A garrison did a tour of duty before being replaced by fresh troops 3,000 at a time keeping casualties and disease to a minimum; the siege consisted of a number of assaults by the Spanish, including a massive unsuccessful assault by 10,000 Spanish infantry in January 1602 when governed by Vere.
After suffering heavy losses the Spanish had replaced the Archduke with Ambrosio Spinola and the siege settled down to one of attrition with the strong points being taken one at a time. Ostend was captured by the Spanish on 20 September 1604, but the city was destroyed and the overall strategy had changed since the siege had started; the loss of Ostend was a severe blow to the Republic but the Spanish propaganda and strategic objectives were frustrated by the Dutch and English conquest of Sluis a few weeks before the surrender of the city. In addition, the economic cost of such a long campaign and the enormous number of casualties sustained turned the result into a Spanish pyrrhic victory and the siege contributed to Spanish bankruptcy three years, followed by the Twelve Years' Truce. In 1568, during the reign of Philip II of Spain, the Netherlands, until under the rule of the Spanish Empire, took up arms against the Spanish crown; the first phase of the war began with two unsuccessful invasions of the provinces by mercenary armies under Prince William I of Orange and foreign-based raids by the Geuzen or Sea Beggars.
By the end of 1573 the Beggars had captured the bulk of the provinces of Holland and Zeeland as well as converted the populace to Calvinism, secured against Spanish attack. The other provinces joined in the revolt in 1576, a general union was formed. In 1579 the union was fatally weakened by the defection of the Roman Catholic Walloon provinces. By 1588 the Spanish, under Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma had reconquered the southern Low Countries leaving only Ostend as a major rebel enclave along the coast and stood poised for a death blow against the nascent Dutch Republic in the north. Spain's concurrent enterprises against England and France at this time, allowed the Republic to begin a successful counter offensive under Maurice of Orange which lasted from 1590–1600 known as the Ten Glory Years. In 1599 the Archduke Albert of Austria and Isabel Clara Eugenia and sister of Philip III ruled as joint sovereigns of the Netherlands through the will of the dying Philip II. By 1600 Maurice of Nassau was stadtholder and Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was Grand pensionary of the States General of the Netherlands.
In 1601 Spain now under King Philip III with his favourite the Duke of Lerma despite maintaining its hegemony in the world, was economically weakened with war and bankruptcy. Starting with the bankruptcy of the Royal Treasury in 1575. Spain had only just finished a costly and unsuccessful war with France; the wars were a great burden for the Spanish Empire and meant that financially Spain depended on the treasure fleet brought from the colonies. Philip pursued a aggressive set of policies, aiming to deliver a'great victory' against both Holland and England; the situation of the United Provinces was similar. The Dutch tried to relieve their precarious finances by commercially expanding into the East Indies with the birth of the Dutch East India Company. England were fighting now in Ireland. Like the Dutch they too had just set up their own East India Company. In 1600 the Dutch and English Army under the command of Maurice of Nassau and Francis Vere used Ostend as a base to invade Flanders, in an attempt to conquer the city of Dunkirk after their victory in the Battle of Nieuwpoort.
This never happened however as disputes in the Dutch command meant that taking Spanish occupied cities in the rest of the Netherlands took over priority as the opportunity arose. Maurice concurred and had his forces evacuated by sea leaving Ostend to be preoccupied by the Spanish. Founded five hundred years ago, the city of Ostend in the mid-16th century was a fishing village of about 3,000 inhabitants. Ostend's strategic position in the province of West Flanders, along the North Sea and accessible to Dutch sea power, was fortified by the Dutch and English between 1583 and 1590, turned into a major military port. In the view of the State of Flanders. Ostend unlike other places in the Netherlands had never been taken by the Spanish and the garrison had repelled an attack by Parma in 1583. In 1587, during preparations for the invasion of England by the Spa
Isabella Clara Eugenia
Isabella Clara Eugenia was sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands in the Low Countries and the north of modern France, together with her husband Albert VII, Archduke of Austria. In some sources, she is referred to as Clara Isabella Eugenia. By birth, she was an infanta of Portugal. Isabella Clara Eugenia of Austria was born in the Palacio del bosque de Valsaín, Segovia on 12 August 1566, daughter of Philip II of Spain and his third wife Elisabeth of Valois, her father, Philip II, was overjoyed at her birth and declared himself to be happier on the occasion than he would have been at the birth of a son. Philip had a male heir, Prince of Asturias, the child of his first marriage to Maria Manuela, Princess of Portugal. Isabella's mother had been betrothed to Don Carlos, but political complications unexpectedly necessitated her marriage to Philip instead. Despite the significant age difference between them, Philip was attached to Elisabeth, staying close by her side when she was ill with smallpox. Elisabeth's first pregnancy in 1564 ended in a miscarriage of twin daughters.
