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The Thirty Years War

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INTRODUCTION

The Thirty Years’ War was a religious and political war. The first half of the war could be characterized by the religious color and the last half of the war could be characterized by the political color. First of all, it was a religious war between the Catholic and the Protestant on the stage of Germany. Religious interest of both parties surpassed the gravity of the Great Commandment by their LORD. Second, it was a political war between not a few parties. Especially on the latter stage of the Thirty Years’ War, many countries involved drove it into international war. The primary property of the Thirty Years’ War was the long term itself of the war. At first, nobody might have expected that the war would keep going so long a way. If they had known just half of the result of the long period war, many of the participants would have changed their minds. The long term of the Thirty Years’ War left Germany devastated: both the German territory and the life of the German people. It also made foreign participants tired and hurt. As Fletcher indicated, Germany was a miniature of Europe, and the both Europe and Germany were divided into many at the end of the war. And what was worse, the latter was totally devastated: Germany was a rich country when the war began, but she was a desert when the war ended. Here we need to retrospect and ask a question: What was the reason of the war-participants and what did they accomplish? What is the Thirty Years’ War teaching the modern Christian?
CAUSE OF THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR

At the beginning of the 17th century, the Emperor Rudolph II, was the Archduke of Austria and he was also the King of Bohemia and of Hungary. And the neighboring territories were ruled by his family members. Though Rudolph and his family took all the ruling positions in the Empire, they got some difficulty. Why? For the greater portion of the population belonged to the Protestants. And the fact that the rulers were from the minority meant that they were short of thoughts in common. According to Gonzalez, Rudolph was not trusted from the first, primarily because he had been educated under the Jesuits Ferdinand did not hesitated to put down the Protestantism with a strong hand in his dominions, but Rudolph was not able to follow his example. In 1606, Rudolph was trying to follow his Cousin Ferdinand’s example in dealing with the domestic situation. He tried do suppressed the growing Protestants with power. The result was very expensive. There was a general revolt and Rudolph barely avoided being kicked off with his brother Matthias’ help. In two years, Austria and Hungry were assigned to Matthias. Now bohemia, Moravia and Silesia were left to Rudolph’s hand. In 1609, Rudolph could not but edict the Royal Charter, a Letter of Majesty, which permitted freedom of conscience to every inhabitant of Bohemia. And finally the authority was given over to members of the Estates, that is to say, to 1,400 of the feudal aristocracy and 42 towns. In 1611, Rudolph gave the throne over to Matthias. The new Emperor did his best to evade the effect of the Charter by appointing Catholic priests to Protestant churches. Despite all his effort, the general mood didn’t show a prominent curve. In 1617, the next king Ferdinand took the oath to keep the Royal Charter when he became the king. But the bohemian people soon felt some antagonistic result under his reign. A Protestant assembly was called up. There was a group of men headed by Count Henry of Thurn which was bent on the dethronement of Ferdinand. They wanted to take advantage of the popular felling to effect the murder of the two regents. So they threw out of the window two viceroys of His Royal Majesty (Ferdinand) and highest officers of the Land of Bohemia, shouting: “Now we will take our just revenge on our religious enemies.” “Jesus, Mary!” cried Martinez. “Let us see whether his Mary will help him,” said someone mockingly. This shocking matter, Defenestration of Prague, ignited the Thirty Years’ War. Ten years before the Thirty Years’ War, the Protestants and the Catholics became brave and forgot an important thing, the fact that they themselves were the body of the Christ. Both parties transformed their own religious holy body into a great military group. In 1608, the Protestants formed a union of defense under Palatinate leadership. They made 6 promises. The promises were of unity, secret and defense together. In 1609, the Catholic militants replied with a league under the Duke Maximilian of Bavaria. Their decision was solid. Ten years later, in 1618, the Protestant Union seized their chance to wrest Bohemia from the Catholic Hapsburgs. In 1619, Bavaria and Austria also agreed to drive the Protestants out of Bohemia.

