Do Protestants and Catholics have anything in common?

Politics of the common (16th – 19th century)
Ordinary politicizations at the time of the French civil wars of religion
By Jérémie Foa

This article questions the political ability of common actors from small towns in the kingdom of France to resist violence during the first wars of religion (1560-1574). When everything at the national level pushed them to consider themselves as enemies, as “Protestants” or “Catholics” who had nothing in common, how did the ordinary citizens of these villages live together? To answer this question, this article analyzes “friendship pacts,” signed between Protestants and Catholics when the wars resumed on a national level. In these agreements, the signatories promised to behave like “brothers, friends, and fellow citizens” and, by writing a heterogeneous inventory of “what they had in common,” they invented what, in spite of the religious rupture, would make them “stand together.”


  • confessional coexistence
  • wars of religion
  • pacification
  • friendship pacts
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