n. A series of wars in central Europe beginning in 1618 that … [50] In early 1626, Cardinal Richelieu, main architect of the alliance, faced a new Huguenot rebellion; in the March Treaty of Monzón, France withdrew from Northern Italy, re-opening the Spanish Road. [27], Since Emperor Matthias had no surviving children, in July 1617 Philip III of Spain agreed to support Ferdinand's election as king of Bohemia and Hungary. Outcome of Thirty Years War The result of the thirty year war was that the German princes could choose their own religion, as long as it was one of the big three . This is a chronology of the 30 Years War in an outline form. With the exception of Christian of Anhalt, his advisors urged him to reject it, as did the Dutch, the Duke of Savoy, and his father-in-law James. And it was this upheaval – not military conflict per se – that took the heaviest human toll. This second phase ended with the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. [19], Managing these issues was complicated by the fragmented nature of the Empire, a patchwork of nearly 1,800 separate entities in Germany, the Low Countries, Northern Italy, and areas like Alsace, now part of modern France. There were wide regional variations; in the Duchy of Württemberg, the number of inhabitants fell by nearly 60%. The Thirty Years’ War began when three representatives of the Holy Roman Empire were thrown out the window of the royal castle in Prague in 1618, sparking a continent-wide religious conflict. [86], Northern Italy had been contested by France and the Habsburgs for centuries, since it was vital for control of South-West France, an area with a long history of opposition to the central authorities. In 1625 King Christian IV of Denmark saw an opportunity to gain valuable territory in Germany to balance his earlier loss of Baltic provinces to Sweden. The conflict can be split into two main parts. The Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) was a series of wars principally fought in Central Europe, involving most of the countries of Europe. Intended as the basis of a wider coalition against Ferdinand, France, Sweden, Savoy and the Republic of Venice were also invited to join, but it was overtaken by events. In May 1618, these factors combined to bring about the Bohemian Revolt. While Spain remained the dominant power in Italy, its reliance on long exterior lines of communication was a potential weakness, especially the Spanish Road; this overland route allowed them to move recruits and supplies from Naples and Lombardy to their army in Flanders. The range of confessions in Germany, 1650, as a result of the Thirty Years' War. Brandenburg-Prussia received Farther Pomerania, and the bishoprics of Magdeburg, Halberstadt, Kammin, and Minden. While the infantry was supported by pikemen to fend off cavalry, the pikes were over time replaced by bayonets. This included ambitious Imperial states like Lutheran Saxony and Catholic Bavaria, as well as France, which faced Habsburg territories on its borders in Flanders, Franche-Comté, and the Pyrenees. The aim of this paper is to outline the main themes of Wiesner-Hanks’ discussion of the war… Four of the electors were Catholic, three Protestant; if this could be changed, it might result in a Protestant Emperor. Prompted by France, the rebels proclaimed the Catalan Republic in January 1641. Of the 30,000 citizens, only 5,000 survived. Each member was represented in the Imperial Diet; prior to 1663, this assembled on an irregular basis, and was primarily a forum for discussion, rather than legislation. [79] Mazarin began seeking a negotiated peace; 25 years of constant war had devastated the countryside, forcing armies to spend more time foraging than fighting, and drastically reducing their ability to sustain campaigns. Director: James Clavell | Stars: Michael Caine , Omar Sharif , Florinda Bolkan , Nigel Davenport The Thirty Years’ War, from 1618-1648, was a tumultuous period of battles, revolt, famine, disease, and religious conflict in Europe. Overall, the struggle was between the Holy Roman Empire, which was Roman Catholic and Habsburg, and a network of Protestant towns and principalities that relied on the chief anti-Catholic powers of Sweden and the United Netherlands, which had at last thrown off the yoke of Spain after a struggle lasting 80 years. The member states of the Holy Roman Empire were granted full sovereignty. Imperial Armies of the Thirty Years’ War (1): Infantry and artillery (Men-at-Arms) by Vladimir Brnardic and Darko Pavlovic | Oct 27, 2009. Brandenburg-Prussia (1631–1635)[note 1] Habsburg pre-eminence in Europe curtailed, Anti-Imperial alliance: Meanwhile the conflict widened, fueled by political ambitions of the various powers. In practice, it was a series of separate yet connected international and internal conflicts waged by regular and irregular military forces, partisan groups, private armies and conscripts. [94], Preliminary discussions began in 1642 but only became serious in 1646; talks were split between the towns of Münster and Osnabrück. [71] Rumours now began