THE THIRTY YEARS OF WAR INTO FOUR STEPS

Thus already inwardly diseased, Germany entered upon a war of thirty years. The Thirty Years’ War was a war Full of Bloody, while battles and glorious victories of each party were so temporal, and then the political situation was soon flipped over.
The First Period of the War – Imperial Triumphs (1618-1630) In 1618, the Protestants of Bohemia refused the Bohemian crown to the Archduke Ferdinand, and chose for their ruler the Elector Palatine, a reformer. Thirty directors were appointed and the Jesuits were expelled from Bohemia. The Diet met and ordered soldiers to be levied to form an army. Bohemia was invaded by the Emperor’s general, Bucquoi. He was under Ferdinand and he got 14,000 soldiers. Bohemian directors needed an urgent help. Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Savoy, agreed to give some help. 2,000 men were tossed with the leader Count Ernest of Mansfeld. Arriving in Bohemia, Mansfeld restored the rebel’s morale by a successful surprise attack on Pilsen, a western Bohemia. Aug. 28, 1619, by means of the League and the Lutheran Electors of Saxony, Ferdinand II became Emperor. The new emperor called on Maximilian of Bavaria and the Catholic League to invade Bohemia. June 3, 1620, Maximilian of Bavaria joined Bucquoi, and entered bohemia. Tilly, Maximilian’s general, at the head of a combined Catholic League and Imperial army, defeated Frederick V’s troops at the battle of the White Mountain, near Prague. Ferdinand regained control of Bohemia and the revolt was at an end. The opponent of Ferdinand II was beaten in the battle of the White Mountain, and fled the country as a fugitive. Here and there, the Protestant opposition continued, but divided without plan and with weak resources. July, 1620, each side agreed at Ulm, Treaty of Ulm, to respect the other’s neutrality in Germany without prejudice to whatever action it might choose to take in Bohemia. But the overall result of the treaty was immeasurably to strengthen the Hapsburgs’ position in Bohemia. Protestant Union dissolved. Frederick V was deposed from the throne and also from the Palatinate. Bohemia was restored to Ferdinand II, and the Palatinate was handed over to Maximilian as a reward for his services, Feb. 13, in 1623. The Protestants could not avoid persecution in Bohemia and in the Palatinate territory. Many Protestant leaders were executed and many people were confiscate of their riches. In Bohemia, especially, there was a chocking decree: By Easter of 1626, any who were not ready to become Catholics must leave the country. According to Gonzalez, the population of Bohemia was estimated to have declined by four-fifths at the end of the Thirty Years’ War. The victory of Ferdinand II and his general Maximilian means the growth of the Hapsburg. In the battle field of the greed people, whether they were pious or not, it might have been difficult to find a man who would resemble Christ’s example and yield his own benefit. Instead there were not a few men who were interested in the changing international order. Richelieu of France was one of the men. He came to power as the chief minister of the French King, Lewis XIII in 1624. As far as German matters are concerned, the only interest of Lewis XIII was to look for a way to lessen the power of the Hapsburg. So the strong Catholic Lewis XIII ironically assisted the Protestants. Even for that he made peace with Huguenots in France. In 1625, backed up by the 2,000 French horse and 12,000 English foot, Mansfeld tried to reach the Palatinate but failed.
The Second Period of the War – Danish Intervention (1625-1630) In 1625, another international move came to pass. England, the Netherlands, and Denmark joined in a Protestant League. And the League proposed to invade Germany and restore Frederick, who was a son-in-law of James I of England, to his lands in the Palatinate. They also had the support of several German Protestant princes. The Protestant princes, now a minority in the council and threatened by the emperor’s success, looked around for allies. King Christian IV of Denmark came forward, with English subsidies. Now the war became the European war. Behind the scenes France encouraged the Danish King. Here too, behind the scene was the influential French statesman Cardinal Richelieu, who sought to stir up trouble for the Hapsburgs. However, none of these military or diplomatic counter-moves were so successful. Meanwhile, Ferdinand II didn’t want to depend on the Maximilian any longer. He was interested in having his own military. He made it by obtaining a large body of troops through the assistance of an experienced mercenary commander, Wallenstein. He maintained the general Wallenstein in his territory by contribution and pillage. When Christian IV, the Denmark king, came to fight in German, Wallenstein was such a splendid warrior that the competition was not easily over. At the same time Christian IV should contend with Maximilian. In four year long struggle, May 21 1629 losing the cause to recover the Palatinate, the Denmark king signed the Peace of Lubeck and went back home. Just as Gonzalez pointed out, what the intervention of Christian IV left to the German people was nothing but suffering.

