Thirty Years' War: Wikis


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For other uses, see Thirty Years War (disambiguation)
Thirty Years' War
Jacques callot miseres guerre.gif
Les Misères et les Malheurs de la Guerre by Jacques Callot, 1632
Date 1618 –1648
Location Europe (primarily present day Germany)
Result Peace of Westphalia
  • Habsburg supremacy curtailedhello ryan
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Sweden

Denmark Denmark (1625-1629)[1]
 Dutch Republic
France France[2]
Union Jack 1606 Scotland.svg Scotland[3]
Electoral Palatinate
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg England[4]
Hungarian anti-Habsburg rebels[5]
Zaporozhian Cossacks

 Holy Roman Empire[6]

Spain Spain and her possessions
Denmark Denmark (1643-1645)[1]

Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Earl of Leven

Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Gustavus II Adolphus 
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Johan Banér
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Lennart Torstenson
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Carl Gustaf Wrangel
Sweden-Flag-1562.svg Charles X Gustav
Bohemia Frederick V
Denmark Christian IV of Denmark
Dutch Republic Maurice of Nassau
Dutch Republic Piet Pieterszoon Hein
France Cardinal Richelieu
France Louis II de Bourbon
France Vicomte de Turenne
Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar
Johann Georg I of Saxony
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Duke of Buckingham
Gabriel Bethlen

Holy Roman Empire Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly 

Holy Roman Empire Albrecht von Wallenstein
Holy Roman Empire Ferdinand II
Holy Roman Empire Ferdinand III
Holy Roman Empire Franz von Mercy 
Holy Roman Empire Johann von Werth
Kingdom of Bavaria Maximilian I
Spain Count-Duke Olivares
Spain Ambrogio Spinola
Spain Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand

150,000 Swedish,
20,000 Danish,
75,000 Dutch,
~100,000 Germans,
150,000 French,
6,000 Transylvanian and 20-30,000 Hungarian soldiers[8]
300,000 Spanish (includes soldiers from the Low Countries and Italy),
~100-200,000 Germans,
approx. 20,000 Hungarian and Croatian cavalry[9]
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. He urged the Council of Trent to approve Communion in Both kinds for German and Bohemian Catholics.
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. His firm Catholicism was the proximate cause of the war.

The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history. The war was fought primarily (though not exclusively) in what is now Germany and at various points involved most of the countries of Europe. Naval warfare also reached overseas and shaped the colonial formation of future nations.

The origins of the conflict and goals of the participants were complex and no single cause can accurately be described as the main reason for the fighting. Initially the war was fought largely as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire, although disputes over the internal politics and balance of power within the Empire played a significant part. Gradually, the war developed into a more general conflict involving most of the European powers.[10][11] In this general phase, the war became more a continuation of the Bourbon-Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence, and in turn led to further warfare between France and the Habsburg powers, and less specifically about religion.[12]

A major impact of the Thirty Years' War was the extensive destruction of entire regions, denuded by the foraging armies (bellum se ipsum alet). Episodes of famine and disease significantly decreased the populace of the German states, Bohemia, the Low Countries and Italy, while bankrupting most of the combatant powers. While the regiments within each army were not strictly mercenary in that they were not guns for hire that changed sides from battle to battle, the individual soldiers that made up the regiments for the most part probably were. The problem of discipline was made more difficult still by the ad hoc nature of 17th century military financing. Armies were expected to be largely self-funding from loot taken or tribute extorted from the settlements where they operated. This encouraged a form of lawlessness that imposed often severe hardship on inhabitants of the occupied territory. Some of the quarrels that provoked the war went unresolved for a much longer time. The Thirty Years' War was ended with the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, part of the wider Peace of Westphalia.[13]


Origins of the war

The Peace of Augsburg (1555), signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, confirmed the result of the 1526 Diet of Speyer, ending war between German Lutherans and Catholics.[14]

  • Rulers of the 225 German states could choose the religion (Lutheranism or Catholicism) of their realms according to their consciences, and compel their subjects to follow that faith (the principle of cuius regio, eius religio).
  • Lutherans living in a prince-bishopric (a state ruled by a Catholic bishop) could continue to practice their faith.
  • Lutherans could keep the territory that they had captured from the Catholic Church since the Peace of Passau in 1552.
  • Those prince-bishops who had converted to Lutheranism were required to give up their territories (the principle called reservatum ecclesiasticum).

Although the Peace of Augsburg created a temporary end to hostilities, it did not solve the underlying religious conflict. In addition, Calvinism spread quickly throughout Germany in the years that followed. This added a third major faith to the region, but its position was not recognized in any way by the Augsburg terms, to which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties.[15][16]

The rulers of the nations neighboring the Holy Roman Empire also contributed to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War:

  • Spain was interested in the German states because it held the territories of the Spanish Netherlands on the western border of the Empire and states within Italy which were connected by land through the Spanish Road. The Dutch revolted against the Spanish domination during the 1560s, leading to a protracted war of independence that led to a truce only in 1609.
  • France was nearly surrounded by territory controlled by the two Habsburg states (Spain and the Holy Roman Empire), and was eager to exert its power against the weaker German states; this dynastic concern overtook religious ones and led to Catholic France's participation on the otherwise Protestant side of the war.
  • Sweden and Denmark were interested in gaining control over northern German states bordering the Baltic Sea.

The Holy Roman Empire was a fragmented collection of largely independent states. The position of Holy Roman Emperor was mainly titular, but the emperors, from the House of Habsburg, also directly ruled a large portion of Imperial territory (the Archduchy of Austria, as well as Bohemia and Hungary). The Austrian domain was thus a major European power in its own right, ruling over some eight million subjects. The Empire also contained several regional powers, such as Bavaria, Electoral Saxony, the Margravate of Brandenburg, the Palatinate, Hesse, the Archbishopric of Trier and Württemberg (containing from 500,000 to one million inhabitants). A vast number of minor independent duchies, free cities, abbeys, prince-bishoprics, and petty lordships (whose authority sometimes extended to no more than a single village) rounded out the Empire. Apart from Austria and perhaps Bavaria, none of those entities was capable of national-level politics; alliances between family-related states were common, due partly to the frequent practice of splitting a lord's inheritance among the various sons.

Religious tensions remained strong throughout the second half of the 16th century. The Peace of Augsburg began to unravel as some converted bishops refused to give up their bishoprics, and as certain Habsburg and other Catholic rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain sought to restore the power of Catholicism in the region. This was evident from the Cologne War (1583-88), a conflict initiated when the prince-archbishop of the city, Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg, converted to Calvinism. As he was an imperial elector, this could have produced a Protestant majority in the College that elected the Holy Roman Emperor  – a position that had always been held by a Catholic.

In the Cologne War, Spanish troops expelled the former prince-archbishop and replaced him with Ernst of Bavaria, a Roman Catholic. After this success, the Catholics regained pace, and the principle of cuius regio, eius religio began to be exerted more strictly in Bavaria, Würzburg and other states. This forced Lutheran residents to choose between conversion or exile. Lutherans also witnessed the defection of the lords of the Palatinate (1560), Nassau (1578), Hesse-Kassel (1603) and Brandenburg (1613) to the new Calvinist faith. Thus at the beginning of the 17th century the Rhine lands and those south to the Danube were largely Catholic, while Lutherans predominated in the north, and Calvinists dominated in certain other areas, such as west-central Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. However, minorities of each creed existed almost everywhere. In some lordships and cities the number of Calvinists, Catholics, and Lutherans were approximately equal.

Much to the consternation of their Spanish ruling cousins, the Habsburg emperors who followed Charles V (especially Ferdinand I and Maximilian II, but also Rudolf II, and his successor Matthias) were content for the princes of the Empire to choose their own religious policies. These rulers avoided religious wars within the empire by allowing the different Christian faiths to spread without coercion. This angered those who sought religious uniformity.[17] Meanwhile, Sweden and Denmark, both Lutheran kingdoms, sought to assist the Protestant cause in the Empire, and also wanted to gain political and economic influence there as well.

Religious tensions broke into violence in the German free city of Donauwörth in 1606. There, the Lutheran majority barred the Catholic residents of the Swabian town from holding a procession, which provoked a riot. This prompted foreign intervention by Duke Maximilian of Bavaria (1573–1651) on behalf of the Catholics. After the violence ceased, Calvinists in Germany (who remained a minority) felt the most threatened. They banded together and formed the League of Evangelical Union in 1608, under the leadership of the Palatine Prince-Elector Frederick IV (1583–1610), (whose son, Frederick V, married Elizabeth Stuart, the daughter of James I of England).[18] The establishment of the League prompted the Catholics into banding together to form the Catholic League in 1609, under the leadership of Duke Maximilian.

By 1617 it was apparent that Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, would die without an heir, with his lands going to his nearest male relative, his cousin Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria, heir-apparent and Crown Prince of Bohemia.

Ferdinand, having been educated by the Jesuits, was a staunch Catholic who wanted to impose religious uniformity on his lands. This made him highly unpopular in Protestant (primarily Hussite) Bohemia. The population's sentiments notwithstanding, the added insult of the nobility's rejection of Ferdinand, who had been elected Bohemian Crown Prince in 1617, triggered the Thirty Years' War in 1618 when his representatives were thrown out of a window into a pile of horse manure. The so-called Defenestration of Prague provoked open revolt in Bohemia which had powerful foreign allies. Ferdinand was quite upset by this calculated insult, but his intolerant policies in his own lands had left him in a weak position. The Habsburg cause in the next couple of years would seem to suffer unrecoverable reverses. The Protestant cause seemed to wax toward a quick overall victory.

The war can be divided into four major phases: The Bohemian Revolt, the Danish intervention, the Swedish intervention and the French intervention.



The Bohemian Revolt


Contemporary woodcut depicting the Second Defenestration of Prague (1618), which marked the beginning of the Bohemian Revolt, which began the first part of the Thirty Years War.

Without heirs, Emperor Matthias sought to assure an orderly transition during his lifetime by having his dynastic heir (the fiercely Catholic Ferdinand of Styria, later Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor) elected to the separate royal thrones of Bohemia and Hungary.[19] Some of the Protestant leaders of Bohemia feared they would be losing the religious rights granted to them by Emperor Rudolf II in his letter of majesty. They preferred the Protestant Frederick V, elector of the Palatinate (successor of Frederick IV, the creator of the League of Evangelical Union).[20] However, other Protestants supported the stance taken by the Catholics,[21] and in 1617, Ferdinand was duly elected by the Bohemian estates to become the Crown Prince, and automatically upon the death of Matthias, the next King of Bohemia.

The king-elect then sent two Catholic councillors (Vilem Slavata of Chlum and Jaroslav Borzita of Martinice) as his representatives to Hradčany castle in Prague in May 1618. Ferdinand had wanted them to administer the government in his absence. According to legend, the Bohemian Hussites suddenly seized them, subjected them to a mock trial, and threw them out of the palace window, which was some 50 feet off the ground. Remarkably, they survived unharmed; they landed in a pile of manure, which saved their lives.[22]

This event, known as the (Second) Defenestration of Prague, started the Bohemian Revolt. Soon afterward the Bohemian conflict spread through all of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, including Bohemia, Silesia, Lusatia, and Moravia. Moravia was already embroiled in a conflict between Catholics and Protestants. The religious conflict eventually spread across the whole continent of Europe, involving France, Sweden, and a number of other countries.[20]

Had the Bohemian rebellion remained a local conflict, the war could have been over in fewer than thirty months. However, the death of Emperor Matthias emboldened the rebellious Protestant leaders, who had been on the verge of a settlement. The weaknesses of both Ferdinand (now officially on the throne after the death of Emperor Matthias) and of the Bohemians themselves led to the spread of the war to western Germany. Ferdinand was compelled to call on his nephew, King Philip IV of Spain, for assistance.

Frederick V, Elector Palatine as King of Bohemia, painted by Gerrit von Honthorst in 1634, two years after the subject's death.

The Bohemians, desperate for allies against the Emperor, applied to be admitted into the Protestant Union, which was led by their original candidate for the Bohemian throne, the Calvinist Frederick V, Elector Palatine. The Bohemians hinted that Frederick would become King of Bohemia if he allowed them to join the Union and come under its protection. However, similar offers were made by other members of the Bohemian Estates to the Duke of Savoy, the Elector of Saxony, and the Prince of Transylvania. The Austrians, who seemed to have intercepted every letter leaving Prague, made these duplicities public.[23] This unraveled much of the support for the Bohemians, particularly in the court of Saxony. The rebellion initially favoured the Bohemians. They were joined in the revolt by much of Upper Austria, whose nobility was then chiefly Lutheran and Calvinist. Lower Austria revolted soon after and in 1619, Count Thurn led an army to the walls of Vienna itself.

Ottoman support

Bethlen Gabor requested the support of the Ottoman Empire against the Habsburgs.

In the east, the Protestant Hungarian Prince of Transylvania, Bethlen Gabor, led a spirited campaign into Hungary with the support of the Ottoman Sultan, Osman II. Fearful of the Catholic policies of Ferdinand II, Bethlen Gabor requested a protectorate by Osman, so that "the Ottoman Empire became the one and only ally of great-power status which the rebellious Bohemian states could muster after they had shaken off Habsburg rule and had elected Frederick V as a protestant king".[24] Ambassadors were exchanged, with Heinrich Bitter visiting Constantinople in January 1620, and Mehmed Aga visiting Prague in July 1620. The Ottomans offered a force of 60,000 cavalry to Frederick and plans were made for an invasion of Poland with 400,000 troops in exchange for the payment of an annual tribute to the Sultan.[25] These negotiations triggered the Polish–Ottoman War of 1620-21.[26] The Ottomans defeated the Poles, who were supporting the Habsburgs in the Thirty Years' War, at the Battle of Cecora in September-October 1620,[27] but were not able to further intervene efficiently before the Bohemian defeat at the Battle of the White Mountain in November 1620.[28]

The emperor, who had been preoccupied with the Uskok War, hurried to reform an army to stop the Bohemians and their allies from overwhelming his country. Count Bucquoy, the commander of the Imperial army, defeated the forces of the Protestant Union led by Count Mansfeld at the Battle of Sablat, on 10 June 1619. This cut off Count Thurn's communications with Prague, and he was forced to abandon his siege of Vienna. The Battle of Sablat also cost the Protestants an important ally — Savoy, long an opponent of Habsburg expansion. Savoy had already sent considerable sums of money to the Protestants and even troops to garrison fortresses in the Rhineland. The capture of Mansfeld's field chancery revealed the Savoyards' involvement and they were forced to bow out of the war.

In spite of Sablat, Count Thurn's army continued to exist as an effective force, and Mansfeld managed to reform his army further north in Bohemia. The Estates of Upper and Lower Austria, still in revolt, signed an alliance with the Bohemians in early August. On 17 August 1619 Ferdinand was officially deposed as King of Bohemia and was replaced by the Palatine Elector Frederick V. In Hungary, even though the Bohemians had reneged on their offer of their crown, the Transylvanians continued to make surprising progress. They succeeded in driving the Emperor's armies from that country by 1620.


Contemporary painting showing the Battle of White Mountain (1620), where imperial forces under Johan Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly won a decisive victory.

The Spanish sent an army from Brussels under Ambrogio Spinola to support the Emperor. In addition, the Spanish ambassador to Vienna, Don Íñigo Vélez de Oñate, persuaded Protestant Saxony to intervene against Bohemia in exchange for control over Lusatia. The Saxons invaded, and the Spanish army in the west prevented the Protestant Union's forces from assisting. Oñate conspired to transfer the electoral title from the Palatinate to the Duke of Bavaria in exchange for his support and that of the Catholic League.

