Holy League

(1576–98) Association of Roman Catholics during the French Wars of Religion.

It was first organized under the leadership of the 3rd duke de Guise, to oppose concessions granted to the Protestant Huguenots by Henry III. In 1584, when the Huguenot leader Henry of Navarra (later Henry IV) became heir to the throne, the Holy League set up an alternative candidate, with Spain's assistance. To put an end to the league, which challenged his authority, Henry III had the duke de Guise assassinated (1588), an act that, rather than destroying the League, led to Henry's own assassination in 1589. The league opposed the accession of Henry IV, but its power waned when he became a Roman Catholic in 1593.

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▪ European alliance [1495]
      either of two European leagues sponsored by the papacy in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, formed for the purpose of protecting Italy from threatened French domination.

      The first was the League of 1495 between Pope Alexander VI, the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I, Aragon's Ferdinand II, Venice, and Milan, in opposition to Charles VIII of France, who had invaded Italy in 1494. The allies forced the French out of Italy in 1496.

      The Holy League of 1511, organized by Pope Julius II, was directed against Charles VIII's successor, Louis XII. Spain, Venice, the Holy Roman Empire, England, and the Swiss had all joined the anti-French coalition by spring of 1512 and drove the French out of Milan in May. When the French attempted to return, they were defeated by the Swiss at the Battle of Novara on June 6, 1513. After this the allies could not agree on strategy, and beginning with the Swiss in September 1513, all the allies made separate peace agreements with France.

▪ French history
French  La Sainte Ligue,  

      association of Roman Catholics during the French Wars of Religion of the late 16th century; it was first organized in 1576 under the leadership of Henri I de Lorraine, 3e duc de Guise, to oppose concessions granted to the Protestants (Huguenots (Huguenot)) by King Henry III. Although the basic reason behind the League's formation was the defense of the Catholic religion, political reasons, notably the desire to limit the king's power, were not absent. Henry III, having failed at an attempt to place himself at the head of the Catholic party, ordered its dissolution (September 1577). The League revived in importance in 1584, when the Protestant leader Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV) became heir of the crown. The League set up an alternative candidate to the throne, and in this effort to exclude Henry of Navarre it received the assistance of Spain, the leading Catholic power. The League's popular support throughout France forced Henry III to placate it by proscribing the Protestant religion (July 1585). To put a decisive end to the League, which was in control of much of France and which continued to challenge his authority, Henry III had the Duc de Guise assassinated (December 1588). The King's act failed to destroy the League, and he, in turn, was assassinated in August 1589. The Holy League, actively supported by the Spanish, opposed the accession of Henry IV. Only after Henry removed the main reason for opposition to him by becoming a Roman Catholic in July 1593 did the power of the Holy League gradually wane.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • League — (l[=e]g), n. [F. ligue, LL. liga, fr. L. ligare to bind; cf. Sp. liga. Cf. {Ally} a confederate, {Ligature}.] 1. An alliance or combination of two or more nations, parties, organizations, or persons, for the accomplishment of a purpose which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • holy — /hoh lee/, adj., holier, holiest, n., pl. holies. adj. 1. specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: holy ground. 2. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man. 3.… …   Universalium

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