What conditions led to the Thirty Years' War? A brief explanation about the conditions would be great.

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The Thirty Years' War was unleashed in the Holy Roman Empire: a collection of disparate states, principalities, and even free cities, under the nominal leadership of the Holy Roman Emperor. As the previous Educator has already mentioned, with the Peace of Augsburg, the choice to remain Catholic or turn Protestant...

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The Thirty Years' War was unleashed in the Holy Roman Empire: a collection of disparate states, principalities, and even free cities, under the nominal leadership of the Holy Roman Emperor. As the previous Educator has already mentioned, with the Peace of Augsburg, the choice to remain Catholic or turn Protestant was left with each of the individual princes, and this meant, in practice, that religion in the Empire was a bit of a political mess.

Furthermore, it is important to be aware of the level of religious intensity unleashed by the Protestant Reformation in Europe. Keep in mind, we're looking at the era of the Wars of Religion and the Witch Craze, just to give a few examples: religion was a much more powerful force in people's lives than it is in modern secular society, and the presence of these religious divisions inspired a lot of sectarian violence. Such violence was even instigated by the State itself.

The Thirty Years' War stemmed out of the actions of the Catholic Emperor, Ferdinand II, who had just inherited the crown of Bohemia. Ferdinand sought to impose Catholicism on his subjects by suppressing the Protestant population in Bohemia. In response to this religious suppression, the Protestants of Bohemia revolted against the Emperor and made overtures to the Empire's most powerful Protestant prince, Frederick of the Palatinate, offering him the Bohemian crown if he would support them against the Emperor.

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The major condition that led to the Thirty Years' War was the Protestant Reformation and the religious divisions among the various German political entites.

The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 had allowed each of these political entities to choose its own religion.  This had led to a situation in which there were hundreds of small states, each with its own religion.  Many of these states were interested in expanding.

By the early 1600s, religious tensions had resurfaced.  Various religious sects were trying to expand and that was causing a great deal of tension.  It was from these conditions that the Thirty Years' War, which began as a Protestant-Catholic religious war, arose.

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