circulating Wallenstein was preparing to switch sides, and in February 1634, Ferdinand issued orders for his arrest; on 25th, he was assassinated by one of his officers in Cheb. [126], The Peace reconfirmed "German liberties", ending Habsburg attempts to convert the Holy Roman Empire into an absolutist state similar to Spain. In May 1625, the Lower Saxony kreis elected Christian their military commander, although not without resistance; Saxony and Brandenburg viewed Denmark and Sweden as competitors, and wanted to avoid either becoming involved in the Empire. [43], At a meeting of the Imperial Diet in February 1623, Ferdinand forced through provisions transferring Frederick's titles, lands and electoral vote to Maximilian. [108], Parish records show regular outbreaks of these were common for decades prior to 1618, but the conflict greatly accelerated their spread. [46], As Duke of Holstein, Christian IV was also a member of the Lower Saxon circle, while Denmark's economy relied on the Baltic trade and tolls from traffic through the Øresund. By weakening the Habsburgs while increasing the status of France and Sweden, it led to a new balance of power on the continent. … [52], Many of Christian's German allies, such as Hesse-Kassel and Saxony, had little interest in replacing Imperial domination for Danish, while few of the subsidies agreed in the Treaty of the Hague were ever paid. Frederick and the remnants of Mansfeld's army took refuge in the Dutch Republic. From 1618 to 1648 a series of conflicts engulfed much of Europe. By the end of the war, the shape of Europe had been greatly changed. Gustavus Adolphus despatched several thousand Scots and Swedish troops under Alexander Leslie to Stralsund, who was appointed governor. [51], The intervention involved three Protestant armies; the main force under Christian IV was to advance down the Weser, while Mansfeld attacked Wallenstein in Magdeburg and Christian of Brunswick linked up with the Calvinist Maurice of Hesse-Kassel. His main innovation was to feed his army not by pillaging the norm of the time but … [29], The Jesuit educated Ferdinand once claimed he would rather see his lands destroyed than tolerate heresy for a single day. [130] Although the Franco-Spanish conflict continued until 1659 and Spain remained a global force for another two centuries, Westphalia allowed Louis XIV of France to complete the process of replacing her as the predominant European power. Doing so turned the conflict into a contest between Imperial authority and "German liberties", while Catholics saw an opportunity to regain lands lost since 1555. Catholic France also entered the war, but not on the Catholic side. Emperor Rudolf approved intervention by the Catholic Maximilian of Bavaria on their behalf; he was allowed to annex Donauwörth to recover his costs, turning a Lutheran town Catholic. A specially designed Malefizhaus, or 'crime house', was erected containing a torture chamber, whose walls were adorned with Bible verses, where the accused were interrogated. Until the mid-20th century, it was seen as predominantly a German civil war and considered one of the European wars of religion. [61], With Swedish-occupied Stralsund providing a bridgehead, in June 1630 nearly 18,000 Swedish troops landed in the Duchy of Pomerania. 1. Although the struggles that created it erupted some years earlier, the war is conventionally held to have begun in 1618, when the future Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand II, in his role as king of Bohemia, attempted to impose Roman Catholic absolutism on his domains, and the Protestant nobles of both Bohemia and Austria rose up in rebellion. These are the 400th anniversary of the start of the Thirty Years’ War… Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. A combined Imperial-Catholic League army funded by Maximilian and led by Count Tilly pacified Upper and Lower Austria before invading Bohemia, where they defeated Christian of Anhalt at the White Mountain in November 1620. With the exception of England's short cameo, pretty much everyone had a prominent role to play RELEASED? After the recent victory of the Catholics, Denmark felt that it's sovereignty as a Protestant country would be threatened. Although the majority of Germany suffered from famine and economic ruin, there were regions that came out of the war … Then the predominant global power, the Spanish Empire included the Spanish Netherlands, much of Italy, the Philippines, and most of the Americas, while Austria remained focused on Central Europe. [65], However, once again Richelieu provided the requisite support; in the 1631 Treaty of Bärwalde, he provided funds for the Heilbronn League, a Swedish-led coalition of German Protestant states, including Saxony and Brandenburg. The political disintegration of the Polish commonwealth led to the 1655 to 1660 Second Northern War with Sweden, which also involved Denmark, Russia and Brandenburg, while two Swedish attempts to impose its control on the port of Bremen failed in 1654 and 1666. He was supported by Spain, for whom it provided an opportunity to open another front against the Dutch. Peace of Westphalia Dutch leader Frederick Henry recaptured Breda in October, and three months later Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar destroyed an Imperial army at Rheinfelden. [74] In March 1636, France finally joined the Thirty Years War in alliance with Sweden, launching offensives in Germany and the Low Countries. Previously, many had overlapping, sometimes conflicting political and religious allegiances; they were now understood to be subject first and foremost to the laws and edicts of their respective state authority, not to the claims of any other entity, be it religious or secular. 