Thirty Years’ War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Religious and political balance of power in Europe. Result: Religious status as before war; frustration of Habsburg efforts to dominate Germany; independence of Switzerland and the Netherlands; French hegemony in Europe.
The Peace of Augsburg (1555) had failed to relieve religious tensions, and unrest was rife in Germany. Only the Catholic and Lutheran faiths were officially allowed, and radical Protestantism was repressed; however, Calvinism was growing. Another point of contention was ownership of church lands (“ecclesiastical reservations”). If a Catholic prelate became Protestant, his possessions were to remain Catholic. Frictions between Protestants and Catholics resulted in ugly incidents, including a Protestant-Catholic riot at Donauwörth (1607). The traffic in converts and refugees was a further irritant. In May, 1608, the Protestant Union, a military alliance, was formed by Frederick IV, Calvinist elector of the Palatinate. A year later, the Holy Catholic League gathered under Maximilian of Bavaria, who, like Frederick, was a member of the House of Wittelsbach. Cold war followed, climaxed by a confrontation in Bohemia (later the Czech Republic) that resulted in three decades of war.
The Thirty Years’ War went through four periods, the Bohemian (1618-1623), the Danish (1625-1629), the Swedish (1630-1635), and the French...
(The entire section is 1640 words.)
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