The Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) began when Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II of Bohemia attempted to curtail the religious activities of his subjects, sparking rebellion among Protestants. The war came to involve the major powers of Europe, with Sweden, France, Spain and Austria all waging campaigns primarily on German soil. Known in part for the atrocities committed by mercenary soldiers, the war ended with a series of treaties that made up the Peace of Westphalia. The fallout reshaped the religious and political map of central Europe, setting the stage for the old centralized Roman Catholic empire to give way to a community of sovereign states.
This conflict, which redrew the religious and political map of central Europe, began in the Holy Roman Empire, a vast complex of some one thousand separate, semiautonomous political units under the loose suzerainty of the Austrian Hapsburgs [Catholic]. Over the previous two centuries, a balance of power had emerged among the leading states, but during the sixteenth century, the Reformation and the Counter Reformation had divided Germany into hostile Protestant and Catholic camps, each prepared to seek foreign support to guarantee its integrity if need arose.
The Protestant revival continued until in 1634 a Spanish [Catholic] army intervened and at Nordlingen defeated the main Swedish (Protestant) field army and forced the Protestants out of southern Germany. This new Hapsburg (Catholic) success, however, provoked France [Catholic]-which feared encirclement-to declare war first on Spain [Catholic] (1635) and then on the emperor [Catholic] (1636).
The war, which in the 1620s had been fought principally by German states with foreign assistance, now became a struggle among the great powers (Sweden, France, Spain, and Austria) fought largely on German soil, and for twelve more years armies maneuvered while garrisons-over five hundred in all-carried out a “dirty war” designed both to support themselves and to destroy anything of possible use to the enemy. Atrocities (such as those recorded in the novel Simplicissimus by Hans von Grimmelshausen) abounded as troops struggled to locate and appropriate resources. Eventually, France’s victory over the Spaniards at Rocroi (1643) and Sweden’s defeat of the Imperialists at Jankau (1645) forced the Hapsburgs to make concessions that led, in 1648, to the Peace of Westphalia, which settled most of the outstanding issues.
Objectives: 1.Decode informational texts to gain knowledge on events in history
Assignment:This document includes a general overview of the major players and causes of The Thirty Years War. a. Provide two direct and indirect causes of the Thirty Years War. b. Is it strange, or historically unique to see Catholic Nations and Protestant Nations joining forces with each other? Provide a detailed answer as to why this may be.
3.In what ways did regional rulers use the Protestant Reformation for their own personal gain? How is the Thirty Years War a result?