Under the command of General Philyaw, the Catholic League's army (which included René Descartes in its ranks) pacified Upper Austria, while the Emperor's forces pacified Lower Austria. The two armies united and moved north into Bohemia. Ferdinand II decisively defeated Frederick V at the Battle of White Mountain, near Prague, on 8 November 1620. In addition to becoming Catholic, Bohemia would remain in Habsburg hands for nearly three hundred years.

This defeat led to the dissolution of the League of Evangelical Union and the loss of Frederick V's holdings. Frederick was outlawed from the Holy Roman Empire and his territories, the Rhenish Palatinate, were given to Catholic nobles. His title of elector of the Palatinate was given to his distant cousin Duke Maximilian of Bavaria. Frederick, now landless, made himself a prominent exile abroad and tried to curry support for his cause in Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark.

Johan Tzerclaes, Count of Tilly, commander of the Bavarian and Imperial armies.

This was a serious blow to Protestant ambitions in the region. As the rebellion collapsed, the widespread confiscation of property and suppression of the Bohemian nobility ensured that the country would return to the Catholic side after more than two centuries of Hussite and other religious dissent. The Spanish, seeking to outflank the Dutch in preparation for renewal of the Eighty Years' War, took Frederick's lands, the Rhine Palatinate. The first phase of the war in eastern Germany ended 31 December 1621, when the Prince of Transylvania and the Emperor signed the Peace of Nikolsburg, which gave Transylvania a number of territories in Royal Hungary.

Some historians regard the period from 1621–1625 as a distinct portion of the Thirty Years' War, calling it the "Palatinate phase". With the catastrophic defeat of the Protestant army at White Mountain and the departure of the Prince of Transylvania, greater Bohemia was pacified. However, the war in the Palatinate continued: Famous mercenary leaders - such as, particularly, Count Ernst von Mansfeld - helped Frederick V to defend his countries, the Upper and the Rhine Palatinate. This phase of the war consisted of much smaller battles, mostly sieges conducted by the Spanish army. Mannheim and Heidelberg fell in 1622, and Frankenthal was taken two years later, thus leaving the Palatinate in the hands of the Spanish.

The remnants of the Protestant armies, led by Count Ernst von Mansfeld and Duke Christian of Brunswick, withdrew into Dutch service. Although their arrival in the Netherlands did help to lift the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom (October 1622), the Dutch could not provide permanent shelter for them. They were paid off and sent to occupy neighboring East Friesland. Mansfeld remained in the Dutch Republic, but Christian wandered off to "assist" his kin in the Lower Saxon Circle, attracting the attentions of Tilly. With the news that Mansfeld would not be supporting him, Christian's army began a steady retreat toward the safety of the Dutch border. On 6 August 1623, Tilly's more disciplined army caught up with them 10 miles short of the Dutch border. The battle that ensued was known as the Battle of Stadtlohn. In this battle Tilly decisively defeated Christian, wiping out over four-fifths of his army, which had been some 15,000 strong. After this catastrophe, Frederick V, already in exile in The Hague, and under growing pressure from his father-in-law James I to end his involvement in the war, was forced to abandon any hope of launching further campaigns. The Protestant rebellion had been crushed.

Huguenot rebellions (1620-1628)

In France, the Protestant Huguenots, mainly located in the southwestern provinces, revolted against the central Royal power of the French government. The uprising followed the death of Henry IV, who, himself originally a Huguenot before converting to Catholicism, had protected Protestants through the Edict of Nantes. The new ruler however, Louis XIII, under the regency of his Italian Catholic mother Marie de' Medici, became more intolerant of the Protestant religion. The Huguenots tried to respond by defending themselves, establishing independent political and military structures, establishing diplomatic contacts with foreign powers, and openly revolting against central power. The Huguenot rebellions came after two decades of internal peace under Henry IV, following the intermittent French Wars of Religion of 1562–1598. The rebellion led to major military encounters, which ended in defeat for the Huguenots: the Siege of Montauban, the Naval battle of Saint-Martin-de-Ré on 27 October 1622, the Capture of Ré island in 1625, and the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627-1628 which became an international conflict with the involvement of England in the Anglo-French War (1627-1629). The House of Stuart in England had been involved in attempts to secure peace in Europe (through the Spanish Match) and had intervened in the 30 Years' War against both Spain and France. However, due in part to the scale of the defeat (which indirectly lead to the assassination of the English leader the Duke of Buckingham), and also due to the lack of funds for war, which stemmed from internal conflict between Charles I and his Parliament, England stopped being involved in European affairs, to the dismay of Protestant forces on the continent.[29] France remained the largest Catholic kingdom that was not only not aligned with the Hapsburg powers but would come to actively wage war against Spain. The French Crown's response to the Hugeunot rebellion was not so much a representation of the typical religious polarisation of the Thirty Years' War, but rather the attempts at achieving national hegemony by absolutist monarchy.

Danish intervention (1625–1629)

King Christian IV of Denmark, General of the Lutheran army.

Peace in the Empire was short-lived, however, as conflict resumed at the initiation of Denmark. Danish involvement, referred to as Low Saxon War or Kejserkrigen ("Emperor's War"),[30] began when Christian IV of Denmark, a Lutheran who was also the Duke of Holstein, a duchy within the Holy Roman Empire, helped the Lutheran rulers of neighbouring Lower Saxony by leading an army against the Imperial forces.[31] Denmark had feared that its sovereignty as a Protestant nation was threatened by the recent Catholic successes. Christian IV had also profited greatly from his policies in northern Germany. For instance, in 1621, Hamburg had been forced to accept Danish sovereignty and Christian's second son was made bishop of Bremen. Christian IV had obtained for his kingdom a level of stability and wealth that was virtually unmatched elsewhere in Europe. This stability and wealth was paid for by tolls on the Oresund and also by extensive war reparations from Sweden. Denmark's cause was aided by France which, together with England, had agreed to help subsidize the war. Christian had himself appointed war leader of the Lower Saxon Circle and raised an army of 20,000 mercenaries and a national army 15,000 strong.

Catholic general Albrecht von Wallenstein.

To fight him, Ferdinand II employed the military help of Albrecht von Wallenstein, a Bohemian nobleman who had made himself rich from the confiscated estates of his countrymen.[32] Wallenstein pledged his army, which numbered between 30,000 and 100,000 soldiers, to Ferdinand II in return for the right to plunder the captured territories. Christian, who knew nothing of Wallenstein's forces when he invaded, was forced to retire before the combined forces of Wallenstein and Tilly. Christian's poor luck was with him again when all of the allies he thought he had were forced aside: England was weak and internally divided, France was in the midst of a civil war, Sweden was at war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and neither Brandenburg nor Saxony were interested in changes to the tenuous peace in eastern Germany. Wallenstein defeated Mansfeld's army at the Battle of Dessau Bridge (1626) and General Tilly defeated the Danes at the Battle of Lutter (1626).[33] Mansfeld died some months later of illness, apparently tuberculosis, in Dalmatia.

Wallenstein's army marched north, occupying Mecklenburg, Pomerania, and ultimately Jutland itself. However, he was unable to take the Danish capital on the island of Zealand. Wallenstein lacked a fleet, and neither the Hanseatic League ports nor the Poles would allow an Imperial fleet to be built on the Baltic coast. He then laid siege to Stralsund, the only belligerent Baltic port with the facilities to build a large fleet. However, the cost of continuing the war was exorbitant compared to what could possibly be gained from conquering the rest of Denmark.[34] Wallenstein feared to lose his North German gains to a Danish-Swedish alliance, and Christian IV had suffered another defeat in the Battle of Wolgast, so both were ready to negotiate.[35]

Negotiations were concluded with the Treaty of Lübeck in 1629, which stated that Christian IV could keep his control over Denmark if he would abandon his support for the Protestant German states. Thus, in the following two years more land was subjugated by the Catholic powers. At this point, the Catholic League persuaded Ferdinand II to take back the Lutheran holdings that were, according to the Peace of Augsburg, rightfully the possession of the Catholic Church. Enumerated in the Edict of Restitution (1629), these possessions included two Archbishoprics, sixteen bishoprics, and hundreds of monasteries. The same year, Gabriel Bethlen, the Calvinist Prince of Transylvania, died. Only the port of Stralsund continued to hold out against Wallenstein and the Emperor.

Swedish intervention (1630–1635)

A model of a section of a pike and shot formation from the Thirty Years' War on display at the Army Museum in Stockholm.

Some within Ferdinand II's court did not trust Wallenstein, believing that he sought to join forces with the German Princes and thus gain influence over the Emperor. Ferdinand II dismissed Wallenstein in 1630. He was to later recall him after the Swedes, led by King Gustaf II Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus), had invaded the Holy Roman Empire with success and turned the tables on the Catholics. His contributions made Sweden the continental leader of Protestantism until the Swedish Empire collapsed in 1721.[36] [37]

Gustavus Adolphus, like Christian IV before him, came to aid the German Lutherans, to forestall Catholic aggression against their homeland, and to obtain economic influence in the German states around the Baltic Sea. In addition, Gustavus was concerned about the growing power of the Holy Roman Empire. No one knows the exact reason for Gustavus to enter the war and this has been widely argued. Like Christian IV, Gustavus Adolphus was subsidized by Cardinal Richelieu, the Chief Minister of Louis XIII of France, and by the Dutch.[38] From 1630 to 1634, Swedish-led armies drove the Catholic forces back, regaining much of the lost Protestant territory. During his campaign he managed to conquer half of the Imperial kingdoms.

Swedish forces entered the Holy Roman Empire via the Duchy of Pomerania, which served as the Swedish bridgehead since the Treaty of Stettin (1630). After dismissing Wallenstein in 1630, Ferdinand II became dependent on the Catholic League. Gustavus Adolphus allied with France in the Treaty of Bärwalde (January 1631). France and Bavaria signed the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau (1631), but this was rendered irrelevant by Swedish attacks against Bavaria. At the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631), Gustavus Adolphus's forces defeated the Catholic League led by General Tilly.[39] [40] A year later they met again in another Protestant victory, this time accompanied by the death of Tilly. The upper hand had now switched from the league to the union, led by Sweden. In 1630, Sweden had paid at least 2,368,022 daler for its army of 42,000 men. In 1632, it contributed only one-fifth of that (476,439 daler) towards the cost of an army more than three times as large (149,000 men). This was possible due to subsidies from France, and the recruitment of prisoners (most of them taken at the Battle of Breitenfeld) into the Swedish army. The majority of mercenaries recruited by Gustavus II Adolphus were German[41] but Scottish mercenaries were also common. With Tilly dead, Ferdinand II returned to the aid of Wallenstein and his large army. Wallenstein marched up to the south, threatening Gustavus Adolphus's supply chain. Gustavus Adolphus knew that Wallenstein was waiting for the attack and was prepared, but found no other option. Wallenstein and Gustavus Adolphus clashed in the Battle of Lützen (1632), where the Swedes prevailed, but Gustavus Adolphus was killed.

Ferdinand II's suspicion of Wallenstein resumed in 1633, when Wallenstein attempted to arbitrate the differences between the Catholic and Protestant sides. Ferdinand II may have feared that Wallenstein would switch sides, and arranged for his arrest after removing him from command. One of Wallenstein's soldiers, Captain Devereux, killed him when he attempted to contact the Swedes in the town hall of Eger (Cheb) on 25 February 1634. The same year, the Protestant forces, lacking his leadership, were defeated at the First Battle of Nördlingen.

By the Spring of 1635, all Swedish resistance in the south of Germany had ended. After that, the two sides met for negotiations, producing the Peace of Prague (1635), which entailed a delay in the enforcement of the Edict of Restitution for 40 years and allowed Protestant rulers to retain secularized bishoprics held by them in 1627. This protected the Lutheran rulers of northeastern Germany, but not those of the south and west (whose lands had been occupied by the Imperial or League armies prior to 1627). The treaty also provided for the union of the army of the Emperor and the armies of the German states into a single army of the Holy Roman Empire (although Johann Georg of Saxony and Maximillian of Bavaria kept, as a practical matter, independent command of their forces, now nominally components of the "Imperial" army). Finally, German princes were forbidden from establishing alliances amongst themselves or with foreign powers, and amnesty was granted to any ruler who had taken up arms against the Emperor after the arrival of the Swedes in 1630.

This treaty failed to satisfy France, however, because of the renewed strength it granted the Habsburgs. France then entered the conflict, beginning the final period of the Thirty Years' War.

French intervention (1635–1648)

Although a Catholic clergyman himself, Cardinal Richelieu allied France with the Protestants.
The Battle of Lens, 1648.
Torstenson 1642

France, although overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, was a rival of the Holy Roman Empire and Spain. Cardinal Richelieu, the Chief Minister of King Louis XIII of France, felt that the Habsburgs were too powerful, since they held a number of territories on France's eastern border, including portions of the Netherlands. Richelieu had already begun intervening indirectly in the war in January 1631, when the French diplomat Hercules de Charnace signed the Treaty of Bärwalde with Gustavus Adolphus, by which France agreed to support the Swedes with 1,000,000 livres each year in return for a Swedish promise to maintain an army in Germany against the Habsburgs. The treaty also stipulated that Sweden would not conclude a peace with the Holy Roman Emperor without first receiving France's approval.

After the Swedish rout at Nördlingen in September 1634 and the Peace of Prague in 1635, as Sweden's ability to continue the war alone appeared doubtful, Richelieu made the decision to enter into direct war against the Habsburgs. France declared war on Spain in May 1635 and the Holy Roman Empire in August 1636, opening offensives against the Habsburgs in Germany and the Low Countries. France aligned her strategy with the allied Swedes in Wismar (1636) and Hamburg (1638).

French military efforts met with disaster, and the Spanish counter-attacked, invading French territory. The Imperial general Johann von Werth and Spanish commander Cardinal Ferdinand Habsburg ravaged the French provinces of Champagne, Burgundy and Picardy, and even threatened Paris in 1636 before being repulsed by Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar. Bernhard's victory in the Battle of Compiègne pushed the Habsburg armies back towards the borders of France. Widespread fighting ensued, with neither side gaining an advantage. In 1642, Cardinal Richelieu died. A year later, Louis XIII died, leaving his five-year-old son Louis XIV on the throne. His chief minister, Cardinal Mazarin, facing the domestic crisis of the Fronde in 1645, began working to end the war.

In 1643, the Swedish marshal Lennart Torstenson expelled Danish prince Frederick from Bremen-Verden, gaining a stronghold south of Denmark and hindering Danish participation as mediatiors in the peace talks in Westphalia.[42] In 1645, Torstenson defeated the Imperial army at the Battle of Jankau near Prague, and Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé defeated the Bavarian army in the Second Battle of Nördlingen. The last Catholic commander of note, Baron Franz von Mercy, died in the battle.[43]

On 14 March 1647 Bavaria, Cologne, France and Sweden signed the Truce of Ulm. In 1648 the Swedes (commanded by Marshal Carl Gustaf Wrangel) and the French (led by Turenne and Condé) defeated the Imperial army at the Battle of Zusmarshausen and Lens. These results left only the Imperial territories of Austria safely in Habsburg hands.

Peace of Westphalia

French General Louis II de Bourbon, 4th Prince de Condé, Duc d'Enghien, The Great Condé defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Rocroi in 1643, which led to negotiations. Over a four year period, the parties were actively negotiating at Osnabrück and Münster in Westphalia.[44] The end of the war was not brought about by one treaty but instead by a group of treaties such as the Treaty of Hamburg.[45] On 15 May 1648, the Treaty of Osnabrück was signed. Over five months later, on 24 October, the Treaty of Münster was signed, ending both the Thirty Years' War and the Eighty Years' War.[46][47] [48]

Moncourt (chapelle), last vestige of a village.