The Third Period of the War – Swedish Intervention (1630-1634) Sweden and England were to be the two champions of Protestantism. Both of the countries thought of their faith as a matter of political necessity or convenience. Gustavus Adolphus, the founder of his dynasty, was not a very religious man; he had determined to make Sweden a Lutheran country for two main reasons: Church and Crown. Primarily he wanted to enrich the lands of the Church and the power of the Crown. Christian IV’s time-killing invading showed Richelieu that his efforts were inadequate. Now he looked for another partner and at last he found a new adversary against the emperor; Gustavus adolphus, King of Sweden. The promise of suitable subsidies persuaded him to enter the field in 1631. Gustavus’ well-trained troops roamed across Germany sweeping the imperial armies before them, and reached the Rhine. Two reasons Gonzalez pointed for Gustavus’ coming into the German territory were not different from those other participants showed. Faith & Pride! One was to defend the Protestants and the other was to defeat the ambitions of the Hapsburg. At first, when Gustavus invaded northern Germany, he was not welcomed by his fellow Lutherans. But after Magdeburg, the Swede’s allied city, was destroyed by an Imperial army, the Protestants grew concerned and began to arm. When the Imperial forces moved against Saxony, the Elector of Saxony came over to the Swedes. The Swedish army of Gustavus met the Imperials under Tilly at Breitenfeld near Leipzing and totally destroyed them. Gustavus kept marching toward the Rhine. On the base of Rhine, he continued to go to Mentz. In spite of the objections of the French, the brave Gustavus attacked Bavaria. On the passage of the Lech, Tilly was defeated again and mortally wounded. On May 17, 1632, Gustavus entered Munich. Wallenstein offered peace, but Gustavus did not approve of the terms of it. And they finally opposed at Neremburg, in June, 1632. And the last day of Gustavus’ life arrived with the cold wind on the battle field of Lutzen. But the victory of the Lutzen battle was of the Swedes. There was a peace negotiation between Wallenstein and Saxony. In the process of negotiation, according to Samuel L. Gardiner, there was a conflict between Wallenstein and the Emperor, for Wallenstein tried to make peace with Gustavus, apart from Ferdinand II. In Feb. 25, 1634, Wallenstein was declared a traitor and assassinated by the emperor who feared Wallenstein’s power and concerned about his intrigues with hostile powers. In 1635, when the most splendid two general, Gustavus and Wallenstein, the long-expected peace was made between Ferdinand II and Saxony in May. And the peace of Prague was read:
However, concerning the ecclesiastical lands and properties that were territorial states in their own right, and that were secularized before the agreement at Passau, as well as all those ecclesiastical lands and properties that have fallen into the hands of members of the Augusburg Confession after the conclusion of the Passau agreement, whether they lay within territorial state jurisdiction or were territorial states in their own right, we have finally agreed that those Electors and Imperial Estates who held these lands on 12 November 1627, new style, shall have complete and free control of the same for a period of forty years from the date of this concluded agreement. And any authority that has been deprived of such lands since 12 November 1627 shall have them returned, yet without any right to claim costs or damages.

The Fourth Period of the War – French Intervention (1634-1648) After crushing all his domestic enemies in France, Richelieu finally intervened the matter in Germany. On the grounds that the balance of power in Europe was in danger, he gathered around him a host of allies, including the German Protestant princes. In 1635 he crossed over into the neighboring territory. Gradually the Imperial forces were weakened. At his attack into Alsace and the Hapsburg coalition began to totter. France took control not only of Alsace and but also of the Rhineland, while the Swedes took over or neutralized northern Germany and carried the war into Bohemia. Peace was in the air. Finally the emperor agreed to sign the peace after a little more time and the memorable victories of Turenne in Alsace and the Palatinate. The negotiations which opened at Munster and Osnabruck in 1644 dragged painfully on for four years. On 24 October, 1648, the Peace of Westphalia was signed, ending the long suffering consuming Thirty Years War. The Swedes received a large cash indemnity and control over the Baltic and the North Sea: western Pomerania, Bremen and Verden. The French received rights over Alsace. The control of the Emperor over the German territorial rulers was reduced to a nullity

