The massacre of Saint-Bartholomew, 24 August 1572
As a consequence of military and civil strife of the French nobility between Catholics and Protestants, especially between the clans of Guise and of Châtillon-Montmorency, it is the result of a wild popular reaction, ultra-Catholic and hostile to the royal policy of appeasement. It also reflects the international tensions between the kingdoms of France and Spain, sparked by the uprising in the Netherlands .
Historiographical tradition made King Charles IX and his mother, Catherine de Medici, the main responsible for the massacre. Historians have long remained divided on the exact role of the crown. Today they retain that the military leaders of the Protestant clan only were targeted by the royal order. On the morning of August 24, Charles IX ordered an immediate stop to the killings, but overwhelmed by the zeal and fury of the people, he could not prevent it.