Casualties and disease

So great was the devastation brought about by the war that estimates put the reduction of population in the German states at about 15% to 30%.[49] Some regions were affected much more than others.[50] For example, Württemberg lost three-quarters of its population during the war.[51] In the territory of Brandenburg, the losses had amounted to half, while in some areas an estimated two-thirds of the population died.[52] The male population of the German states was reduced by almost half.[53] The population of the Czech lands declined by a third due to war, disease, famine and the expulsion of Protestant Czechs.[54][55] Much of the destruction of civilian lives and property was caused by the cruelty and greed of mercenary soldiers, many of whom were rich commanders and poor soldiers.[56] Villages were especially easy prey to the marauding armies. Those that survived, like the small village of Drais near Mainz would take almost a hundred years to recover. The Swedish armies alone may have destroyed up to 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Germany, one-third of all German towns.[57] The war caused serious dislocations to both the economies and populations of central Europe, but may have done no more than seriously exacerbate changes that had begun earlier.[58][59]

Pestilence of several kinds raged among combatants and civilians in Germany and surrounding lands from 1618 to 1648. Many features of the war spread disease. These included troop movements, the influx of soldiers from foreign countries, and the shifting locations of battle fronts. In addition, the displacement of civilian populations and the overcrowding of refugees into cities led to both disease and famine. Information about numerous epidemics is generally found in local chronicles, such as parish registers and tax records, that are often incomplete and may be exaggerated. The chronicles do show that epidemic disease was not a condition exclusive to war time, but was present in many parts of Germany for several decades prior to 1618.[60]

However, when the Danish and Imperial armies met in Saxony and Thuringia during 1625 and 1626, disease and infection in local communities increased. Local chronicles repeatedly referred to "head disease", "Hungarian disease", and a "spotted" disease identified as typhus. After the Mantuan War, between France and the Habsburgs in Italy, the northern half of the Italian peninsula was in the throes of a bubonic plague epidemic (see Italian Plague of 1629–1631). During the unsuccessful siege of Nuremberg, in 1632, civilians and soldiers in both the Swedish and Imperial armies succumbed to typhus and scurvy. Two years later, as the Imperial army pursued the defeated Swedes into southwest Germany, deaths from epidemics were high along the Rhine River. Bubonic plague continued to be a factor in the war. Beginning in 1634, Dresden, Munich, and smaller German communities such as Oberammergau recorded large numbers of plague casualties. In the last decades of the war, both typhus and dysentery had become endemic in Germany.

Political consequences

Central Europe at the end of the Thirty Years' War, showing the fragmentation that resulted in decentralization.

One result of the war was the balkanization of Germany into many territories — all of which, despite their membership in the Empire, won de facto sovereignty. This limited the power of the Holy Roman Empire and decentralized German power.

The Thirty Years' War rearranged the European power structure. The conflict made Spain's military and political decline visible. While Spain was fighting in France, Portugal — which had been under personal union with Spain for 60 years — acclaimed John IV of Braganza as king in 1640, and the House of Braganza became the new dynasty of Portugal (see Portuguese Restoration War, for further information). Meanwhile, Spain was forced to accept the independence of the Dutch Republic in 1648, ending the Eighty Years' War. With Spain weakened, France started to replace Spain as the dominant European power, an outcome confirmed by its victories in the Franco-Spanish War, War of Devolution and Franco-Dutch War and by the late 1600s, Bourbon France under the leadership of Louis XIV had surpassed Habsburg Spain in influence.

From 1643–45, during the last years of the Thirty Years' War, Sweden and Denmark fought the Torstenson War. The result of that conflict and the conclusion of the great European war at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 helped establish post-war Sweden as a force in Europe.[45]

The edicts agreed upon during the signing of the Peace of Westphalia were instrumental in laying the foundations for what are even today considered the basic tenets of the sovereign nation-state. Aside from establishing fixed territorial boundaries for many of the countries involved in the ordeal (as well as for the newer ones created afterwards), the Peace of Westphalia changed the relationship of subjects to their rulers. In earlier times, people had tended to have overlapping political and religious loyalties. Now, it was agreed that the citizenry of a respective nation were subjected first and foremost to the laws and whims of their own respective government rather than to those of neighboring powers, be they religious or secular.

The war also has a few more subtle consequences. The Thirty Years' War marked the last major religious war in mainland Europe, ending the large-scale religious bloodshed accompanying the Reformation, in 1648. There were other religious conflicts in the years to come, but no great wars.[61] Also, the destruction caused by mercenary soldiers defied description (see Schwedentrunk). The war did much to end the age of mercenaries that had begun with the first Landsknechts, and ushered in the age of well-disciplined national armies.

The war also had consequences abroad, as the European powers extended their fight via naval power to overseas colonies. In 1630, a Dutch fleet of 70 ships had taken the rich sugar-exporting areas of Pernambuco (Brazil) from the Portuguese but lost everything in 1654. Fighting also took place in Africa and Asia.

Involved states (chart)

Thirty Years War involvement graph.svg

Directly against Emperor
Indirectly against Emperor
Directly for Emperor
Indirectly for Emperor


Gabriel Bethlen, prince and commander of the Transylvanian armies
  • Vida y hechos de Estebanillo González, hombre de buen humor, compuesta por él mismo (Antwerp, 1646). The last of the great Spanish Golden Age picaresque novels, set against the background of the Thirty Years' War and thought to be authored by a writer in the entourage of Ottavio Piccolomini. The main character crisscrosses Europe at war in his role as messenger, witnessing, among other events, the 1634 battle of Nordlingen.
  • Simplicius Simplicissimus (1668) by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, the most important German novel of the 17th century, is the comic fictional autobiography of a German peasant turned mercenary who serves under various powers during the war, based on the author's first-hand experience. An opera adaptation by the same name was produced in the 1930s, written by Karl Amadeus Hartmann.
  • Daniel Defoe (1720). Memoirs of a Cavalier. "A Military Journal of the Wars in Germany, and the Wars in England. From the Years 1632 to 1648".
  • George Alfred Henty (1886). Lion of the North, A Tale of Gustavus Adolphus and the Wars of Religion. From Internet Archive.
  • George Alfred Henty (1900). Won by the Sword; A Tales of the Thirty Years' War, With twelve illus. by C.M. Sheldon, and four plans. From Internet Archive.
  • Hermann Löns (1910). The Warwolf (Der Wehrwolf), an alternately heart-warming and heart-rending chronicle of a North German farming community suffering tragedies and ultimate triumph during the harrowing period of the Thirty Years' War.
  • Edmond Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac (act IV is set during the siege of Arras in 1640).
  • Bertolt Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children, an anti-war theatre piece, is set during the Thirty Years' War.
  • Queen Christina, the 1933 film starring Greta Garbo, opens with the death of Christina's father, King Gustavus Adolphus, at the Battle of Lützen in the Thirty Years' War. The subsequent plot of the film is entirely set against the backdrop of the war and her determination as Queen, as depicted a decade later, to end the war and bring about peace and resolution.
  • The Last Valley (1971). A film starring Michael Caine and Omar Sharif, who discover a temporary haven from the Thirty Years' War. Written by James Clavell, the author of Shogun.
  • The Last Valley (1959) by J. B. Pick. The book upon which the film version was based. Originally published in Great Britain as The Fat Valley.
  • Michael Moorcock's novel, The War Hound and the World's Pain (1981) has as its central character Ulrich von Bek, a mercenary who took part in the sack of Magdeburg.
  • Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series of novels deals with a temporally displaced West Virginia town from the early 21st century arriving in the early 1630s war torn Germany. The experimental novel has grown into an intensive collaborative fiction online project now in its seventh year which explores how modern knowledge and the cast of 3-3,500 townies would impact the developmental history of Europe; the theme of what would occur if the Americans set a course deliberately to undermine the power of the nobility in Europe and introduce things like a Bill of Rights, Nationalism, et al. are at the heart of the works.
  • Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein trilogy (1799) is a fictional account of the downfall of this general.
  • Alessandro Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi (1842) is an historical novel taking place in Italy in 1629. It treats a couple whose marriage is interrupted, among other things, by the Bubonic Plague, and other complications of 30 Years' War.
  • Parts of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle are set in lands devastated by the Thirty Year's War.
  • Das Treffen in Telgte (1979) trans. The Meeting at Telgte (1981) by Günther Grass, set in the aftermath of the war, sets out to make implicit parallels with the postwar Germany of the late 1940s.

See also


  1. ^ a b 1625-1629. Aligned with the Catholic Powers 1643-1645.
  2. ^ George Ripley, Charles Anderson Dana, The American Cyclopaedia, New York, 1874, p. 250, "...the standard of France was white, sprinkled with golden fleur de lis...". *[1]The original Banner of France was strewn with fleurs-de-lis. *[2]:on the reverse of this plate it says: "Le pavillon royal était véritablement le drapeau national au dix-huitième siecle...Vue du chateau d'arrière d'un vaisseau de guerre de haut rang portant le pavillon royal (blanc, avec les armes de France)."[3] from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica: "The oriflamme and the Chape de St Martin were succeeded at the end of the 16th century, when Henry III., the last of the house of Valois, came to the throne, by the white standard powdered with fleurs-de-lis. This in turn gave place to the famous tricolour." France entered the war in 1635.
  3. ^ Principally in support of Swedish forces.
  4. ^ At war with Spain 1625-30 (and France 1627-29).
  5. ^ Scores Hungarians was fall into line with army of Gabriel Bethlen in 1620. Ágnes Várkonyi: Age of the Reforms, Magyar Könyvklub publisher, 1999. ISBN 963 547 070 3
  6. ^ 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, entry National Flags: "The Austrian imperial standard has, on a yellow ground, the black double-headed eagle, on the breast and wings of which are imposed shields bearing the arms of the provinces of the empire . The flag is bordered all round, the border being composed of equal-sided triangles with their apices alternately inwards and outwards, those with their apices pointing inwards being alternately yellow and white, the others alternately scarlet and black ." Also, Whitney Smith, Flags through the ages and across the world, McGraw-Hill, England, 1975 ISBN 0-07-059093-1, pp.114 - 119, "The imperial banner was a golden yellow cloth...bearing a black eagle...The double-headed eagle was finally established by Sigismund as regent...".
  7. ^ Ervin Liptai: Military history of Hungary, Zrínyi Military Publisher, 1985. ISBN 9633263379
  8. ^ Gabriel Bethlen's army numbered 5,000 Hungarian pikeman and 1,000 German mercenary, with the anti-Habsburg Hungarian rebels numbered together approx. 35,000 men. László Markó: The Great Honors of the Hungarian State (A Magyar Állam Főméltóságai), Magyar Könyvklub 2000. ISBN 963 547 085 1
  9. ^ László Markó: The Great Honors of the Hungarian State (A Magyar Állam Főméltóságai), Magyar Könyvklub 2000. ISBN 963 547 085 1
  10. ^ "The Thirty-Years-War". Western New England College. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  11. ^ "::The Thirty Years War 1621 to 1626:". Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  12. ^ "Thirty Years' War". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  13. ^ Richard W. Rahn (2006-12-21). "Avoiding a Thirty Years War". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  14. ^ "Diets of Speyer (German history) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  15. ^ "::The Peace of Prague::". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  16. ^ "Peace of Prague (1635) - Historic Event  — German Archive: The Peace of Prague of 30 May 1635 was a treaty between the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, and most of the Protestant states of the Empire. It effectively brought to an end the civil war aspect of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648); however, the war still carried on due to the continued intervention on German soil of Spain, Sweden, and, from mid-1635, France.". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  17. ^ "The Thirty Years War". Pipeline. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  18. ^ "Frederick the Winter King. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-07". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  19. ^ "The Defenestration of Prague « Criticality". Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  20. ^ a b "Bohemian Revolt-30 Years War". Thirty Years War. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  21. ^ "Wars of the Western Civilization". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  22. ^ "Hanisch von Greifenthal". Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  23. ^ T. Walter Wallbank, Alastair M. Taylor, Nels M. Bailkey, George F. Jewsbury, Clyde J. Lewis, Neil J. Hackett , Bruce Borland (Ed.) (1992). Civilization Past & Present Volume II. New York, N.Y: Harper Collins Publishers. pp. 15. The Development of the European State System: 1300–1650.. ISBN 0-673-38869-7.'%20War.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  24. ^ An economic and social history of the Ottoman Empire Halil İnalcık, Suraiya Faroqhi, Donald Quataert, Bruce McGowan, Sevket Pamuk, Cambridge University Press, 1997 ISBN 0521574552 p.424-425 [4]
  25. ^ The winter king Brennan C. Pursell p.112-113
  26. ^ God's Playground: The origins to 1795 by Norman Davies p
  27. ^ History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey by Ezel Kural Shaw p.191 [5]
  28. ^ Halil İnalcık, p.424-425
  29. ^ Peltonen, p.271
  30. ^ Lockhart, Paul Douglas (2007). Denmark, 1513-1660: the rise and decline of a Renaissance monarchy. Oxford University Press. p. 166. ISBN 0199271216. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  31. ^ "Danish Kings · Christian 4.". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  32. ^ "Wallenstein Palace Gardens".,-What-to-See/Wallenstein-Palace-Gardens/. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  33. ^ The Danish interval
  34. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Albrecht von Wallenstein". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  35. ^ *Lockhart, Paul Douglas (2007). Denmark, 1513-1660: the rise and decline of a Renaissance monarchy. Oxford University Press. p. 170. ISBN 0199271216. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  36. ^ The Thirty-Years-War
  37. ^ "Thirty Years War". Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  38. ^ "Lecture 6: Europe in the Age of Religious Wars, 1560-1715". Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  39. ^ "HistoryNet  — From the World’s Largest History Magazine Publisher » Thirty Years’ War: Battle of Breitenfeld". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  40. ^ and Lützen: AD 1631-1632 "History of THE THIRTY YEARS' WAR". and Lützen: AD 1631-1632. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  41. ^
  42. ^ Böhme, Klaus-R (2001). "Die sicherheitspolitische Lage Schwedens nach dem Westfälischen Frieden". in Hacker, Hans-Joachim (in German). Der Westfälische Frieden von 1648: Wende in der Geschichte des Ostseeraums. Kovač. p. 35. ISBN 3830005008. 
  43. ^ "Franz, baron von Mercy -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  44. ^ "::The Thirty Years War::". Chris Atkinson. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  45. ^ a b "::The Peace of Westphalia::". Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  46. ^ "::The Thirty Years War::". Chris Atkinson. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  47. ^ End of the Eighty Years War "The Thirty Years War: The Peace of Westphalia". End of the Eighty Years War. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  48. ^ "Germany History Timeline". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  49. ^ "The Thirty Years War (1618-48)". Twentieth Century Atlas. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  50. ^ Thirty Years’ War: Battle of Breitenfeld, HistoryNet
  51. ^ "Germany  — The Thirty Years' War  — The Peace of Westphalia". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  52. ^ Prussia in the later 17th Century, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  53. ^ Coins of the Thirty Years War, The Wonderful World of Coins, Journal of Antiques & Collectibles January Issue 2004
  54. ^ "The Thirty Years' War  — Czech republic". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  55. ^ "Historical/Cultural Timeline - 1600s". College of Education, University of Houston. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  56. ^ "The Thirty Year War and its Consequences  — Universitätsstadt Tübingen". Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  57. ^ "Population". History Learningsite. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  58. ^ Germany after the Thirty Years War, Boise State University
  59. ^ "The Thirty Years' War".'%20War.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  60. ^ War and Pestilence, Time
  61. ^ "Lecture 6: Europe in the Age of Religious Wars, 1560-1715". Retrieved 2008-05-27. 