She gave birth to Isabella Clara Eugenia on 12 August 1566, to Isabella's younger sister Catherine Michelle 10 October 1567. Elisabeth died the same day. Isabella grew up with her sister, beloved by her father and her stepmother and first cousin, Anna of Austria, Philip's fourth wife. Philip fathered five children by Anna, all of whom died in early childhood except his heir, Philip III. While Philip II is characterized as having been cold and unaffectionate towards his offspring, there exist numerous letters addressed from him to his daughters which contain evidence of a deep attachment between them, each letter lovingly signed "Your good father". Isabella was the only person whom Philip permitted to help him with his work, sorting his papers and translating Italian documents into the Spanish language for him. Isabella remained close to her father until his death on 13 September 1598, served as his primary caretaker during the last three years of his life, when he was plagued by gout and frequent illness.
Since 1568, at the age of two, Isabella Clara Eugenia was promised to marry her cousin Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, son of Emperor Maximilian II and her aunt Maria. Isabella Clara Eugenia, had to wait for more than 20 years before the eccentric Rudolf declared that he had no intention of marrying anybody. After her uncle, Henry III of France, was assassinated by the fanatical young monk Jacques Clément on 2 August 1589, Philip II claimed the French crown on behalf of Isabella Clara Eugenia despite France's Salic law, which forbade cognatic succession. At any rate, Isabella Clara Eugenia's mother had ceded any claim to the French crown with her marriage to Philip II; however the Parlement de Paris, in power of the Catholic party, gave verdict that Isabella Clara Eugenia was "the legitimate sovereign" of France. The Huguenot leader, Henry III of Navarre, the rightful King of France by traditional French inheritance laws made good his claim to the throne, converted to Catholicism and was crowned in 1594.
Her father decided to cede the Spanish Netherlands to her on condition that she marry her cousin, Albert VII, Archduke of Austria. They were to reign over the Netherlands jointly as duke/count and duchess/countess, they were to be succeeded by their descendants according to the male-preference cognatic primogeniture but should a female succeed, she was required to marry the King of Spain or the person chosen by the King of Spain. It was stipulated that, should they have no children, the Netherlands would revert to the King of Spain upon the death of either spouse. On 18 April 1599, being 33 years old, she married Albert, the younger brother of her former fiancé Emperor Rudolf II. Albert was the former viceroy of Portugal; as Albert was the Archbishop of Toledo, he had to be released from his religious commitments by Pope Clement VIII before the wedding could take place. Shortly before Philip II died on 13 September 1598, he resigned the thrones of the Netherlands in favor of Isabella and her fiancé.
Beginning in 1601, the couple ruled the Spanish Netherlands together, after Albert's death Isabella was appointed Governor of the Netherlands on behalf of the King of Spain. A false anecdote links Isabella, the siege of Ostend, the horse coat colour isabelline; the reign of Albert and Isabella is considered the Golden Age of the Spanish Netherlands. The reign of the Archduke Albert of Austria and Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia is a key period in the history of the Spanish Netherlands. After four decades of war, it brought a period of much-needed peace and stability to the economy of the Southern Netherlands. In addition to economic prosperity, the actions of the two rulers stimulated the growth of a separate South Netherlandish identity; the two rulers consolidated the authority of the House of Habsburg over the territory of the Southern Netherlands and succeeded in reconciling previous anti-Spanish sentiments. When it became clear that independence would not be possible and Isabella's goal became the reincorporation of the Southern Provinces into the Spanish monarchy.
