Conclusion The Role of the Baylean Moderate Party in the Second Huguenot Refuge

  • Gerald Cerny
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idees International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 107)


The largest forced migration of Europeans in early modern times was the Huguenot refugee exodus following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. Of the many foreign lands peopled by the Huguenot diaspora, historians have underscored the seven United Provinces of the Dutch Republic. That one out of three persecuted Huguenots chose to relocate in the Dutch Republic accentuates the importance of that particular Huguenot resettlement. If one excludes Huguenot refugees streaming into Rotterdam before their eventual residence in England or her overseas colonies, the Germanies, and the Scandinavian countries, between 50,000-60,000 French Calvinists found asylum in the United Provinces. In some regions of the Dutch Republic — most particularly in the chief urban areas of the province of Holland — they constituted five percent of the total population. The ease with which these displaced elite persons adjusted to a country whose language was foreign to them was essentially due to earlier French-speaking Protestant communities founded by Walloons from the Southern Netherlands and occasional Huguenots fleeing from France.


United Province Intellectual Achievement Pastoral Letter Early Modern Time Dutch Republic 
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  1. 1.
    The most notorious is, perhaps, Howard Robinson, author of the hastily conceived and poorly researched Bayle the Sceptic (New York, 1931). It is rather sorrowful that the editors of the American Historical Review entrusted Robinson with appraising all of the vast, new literature on Pierre Bayle in his unscholarly reviews for that journal and, thus, allowed him to perpetuate the myth of Bayle as the libertine forerunner of the eighteenth-century philosophes.Google Scholar
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    Pierre Bayle en Hollande. Etude historique et critique (Lausanne, 1912).Google Scholar
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    In a private communication, Elisabeth Labrousse expressed the opinion: “Un homme comme Basnage illustre parfaitement l’orthodoxie calviniste de son époque — qui d’ailleurs impliquait accessoirement la condemnation de toute rébellion. Jurieu est innovateur quand il prend au sérieux les petits prophètes contre toutes les traditions anti-illuministes réformées.”Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Elisabeth Labrousse’s personal view expressed in a private communication is: “Basnage était le meilleur des hommes. Mais il avait les limites d’un grand notable et celles d’un rationalisme un peu plat (qui annonce bien le dix-huitième siècle). Le rationalisme critique de Bayle était si aigu qu’il était à la fois bien plus explosif et bien plus métaphysiquement profond que les prises de position de Basnage — qui reste cependant dans le droit fil du calvinisme.”Google Scholar

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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald Cerny

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