CONCLUSION

The religious conflict which ignited the Thirty Years’ War was accompanied with the conviction of the truth from both perspectives of the Catholic and Protestant. The conviction of the truth gave a great encouragement to the people of the war. And the great encouragement made them armed with weapons. Knowing that the violence and weapons are contrary to the love of Christ, they were convinced of the truth so absolutely that their conviction led them to go beyond the love commandment of Christ. The Thirty Years’ war showed an example that the dogmatic encouragement surpassed another truth, the love of Christ. Like this, in a moment when an action intended to defend a dogmatic truth is threatening the other truth, the love of Christ, people of God need to take a time and tolerate. Christian needs a Dogmatic Humiliation. If only it is mild, is any way ok? No. The people of God cannot accept or compromise with everybody. Christian must stand upon the truth. The people of Christ should have an evident basis for our faith. But upon the firmness of the basic elements of the truth, they need to tolerate each other.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Benecke, Gerhard, Germany in the Thirty Years War, New York: St. Martins Press, 1979.

Daniel-Rops, Henri, The History in the seventeenth Century, New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc., 1916.

Fletcher, C. R. L., Gustavux Adolphus, New York: Capricorn Books, 1963.

Freytag, Gustav, The German Catastrophe, ed. by Theodore K. Rabb, The Thirty Years’ War, Lexington: D. D. Heath and Company, 1972.

Gardiner, Samuel Rawson, Thirty Years’ War, ed. by Edward E. Morris, Epochs of History, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1921.

Gonzalez, Justo L., The Story of Christianity, vol.2, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985.

Kennedy, Paul, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, New York: Random House, 1987.

Maland, David, Europe at War 1600-1650, Totowa: Roman and Littlefield, 1980.…...

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...Seven Year’s War Luis A Bazan March 27, 2011 HIS/115 Jeff Hanford I am an American citizen here in North America. Living here is very different. There are many things going on here and in all the colonies. There are numerous issues going on. There is a lot of settlement taking place with many different people. There are not only issues between the people who are settling but there are also many issues and differences between the natives that were here when we started migrating and settling. Also there are issues and differences among the colonies themselves. As I have lived here and learned about what is going on, I have written a journal of the several happenings not only where I live but also throughout all colonies. I have kept some notes about the type of people here. I have also kept notes on the various issues between colonies, people and groups. I have observed the natives as well as the settlers and have seen several different things from hatred to friendliness and many steps in between. Although I hope to be able to learn a lot about this and other colonies, it will be very difficult as we are separated by distance and also the communication between the colonies is not very efficient and it takes a lot of time for news to travel from colony to colony. One of the things I have noticed more than anything is that this and other colonies have become and are continuing to become very diverse in more areas than one. First of course there are the natives......

Words: 1163 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Seven Year War

...I am 13 years old, and my name is Victoria. I was born, and presently live in Boston, but my family came here from England to start a new life for themselves, and soon their family; me. I walk around my city, my home, and I observe that many different people of many different backgrounds reside in my town with me. I names like Puritans, and Quakers, and I often wonder why we are all the same, but labeled differently. My mother tells me that we all have different labels, but we all worship the same God. We are Puritans. Day by day my mother teaches me the words in a giangantic book called the Bible. We must follow, and obey all the words that God has written for us in this one book. My father works as a fisherman, and he is our “leader”. He provides our family with the resources we need to survive, and my mother provides us with the words we need to live by. If someone breaks a rule in the thick book that God wrote us, they must be punished. My parents have made it pretty clear to me to follow all of the rules, and nothing harsh will happen to me. I have heard of people being stoned, and embarassed in front of everyone for breaking the rules. I have also heard talk to people being hung to death for breaking the more serious rules that need to be followed. My mother told me that one of the reasons her, and my father sailed seas to Boston was because they wanted to be free to practice any religion they prefered. The puritans have taken over the government here in Boston, and......

Words: 1099 - Pages: 5