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The wars ended with the Edict of Nantes, which granted the Huguenots substantial religious, political, and military autonomy.Huguenot rebellions in the 1620s prompted the abolishment of their political and military privileges.
Nevertheless, a tiny minority of Huguenots remained and faced continued persecution under Louis XV.The "Hugues hypothesis" argues that the name was derived by association with Hugues Capet, king of France, who reigned long before the Reformation.He was regarded by the Gallicans and Protestants as a noble man who respected people's dignity and lives.Janet Gray and other supporters of the hypothesis suggest that the name huguenote would be roughly equivalent to little Hugos, or those who want Hugo.In this last connection, the name could suggest the derogatory inference of superstitious worship; popular fancy held that Huguon, the gate of King Hugo, was haunted by the ghost of le roi Huguet (regarded by Roman Catholics as an infamous scoundrel) and other spirits, who instead of being in Purgatory came back to harm the living at night.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.
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.
Such explanations have been traced to the contemporary Reguier de la Plancha (d.
1560), who in De l'Estat de France offered the following account as to the origin of the name, as cited by The Cape Monthly: The origin of the name is curious; it is not from the German Eidegenossen as has been supposed.
Thus, Hugues plus Eidgenosse by way of Huisgenoten supposedly became Huguenot, a nickname associating the Protestant cause with politics unpopular in France. In the Dutch-speaking North of France, Bible students who gathered in each other's houses to study secretly were called Huis Genooten ('housemates') while on the Swiss and German borders they were termed Eid Genossen, or 'oath fellows,' that is, persons bound to each other by an oath.