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The label Huguenot was purportedly first applied in France to those conspirators (all of them aristocratic members of the Reformed Church) involved in the Amboise plot of 1560: a foiled attempt to wrest power in France from the influential House of Guise.The move would have had the side effect of fostering relations with the Swiss.Two years later, with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, Protestants gained equal rights as citizens.The bulk of Huguenot émigrés relocated to Protestant states such as England, Wales, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Dutch Republic, the Electorate of Brandenburg and Electorate of the Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Prussia, the Channel Islands, as well as majority Catholic but Protestant-controlled Ireland.Huguenot numbers peaked near an estimated two million by 1562, concentrated mainly in the southern and western parts of France.As Huguenots gained influence and more openly displayed their faith, Catholic hostility grew, in spite of political concessions and edicts of toleration from the French crown.
Louis XIV gradually increased persecution of them until he issued the Edict of Fontainebleau (1685), ending any legal recognition of Protestantism in France and forcing the Huguenots to convert or flee in a wave of violent dragonnades.By the death of Louis XV in 1774, French Calvinism was almost completely wiped out.Persecution of Protestants officially ended with the Edict of Versailles (Edict of Tolerance), signed by Louis XVI in 1787.) are the ethnoreligious group of French Protestants who follow the Reformed tradition.
The term was used frequently to describe members of the Reformed Church of France until the beginning of the 19th century. Huguenots were French Protestants mainly from northern France, who were inspired by the writings of John Calvin and endorsed the Reformed tradition of Protestantism, contrary to the largely German Lutheran population of Alsace, Moselle, and Montbéliard.The wars ended with the Edict of Nantes, which granted the Huguenots substantial religious, political, and military autonomy.