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The Catholic League of France, sometimes referred to by contemporary (and modern) Roman Catholics as the Holy League, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, was formed by Duke Henry of Guise in 1576. The League intended the eradication of Protestants—also known as Calvinists or Huguenots—out of Catholic France during the Protestant Reformation; as well as the replacement of King Henry III.
Pope Sixtus V, Philip II of Spain, and the Jesuits were all supporters of this Catholic party.
Confraternities and leagues were established by French Catholics to counter the growing power of the Lutherans, Calvinists and members of the Reformed Church of France. The Protestant Calvinists at that time dominated much of the French nobility, leading to active persecution of Catholics in some regions.
Under the leadership of Henry, the Duke of Guise, the Catholic confraternities and leagues were united as the Catholic League. Guise used the League not only to defend the Catholic cause but also as a political tool in an attempt to usurp the French throne.
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