Further reading

  • Åberg, A. (1973). "The Swedish army from Lützen to Narva". in Roberts, M.. Sweden’s Age of Greatness, 1632–1718. London: St. Martin's Press. 
  • Benecke, Gerhard (1978). Germany in the Thirty Years War. London: St. Martin's Press. 
  • Gindely, Antonín (1884). History of the Thirty Years' War. Putnam. 
  • Gutmann, Myron P. (1988). "The Origins of the Thirty Years' War". Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18 (4): 749–770. 
  • Kamen, Henry (1968). "The Economic and Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War". Past and Present 39: 44–61. 
  • Kennedy, Paul (1988). The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000. New York: Harper Collins. 
  • Langer, Herbert (1980). The Thirty Year's War. Poole, England: Blandford Press. 
  • Murdoch, Steve (2001). Scotland and the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648. Brill. 
  • Parker, Geoffrey (1984). The Thirty Years' War. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 
  • Polišenský, J. V. (1954). "The Thirty Years' War". Past and Present 6: 31–43. 
  • Polišenský, J. V. (1968). "The Thirty Years' War and the Crises and Revolutions of Seventeenth-Century Europe". Past and Present 39: 34–43. 
  • Prinzing, Friedrich (1916). Epidemics Resulting from Wars. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 
  • Roberts, Michael (1953, 1958). Gustavus Adolphus: A History of Sweden, 1611–1632. 
  • Ward, A. W. (1902). The Cambridge Modern History, vol 4: The Thirty Years War. 
  • Wedgwood, C.V.; Kennedy, Paul (2005). Thirty Years War. New York: The New York Review of Books, Inc.. ISBN 1590171462. 
  • Wilson, Peter H. (2009). Europe’s Tragedy: A History of the Thirty Years War. Allen Lane. ISBN 9780713995923. 

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

THIRTY YEARS' WAR (1618-1648), the general name of a series of wars in Germany which began formally with the claim of Frederick the elector palatine to the throne of Bohemia and ended with the treaty of Westphalia. It was primarily a religious war and was waged with the bitterness characteristic of such wars, but at the same time political and feudal quarrels were interwoven with the religious question, with the consequence that the armies, considering themselves as their masters' retainers rather than champions of a cause, plundered and burned everywhere, military violence being in no way restrained by expediency. In a war based on the principle cujus regio ejus religio it was vain to expect either the professional or the national type of army to display its virtues.

Fifty years before the outbreak of the war the Convention of Passau had compromised the burning questions of the Reformation, but had left other equally important points as to the secularization of church lands and the consecration of Protestant bishops to the future. Each such case, then, came before the normal government machine - a Diet so constituted that even though at least half of the secular princes and ninetenths of their subjects were Protestants, the voting majority was Catholic in beliefs and in vested interests. Moreover, the Jesuits had rallied and disciplined the forces of Catholicism, while Protestantism, however firm its hold on the peoples, had at the courts of princes dissipated itself in doctrinal wrangles. Thus, as it was the princes and the free cities, and by no means the mass of the people, that settled religious questions, The the strongest side was that which represented conservatism, peace and Catholicism. Realizing this from the preliminary mutterings of the storm, the Protestant princes formed a union, which was promptly answered by the Catholic League. This group was headed by the wise and able Maximilian of Bavaria and supported by his army, which he placed under a soldier of long experience and conspicuous ability, Count Tilly.

The war arose in Bohemia, where the magnates, roused by the systematic evasion of the guarantees to Protestants, refused to elect the archduke Ferdinand to the vacant throne, offering it instead to Frederick, the elector palatine. move But the aggrandizement of this elector's power was entirely unacceptable to most of the Protestant princes - to John George of Saxony above all. They declared themselves neutral, and Frederick found himself an isolated rebel against the emperor Ferdinand, and little more than the nominal head of an incoherent nobility in his new kingdom.

Even thus early the struggle showed itself in the double aspect of a religious and a political war. Just as the Protestants and their nominee found themselves looked upon askance by the other Protestants, so the emperor himself was unable to call upon Maximilian's Army of the League without promising to aggrandize Bavaria. Indeed the emperor was at first - before Frederick intervened - almost a mere archduke of Austria waging a private war against his neighbours. Only the incoherence of his enemies saved him. They ordered taxes and levies of soldiers, but the taxes were not collected, and the soldiers, unpaid and unfed, either dispersed to their homes or plundered the country-side. The only coherent force was the mercenary corps of Ernst von Mansfeld, which, thrown out of employment by the termination of a war in Italy, had entered the service of the Union. Nevertheless, the Bohemians were conspicuously successful at the outset. Under Count Thurn they won several engagements, and Ferdinand's army under Carl Bonaventura de Longueval, Count Buquoi (1571-1621), was driven back. Thurn appeared before Vienna itself. Moravia and Silesia supported the Bohemians, and the Austrian nobles attempted, in a stormy conference, to wrest from Ferdinand not only religious liberty but also political rights that would have made Austria and Bohemia a loose confederation of powerful nobles. Ferdinand firmly refused, though the deputation threatened him to his face, and the tide ebbed as rapidly as it had flowed. One or two small military failures, and the enormous political blunder of bringing in the elector palatine, sealed the fate of the Bohemian movement, for no sooner had Frederick accepted the crown than Maximilian let loose the Army of the League. Spanish aid arrived. Spinola with 20,000 men from the Low Countries and Fran che Comte invaded the Palatinate, and Tilly, with no fears for the safety of Bavaria, was able to combine with Buquoi against of the Bohemians, whose resistance was crushed at the Frederick. battle of the Weisser Berg near Prague (8/18 November 1620). With this the Bohemian war ended. Some of the nobles were executed, and Frederick, the "Winter King," was put to the ban of the Empire.

The menace of Spinola's invasion broke up the feeble Protestant Union. But the emperor's revenge alarmed the Union princes. They too had, more or less latent, the tendency to separatism and they were Protestants, and neither in religion nor in politics could they suffer an all-powerful Catholic emperor. Moreover, the alternative to a powerful emperor was a powerful Bavaria, and this they liked almost as little.

There still remained for the armies of Tilly and Buquoi the reduction of the smaller garrisons in Bohemia, and these when finally expelled rallied under Mansfeld, who was joined by the disbanded soldiery of the Protestant Union's short-lived army. Then there began the wolf-strategy that was the distinguishing mark of the Thirty Years' War. An army even of ruffians could be controlled, as Tilly controlled that of the League, if it were aid. But Predatory coulld not pay. Theref ore "he must of necessity plunder' where he was. His movements would be governed neither by political nor by military considerations. As soon as his men had eaten up one part of the country they must go on to another, if they were not to die of starvation. They obeyed a law of their own, quite independent of the wishes or needs of the sovereign whose interests they were supposed to serve." These movements were for preference made upon hostile territory, and Mansfeld was so far successful in them that the situation in 1621 became distinctly unfavourable to the emperor. He had had to recall Buquoi's army to Hungary to fight against Gabriel Bethlen, the prince of Transylvania, and in an unsuccessful battle at Neuhausel (July lo) Buquoi was killed. Tilly and the League Army fought warily and did not risk a decision. Thus even the proffered English mediation in the German war might have been accepted but for the fact that in the Lower Palatinate a corps of English volunteers, raised by Sir Horace Vere for the service of the English princess Elizabeth, the fair queen of Bohemia, found itself compelled, for want of pay and rations, to live, as Mansfeld lived, on the country of the nearest probable enemy - in their case the bishop of Spire. This brought about a fresh intervention of Spinola's army, which had begun to return to the Low Countries to prosecute the interminable Dutch war. Moreover Mansfeld, having so thoroughly eaten up the Palatinate that the magistrates of Frederick's own towns begged Tilly to expel his general, decamped into Alsace, where he seized Hagenau and wintered in safety.

The winter of 1621-22 passed in a series of negotiations which failed because too many interests, inside and outside Germany, were bound up with Protestantism to allow the Catholics to speak as conquerors, and because the cause of Protestantism was too much involved with the cause of the elector palatine to be taken in hand with energy by the Protestant princes. But Frederick and Mansfeld found two allies. One was Christian of Brunswick, the gallant young knight-errant, titular bishop of Halberstadt, queen Elizabeth's champion, and withal, though he called himself Gottes Freund, der Pfaffen Feind, a plunderer of peasants as well as of priests. The other was the margrave George in Frederick of Baden-Durlach, reputed to be of all German princes the most skilful sequestrator of ecclesiastical lands.

In April 1622, while Vere garrisoned the central fortresses of the Palatinate, Mansfeld, Christian and George Frederick took the field against Tilly, who at once demanded assistance from Spinola. The latter, though engaged with the Dutch, sent a corps under his subordinate Cordova. Before this arrived Mansfeld and the margrave of Baden had defeated Tilly at Wiesloch, south of Heidelberg (17/27(17/27 April 1622). Nevertheless Tilly's army was not as easily dissolved as one of theirs, and soon the allies had to separate to find food. Then Cordova came up, and Tilly and the Spaniards combined defeated George Frederick at Wimpfen on the Neckar (26 April/6 May). Following up this success, Cordova chased Mansfeld back into Alsace, while Tilly went north to oppose Christian of Brunswick on the Main. On June 10/20 the latter's army was almost destroyed by the League Army at Hochst. Mansfeld, and with him Frederick, had already set out from Alsace to join Christian, but when that leader arrived with only a handful of beaten men, the war was practically at an end. Frederick took Mansfeld and Christian back to Alsace, and after dismissing their troops from his employment, retired to Sedan. Henceforth he was a picturesque but powerless exile, and his lands and his electoral dignity, forfeited by the ban, went to the prudent Maximilian, who thus became elector of Bavaria. Finally Tilly conquered the Palatinate fortresses, now guarded only by the English volunteers.

The next act in the drama, however, had already begun with the adventures of the outlaw army of Mansfeld and Christian. After Hochst, had it not been for them, the war might have ended in compromise. James I. of England was tiara of busy as always with mediation schemes. Spain, being then in close connexion with him, was working Wick. to prevent the transfer of the electorate to Maximilian, and the Protestant princes of North Germany being neutral, a diplomatic struggle over the fate of the Palatinate, with Tilly's and Cordova's armies opposed in equilibrium, might have ended in a new convention of Passau that would have regulated the present troubles and left the future to settle its own problems. The struggle would only have been deferred, it is true, but meanwhile the North German Protestants, now helpless in an unarmed neutrality, would have taken the hint from Maximilian and organized themselves and their army. As it was, they remained powerless and inactive, while Tilly's army, instead of being disbanded, was kept in hand to deal with the adventurers.

These, after eating up Alsace, moved on to Lorraine, whereupon the French government "warned them off." But ere long they found a new employment. The Dutch were losing ground before Spinola, who was besieging Bergen-op-Zoom, and the StatesGeneral invited Mansfeld to relieve it. Time was short and no detour by the Lower Rhine possible, and the adventurers therefore moved straight across Luxemburg and the Spanish Netherlands to the rescue. Cordova barred the route at Fleurus near the Sambre, but the desperate invaders, held together by the sheer force of character of their leaders, thrust him out of their way (19/29 August 1622) and relieved Bergen-opZoom. But ere long, finding Dutch discipline intolerable, they marched off to the rich country of East Friesland.

Their presence raised fresh anxieties for the neutral princes of North Germany. In 1623 Mansfeld issued from his Frisian stronghold, and the threat of a visitation from his army induced the princes of the Lower Saxon Circle to join him. Christian was himself a member of the Circle, and although he resigned his bishopric, he was taken, with many of his men, into the service of his brother, the duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbtittel; around the mercenary nucleus gathered many thousands of volunteers, and the towns and the nobles' castles alike were alarmed at the progress of the Catholics, who were reclaiming Protestant bishoprics. But this movement was nipped in the bud by the misconduct of the mercenaries. The authorities of the Circle ordered Christian to depart. He returned to Holland, therefore, but Tilly started in pursuit and caught him at Stadtlohn, where on 28 July/6 August 1623 his army was almost destroyed. Thereupon the Lower Saxon Circle, which, like the Bohemians, had ordered collectively taxes and levies of troops that the members individually furnished either not at all or unwillingly, disbanded their army to prevent brigandage. Mansfeld, too, having eaten up East Friesland, returned to Holland in 1624.

The only material factor was now Tilly's ever-victorious Army of the League, but for the present it was suspended inactive in the midst of a spider's web of European and German diplomacy. Spain and England had quarrelled. The latter became the ally of France, over whose policy Richelieu now ruled, and the United Provinces and (later) Denmark joined them. Thus the war was extended beyond the borders of the Empire, and the way opened for ceaseless foreign interventions. From the battle of Stadtlohn to the pitiful end twenty years later, the decision of German quarrels lay in the hands of foreign powers, and for two centuries after the treaty of Westphalia the evil tradition was faithfully followed.

France was concerned chiefly with Spain, whose military possessions all along her frontier suggested that a new Austrasia, more powerful than Charles the Bold's, might arise. To Germany only subsidies were sent, but in Italy the Valtelline, as the connecting link between Spanish possessions and Germany, was mastered by a French expedition. James, in concert with France, re-equipped Mansfeld and allowed him to raise an army in England, but Richelieu was unwilling to allow Mansfeld's men to traverse France, and they ultimately went to the Low Countries, where, being raw pressed-men for the most part, and having neither pay (James having been afraid to summon parliament) nor experience in plundering, they perished in the winter of 1625. At the same time a Huguenot rising paralysed Richelieu's foreign policy. Holland after the collapse of Mansfeld's expedition was anxious for her own safety owing to the steady advance of Spinola. The only member of the alliance who intervened in Germany itself was Christian IV. of Denmark, who as duke of Holstein was a member of the Lower Saxon Circle, as king of Denmark was anxious to extend his influence over the North Sea ports, and as Protestant dreaded the mark. rising power of the Catholics. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, judging better than any of the difficulties of affronting the Empire and Spain, contented himself for the present with carrying on a war with Poland.

Christian IV. raised an army in his own lands and in the Lower Saxon Circle in the spring of 1625. Tilly at once advanced to meet him. But he had only the Army of the League, Ferdinand's troops being occupied with repelling a new inroad of Gabriel Bethlen. Then, like a deus ex machines, Wallenstein, duke of Friedland, came forward and offered to raise and maintain an army in the emperor's service. It was an army like Mansfeld's in that it lived on the country, but its exactions were systematic and the products economically used, so that it was possible to feed 50,000 men where Mansfeld and his like had barely subsisted 20,000. This method, the high wages which he paid, and his own princely habits and commanding personality gave it a cohesion that neither a free company nor an army of mere Lower Saxon contingents could ever hope to attain.

In 1625, in spite of Tilly's appeals, Wallenstein did nothing but levy contributions about Magdeburg and Halberstadt, keeping his new army well away from the risks of battle until he could trust it to conquer. It was fortunate for Ferdinand that he did so. Christian IV., who had been joined by Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick, had in 1626, 60,000 men. Wallenstein and Tilly together had only a very slight numerical superiority, and behind them was nothing. Even the hereditary provinces of Austria were threatening revolt owing to their having to maintain Maximilian's troops (the new elector thus recouping his expenses in the Palatinate war) and Gabriel Bethlen was again in the field. But on the other side the English subsidies failed, and the Protestant armies soon began to suffer in consequence. Tilly opposed Christian IV., Wallenstein Mansfeld. The latter, having stood still about Lubeck and in the outskirts of Brandenburg till the food was exhausted, advanced upon Wallenstein, attacked him in an entrenched position at the Bridge of Dessau and was thoroughly defeated (15/25 April 1626). He then wandered across Germany into Silesia and joined Bethlen. Wallenstein followed up, and by taking up strong positions, compelled Mansfeld and Bethlen to choose between attacking him and starving. So, without a battle, he brought about a truce, whereby Bethlen feld. was disarmed and Mansfeld was required to leave Hungary. Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick died soon afterwards, the one in Hungary, the other in Westphalia. King Christian, left alone and unable without English subsidies to carry on the war methodically, took the offensive, as Mansfeld had done, in order to live on the Thuringian countryside. But Tilly, with whom Wallenstein had left a part of his army, moved as quickly as the king, brought him to action at Lutter-am-Barenberge in Brunswick and totally defeated him (17/27 August).