In pursuit of that goal and to get their political agenda to all Flemish social classes and Isabella used the most diverse media. The visual arts, with the baroque popularized in the wake of the Counter-Reformation, was the perfect tool, thus Isabella and her husband stimulated the growth of this artistic mov
Secretary of State (England)
In the Kingdom of England, the title of Secretary of State came into being near the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the usual title before that having been King's Clerk, King's Secretary, or Principal Secretary. From the time of Henry VIII, there were two secretaries of state. After the restoration of the monarchy of 1660, the two posts were designated as the Secretary of State for the Northern Department and the Secretary of State for the Southern Department. Both dealt with home affairs and they divided foreign affairs between them. From early fourteenth century the Secretary became the third office of state in the kingdom. Most administrative business went through the royal household the Wardrobe; the Privy Seal's warrants increased in quantity and frequency during the late medieval period. The Signet warrant, kept by the Keeper of the Privy Seal, could be used to stamp documents on authority of chancery and on behalf of the Chancellor. During wartime the king took his privy seal on his person.
Its controller was the Secretary, who served on diplomatic missions. The sovereigns of England had a clerical servant, at first known as their Clerk as their Secretary; the primary duty of this office was carrying on the monarch's official correspondence, but in varying degrees the holder advised the Crown. Until the reign of King Henry VIII, there was only one such secretary at a time, but by the end of Henry's reign there was a second secretary. At about the end of the reign of Henry's daughter Elizabeth I, the secretaries began to be called "Secretary of State". After the Restoration of 1660, the two posts came to be known as the Secretary of State for the Northern Department and the Secretary of State for the Southern Department. Both of the secretaries dealt with internal matters, but they divided foreign affairs between them. One dealt with the other with southern Europe. Following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Cabinet took over the practical direction of affairs undertaken by the Privy Council, the two secretaries of state gained more responsible powers.
John Maunsell Francis Accursii John de Benstede William Melton William Trussell William of Wykeham Robert Braybrooke John Profit John Stone John Castell William Alnwick William Hayton James Lunayn Jean de Rinel Thomas Beckington Gervais de Vulre Michael de Parys Thomas Mannyng Gylet de Ferrers William Hatteclyffe Oliver King John Kendal Richard Foxe Oliver King Thomas Routhall Richard Pace William Knight Stephen Gardiner Thomas Cromwell Thomas Wriothesley Wriothesley was the first secretary to share the office with a colleague. Sir Ralph Sadler Sir William Paget Sir William Petre Sir Thomas Smith Nicholas Wotton Sir William Cecil Sir John Cheke Sir John Bourne John Boxall Sir William Cecil Sir Thomas Smith Sir Francis Walsingham Thomas Wilson William Davison William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, Acting-Secretary Sir Robert Cecil John Herbert Robert Carr, Lord Rochester Sir Ralph Winwood Sir Thomas Lake Sir Robert Naunton Sir George Calvert Sir Edward Conway Sir Albertus Morton Sir John Coke Dudley Carleton, 1st Viscount Dorchester Sir Francis Windebank Sir Henry Vane Sir Edward Nicholas Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol Thomas Scot John Thurloe For the subsequent period see: Secretary of State for the Northern Department Secretary of State for the Southern Department Renton, Alexander Wood, ed. Encyclopædia of the laws of England with forms and precedents Volume 13, p. 202 online edition
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
The Dutch Republic, or the United Provinces, was a confederal republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the first Dutch nation state; the republic was known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, Republic of the Seven United Provinces, the United Provinces, Seven Provinces, Federated Dutch Provinces, or the Dutch Federation. Common names for the Republic in official correspondence were: Republic of the United Netherlands Republic of the United Provinces Republic of the Seven Provinces Republic of the Seven United Netherlands Republic of the Seven United Provinces United Provinces United Provinces of the Netherlands United States of the Netherlands United Regions Seven United Regions Until the 16th century, the Low Countries—corresponding to the present-day Netherlands and Luxembourg—consisted of a number of duchies and prince-bishoprics all of which were under the supremacy of the Holy Roman Empire, with the exception of the county of Flanders, under the Kingdom of France.
Most of the Low Countries had come under the rule of the House of Burgundy and subsequently the House of Habsburg. In 1549 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V issued the Pragmatic Sanction, which further unified the Seventeen Provinces under his rule. Charles was succeeded by King Philip II of Spain. In 1568 the Netherlands, led by William I of Orange, revolted against Philip II because of high taxes, persecution of Protestants by the government, Philip's efforts to modernize and centralize the devolved-medieval government structures of the provinces; this was the start of the Eighty Years' War. In 1579, a number of the northern provinces of the Low Countries signed the Union of Utrecht, in which they promised to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army; this was followed in 1581 by the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence of the provinces from Philip II. In 1582, the United Provinces invited Duke of Anjou to lead them. After the assassination of William of Orange on 10 July 1584, both Henry III of France and Elizabeth I of England declined offers of sovereignty.
