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Thirty Years' War
Transcript of Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was divides into four main "phases." The first was the Bohemian phase, characterized by a civil war in Bohemia. The second was the Danish phase. The third phase was Swedish, and the last phase was French, or international.
The first phase of the Thirty Years' war was the Bohemian phase, mainly characterized by a civil war in Bohemia between Catholics and Protestants. The Bohemians fought for independence from the Habsburgs and religious liberty. Eventually, Protestantism was wiped out as Ferdinand II (the leader of the Catholic League) forced Protestants to convert. In ten years Bohemia was completely Catholic.
The second phase of the Thirty Years War was the Danish phase. This phase was known as the phase of war, happening around 1625-1629. The Catholic army gained victories throughout northern Europe. The Protestant king, Christian IV of Denmark, experienced the vast amount of Catholic victories. Wallenstein built an army loyal only to him and fought the Catholic League, dividing Catholic forces. From this point, religion was seen as a basic issue of the war. Near the end of the phase, the power of the Habsburgs reached its maximum. The Edict of Restitution was passed, allowing only Catholics and Lutherans to practice faiths.
This was the third phase of the war. It began with the arrival of the Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus, in Germany. Adolphus was a strong Lutheran. The participation of the Swedes in the Thirty Years' War ended the Habsburg wish to unite German city-states under their rule. When Gustavus died in battle at Breitenfeld, the French entered the Thirty Years' War.
The Thirty Years War
The Thirty Years' War took place mostly in eastern Europe, starting approximately in 1618 and ending around 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia. The Thirty Years' War had various causes and consequences, and several major events occurred throughout the course of the war.
Causes of the Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War had various causes, many of which were religious and political.
Phases of the Thirty Years' War
Several major causes include:
- Religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants
- Problems with the Peace of Augsburg and the Holy
- The expansion of nations such as France and Spain
- Rivalries between dynastic families such as the
In 1555, a truce was made between the Holy Roman Empire and the Peace of Augsburg. Catholics grew alarmed because Lutherans had aquired several German bishoprics. Calvinists had converted several princes. Lutheran princes formed the Protestant Union, and Catholics went against the union with the Catholic League. The first violence occurred when the Catholic king of Bohemia closed several Protestant churches. This was the initial start of the Thirty Years War - the main cause.
Main Religious Cause
The causes of the Thirty Year were not only limited to religious reasons. Conflicts between royal families such as the Habsburgs caused the war as well. The spread of powerful countries also lead to the start of the war.
Royal Families and the War
While the Catholics were retaliating against the Protestants, the Spanish Habsburg family supported the Catholics. The Habsburgs had supported the goals of Austrian relatives, which involved the unity of a strong, Catholic empire.
The Spread of Countries and the War
The Thirty Years' War is mainly divided into four phases (more later). These phases involve the countries of Denmark, Bohemia, Sweden, and France. The countries were divided mainly because of religious conflict, as several were under Catholic rule and some were under Protestant rule. The kings of these countries were the main cause of the division between nations because of their religious views and ways of ruling.
The Bohemian Civil War
Religion in Germany-1618
Battle of Breitenfeld
This was the fourth and final phase of the Thirty Years' War, also called the international phase, which took place around 1635-1648. The French foreign policy had been based on opposition to Habsburg rule for nearly a century. In 1635, French Cardinal Richelieu declared war against Spain, forming an alliance between the French, Dutch, and the Swedes, with additional support from Scots, Finns, and mercenaries. German commerce was looted and burned. The war still dragged on, as no nation had the power to win quickly. It was not until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 that peace was achieved.
French victory at Rocroi
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia marked the end of the Thirty Years' War. The treaties were published in 1648 and were a turning point in the history of Europe. They recognized sovereign authority of German princes. After the Peace of Westphalia, the emperor's power was limited and the Holy Roman Empire remained loosely knit.
Peace of Westphalia, 1648
Significant Events of the Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War consisted of battles, pillages, plunderings, and lootings, however several events stood out more than others in terms of how Europe's history was affected.
Battle of White Mountain
The Battle of White Mountain occurred during the first phase of the war, the Bohemian phase. In 1620, Catholic forces defeated the head of the Protestant Union, Frederick elector of the Palatinate. This event marked the beginning of Catholic rule in Bohemia.
Battle of White Mountain, 1620
Battles of Breitenfeld and Lutzen
The Battle of Breitenfeld took place in 1631. Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, a Lutheran, won a victory with a small army at Breitenfeld against Catholics and in 1632 gained another victory at Lutzen, where he was fatally wounded. These battles changed the future of Protestantism in Europe and marked the beginning of the French phase of the Thirty Years' War.
Battle of Nordlingen
This battle was fought by the Swedes in 1634, following Gustavus's death. The Swedes were defeated, prompting the French to enter the war. This event lead to the formation of the alliance between the French, Dutch, and Swedes. This alliance pillaged agriculture and commerce in Germany, which made the war drag on for many more years.
Soldiers plundering a farm
Positive Consequences of the Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War ended with the Peace of Westphalia, which resulted in various consequences. The emperor's power was limited along with the power of the Holy Roman Empire. The agreement noticed the independence of the Netherlands, and France aquired the province of Alsace. Sweden received a large sum of cash and power over several German territories near the Baltic Sea. However, this made Sweden a large threat towards Prussia. The papacy could not participate in religious situations in Europe. The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 was made permanent. Northern Germany stayed Protestant, and southern Germany turned to Catholicism.
Negative Consequences of the Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War is considered as one of the most destructive in history. Livestock, land, trade, and commerce were negatively affected. Cities were destroyed, and inflation in Europe rose sharply due to the destrution of land and shortage of food, as well as the Spanish silver crisis. Farmers became laborers and many became refugees, fleeing to different countries.
The Thirty Year's War resulted in both positive and negative effects in Europe. Although it is considered to be one of history's most destructive wars, the events of the Thirty Years' War have shaped Europe. Many of its results still remain as part of Europe today.