With this, armed opposition to Tilly and Wallenstein in the field practically ceased until 1630. But there was enough danger to prevent the disbandment of their armies, which continued to live on the country. In the intervening years the balance of forces, political and military, was materially altered. France opposed Spain and the emperor in Italy with such vigour as Huguenot outbreaks permitted, England quarrelled with France, but yet like France sent subsidies to the North German Protestants. Gustavus held his hand, while Christian slowly gave up fortress after fortress to Tilly. Wallenstein, returning from the campaign against Gabriel Bethlen, subdued Silesia, where a small part of Mansfeld's army had been left in 1626, and afterward s s drove Christian's army through Jutland (1627). But Wallenstein, with his dreams of a united Germany free in conscience and absolutely obedient to the emperor, drifted further and further away from the League. Ferdinand thought that he could fulfil the secular portion of Wallenstein's policy while giving satisfaction to the bishops. The princes and bishops of the League continued to oppose any aggrandizement of the emperor's power at their expense and to insist upon the resumption of church lands. In this equilibrium the North German Protestant cities were strong enough to refuse to admit Wallenstein's garrisons. In 1628 Wallenstein, who had received the duchy of Mecklenburg on its rightful lord being put to the ban for his share in the Danish war, began to occupy his new towns, and also to spread along the coasts, for his united Germany could never be more than a dream until the possibility of Danish and Swedish invasions was removed. But the Hanse towns rejected his overtures, and Stralsund, second-rate seaport though it was, absolutely refused to admit a garrison of his Siege of wild soldiery. The result was the famous siege Stral- of Stralsund (February to August 1628), in which, with some slight help from oversea, the citizens compelled the hitherto unconquered Wallenstein army to retire. The siege was, as the result proved, a turning-point in German history. The emperor's policy of restoring order had practically universal support. But the instrument of the restoration was a plundering army. Even this might have been borne had Wallenstein been able to give them, as he wished, not only peace but religious freedom. But when Christian signed the peace of Lubeck, and the Edict of Restitution (1629) gave back one hundred and fifty northern ecclesiastical foundations to the Catholics, men were convinced that one ruler meant one religion. Rather than endure this the North Germans had called in Gustavus Adolphus, of and, just as Gustavus landed, the resentment of the princes of the League against. Wallenstein's policy and Wallenstein's soldiers came to a head, and the emperor was forced to dismiss him. His soldiers were taken over by Tilly, and for the moment he disappeared from the scene.

A thoroughly trained army, recruited from good yeomen and good soldiers of fortune, paid good wages, and led by a great captain, was a novelty in war that more than compensated for Tilly's numerical superiority. Gustavus, however, after landing at Peenemunde in June, spent the rest of the year in establishing himself firmly in Mecklenburg and Pomerania, partly for military reasons, partly in view of a future Swedish hegemony of the Baltic, and most of all in order to secure the active support of the more important Protestant princes, so as to appear as an auxiliary rather than a principal in the German conflict. First the old duke Bogislav of Pomerania, then George William of Brandenburg joined him, very unwillingly. He was soon afterwards allied with France, by the treaty of Barwalde (January 1631). John George of Saxony, still attempting to stifle the war by his policy of neutrality, sent a last appeal to Vienna, praying for the revocation of the Edict of Restitution. Meanwhile Tilly had marched into north-eastern Germany. On the 19/29 March 1631, the old general of the League destroyed a Swedish garrison at New Brandenburg, and although Gustavus concentrated upon him with a swiftness that surprised the old-fashioned soldiers, Tilly wasted no time in manoeuvres but turned back to the Elbe, where his lieutenant Pappenheim was besieging Magdeburg. This city had twice defied Wallenstein's attempts to introduce a garrison, and it was now in arms against the League. But John George, their prince, had not yet decided to join Gustavus. The latter, as yet without active allies, thought it impossible to go forward alone, and could only hope that his sudden and brilliant storm (3 /13 April) of Frankfurt-on-Oder 1 would bring back Tilly from the Elbe. But the hope was vain. Tilly and of Pappenheim pressed the siege of Magdeburg, and although the citizens, directed by Swedish officers, burg. fought desperately the place was stormed, sacked and burnt on the night of the 10th of May 1631, amidst horrors that neither of the imperialist generals was able to check, or even to mitigate. The Catholics rejoiced as though for another St Bartholomew's day, the Protestants were paralysed, and even Gustavus, accused on all hands of having allowed the Magdeburgers to perish without giving them a helping hand, sorrow fully withdrew into Pomerania. But Tilly, in spite of PappenS remonstrances, turned westward against Hesse-Cassel and other minor principalities whose rulers had declared for Gustavus. The king of Sweden, thereupon, clearing away the remaining League garrisons, on the Oder, advanced to Werben (at the junction of the Elbe and the Havel), where the army entrenched itself, and, in spite of sickness and famine, stoically awaited the attack. The desired result was achieved. At the end of July Tilly, returning from the west before he had accomplished its reduction, made his appearance and was twice repulsed (13/23 and 18/28 July), losing 6000 men out of 22,000. Moreover, Ferdinand having in his moment of triumph flatly rejected John George's appeal against the Edict, Saxony took up arms. Thereupon Tilly, turning away from Gustavus's entrenchments, invaded Saxony, being reinforced en route by 20,000 men from Italy (the war there being left to the Spaniards). The elector at once made an alliance with the Swedes.

1 In which he exacted life for life and plunder for plunder in return for the slaughter at New Brandenburg.

Then Gustavus advanced in earnest. Tilly had taken no measures to hold him off while the invasion of Saxony was in progress, and he crossed the Elbe at Wittenberg. 16,000 Saxons joined the 26,000 Swedes at Diiben, and some of the western Germans had already come in. Tilly had just captured Leipzig, and outside that place, carried away by Pappenheim's enthusiasm, he gave battle on the 7/r7 September to the now superior allies. The first battle of Breitenfeld was a triumphant success for Gustavus and for the new Swedish system of war, such a battle as no living soldier had seen. The raw Saxons, who were commanded by Arnim, once Wallenstein's lieutenant, were routed by Tilly's men without the least difficulty, and the balance of numbers returned again to the imperialist side. But the veterans of the League army were nevertheless driven off the field in disorder, leaving 6000 dead. Tilly himself was thrice wounded, and only the remnant of his own faithful Walloon regiments remained with him and bore him from the field.

All Protestant Germany hailed Gustavus as the liberator. Wallenstein, glad of the defeat of the Catholic army, proposed to co-operate with the Swedes. John George, the Swedish general Horn and the Swedish chancellor Oxenstierna united in advising Gustavus to march straight upon Vienna. strong posi- Richelieu, who desired to humble Ferdinand rather tion of than to disestablish the power of the Catholic princes, Gustavus was of the same mind. But Gustavus deliberately Adolphus. chose to move into South Germany, there to relieve the Protestants oppressed by Maximilian, to organize the cities and the princes in a new and stronger Protestant Union, the Corpus Evangelicorum, and to place himself in a country full of resources whence he could strike out against the emperor, Tilly, and the Rhine Spaniards in turn. To the Saxons he left the task of rousing the Bohemian Protestants, perhaps with the idea of thoroughly committing them to the war upon Ferdinand. The Swedish army pushed on through Halle, Erfurt, Wiirzburg to Mainz, where in the middle of the "Pfaffengasse," the long lane of bishoprics and abbacies along the Main and the Rhine, it wintered in luxury. The Palatinate was reorganized under Swedish officials and the reformed religion established again. In March 1632 the campaign was resumed. Nuremberg and Donauworth welcomed Gustavus. Tilly's army, rallied and re-organized for the defence of Bavaria, awaited him on the Lech, but after a fierce battle the passage was forced by the. Swedes (4/14 April) and Tilly himself was mortally wounded. Augsburg, Munich and all the towns and open country south of the Danube were occupied without resistance. At the same time John George's army entered Prague without firing a shot.

The emperor had now either to submit or to reinstate Wallenstein. Wallenstein demanded as the price of his services the reversal of the Edict, and power to dethrone every Wallen- prince who adhered to the Swedes. His terms were stein re- p turns accepted, and in April 1632 he took the field as the to the emperor's alter ego with a new army that his recruiters imperial had gathered in a few weeks. He soon expelled the service. Saxons from Bohemia and offered John George amnesty and the rescinding of the Edict as the basis of peace. The elector, bound by his alliance with Gustavus, informed the Swedish king of this offer, and a series of negotiations began between the three leaders. But John George had too much in common with each to follow either Wallenstein or Gustavus unreservedly, and the war recommenced. Gustavus's first danger was on the Rhine side, where Pappenheim, aided by the Spaniards, entered the field. But Richelieu, the half-hearted enemy of distant Catholic princes, was a vigorous enough opponent of Spain on his own frontier, and Gustavus was free in turn to meet Wallenstein's new army of 60,000, composed of the men immortalized by Schiller's play, excellent in war and in plundering, destitute of all home and national ties, and owning allegiance to its general alone. While Gustavus in Franconia was endeavouring with little success to consolidate his Corpus Evangelicorum Wallenstein came upon the scene. Gustavus, as soon as his Rhine detachments had rejoined, offered him battle. But as in 1625 Wallenstein would risk no battle until his army had gained confidence. He entrenched himself near Furth, while Gustavus camped his army about Nuremberg and a contest of endurance ensued, in which the Swedes, who, although they had learned to plunder in Bavaria, were kept rigidly in hand, fared worse. Wallenstein, aided by his superiority in irregular cavalry, was able to starve The for three days longer than the king, and at last lines of Gustavus furiously attacked the entrenchments (battle of the Alte Veste, 2 4 August/3 September, berg. 1632) and was repulsed with heavy losses. Thereupon Gustavus retired, endeavouring in vain to tempt Wallenstein out of his stronghold by making his retreat openly and within striking distance of the imperialists. Wallenstein had other views than simple military success. Instead of following Gustavus, who first retired north-westward and then returned to the Danube at Ingolstadt, he marched into Saxony, his army plundering and burning even more thoroughly than usual in order to force the Saxons into peace. Gustavus followed with the swiftness that was peculiar to the Swedish system, and his detachments on the Main under Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar having secured the road through Thuringia, he concentrated at Erfurt when Wallenstein had scarcely mastered Leipzig. But it was now late in the season, and Wallenstein, hoping to spin out the few remaining weeks of the campaign in an entrenched position, allowed Pappenheim, who had joined him, to return towards the Weser country, where, as in many other districts, spasmodic minor campaigns were waged by local forces and small detachments from the lesser bodies. Within forty-eight hours Pappen heim was called back. Gustavus, without waiting for Battle Arnim's Saxons to join him, had suddenly moved forof ward, and on the 6/16 November the battle of Liitzen (q.v.) was fought, a battle as fierce even as Breitenfeld. Gustavus and Pappenheim were slain, and Wallenstein's army, yielding to Bernhard's last attack, retreated.

The fall of Gustavus practically determined the intervention of France, for Richelieu supported all electors, Catholic or Protestant, against the central power at Vienna as part of his anti-Spanish policy, and French assistance was now indispensable to the Protestants. For although Liitzen was a victory and the Protestant circles formed the League of Heilbronn in April 1633, the emperor was really in the ascendant. John George of Saxony, uneasy both at the prospect of League more foreign armies in Germany and at the expressed of Heil- intention of Bernhard to carve out a principality for bronn. himself, needed but little inducement to make peace. But the tragedy of Liitzen was soon to be followed by the tragedy of Eger. Wallenstein, gradually forming the resolve of forcing peace on Germany with his army, relaxed his pressure on Saxony, and drawing Arnim's army out of Silesia to protect Dresden, he flung himself upon the Swedish garrisons in Silesia. Winning a victory at Steinau (October 11, 1633) and capturing one town after another, he penetrated almost to the Baltic. But he was recalled to the south-west before his operations had had any effect. The Swedish army, under Bernhard, Horn and Bauer, had before the formation of the League of Heilbronn returned to the Palatinate, and while Horn and Baner operated against an imperial army under Aldringer in the Neckar country, Bernhard took Regensburg from Maximilian's army. But it was now late in the year and Wallenstein was intent upon peace. With this object he endeavoured to secure the higher officers of the army, but these were gradually won over by Spanish emissaries; the emperor, having decided to Dismissal cont nue the war in alliance with Spain, dismissed and his general for the second time. Wallenstein then murder openly attempted to unite the Swedish, Saxon and of Wal- other Protestant armies with his own, so as to compel all parties to make peace. But his army would not follow, the coup d'etat failed, and Wallenstein was murdered at Eger (15/25 February 1634).

All unity, Catholic or Protestant, died with him, and for the Battle of feld. next fourteen years Germany was simply the battle-ground of French, Spanish, Austrian and Swedish armies, which, having learned the impunity and advantages of plunder in the school of Mansfeld and Wallenstein, reduced the country to a state of misery that no historian has been able to describe, save by detailing the horrors of one or other village among the thousands that were ruined, and by establishing the net result that Germany in 1648 was worse off than England in 1485, so much worse that while England was the healthier for having passed through the fever of the Wars of the Roses, Germany remained for 150 years more in the stillness of exhaustion.

Success was for the present with the emperor and Spain. Gallas, now appointed to Wallenstein's place, was Aldringer's companion from boyhood, whereas Bernhard, the Rupert of the German war, disagreed with Horn. Under the leadership nominally of the king of Hungary, Ferdinand's heir, but really of Gallas, the army recaptured Regensburg and Donauworth, and when the Spanish Cardinal Infante joined them with 15,000 men on his way from Italy to the Netherlands, they were invincible. Bernhard attacked them in an entrenched position at NOrdlingen (27 August/ Battle 6 September 1634) and was beaten with a loss of of Nord- 17,000 men to 2000 of the defenders. Nordlingen was to linger the Swedes what Malplaquet was seventy-five years later to the Dutch. The model army of Gustavus perished there, and for the rest of the war a Swedish army, except for some advantages of organization and technical form, was intrinsically no better than another. Gallas reconquered the towns in southern Franconia. John George, having obtained from Ferdinand a compromise on the question of the Edict - its complete revocation Wallenstein's death and Bernhard's defeat had made impossible - agreed to the Peace of peace of Prague (20/30 May 1635), wherein all that was Protestant in 1627 was to remain so, or if since Prague. resumed by the Roman Church to be returned to the Lutherans. A certain number of princes followed John George's example on the same terms, but those who were excepted by name from the amnesty and those who had to gain or to regain the lands lost before 1627 continued the war. There was now no ideal, no objective, common even to two or three parties. The Catholic claims were settled by compromise. The power of the central authority, save in so far as the army could without starvation make itself successively felt at one place and another, had long disappeared. Gustavus's Corpus Evangelicorum as a German institution was moribund since NOrdlingen, and Richelieu and the Spaniards stepped forward as the protagonists, the League of Heilbronn and the emperor respectively being the puppets.