2. [129], Arguably, France gained more from the Thirty Years' War than any other power; by 1648, most of Richelieu's objectives had been achieved. Anger at such tactics and his growing power came to a head in early 1628 when Ferdinand deposed the hereditary Duke of Mecklenburg, and appointed Wallenstein in his place. The deadly clashes ravaged Europe; 20 percent of the total population of Germany died … The Imperial army under Gallas retreated into Bohemia, pursued by Torstenson, whose victory at Jankau in March 1645 allowed him to threaten both Prague and Vienna. In July 1620, the Protestant Union proclaimed its neutrality, while John George of Saxony agreed to back Ferdinand in return for Lusatia, and a promise to safeguard the rights of Lutherans in Bohemia. One of the causes of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) was the growing religious and political tension between Roman Catholics and Protestant Christians. This made it easier to levy national armies of significant size, loyal to their state and its leader; one lesson learned from Wallenstein and the Swedish invasion was the need for their own permanent armies, and Germany as a whole became a far more militarised society. In some areas of Germany, it has been suggested up to 60% of the population died.[15]. A better question would be who DIDN'T take part. Delivering these commitments required his election as Emperor, which was not guaranteed; one alternative was Maximilian of Bavaria, who opposed the increase of Spanish influence in an area he considered his own, and tried to create a coalition with Saxony and the Palatinate to support his candidacy. This resulted in the treaties of Münster and Osnabrück, making peace with France and Sweden respectively. The situation was complicated by Savoy, which saw an opportunity to gain territory; in March 1629, the French stormed Savoyard positions in the Pas de Suse, lifted the siege of Casale and captured the strategic fortress of Pinerolo. Christian retained his German possessions of Schleswig and Holstein, in return for relinquishing Bremen and Verden, and abandoning support for the German Protestants. All parties involved in the war went nearly broke … He began negotiations with Wallenstein, who despite his recent victories was concerned by the prospect of Swedish intervention, and thus anxious to make peace. [87], French policy was to seek to disrupt this road wherever possible, either by attacking the Spanish-held Duchy of Milan, or by blocking the Alpine passes. Wallenstein above was the General of Ferdinand's army. [47] In 1621, Hamburg accepted Danish 'supervision', while his son Frederick became joint-administrator of Lübeck, Bremen and Verden. Christian IV of Denmark was also Duke of Holstein, and it was in this capacity he joined the war in 1625. This seemed confirmed when Tilly's Catholic League army occupied Halberstadt in early 1625. Leopold suffered 20,000 casualties, including 5,000 prisoners and 46 guns, compared to Swedish losses of 4,000 killed or wounded. [102], The settlement failed to achieve its stated intention of achieving a 'universal peace'; Mazarin insisted on excluding the Burgundian Circle from the treaty of Münster, allowing France to continue its campaign against Spain in the Low Countries, a war that continued until the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees. Director: Karel Zeman | Stars: Petr Kostka, Emília Vásáryová, Miroslav Holub, Karel Effa. The 1555 Peace of Augsburg was intended to end conflict between German Protestants and Catholics by establishing the principle of cuius regio, eius religio. [33], Spanish involvement inevitably drew in the Dutch, and potentially France, although the strongly Catholic Louis XIII faced his own Protestant rebels at home and refused to support them elsewhere. [37], As a result, although Frederick accepted the crown and entered Prague in October 1619, his support gradually eroded over the next few months. While it is not a comprehensive list of all skirmishes, conflicts, or battles that took place in the Thirty Years' War… He did so with support from the Catholic League, despite strong opposition from Protestant members, as well as the Spanish. The ancient notion of a Roman Catholic empire of Europe, headed spiritually by a pope and temporally by an emperor, was permanently abandoned, and the essential structure of modern Europe as a community of sovereign states