Attempts at Pacification in Europe during Times of Religious Turmoil

The Colloquy of Poissy of 1561 was held at the initiative of the regent Catherine de’ Medici and the chancellor Michel de l’Hôpital. Theodor Beza was invited to speak to the kingdom’s Catholic and political representatives. Metal plate taken from Perrissin and Tortorel’s Premier volume contenant quarante tableaux ou histoires diverses qui sont mémorables touchant les guerres, massacres et troubles advenus en France, 1569-1570.

To contend with the scale of religious division and the turmoil it caused in European states, both Catholic and Protestant rulers eventually abandoned violent repressive measures, most of which had proven ineffective. They instead imagined policies of reconciliation and pacification that would restore civil order and rebuild, over more or less the long-term, the religious unity that was vital to the health of the sovereign and his subjects. After the failure of initial solutions for doctrinal rapprochement, authorities made civil peace into a political prerequisite for religious unification.