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Thirty Year War

The war in Bohemia broke Out after Hapsburg Ferdinand, archduke of Astoria and heir to the imperial throne and a fervent Catholic ascended to the throne. As soon as he became King he revoked the religious freedoms of Bohemian Protestants. Protestant nobility responded to Ferdinand act in May 161 8 by throwing his regents out the windows of the royal palace. The event has ever since been known as the “defenestration of Prague”. The followings Ferdinand became Holy Roman Emperor as Ferdinand II (r. 1619-1637) by a unanimous vote.

The Bohemians defiantly deposed him and declared the Calvinist elector Palatine, Frederick V (r. 61 6-1623) their king. What began as a revolt escalated into an international war. Spain sent soldiers to Ferdinand who found allies in Maximally of Bavaria and Lutheran elector John George Of Saxony (r. 161 1-1656). Frederick V rule was brief his troops were routed at the battle of White Mountain, which allowed the extirpation of Protestantism in most of the Hapsburg lands. In 1621 Ferdinand turned against the protestant supporters in Germany.

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Germany was ungovernable because of the Peace of Suburb (1555) had given them significant sovereignty within its borders. Germany because of its central location had always been Rupee’s highway for merchants and traders going north, south, east and west. German princes’ opposed efforts to consolidate the Holy Roman Empire because they feared they would lose their territorial rights confirmed by the Peace of Suburb. Christian IV (r. 1 588-1648) of Denmark held territory within the empire as Duke of Holstein, opened the Danish period of the conflict (1625-1629).

Christian entered Germany with his army in 1 626, and was quickly humiliated y Maximally, Duke of Bavaria and forced to retreat into Denmark. Mainsail’s military success made him stronger he became untrustworthy and Ferdinand found a more controllable tool for his policies in Albrecht of Willingness (1583-1634) a powerful mercenary and brilliant military strategist. Willingness commanded a crack army of more than 1 00,000 men. He became uncontrollable so in 1 630 under pressure from Maximally of Bavaria and other princes he was forced to resign.

But Willingness had broken Protestant resistance so that Ferdinand could hen issue the Edict of Restitution. This reclaimed land that had been acquired by secularists Protestant rulers. These events raised new fears that Ferdinand was attempting to recourse and re-catholicity the Empire and it ordered the return of all church lands the Lutheran had acquired since 1552. The edict struck panic in Protestants and Hapsburg opponents everywhere. The war that was mostly fought on German soil, now became a struggle between the great powers (Sweden, France, Spain and Austria).

To further implicate matters, the success of Hapsburg provoked France to declare war on Spain and then on the Emperor. The victory over the Spaniards at Rococo (1643) and Swede’s victory over the Imperialists at Juneau (1645) forced the Hapsburg to make concessions in 1 648 which led to the Peace of Westphalia. The cost of the war was enormous countless lives were lost. Manufacture and trade declined significantly. Many cities and towns saw their populations plummet. The role of religion in European politics receded.


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