was established. The future Pope Alexander VII and the Venetian Republic acted as mediators, with a total of 109 delegations attending at one time or other. The French candidate, Charles I Gonzaga, was confirmed as Duke of Mantua; although Richelieu's representative, Cardinal Mazarin, agreed to evacuate Pinerolo, it was later secretly returned under an agreement with Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy. Based on analysis of contemporary reports, less than 3% of civilian deaths were the result of military action; the major causes were starvation (12%), bubonic plague (64%), typhus (4%), and dysentery (5%). The income from their imperial possessions remained in Germany and did not benefit the kingdom of Sweden; although they retained Swedish Pomerania until 1815, much of it was ceded to Prussia in 1679 and 1720. In late August, Gustavus incurred heavy losses in an unsuccessful assault on the town, arguably the greatest blunder in his German campaign. [48], Ferdinand had paid Wallenstein for his support against Frederick with estates confiscated from the Bohemian rebels, and now contracted with him to conquer the north on a similar basis. The Thirty Years' War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. This period, known as the Thirty Years’ War, began with a religious dispute. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The Thirty Years' War was one of the bloodiest events in European history — deadlier than the Black Death and World War II, in terms of the proportion of the population lost. Occasionally it meant full-scale conflict, such as the 1583 to 1588 Cologne War, caused by the conversion to Calvinism of the Prince Elector, Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg. [15], These figures can be misleading, since Franz calculated the absolute decline in pre and post-war populations, or 'total demographic loss'. This meant each of the 224 member states was either Lutheran, the most usual form of Protestantism, or Catholic, based on the choice made by their ruler. Jun 2nd 2011. Fighting did not end immediately, since demobilising over 200,000 soldiers was a complex business, and the last Swedish garrison did not leave Germany until 1654. Lack of a sense of 'shared community' resulted in atrocities such as the destruction of Magdeburg, while creating large numbers of refugees, who were extremely susceptible to sickness and hunger. Science & technology Jun 2nd 2011 edition. IT WAS not quite a … The crisis had a constitutional and political as well as a religious dimension. After tense negotiations with Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, in the April 1635 Treaty of Compiègne Richelieu agreed to provide additional subsidies, and declared war on Spain in May, beginning the 1635 to 1659 Franco-Spanish War. The first period from 1618 to 1635 was a struggle within the Holy Roman Empire, fought between Emperor Ferdinand II and his internal opponents, with external powers playing a supportive role. Dr Bernd Warlich has edited four diaries of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). Soldiers devastated one area then moved on, abandoning large tracts of land and changing the eco-system. [66] Payments amounted to 400,000 Reichstaler, or one million livres per year, plus an additional 120,000 Reichstalers for 1630. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Thirty-Years-War, Military History Encyclopedia on the Web - Thirty Years War, Thirty Years’ War - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Thirty Years’ War - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), Europe, history of: The Thirty Years’ War, Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimental, count-duke de Olivares, Armand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal et duc de Richelieu, Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, vicomte de Turenne. After Frederick was deposed in 1623, John George of Saxony and the Calvinist George William of Brandenburg feared Ferdinand intended to reclaim former Catholic bishoprics currently held by Lutherans (see Map). Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), in European history, a series of wars fought by various nations for various reasons, including religious, dynastic, territorial, and commercial rivalries. [81], In 1643, Frederick III of Denmark re-entered the conflict as an Imperial ally, threatening the Swedes with a war on two fronts. This resulted in a Gordian tangle of alliances as princes and prelates called in foreign powers to aid them. However, it was a compromise that failed to resolve underlying religious and political tensions within the Holy Roman Empire. Their attribution by some to supernatural causes led to a series of Witch-hunts, beginning in Franconia in 1626 and quickly spreading to other parts of Germany, which were often exploited for political purposes. Quiet ‘Hero’ Marks 30 Years Restoring Limbs, and Dignity, in War. [123] In 2012, she and other victims were officially exonerated by the Cologne City Council. 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