Henry IV granted spiritual freedom to Protestants by issuing the Edict that Nantes throughout his regime as king of France, from 1589 to 1610.

You are watching: How did henry iv's conversion to catholicism help france unite


Who to be Henry IV?

Henry IV came to be heir to the French throne with his marital relationship to Margaret that Valois however was tested during a time of spiritual strife. Despite converting to Catholicism after ending up being king that France in 1589, Henry IV authorize the Edict of Nantes to foster religious tolerance. He was killed on may 14, 1610, in Paris, France.

Early Life

Henry the Navarre to be born in Pau, France, on December 13, 1553. His parents, who ended up being king and also queen that Navarre quickly after Henry was born, were of various faiths and exemplified the strife in France in between the Huguenots (Protestants) and also Catholics. Return Henry was baptized a Catholic, that was raised a Protestant following the death of his father in 1562.


At age 14, Prince Henry began his military company in one expedition versus rebellious roman Catholics in Navarre, which finished in a success for the Huguenots. Henry differentiated himself and also the suffer forged a soldierly soul within him. However, the spread of civil battle made that reflect top top its devastating effect on France.


Following the death of his mom in June 1572, Henry became king of Navarre. One arranged marriage to Margaret that Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici, lugged Parisian Catholics and also visiting Huguenots with each other in an uncomfortable standoff. The tension erupted right into the full-scale killings the the St. Bartholomew's work Massacre on august 24, 1572, and also Henry escaped death with the aid of his wife and his promise to transform to Catholicism.


War of the 3 Henrys

Upon the fatality of François, duke of Anjou, in 1584, Henry became heir come the throne of France. He to be opposed by the divine League, made up of Catholic aristocrats, and also Pope Clement VIII, that excommunicated the French heir native the church. The instance brought about the battle of the 3 Henrys, pitting Henry against King Henry III of France and the staunchly Catholic Henry, battle each other of Guise.


*

*

*

Henry of Navarre action boldly, defeating the military of Henry III in the crucial Battle that Coutras top top Oct 20, 1587. Eventually, Spanish interference through French succession prompted Henry III come join pressures with Henry that Navarre come take regulate of Paris and the French countryside. Henry III was stabbed on respectable 1, 1589, and died the following day after declaring Henry that Navarre his successor.


King Henry IV

Henry ended up being King Henry IV, but it would take a nine-year siege of Paris come secure his crown from the influence of the holy League and also Spanish interference. He converted to Catholicism, and after win several an essential battles, Paris finally capitulated on in march 22, 1594. Pope Clement reversed Henry's excommunication and also Henry brokered the tranquility of Vervins between France and Spain on might 2, 1598. Approximately that time, Henry likewise issued the Edict the Nantes, which evidenced Roman Catholicism together the state religion yet granted spiritual freedom to Protestants.

Having united the kingdom and also attained peace at home and also abroad, Henry IV conduct to lug prosperity back to France. He lower taxes top top French citizens, made peace with the ottoman Empire and opened up trade routes to eastern Asia. He also became notorious for his sexual exploits, taking on plenty of lovers and earning the nickname "Le Vert Gallant" (The happy Old Spark).


Death and also Mystery

Despite his accomplishments, Henry IV sustained multiple assassination attempts. Taken into consideration a usurper by Catholics and a traitor by Protestants, his charm and also genuine care for the people's needs could not mollify his enemies. He to be stabbed to death by a Catholic fanatic on may 14, 1610, and also subsequently buried in the Basilica that Saint-Denis in Paris.

See more: What Does It Mean When Your Necklace Is Backwards : Superstition Or Omen

In a macabre postscript, the head the Henry IV's embalmed body to be reportedly shed after revolutionaries ransacked the Basilica in 1793. The head to be passed among private collectors until it to be tracked down in 2010 when a team that forensic medical examiners evidenced that it belonged to the former French king. However, the conclusion was actors into doubt a couple of years later, as soon as DNA test revealed the head had no royal genetic match.


Fact Check

We strive because that accuracy and also fairness. If you see something that doesn"t look at right, contact us!