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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Dévots (pronounced /devo/ and meaning "devout people" in French) was the name given in France in the first half of the 17th century to a party following a Catholic policy of opposition to the Protestants inside France, and alliance with the Catholic Austrian empire abroad.

Attached to the privileges of the intermediary organs of power between the king and the people (parlements, provincial estates, aristocratic officers), the dévots opposed the development of an absolute monarchy, rejecting a centralized government in the hands of commoners from the bourgeoisie appointed by the king (as opposed to aristocrats who inherited their offices in the intermediary organs of powers). They inspired the policy of the regent Marie de Médicis and later opposed Richelieu, who was pushing for an absolute monarchy and sought an alliance with Protestant powers against the Habsburg Austrian and Spanish empires. Although the Day of the Dupes (November 10, 1630), which confirmed Richelieu as prime minister, marked their political failure, the dévots nonetheless remained very influential (notably with the fervently Catholic regent Anne of Austria). Their influence was felt through the Society of the Holy Sacrament (Companie du Saint-Sacrement) until 1665.

Molière's Tartuffe was banned in 1664 when the dévots believed it was satirizing them for being hypocritical in their faith.

Although King Louis XIV definitely established an absolute monarchy, the dévots remained active almost until the French Revolution, being very influential with two heirs to the French throne, Louis, duc de Bourgogne, grandson of King Louis XIV, and Louis, Dauphin of France, son of King Louis XV, both of whom died early and never reigned.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dévots" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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