However, the latter agreed to turn the United Provinces into a protectorate of England, sent the Earl of Leicester as governor-general. This was unsuccessful and in 1588 the provinces became a confederacy; the Union of Utrecht is regarded as the foundation of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, not recognized by the Spanish Empire until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. During the Anglo-French war, the internal territory was divided into two groups: the Patriots, who were pro-French and pro-American, the Orangists, who were pro-British; the Republic of the United Provinces faced a series of republican revolutions in 1783–1787. During this period, republican forces occupied several major Dutch cities. On the defence, the Orangist forces received aid from Prussian troops and retook the Netherlands in 1787; the republican forces fled to France, but successfully re-invaded alongside the army of the French Republic, ousting stadtholder William V, abolishing the Dutch Republic, replacing it with the Batavian Republic.
After the French Republic became the French Empire under Napoleon, the Batavian Republic was replaced by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland. The Netherlands regained independence from France in 1813. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 the names "United Provinces of the Netherlands" and "United Netherlands" were used. In 1815, it was rejoined with the Austrian Netherlands and Liège to become the Kingdom of the Netherlands, informally known as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, to create a strong buffer state north of France. On 16 March 1815, the son of stadtholder William V crowned himself King William I of the Netherlands. Between 1815 and 1890, the King of the Netherlands was in a personal union the Grand Duke of the sovereign Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. After Belgium gained its independence in 1830, the state became unequivocally known as the "Kingdom of the Netherlands", as it remains today. During the Dutch Golden Age in the late-16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch Republic dominated world trade, conquering a vast colonial empire and operating the largest fleet of merchantmen of any nation.
The County of Holland was the most urbanized region in the world. In 1650 the urban population of the Dutch Republic as a percentage of total population was 31.7 percent, while that of the Spanish Netherlands was 20.8 percent, of Portugal 16.6 percent, of Italy 14 percent. In 1675 the urban population density of Holland alone was 61 percent, that of the rest of the Dutch Republic 27 percent; the free trade spirit of the time was augmented by the development of a modern, effective stock market in the Low Countries. The Netherlands has the oldest stock exchange in the world, founded in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company, while Rotterdam has the oldest bourse in the Netherlands; the Dutch East-India Company exchange went public in six different cities. A court ruled that the company had to reside in a single city, so Amsterdam is recognized as the oldest such institution based on modern trading principles. While the banking system evolved in the Low Countries, it was incorporated by the well-connected English, stimulating English economic output.
Between 1590 and 1712 the Dutch possessed one of the strongest and fastest navies in the world, allowing for their varied conquests, including breaking the Portuguese s
Brussels the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita, it covers 161 km2, a small area compared to the two other regions, has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people. Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians and civil servants.
Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, legislative branches and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are located in Brussels; as the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city. Brussels is a hub for rail and air traffic, sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe"; the Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the busiest in the country. Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century; the Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual in French and Dutch though French is now the de facto main language with over 90% of the population speaking it. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual.
English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and a large number of migrants and expatriates speak other languages. Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks. Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie and the Museums of Art and History; because of its long tradition of Belgian comics, Brussels is hailed as a capital of the comic strip. The most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning "marsh" and "home" or "home in the marsh". Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai, made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695, when it was still a hamlet; the names of all the municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are of Dutch origin, except for Evere, Celtic. In French, Bruxelles is pronounced and in Dutch, Brussel is pronounced. Inhabitants of Brussels are known in French in Dutch as Brusselaars.
In the Brabantian dialect of Brussels, they are called Brusseleirs. The written x noted the group. In the Belgian French pronunciation as well as in Dutch, the k disappeared and z became s, as reflected in the current Dutch spelling, whereas in the more conservative French form, the spelling remained; the pronunciation in French only dates from the 18th century, but this modification did not affect the traditional Brussels' usage. In France, the pronunciations and are heard, but are rather rare in Belgium. See also: History of Brussels The history of Brussels is linked to that of Western Europe. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, with vestiges and place-names related to the civilisation of megaliths and standing stones. During late antiquity, the region was home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered near the centre. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Frankish Empire; the origin of the settlement, to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus' construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580.
