Did the Edict of Nantes only target the expulsion of Huguenots or all Protestants?

Did the Edict of Nantes only target the expulsion of Huguenots or all Protestant persuasions that existed in France at the time ?

I look forward to your feedback.

I think you mean the Edict of Fontainebleau, revoking the Edict of Nantes.

Since the original text speaks of the RPR (Réligion Prétendue Réformée) that would imply any Protestants rather than members of any given organisation.

Thanks for that correction Patrick London. So any Protestant was targeted by the Edict of Fontainbleau/Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Thanks again.

I’m a little hazy as to how Protestant sects were organised: whether there was one or more distinct hierarchical churches, or simply lots of independent congregations. The description in the revocation edict of the Edict of Nantes rather suggests that even under that edict they weren’t entirely free to do as they liked, which implies that they were essentially independent congregations - tolerated, but not permitted to grow into an organisational competitor to the Catholic Church. But the text of the revocation edict seems to have been worse than setting out to expel all Protestants - ministers were given two weeks to convert or leave the country, but congregants who might seek to leave faced imprisonment and loss of their property. It seems to say that those who stayed weren’t immediately required to recant publicly, but they were forbidden to engage in any practice of their religion, and required to have their children baptised and brought up as Catholics.

I don’t think “Réformé” in French refers to Protestants generally, but rather to the Calvinist tradition specifically.

There are two distinct Protestant traditions in France - Calvinism, in the south and west, and Lutheranism, in Alsace Lorraine. The term “Heugenot”, and I think the term “réformé”, would generally refer only to the former. However at the time of the Edict of Nantes, and indeed at the time of its revocation, Alsace and Lorraine had yet to be incorporated into France, so French Protestantism was almost exclusively Calvinist.

The Calvinist congregations in France were initially formed independently, but from the mid-sixteenth century they formed a national synod, which in 1572 adopted a (distinctly Calvinist) confession of faith. There was also a Constitution of Ecclesiastical Discipline to which member congregations of the Synod were expected to subscribe, though I don’t know how much central control or direction of congregations this might have involved.

So, yeah, there definitely was a recognisable Heugenot denominational organisation. I don’t know if there were independent Calvinist congregations in France not part of this denomination, or independent congregations of other Protestant traditions but, if there were, they were insignficant in the overall picture.

The phrase ‘religion prétendue réformée’ without further definition was what the 1598 Edict had used and by then it had already been the well-established official euphemism for ‘Huguenot’. But there were ambiguities involved. The Calvinists, being Calvinists, themselves had firm doctrinal definitions about who they were and they tended to want to emphasise that any legal protections under the Edict applied only to them. Moreover, other French Protestants usually conformed as Calvinists because that way they could at least enjoy those protections. So the Edict had had the unintended consequence that it tended to unify the French Protestants as Calvinists more than might otherwise have been the case.

On the other hand, the Catholics weren’t necessarily that bothered about finer differences between the various flavours of Protestantism. All Protestants were heretics who were being tolerated only with reluctance and then only in some parts of the kingdom. So French Catholics sometimes used ‘Huguenot’ to be mean Protestants in general. And any distinctions were irrelevant after 1685 anyway, as anyone who had not been tolerated under the Edict of Nantes wasn’t being tolerated after its revocation.

By 1685 most of Alsace belonged to the French crown, partly under the terms of the Treaty of Westphalia and partly through the réunions of Louis XIV. Louis had not then suppressed the various Alsatian Protestant churches, as that would have contravened the Treaty of Westphalia, although he had tried to reintroduce Catholicism there in as heavy-handed a manner as possible. The 1685 revocation did not apply to Alsace because the original Edict had never applied there either. So Alsace remained the anomaly after 1685 in being a French territory where Protestantism was still permitted.