Front Page Titles (by Subject) 75.: France in the Year 1562 - Judgments on History and Historians
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75.: France in the Year 1562 - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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France in the Year 1562
The Catholics, too, were a popular party here, just like the Huguenots.
The great and sudden danger was that the state power, upon which everything depends in France more than anywhere else, had not been strong enough to prevent the arising of two popular masses where two distinguished parties already existed. Despite all her desire to keep above both, Catherine de Medici was forced actually to veer about between the two.
However, for the military heads of both masses the chances were rather uneven. The Huguenots must have known that in general they would be the weaker by far, while for the Guises the civil war, i.e., the beginning of the voies de fait [assault and battery] was the most convenient means of stopping at any time mere deliberations which ended with concessions, to take control, and in the decisive moments to pull the royal house after them.
The only question was to what extent the dissolution of the normal state power and its administration would spread.
Added to this were the unabashed foreign alliances and the foreign recruiting of both parties.
There are nations, religions, and parties which endure minorities and some which do not. Of the French the latter is true, no matter what is concerned.