The centre of gravity was now the Rhine valley, the highroad between Spanish Italy and the Spanish Netherlands. Richelieu had, as the price of his assistance after Nordlingen, taken over the Alsatian fortresses held by Bernhard, and in May, just before the treaty of Prague was signed, he declared war on Spain. The French army numbered 130,000 men in 1635, and 200,000 in the year after. One army assembled in Upper Alsace Aggressive for the attack of the Spaniards in Franche Comte; policy of another occupied Lorraine, which had been conquered France, in 1633; a corps under Henri de Rohan was despatched from the same quarter across Switzerland, doubling itself from soldiers of fortune met with en route, to expel the enemy from the Valtelline, and so to cut the route to the Netherlands. Another force, co-operating with the duke of Savoy, was to attack the Milanese. Bernhard was to operate in the Rhine and Main country, French garrisons holding the places of Alsace. Having thus arranged to isolate the Spanish Netherlands, Richelieu sent his main army, about 30,000 strong, thither to join Frederick Henry of Orange and so to crush the Cardinal Infante. This was strategy on a scale hitherto unknown in the war. Tilly, Wallenstein and Gustavus had made war in the midst of political and religious troubles that hung over a confused country. They had therefore made war as they could, not as they wished. Richelieu had unified France under the single authority of the king, and his strategy, like his policy, was masterful and clear. But the event proved that his scheme was too comprehensive. To seize and to hold with an unshakeable grip the neck of the Spanish power when Gallas and the imperialists were at hand was a great undertaking in itself and absorbed large forces. But not content with this Richelieu proposed to strike at each of the two halves of his enemy's power at the same time as he separated them. His forces were not Spain sufficient for these tasks and he was therefore compelled is to eke them out, both in Italy and the Netherlands, by attacked y and working with allies whose interests were not his. The Ital the Nether- army on the Meuse won a victory at Avins, south of lands. Huy, and afterwards joined Frederick Henry in the siege of Maestricht. But the Brabanters and Flemings had in sixty years of warfare parted so far from their former associates over the Waal that the inroad of Frederick Henry's army produced one of those rare outbursts of a momentary "people's war," which occur from time to time in the wars of the 17th and 18th centuries. The effect of it was that Frederick Henry withdrew to his own country, and in 1636 the French northern army had to face the whole of the Cardinal Infante's forces. In Italy the Franco-Piedmontese army achieved practically nothing, the gathering of the French contingent and its passage of the Alps consuming much time. In the Valtellinc Rohan conducted a successful mountain campaign, which even to-day is quoted as a model of its kind.' In Alsace and Lorraine, besides the Spaniards, the dispossessed duke of Lorraine was in the field against the French. Neither side was strong enough to prevail completely. Bernhard waged a desultory campaign in Germany, and then, when supplies gave out and Gallas advanced, joined the French. Towards the end of the year his army was taken into the French service, he himself remaining in command and receiving vague promises of a future duchy of Alsace. Gallas's army from Frankfurt-on-Main pushed far into Lorraine, but it was late in the season and want of food compelled it to retreat. In eastern Germany the consequences of the peace of Prague were that Saxony, Brandenburg and other states, signatories to the treaty, were ipso facto the enemies of those who continued the war. Thus John George turned his arms against the Swedes in his neighbourhood. But their commander Baner was as superior in generalship as he was inferior in numbers, and held the field until the renewal of Gustavus's truce with Poland, which expired in this year, set free a fresh and uncorrupted Swedish corps that had been held ready for eventualities in that country. This corps, under Torstensson, joined him in October, and on the 1st of November they won an action at D6mitz on the Elbe.

Thus Richelieu's great scheme was only very partially executed. The battle of Avins and Rohan's Valtelline campaign, the only important military events of the year, took place outside Germany; within Germany men were chiefly occupied in considering whether to accept the terms of the peace of Prague. But the land had no rest, for the armies were not disbanded.

In 1636 the movements foreshadowed in 1635 were carried out with energy. John George, aided by an imperialist army, captured Magdeburg, drove back Baner to Luneburg, and extended his right wing (imperialists) through Mecklenburg into Pomerania, where, however, a Swedish force under the elder Wrangel checked its progress. The Saxons then passed over the Elbe at ,Tangermunde and joined the imperialists, threatening to interpose between Baner and the Baltic. But Baner was too quick for them. He destroyed an isolated brigade of imperialists at Perleberg, and before the Brandenburg contingent could join John George, brought on a general action at Wittstock (24 September /4 October 1636). The elector had 30,000 men against 22,000 and sought Battle of to attack both in front and rear. But while his Wittstock. entrenchments defied the frontal attack Baner threw most of his army upon the enveloping force and crushed it. The Swedes lost 5000 killed and wounded, the combined army 11,000 killed and wounded and 8000 prisoners. The prestige of so brilliant a victory repaired even NOrdlingen, and many North German princes who were about to make peace took fresh heart.

In the west, though there were no such battles as Wittstock, the campaign of 1636 was one of the most remarkable of the whole war. The Cardinal Infante was not only relieved by the retreat of the Dutch, but also reinforced by a fresh army 2 under a famous cavalry officer, Johann von Weert. He prepared, therefore, to invade France from the north-west. Even though the army that had fought at Avins and Maestricht returned by sea from Holland, the French were too much scattered to offer an effective resistance, and Prince Thomas of SavoyCarignan and Johann von Weert, the Cardinal Infante's generals, took Corbie, La Capelle, and some other places, passed the Somme and advanced on Compiegne. For a moment Paris was terror-stricken, but the Cardinal Infante, by Invasion ordering Prince Thomas not to go too far in case of France. he were needed to repel a Dutch inroad into Belgium, missed his opportunity. Louis XIII. and Richelieu turned the Parisians from panic to enthusiasm. The burghers armed and drilled, the workmen laboured unceasingly at the dilapidated walls, and the old Huguenot marshal, Jacques Nompart, duc de La Force (d. 1642), standing on the steps of the Hotel de Ville, raised men for the regular army by the hundred. Money, too, was willingly given, and some 12,000 volunteers went to Compiegne, whither Gaston from Orleans, Longueville from Normandy, and Conde, from Franche Comte, brought levies and reinforcements. Thus the army at Compiegne was soon 1 See Shadwell, Mountain Warfare; and Hardy de Perini, Batailles francaises, vol. iii., for details.

Composed partly of Bavarians, who had fought their way from the Danube to the Weser, partly of Cologne troops who had joined the Bavarians against the Protestants of north-west Germany.

50,000 strong. The army of Lorraine under Duke Bernhard and Louis de Nogaret, Cardinal de La Valette (d. 1639), placed itself at Epinal to prevent any junction between Prince Thomas and the army of Gallas. But Gaston of Orleans, the king's lieutenant at Compiegne, was no more enterprising as a defender of the country than he had been as a rebel and conspirator, and the army itself was only half mobile owing to its rawness and its "trained-band" character, and the Spaniards and Bavarians retired unmolested to oppose Frederick Henry in the Low Countries. They left a garrison in the little fortress of Corbie, which Monsieur's army recaptured in November. The gallantry of the defenders, which bore heavily on the townspeople, was alloyed with a singular trait of professionalism. The time had come for the Cardinal Infante to distribute his forces in winter quarters, and the garrison of Corbie, it is said, surrendered in good time in order not to be omitted in the allotment of comfortable billets in Belgium.

During the episode of Corbie another storm burst on the eastern frontier of France. The prince of Conde, governor of Burgundy, had in the spring entered Franche Comte and besieged Dole, but the inhabitants as well as the Spanish troops vigorously War in opposed him, and his army ultimately went to swell that Lorraine of Gaston. But, although Duke Charles IV. was active in repossessing himself of Lorraine, Gallas with the main gundy. imperialist army 1 stood still in Lower Alsace during the summer. At first he had to await the coming of the nominal commander, Ferdinand's son, but afterwards, when heavy detachments from the defending armies had gone to Compiegne, Gallas himself missed his opportunity. It was not until September that he joined the duke of Lorraine, and later still when he made his inroad into Burgundy. He took a few small towns, but Dijon and the entrenchments of Bernhard's army there defied him, and his offensive dwindled down to an attempt to establish his army in winter quarters in Burgundy, an attempt of which the heroic defence of the little town of St Jean-de-Losne sufficed to bring about the abandonment. Charles IV., however, continued a small war in Lorraine with some success.

In Italy the duke of Savoy with his own army and a French corps under Crequi advanced to the Ticino, and an action in which in both sides lost several thousand men was fought at War Italy. Tornavento a few miles from the future battlefield of Magenta, to which in its details this affair bears a singular resemblance (June 22, 1636). But the victory of the French was nullified by the refusal of Victor Amadeus, for political reasons, to advance on Milan, and Rohan, who had come down from the Valtelline to co-operate, hastily drew back into his stronghold. On the edges of the western Pyrenees a few towns were taken and retaken.

The campaign of 1637, on the French and Spanish side, was not productive of any marked advantage to either party. From Catalonia a Spanish army invaded Languedoc, but was brought to a standstill in front of the rocky fortress of Leucate and defeated with heavy losses by the French relieving army under Schomberg, duc d'Halluin. In Italy nothing was done. In the Valtelline the local regiments raised by Rohan mutinied for want of pay and Rohan had to retire to France. On the Low Countries frontier the cardinal de La Valette captured Cateau Cambresis, Landrecies and Maubeuge. The deaths of Ferdinand II., the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, the duke of Savoy and the duke of Mantua, which occurred almost simultaneously, affected the political foundations of the war but little. The balance, such as it was, however, was unfavourable to France, for the duchess of Mantua went over to the imperialists and the duchess of Savoy was opposed by the princes of her house. On the other hand, Ferdinand III., in spite of Spain, had to concede more power to the electors as the price of the imperial dignity.

On the Rhine and in the adjacent countries Johann von Weert, returning from Belgium with his Bavarians, captured Ehren breitstein, the citadel of Coblenz, and expelled small French detachments from the electorate of Trier, whose ruler, the archbishop, had been put to the ban by the emperor. Then, passing into the Main valley, he took Hanau. The main imperialist army, still under Gallas, had departed from Alsace to the east in order to repair the disaster of Wittstock, and Charles of Lorraine, with his own small force and a detachment under Count Mercy left by Gallas, was defeated by Bernhard on the Saone in June, after which Bernhard advanced vigorously against Piccolomini, the imperialist commander in Alsace, and crossed the Rhine at Rheinau. But soon Piccolomini was joined by Johann von Weert, and Bernhard retired again.

' For the first time in the history of western Europe Cossacks appeared on the Rhine. Their march through Germany was marked by extraordinary atrocities. They did not remain long at the front, for their insubordination and misconduct were so flagrant that even Gallas found them intolerable and dismissed them.

In the north-east, the effect of Wittstock proved but transient. The widow of the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, after an attempt at resistance, agreed to the treaty of Prague. In 1638 Baner after taking Erfurt and Torgau found himself the target of several opponents - the Bavarians under Gotz, who had remained on the Weser to subdue Hesse-Cassel when their comrades War passed into Belgium in 1635, the beaten army of Witt- n stock, and a potential Brandenburg contingent. The 'a ' Saxons did no more than defend their own country, but the imperialists and Bavarians uniting under General Geleen manoeuvred Baner out of his strongholds on the Elbe. He retreated on the Oder, but there found, not the expected assistance of Wrangel's Pomeranian army, but Gallas with the main imperial army which had hurried over from the west to cut off the Swedes. Baner escaped only by a stratagem. Deluding Gallas with an appearance of retreat into Poland, he turned northwards, joined Wrangel, and established himself for a time in Pomerania. But Gallas ruined his army by exposing it to an open winter in this desolate country, and at last retired to the Elbe. Pomerania, by the death of the old duke Bogislav, became a bone of contention between rival claimants, and in the prevailing equilibrium of greater powers its fate remained unsettled, while a feeble small war slowly consumed what Wallenstein and Gustavus, Gallas and Wrangel had spared.

In 1638 the French operations in Italy, Belgium and Spain were in the main unsuccessful. In Italy Crequi was killed in an action on the 17th of March, and the Spanish commander in the Milanese, Leganez, advanced to the Sesia and took Vercelli. In the Low Countries Prince Thomas and Piccolomini repulsed in turn the Dutch and the French. In the south Conde led from Bayonne an invading army that was to dictate terms at Madrid, but the fortress of Fontarabia, though invested by land and sea, checked the French until a relieving army arrived and drove Conde in disorder to Bayonne. So angry was King Louis at this failure that Conde's lieutenant-general, the brother of Cardinal de La Valette, was condemned for high treason. But the case was different in Alsace. There Richelieu was more than ever determined to strike at the Spanish power, and there too was Bernhard, who hoped that Alsace was to be his future principality, and under whom ser'ed the survivors of Breitenfeld and Nbrdlingen, now in French pay under the name of the "Weimar Army." After the raid into south Germany Bernhard had wintered about Basle, and began operations by taking a few towns in the Black Forest. He then besieged Rheinfelden. Johann von Weert, however, fell upon him by surprise and drove him away (February 28th). Rohan was amongst the dead on the French side. But Bernhard reassembled his adventurers and invited them to return and beat the imperialists at once. The outcome was the battle of Rheinfelden, in which the redoubtable Weert, who had terrified Paris in 1636, was taken prisoner and his army dissipated (March 3rd). Although the Bavarians in the Weser country hurried south to oppose him, Bernhard took Rheinfelden and Freiburg. Lastly he invested Breisach - the town that, scarcely known to-day, was then the "Key of Alsace." Gotz's Bavarians and Charles of Lorraine's army hastened thither, but Bernhard beat them in turn at Wittenweiher (August 9th) and Thann (October 15th), and received the surrender of Breisach, when the garrison had eaten the cats, dogs and rats in the place, on the 17th of December.

In the course of 1638 peace negotiations were carried on at Cologne and Hamburg, but the war still dragged on. In the east, 1639 began with Bailer's pursuit of the retreating Gallas. g nn ng Thanks to his skill the Swedish star was again in the of ti ascendant. Baner crossed the Elbe, captured Halle and Freiburg, inflicted a severe defeat on the imperialists at peace. Chemnitz (April 14, 1638), and then after overrunning western Saxony advanced into Bohemia, judging rightly that Bernhard was too much occupied with his prospective duchy to cooperate with him in the south-west. Ferdinand III. sent his brother, the archduke Leopold William, to take command of Gallas's army and sent all available reinforcements to Bohemia. But Baner contented himself, after an unsuccessful attempt upon Prague, with thoroughly eating up the country and, as winter came on, he retired into the Saxon mountains. The other Swedish troops overran Brandenburg and fomented a revolt in Silesia.

In 1639, as before, Richelieu's attacks on Spain, other than those directed upon Alsace and Baden, were unsuccessful. In the north the French devoted this year, as they had devoted 1637 and 1638, to a methodical conquest of walled towns in France view of a future frontiere de fer. The two objectives selected, Hesdin and Thionville, were far apart, and a covering army to protect both sieges against Piccolomini was posted midway between them. Piccolomini, by a forced march from Liege and Huy through the Ardennes, flung himself upon the besiegers of Thionville before their "circumvallation" was completed, and being greatly superior in numbers he almost annihilated them (June 7, 1639) before the covering or rescuing army had even passed the Argonne. Then, however, Piccolomini, whose troops had bought the victory dearly, stood still for a time, and Hesdin, besieged with much pomp by Richelieu's nephew, La Meilleraye, surrendered on the 29th of June. On the side of the Pyrenees Conde as usual showed himself both unlucky and incapable. In Italy Cardinal de La Valette died, after allowing Prince Thomas to win over Savoy to the emperor's side and seeing every French post except Casale, Chivasso and the citadel of Turin taken by Thomas and Leganez.

His successor was the duc d'Harcourt, called by his men "Cadetla-Perle" on account of his earrings, but a bold and exceedingly competent soldier. Under him served Turenne, hitherto known only as a younger brother of the duke of Bouillon. Harcourt reviewed his army for the first time late in October. The day after the review he advanced from Carignano to revictual Casale, detaching Turenne as flank-guard to hold off Prince Thomas on the side of Turin. The enterprise was entirely successful, but Thomas and Leganez determined to cut off the French on the return march. Leganez beset a defile on the Chieri-Carignano road (whence the action is called the Route de Quiers) while Thomas lay in wait to the north. But Turenne and the flank-guard sharply repulsed the prince, and by hard fighting the French returned safe and victorious (November 29th).