The official founding of Brussels is situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven, gained the County of Brussels around 1000, by marrying Charles' daughter; because of its location on the shores of the Senne, on an important trade route between Bruges and Ghent, Cologne, Brussels became a commercial centre specialised in the textile trade. The town grew quite and extended towards the upper town, where there was a smaller risk of floods; as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. Around
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion were a prolonged period of war and popular unrest between Roman Catholics and Huguenots in the Kingdom of France between 1562 and 1598. It is estimated that three million people perished in this period from violence, famine, or disease in what is considered the second deadliest religious war in European history. Much of the conflict took place during the long regency of Queen Catherine de' Medici, widow of Henry II of France, for her minor sons, it involved a dynastic power struggle between powerful noble families in the line for succession to the French throne: the wealthy and fervently Roman Catholic ducal House of Guise and their ally Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France versus the less wealthy House of Condé, princes of the blood in the line of succession to the throne who were sympathetic to Calvinism. Foreign allies provided financing and other assistance to both sides, with Habsburg Spain and the Duchy of Savoy supporting the Guises, England supporting the Protestant side led by the Condés and by the Protestant Jeanne d'Albret, wife of Antoine de Bourbon, King of Navarre, her son, Henry of Navarre.
Moderates associated with the French Valois monarchy and its advisers, tried to balance the situation and avoid open bloodshed. This group put their hopes in the ability of a strong centralized government to maintain order and harmony. In contrast to the previous hardline policies of Henri II and his father Francis I, they began introducing gradual concessions to Huguenots. A most notable moderate, at least was the queen mother, Catherine de' Medici. Catherine, however hardened her stance and, at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572, sided with the Guises; this pivotal historical event involved a complete breakdown of state control resulting in series of riots and massacres in which Catholic mobs killed between 5,000 and 30,000 Protestants over a period of weeks throughout the entire kingdom. At the conclusion of the conflict in 1598, the Protestant Henry of Navarre, heir to the French throne, converted to Catholicism and was crowned Henry IV of France, he issued the Edict of Nantes, which granted Huguenots substantial rights and freedoms though this did not end Catholic hostility towards them or towards him, personally.
The wars of religion threatened the authority of the monarchy fragile under the rule of Catherine's three sons and the last Valois kings: Francis II, Charles IX, Henry III. This changed under the reign of their Bourbon successor Henry IV; the edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685 with the Edict of Fontainebleau by Louis XIV of France. Henry IV's wise governance and selection of able administrators did leave a legacy of a strong centralized government and economic prosperity that has gained him the reputation as France's best and most beloved monarch, earning him the designation "Good King Henry". Along with French Wars of Religion and Huguenot Wars, the wars have been variously described as the "Eight Wars of Religion", or the "Wars of Religion"; the exact number of wars and their respective dates are subject to continued debate by historians: some assert that the Edict of Nantes in 1598 concluded the wars, while the ensuing resurgence of rebellious activity leads some to believe the Peace of Alès in 1629 is the actual conclusion.
However, the agreed upon beginning of the wars is the Massacre of Wassy in 1562, the Edict of Nantes at least ended this series of conflicts. During this time, complex diplomatic negotiations and agreements of peace were followed by renewed conflict and power struggles. Humanism, which began much earlier in Italy, arrived in France in the early sixteenth century, coinciding with the beginning of the French Protestant Reformation; the Italian revival of art and classical learning interested Francis I, who established royal professorships in Paris, equipping more people with the knowledge necessary to understand ancient literature. Francis I, had no quarrel with the established religious order and did not support reformation. Indeed, Pope Leo X, through the Concordat of Bologna increased the king's control over the French church, granting him the power of nominating the clergy and levying taxes on church property. In France, unlike in Germany, the nobles supported the policies and the status quo of their time.
The emphasis of Renaissance Humanism on ad fontes, the return to the sources, had spread from the study and reconstruction of secular Greek and Latin texts, with a view to artistic and linguistic renewal, to the reading and translation of the Church Fathers and the New Testament itself, with a view to religious renewal and reform. Humanist scholars, who approached theology from a new critical and comparative perspective, argued that exegesis of Scripture must be based on an accurate understanding of the language and grammar used in writing the Greek scriptures and later, the Hebrew Scriptures, rather than relying on the Vulgate - a Latin translation of the Bible, as in the Medieval period. In 1495 the Venetian Aldus Manutius began using the newly invented printing press to produce small, pocket editions of Greek and vernacular literature, making knowledge in all disciplines available for the first time to a wide public. Printing in mass editions allowed theological and religious ideas to be disseminated at an u