The Cahier de Doléances, 1561
This chapter discusses Nîmes’s cahier de doléances, written for the Pontoise session of the national Estates General of 1561. It was written by the Protestant party, which wove together religious and political grievances that made it overwhelmingly popular, and greatly aided conversion efforts. It advocated seizing some of the Catholic Church’s benefices to pay off royal debts and increase poor relief. It also espoused contractualism through provisions greatly increasing the power of the Estates General, including provisions for regular meetings. Finally, it also advocated religious reform, but while clearly Protestant, it avoided antagonizing reform-minded Catholics.
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