In Alsace Bernhard was carried off by a fever just as he was preparing to fight his way to a junction with Baner. Nevertheless Death of he was fortunate in the opportunity of his death, for Brnhard his dream of a duchy of Alsace had already brought e f rnh Saxe- him into conflict with Richelieu, and their conflict could o Weimar only have ended in one way. Marshal Guebriant at Wei Its once took steps to secure his army 1 for the service of and . France, and Richelieu's officers were placed in charge of effects the fortresses he had conquered. At the same time the long negotiations between the landgravine of Hesse-Cassel and the various powers ended in her allying herself with France and raising an army in return for a subsidy. Another event of importance in this year was the episode of the Spanish fleet in the Downs. Now that the land route was imperilled the sea communications of Spain and Belgium were brought into use. A squadron sailed from Spain for the Netherlands, and, though it evaded the now powerful French navy, it was driven into English territorial waters by the Dutch. Charles I. of England offered France free access to -the victim if France would restore the elector palatine, and of the offered Spain protection if she would furnish him with Fate funds for his army. Richelieu in reply encouraged the Spanish fleet. growing opposition to Charles at home, and the Dutch, contemptuous of his neutrality, sailed in and destroyed the fleet at anchor.

In 1640 the French still kept up their four wars in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain. But the Belgian and Spanish frontiers were no longer directly attacked. On the side of Languedoc there was no further danger, for the foolish imposition of strict military forms, and equally foolish threats to punish those who did not appear at the rendezvous, caused the Catalans, who were already defending themselves against the French both efficiently and vigorously, to turn their arms against the old enemy Castile. In December 1640 Portugal declared herself independent under a king of the house of Braganza. In the Low Countries Louis XIII. himself presided over the siege of the important fortress of Arras, which surrendered on the 8th of August.

In Italy, however, Cadet-la-Perle kept the moral ascendancy he had won in the brave action of the Route de Quiers. In April with 10,000 men he advanced from Carignan against the 20,000 Spaniards who were besieging Casale and attacked their line of circumvallation boldly and openly on the 29th of April. Canape Turin. He himself on horseback led his stormers over the parapet. and Turenne spread out his cavalry in one thin line and, thus overlapping Leganez's cavalry on both flanks and aiding his charges with the fire of his dismounted dragoons, drove it away. The Spanish infantry rearguard was cut off and destroyed, and at the end of the day half of Leganez's army was killed or captive. After this, Harcourt promptly turned upon Prince Thomas, and then followed one of the most remarkable episodes in military history. Thomas, himself defending Turin, was besieging the French who still held the citadel, while Harcourt, at once besieging the town and attempting to relieve the citadel, had, externally, to protect himself against Leganez's army which was reorganized and reinforced from Naples and the Papal States. For long it seemed as though the latter, master of the open country, would starve the small army of Harcourt into submission. But Harcourt's courage and the disunion of his opponents neutralized this advantage. Their general attack of the 11th of July on the French lines was made not simultaneously but successively, and Harcourt repulsed each in turn with heavy losses. Soon afterwards the French received fresh troops and a large convoy. The citadel was relieved and the town surrendered soon afterwards. Leganez retired to Milan, Prince Thomas was allowed to take his few remaining troops to Ivrea, and recognized the duchess's regency.

1 Forestalling others who desired its services, notably the Winter King's son, who intended to ally himself with Spain and so to force the retrocession of the Palatinate. The war had indeed progressed far since the days of the Protestant Union !

In Germany Baner's course was temporarily checked. The archduke dislodged him from his few remaining posts in Bohemia, and when at last Bernhard's old army, under the duc de Longueville, crossed the Rhine at Bacharach and joined Baner in The Thuringia, the Austrians held them in check in the Swedes broken country about Saalfeld until the country would checked. no longer support the combined army. The Weimar army then retired to the Rhine valley and Baner to Waldeck, and, in the hope of detaching both George of Luneburg and the landgravine of Hesse-Cassel from the Swedish alliance, the imperial general wasted their territories, ignoring Baner. After the departure of the Luneburgers and Hessians, recalled for home defence, the Swedish general could only watch for his opportunity.

This came in the winter months of 1640-41. Negotiations for peace were constantly in progress, but no result seemed to come out of them. The Diet was assembled at Regensburg, the imperial army scattered over north-western Germany. Baner suddenly moved south heading for Ratisbon, for the defence of which the archduke's and all available troops - even Piccolomini's from the upper Rhine - were hurried up by the emperor. The Weimar Army under Guebriant joined the Swedes en route, and the combined army reached the objective. But a thaw hindered them and gave the emperor time to concentrate his forces, and after a variety of minor operations Baner's army found itself again in possession of Hesse, Luneburg, Brunswick, &c. Guebriant's army, however, had again separated from him in order to live, and in May was at Bamberg - even an army of 18,000 could hardly keep Ban- the field at this stage of the war. On the 20th of May p ast sucBaner, worn out by fatigue, died, and after some intrigues cesses. and partial mutinies, Torstensson succeeded to the command. The last fortified place held by the Austrians in Lower Saxony, Wolfenbuttel, was now besieged by Torstensson's Swedes and Germans and Guebriant's French and Weimarians, and the archduke and Piccolomini advancing to its relief were defeated outside the walls on the 29th of June. The war had now receded far from Alsace, which was firmly held by France, and no longer threatened even by Charles of Lorraine, who had made his peace with Louis XIII. in the spring, and whose army had followed Guebriant into Germany. The losses of the Germans at Wolfenbiittel caused some of their princes to accept the peace of Prague, but, on the other hand, the new elector of Brandenburg (Frederick William, the Great Elector) gave up the Austrian alliance and neutralized his dominions.

In 1641 Harcourt thoroughly established his position, without much fighting, in Piedmont. In Spain the Catalan and Portuguese insurrections continued and the French occupied Barcelona, but underwent a serious reverse at Tarragona. In the north La Meilleraye captured and held some of the Artois towns, but was driven out of the open country by the superior army of the Cardinal Infante. A formidable conspiracy against Richelieu brought about a civil war in which the king's troops Civil war were defeated at La Marfee, near Sedan (the fortress of France. Turenne's discontented brother, the semi-independent duke of Bouillon), by a mixed army of rebels, Spaniards and Imperialists (July 6th). This, however, led to nothing further and the conspiracy collapsed. Charles of Lorraine having joined the rebels, his newly regained fortresses were reoccupied by the French.

In December 1641 there began at Munster and Osnabruck in Westphalia the peace negotiations which, after eight more years of spasmodic fighting, were to close this ruinous war.

In 1642 Torstensson, having cleared up the war for a moment in the north-west, turned upon Silesia, defeated an imperialist corps at Schweidnitz and took some fortresses, but drew back when the archduke and Piccolomini came up with the main Austrian army. In October, however, he was joined by fresh troops from the north-east, crossed the Elbe and besieged Leipzig. The imperialist army, which was joined by the Saxons when Torstens- their country was again the theatre of war, marched to the rescue. But Torstensson defeated them with enormous victory of loss in the second battle of Breitenfeld 2 (November 2, Breiten- 1642). But, although the Austrians feared an advance on feed. Vienna itself, the victors waited for the fall of Leipzig and then took up winter quarters. Guebriant had throughout the year operated independently of the Swedes. The Bavarians had advanced into the lower Rhine region in order to support, in concert with the Belgian army of Spain, a fresh outbreak in France (CinqMars' conspiracy). But Lamboy, the Spanish general, was attacked and defeated before Hatzfeldt's Bavarians came up, at Hulst between Kempen and Crefeld (January 17th), whereupon the Bavarians took shelter under the guns of the fortress of Julich.

On the northern frontier of France Harcourt, the brilliant commander of the Italian army, failed to prevent the Spaniards from capturing Lens and La Bassee, and Guiche, with another army farther east at Le Catelet, was defeated and routed at Honnecourt (May 26th), saving only 2000 of his 9000 men. But Francisco de The emperor executed all the officers and every tenth man of the regiment in which the panic began.

Melo, the Cardinal Infante's successor, did not profit by his victory, turning back instead to oppose the Dutch and Guebriant. In Italy Thomas of Savoy and his brother, submitting to the regency of the duchess, led her troops in concert with the French against the Spaniards of the Milanese, and took Tortona. Louis himself conquered Roussillon, Richelieu crushed the conspiracy of Cinq Mars by executing its leaders, and Marshal de la Motte-Houdencourt held Catalonia and defeated Leganez at Lerida (October 7th).

Before the next campaign opened Louis and Richelieu were dead. One of the last acts of the king was to designate the young duc d'Enghien, son of the incapable Conde, as general of his northern army. Harcourt had strangely failed, Guebriant was far away, and the rest of the French marshals were Duc experienced but incapable of commanding an army. The 'Enghien. Yet it was no small matter to put in their place a d youth of twenty-one, who might prove not merely inexperienced but also incompetent. But Enghien's victory was destined to be the beginning for the French army of a long hegemony of military Europe.

Melo had selected the Meuse route for his advance on Paris. On it he would meet only the places of Rocroi and Rethae; these mastered, he would descend upon Paris by the open lands between the Marne and the Oise. He began by a feint against Landrecies, and under cover of this secretly massed his Sambre and Ardennes corps on the Meuse, while Enghien, having the safety of Landrecies in mind, moved to St Quentin. There, however, the young general learned at the same moment that Louis XIII. was dead and that the Spaniards had invested Rocroi. With the resolution and swiftness which was to mark his whole career, he marched at once to offer them battle. Enghien's more experienced counsellors, the generals of the old school, were for delay. To risk the only French army at such a moment would, they said, be madness, and even the fiery Gassion asked, "What will become of us if we are beaten ?" But Enghien replied, "That will not concern me, for I shall be dead," and his personality overcame the fears of the doubters. The battle took place on the 10th of May 1643, in a plain before Battle of Rocroi, without any marked tactical advantage of Rocroi. ground in favour of either side. Melo's cavalry was routed, and nearly all the infantry, 18,000 men of the best regiments in the Spanish army, the old Low Countries tercios, with their general the Conde de Fuentes,' a veteran of fifty years' service, in their midst, stood their ground and were annihilated. 8500 were dead and 7000 prisoners. Two hundred and sixty colours and standards went to grace Notre Dame.

But even Rocroi, under the existing conditions of warfare, was decisive only in so far as, by the destruction of Spain's superiority in Belgium, it saved France from further inroads from the north. Enghien indeed followed up the debris of Melo's army beyond the Sambre, but on the Rhine Guebriant had marched away from the region of Cologne into Wurttemberg, and there was nothing to prevent the imperialists in the northwest from joining Melo. The thorough establishment of the French on the Rhine and the need of co-operating with the Swedes was considered by the young general to be more important than fighting Melo in front of Brussels, and in spite of Surrender the protests of the Regent and Mazarin, he decided of Thion- to attack Thionville. Taking a leaf out of Melo's vine. book, he threatened Brussels in order to draw all the defenders thither, and then suddenly turned eastward. Enghien arrived on June 18th, a corps from Champagne had already reached the place on the 16th, and on the 8th of August Thionville surrendered. The small fortress of Sierck followed suit (September 8th).

Guebriant meanwhile had attempted without success to cover the French and Protestant posts in Wurttemberg against the united forces of his old opponents from the lower Rhine (Hatzfeldt's Bavarians) and a fresh Bavarian army under Mercy, and had retired into Alsace. Thither Enghien, before dispersing his army into rest-quarters in October, sent him a corps under Josias Rantzau to enable him to recross the Rhine and to seize winter-quarters in Germany so as to spare Alsace. Guebriant did so, but he was mortally wounded in the siege of Rottweil, a town at the source 859 of the Neckar, and Rantzau, taking over the command, allowed himself to be surprised in the act of dispersing into winter-quarters by Charles of Lorraine (who had again changed sides and now commanded his own, Hatzfeldt's and Mercy's armies 2). At Tuttlingen on the headwaters of the Danube, Rantzau was taken prisoner with the greater part of his army of 12,000 men (November 24th), and the rest hurriedly fell back into Alsace.

In the east the campaign had as usual turned more upon subsistence than upon military operations. Torstensson, by his halt before Leipzig after Breitenfeld, had given the emperor Torstens- a whole winter in which to assemble a new army. The son aga in st hereditary provinces, as the devastations of war ap- Gallas. proached their own borders, willingly supplied a force of 12,000 men, which under Piccolomini manoeuvred for a while to the west of Dresden. But Piccolomini was replaced by Gallas, who, though cherishing visionary schemes of uniting Hatzfeldt's troops and Gotz's Cologne-Bavarian-North German army with his own for a decisive blow, had in fact to fall back through Bohemia. The Swedes followed. Taking the small towns and avoiding the large places, Torstensson swept through Bohemia and Moravia, his steps dogged through the devastated country by Gallas, until he reached Brunn. Thence, however, he suddenly retreated to the shores of the Baltic. Christian of Denmark had declared war on Sweden, and threatened to isolate the Swedish forces in Germany. Torstensson, therefore, wintered in Holstein, Gallas, unable to follow him through districts already eaten up, in Saxony. In Italy and Spain there was no event of any importance.

In 1644 Gaston of Orleans, with La Meilleraye and Gassion under him, began the conquest of the Dunkirk region, capturing Gravelines in July. Melo, having no army to oppose The war in them, remained inactive. In Italy Prince Thomas and the Nether- Marshal Plessis-Praslin undertook nothing serious, while lands and in Spain La Motte-Houdencourt lost Lerida, and was Italy. imprisoned by Mazarin in consequence. But the Rhine campaign is memorable for the first appearance of Turenne at the head of an army, and for the terrible battle of Freiburg.

The momentary combination of forces on the other side that had ruined Guebriant's expedition soon broke up. Hatzfeldt was called by the emperor to join Gallas, Charles of Lorraine wandered with his mercenaries to the Low Countries, and Mercy's Bavarians alone were left to oppose Turenne, who spent the first months of the year in restoring discipline and confidence in the shaken Weimar Army. But Mercy was still considerably superior in strength, and, repulsing Turenne's first inroad into the Black Forest, besieged Freiburg. Turenne made one cautious attempt at relief, then waited for reinforcements. These came in the shape of Enghien's army, and Enghien as a prince of the blood took over the supreme command. But both armies together numbered hardly 17,000 men when Enghien and Turenne united at Breisach on the 2nd of August. On the 3rd, although Freiburg had meantime surrendered, they crossed the Rhine and attacked Mercy's position, Battles which was of great natural and artificial strength, in front and flank. Three separate battles, which cost the around Bavarians one-third of their force and the French no Freiburg. less than half of theirs, ended in Mercy's retreat (see Freiburg) on the 10th of August. Enghien did not follow him into the mountains, but having assured himself that he need not fear interference, he proceeded to the methodical conquest of the middle Rhine fortresses (Philippsburg, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Mainz, &c.), and returned with his own army to the Moselle, leaving Turenne and the Weimar Army at Spire.

In the east, or rather in the north, a desultory campaign was carried on during 1644 between Torstensson and the younger Wrangel, on the one side, the Danes and Gallas on the other, and in the end Gallas retreated to Austrian territory, so completely demoralized that for want of supervision his army dwindled on the way from 20,000 men to 2000. Torstensson followed him, having little to fear from the Danes. Meanwhile the prince of Transylvania, George Rakoczy, playing the part of Gabriel Bethlen his predecessor, made war upon the emperor, who not being able on that account to send fresh troops against Torstensson, called upon Hatzfeldt, as above mentioned, to reform the Battle of wrecks of Gallas's army on the nucleus of his own. Jankau. Maximilian of Bavaria sent most of his own troops under Weert on the same errand - hence Mercy's defeat at Freiburg. But Torstensson pressed on by Eger, Pilsen and Budweis towards Vienna, and on the 24 February/6 March 1645 he inflicted a crushing defeat on Gotz, Weert and Hatzfeldt at Jankau near Tabor. Gotz was killed and half of his army dead or captive. In his extremity Ferdinand offered part of Bohemia and Silesia to Maximilian in return for soldiers. But the Bavarian ruler had no soldiers to give, for Turenne was advancing again from the Rhine.

At the end of March the Weimar Army was at Durlach, on the 6th of April at Pforzheim. Thence it marched to Heilbronn, and Rothenburg-on-Tauber, when Turenne resolved to go northward in search of supplies and recruits in the territories of his ally and cousin the landgravine of Hesse-Cassel. But at this point the army, headed by Bernhard's old colonels, demanded to be put into rest-quarters, and Turenne allowing them to disperse as they wished, was surprised by Mercy and Weert - who brought his courage, if nothing else, back from the field of Jankau - and lost two-thirds of his forces. But Turenne instead of retreating to the Rhine installed himself in the landgravine's country, Army, where he collected reinforcements of Hessians and Swedes, while Enghien hurried up from the Moselle and crossed the Rhine to repair the disaster. The "Army of Weimar" and the "Army of France" joined forces, as in 1644, almost under the eyes of the enemy. Enghien at once pushed forward from Ladenburg, by Heidelberg, Wimpfen, Rottenburg and Dinkelsbahl. But from day to day the balance leaned more and more on the Bavarian side, for Torstensson, after threatening Vienna (April), had drawn off into Moravia without waiting for the dilatory Rakoczy, and the emperor was able to give Maximilian an Austrian corps to be added to Mercy's army. Mercy therefore, after manoeuvring for a time on Enghien's left flank, placed himself in a strong position at Allerheim near NSrdlingen, directly barring the way to the Danube. The second battle of Nordlingen (August 3, 1645) was as desperately fought as the first, and had not Mercy been killed at the crisis of the day Enghien would probably have been disastrously defeated. As it was, the young duke was victorious, but he had only 1500 infantry left in rank and file out of 7000 at the end. Soon after wards Enghien fell ill, and his army returned to France. Turenne, left with a few thousand men only, attempted in vain to hold his ground in Germany and had to make a hasty retreat before the archduke Leopold William, who had meantime made peace with Rakoczy, and, leaving Torstensson's 1 successor Wrangel undisturbed in his Silesian cantonments, brought Gallas's and Hatzfeldt's troops to aid Weert's. Turenne wintered around Philippsburg, almost the only remaining conquest of these two brilliant but costly campaigns. But before he settled down into winter quarters he sent a corps to the Moselle, which dislodged the imperialist garrison of Trier and restored the elector in his archbishopric. In Flanders Gaston of Orleans conquered a number of fortresses, and his army united with that of the Dutch. But the allies separated again almost at once, each to undertake the sieges which suited its own purposes best.

From Silesia Wrangel passed into Bohemia, where he remained until the forces employed against Rakoczy and Turenne could send help to the imperialists opposed to him. He then drew away into Hesse 2 to support the landgravine of Cassel against the landgrave of Darmstadt, the archduke Leopold William and the Bavarians following suit.

The campaign of 1646 in Hesse up to August was as usual uneventful, each army being chiefly concerned with its food. But at last the archduke retired a little, leaving Turenne and Wrangel free to join their forces. Turenne had no intention of repeating the experiences of Freiburg and Nbrdlingen. War had by now settled down into the groove whence it did not issue till 1793. It was moreprofitable to attain the 793 P small objects that were sought by manoeuvre than by battle, and the choice of means practically lay between manoeuvring the enemy's army into poor districts and so breaking it up by starvation, and pushing one's own army into rich districts regardless of the enemy's army. The usual practice was the first method. Turenne chose the second.

Delayed at the opening of the year by orders from Mazarin to stand still - the elector of Bavaria had opened negotiations in order to gain time for the archduke Leopold William to march into the west - Turenne found it impossible to reach Hesse by the short and direct route, and he therefore made a rapid and secret march down the Rhine as far as Wesel, whence, crossing unopposed, he joined Wrangel on the upper Lahn (August loth). The united armies were only 19,000 strong. Then the imperialists, fearing to be hemmed in and starved between Turenne and the Rhine, fell back to Fulda, leaving the Munich road clear. The interior of Bavaria had not been fought over for eleven years, and was thus almost the only prosperous land in desolated Germany. Turenne and Wrangel marched straight forward on a broad front. On the 22nd of September, far ahead of the pursuers, for whom they left nothing to eat, they reached 1 Torstensson, suffering from gout and worn out by the campaign, retired after the unsuccessful Vienna raid.

2 John George of Saxony, seeing that his country was faring worse in a state of open war against Sweden than it would even in the most impotent neutrality, had made a truce with Wrangel on what terms he could obtain.

Augsburg, and for the rest of the year they devastated the country about Munich in order to force Maximilian to make terms. An armistice was concluded in the winter, Maximilian having been finally brought to consent by an ill-judged attempt of the emperor (who feared that Bavaria would go the way of Brandenburg and Saxony) to seduce his army. The French and Swedes wintered in southern Wurttemberg.

In Flanders, Gaston of Orleans and Enghien took Dunkirk and other fortresses. In Italy, where the Tuscan fortresses were attacked, the French and Prince Thomas their ally were completely checked at first, until Mazarin sent a fresh corps thither and restored the balance. In Catalonia Harcourt underwent a serious reverse in front of Lerida at the hands of his old opponent Leganez, and Mazarin sent Enghien, now Prince of Conde, to replace him.

1647 was a barren year. The Low Countries Spaniards, concluding a truce with the Dutch, threw their whole force upon France, but this attack dissipated itself in sieges. In Italy PlessisPraslin won an unprofitable victory over the viceroy of the Milanese on the Oglio (July 4th). In Spain Conde, resuming the siege of Lerida, was repulsed with even more loss than Harcourt had been the year before, and had to retire upon the mere appearance of a relieving army. In Germany Turenne and Wrangel parted company. The latter returned to Hesse, whence he raided into Bohemia, but was driven back by the imperialists under their new general, Melander-Holzapfel. As the few obtainable supply areas gave out one by one, the Swedes gradually retired almost to the coast, but the imperialists did not follow, swerving into Hesse instead to finish the quarrel of the landgravine and the landgrave. Turenne meanwhile had had to send all the French troops to Luxemburg to help in the defence of northern France against the Spaniard. The Weimar Army had refused to follow him to the Meuse, and mutinied for its arrears of pay. Turenne, however, promptly seized the ringleaders and after a sharp fight disarmed the rest. Thus ignominiously Bernhard's old army vanished from the scene.

In the autumn the elector of Bavaria was reconciled to the emperor and his army re-entered the field. Turenne was therefore sent back to Germany to assist the Swedes. But winter came on before any further inroads could be made into south Germany.

The campaign of 1648 brought the decision at last. Turenne and Wrangel, having refitted their forces and united in Hesse as in 1646, steadily drove back the imperialists and Bavarians, whose 30,000 combatants were accompanied by a horde of nearly 130,000 hangers-on - men, women and children - to the Danube. For a moment, at NSrdlingen, the French and the Swedes separated, but they soon reunited, moved on to and beyond the Danube, and at Zusmarshausen (May 17th) catching the enemy in the act of manoeuvring, they destroyed his rear-guard, Melander being amongst the dead. The victors advanced as far as the Inn, but Piccolomini, reorganizing the debris of the Austro-Bavarian army, checked their further progress and even drove them back to the line of the Isar. Meantime, however, the Swedish general Kdnigsmarck, gathering all the scattered forces of his side in Saxony and Silesia, had entered Bohemia and was besieging Prague. This caused the recall of Piccolomini's army, and Turenne and Wrangel invested Munich. But Mazarin ordered the French to retire into Suabia so as not to compromise the peace negotiations at the critical moment, and Wrangel followed suit. Before Konigsmarck was in a position to assault Prague news came of peace.

Meanwhile in Artois Conde had repulsed the Spanish in vasion by his brilliant victory of Lens (August 5th), which was a second Rocroi. After the thanksgiving service for the victory at Notre Dame, Mazarin arrested the leaders of the Parlement of Paris, and in a few hours the streets were barricaded and a civil war in progress. This was the Fronde, which went on for another eleven years.


S. R. Gardiner, Thirty Years' War; A. Gindely, Gesch. des 30jdhr. Krieges; Chemnitz, Gesch. des Schwedischen Krieges; v. Pufendorf, 26 Bucher der Schwedish-deutschen Kriegs- geschichte (1688); Hon. E. Noel, Gustaf Adolf; Hardy de Perini, Batailles Francaises, iii. and iv.; lives of Turenne, Conde, Wallenstein, Gustavus, &c.; vols. ix. and x. of Clausewitz's works; Lorentzen, Schwedens Armee im 30jdhr. Kriege; Loewe, Organisation der Wallensteinschen Heere; Précis des Campagnes de Gustave Adolphe (Brussels, 1887). (C. F. A.)

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Thirty Years' War
File:Europe map
Map of Europe in 1648. The grey places are small German states within the Holy Roman Empire.
Date 1618–1648
Location Europe (mostly Germany)
Result Peace of Westphalia
File:Flag of Sweden
File:Flag of Bohemia
File:Flag of Denmark-Norway
[[File:|22px]] Dutch Republic
File:Flag of Royalist France
File:Flag of Scotland
File:England England
File:Flag of Saxony
File:Flag Germany Emperors Holy Roman Empire
(Catholic League)
File:Flag of New Spain
File:Flag of the Habsburg Austria
File:Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Bavaria
Frederick V
Gustav II Adolf  †
Johan Baner
File:Flag of Royalist Cardinal Richelieu
File:Flag of Royalist Louis II de Bourbon
File:Flag of Royalist Turenne
Christian IV of Denmark
File:Flag of Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar
File:Flag of Johann Georg I of Saxony
File:Flag Germany Emperors Johann Tzerclaes, count of Tilly †
File:Flag Germany Emperors Albrecht von Wallenstein
File:Flag Germany Emperors Ferdinand II
File:Flag Germany Emperors Ferdinand III
File:Flag of New Count-Duke Olivares
File:Flag of New Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand
File:Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Maximilian I
150.000 Swedes,
75,000 Dutch,
~100,000 Germans,
150,000 French
300,000 Spanish,
~100-200,000 Germans

The Thirty Years' War was fought from 1618 until 1648. Most of it was fought in Germany. Most of the powerful countries in Europe were in the war. It started as a fight about religion. The Protestants and Catholics were the two groups that disagreed. As the war continued, the Habsburg dynasty and other powers used the war to try to get more power. One of the examples of this is that Catholic France fought for the Protestants. This made the France-Habsburg rivalry worse.

The Thirty Years' War caused things like famine and disease. These things were very bad. The war lasted for 30 years, but the problems that caused the war were not fixed for a long time after the war was over. The war ended with the Treaty of Westphalia.

Origins of the War

There were several reasons that the Thirty Years War started.

[[File:|thumb|left|Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. He encouraged the Council of Trent to allow Communion in Both kinds for German and Bohemian Catholics.]]

First, The Peace of Augsburg (1555), which was signed quickly by Charles V, agreed with the 1526 Diet of Worms and stopped the fighting between the Lutherans and the Catholics in Germany.

The Peace of Augsburg said that:

  • German Princes (there were 225 princes) could choose the religion (whether they were Lutheran or Catholic) in their states (this was called cuius regio eius religio).
  • Lutherans that lived in a state under the control of a bishop, called an ecclesiastical state, could stay Lutherans.
  • Lutherans could keep the land that they had taken from the Catholic Church after the Peace of Passau (1552).
  • The bishops of the Catholic Church that switched to Lutheranism had to give their land back (the principle called reservatum ecclesiasticum).
  • People that lived in a state that had chosen Lutheranism or Catholicism were not allowed to change their religion.

The Peace made the violence end for a bit. But it did not fix the real reason that the Lutherans and Catholics were fighting. Both of them said it meant different things. The Lutherans said it was only an agreement that would last for a short time. Calvinism came quickly into Germany. Calvinism was a third Christian group in Germany, but it was not part of the Peace of Augsburg.

Second: a lot of the powerful countries in Europe in the 17th century often disagreed about matters of Politics or Economics. Spain wanted land in some of the German states because the Germans owned some of the Spanish Netherlands. The Dutch fought the Spanish. The Spanish had been controlling them. They gained freedom in some wars that ended in 1609.

  • France was afraid of the two Habsburg states on both of France's sides (Spain and the Holy Roman Empire). France wanted to show its power to the weak German states.
  • Sweden and Denmark wanted to control the German states in the north next to the Baltic Sea.

[[File:|thumb|left|Rudolf II]]

Third: the Holy Roman Empire was a broken group of nations. The empire had nations like the Austrian House of Hapsburg, Bavaria, Electoral Saxony, the Margravate of Brandenburg, the Palatinate, Hesse, the Archbishopric of Trier and Württemberg, and other small nations and towns. Only Austria was capable of operating on its own. Countries often made alliances with other places ruled by relatives.

Fourth, Religious groups were not agreeing during the second half of the 16th century. The Peace of Augsburg was not working because some bishops had not given up their bishoprics, and Catholic rulers in Spain and Eastern Europe wanted to make Catholicism strong in the region. This caused fighting between the groups. The Catholics made many Protestants leave their home lands. Some places gave Protestants permission to worship. These disagreements caused violence.

File:Joseph Heintz d. Ä.
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. His firm Catholicism was the major cause of the war.

[[File:|thumb|left|150px|Frederick V, Elector Palatine as King of Bohemia, painted by Gerrit von Honthorst in 1634, two years after Friedrich V 's death. Frederick is called the "Winter King" of Bohemia because he reigned for less than three months in 1620. He was put in power by a rebellious faction.]]

Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor Matthias died without any children to take his place in 1619. He was Catholic. His lands were given to his cousin Ferdinand of Styria. Ferdinand was Matthias's closest male relative. He became Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. Ferdinand had been educated by the Jesuits, and was a Catholic. He wanted to make Catholicism the only religion again. This made him unpopular in Hussite Bohemia. They rejected Ferdinand and launched the Thirty Years' War. The War can be divided into four major phases: the Bohemian Revolt, the Danish intervention, the Swedish intervention, and the French intervention.

The Bohemian Revolt

Time: 16181625

Emperor Matthias, who had no children, had died leaving the throne to Ferdinand II. Some of the Protestant leaders of Bohemia thought they would lose the religious rights granted to them by Emperor Rudolf II. They liked the Protestant Frederick V, elector of the Palatinate (successor to Frederick IV) better. Frederick V was the creator of the League of Evangelical Union). Other Protestants supported the opinion of the Catholics. So, in 1617, Ferdinand was elected by the Bohemian Estates to become the Crown Prince, and automatically upon the death of Matthias, the next King of Bohemia. The king-elect then sent two Catholic councillors (Wilhelm Grav Slavata and Jaroslav Borzita Graf Von Martinicz) as his representatives to Hradčany castle in Prague in May 1618. Ferdinand wanted them to run the government while he was gone. Suddenly, the Bohemian Hussites took them, put them on a mock trial, and threw them out of the palace window which was 20 feet off the ground (this is called defenestration). Remarkably, they survived and did not get hurt. The Catholics said that angels appeared and carried them to safety, while the Protestants said that they landed in a pile of manure which saved their lives.


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