The Thirty Years' War - An Introduction
Pages 10

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) remains a puzzling and complex subject for students and œŒ‘˜•Š›œȱŠ•’”Žǯȱ—Žȱ–’‘ȱŽŸŽ—ȱŠœ”ȱ ‘Ž‘Ž›ȱ‘ŽȱŽ›–ȱȁ‘’›¢ȱŽŠ›œȂȱŠ›Ȃȱ’œȱ“žœ’ꮍȱ’—ȱ‘Žȱ ę›œȱ™•ŠŒŽǰȱœ’—ŒŽȱ‘Žȱ Š›ȱœŽŽ–œȱ˜ȱ’œœ˜•ŸŽȱ’—˜ȱŠȱœŽ›’Žœȱ˜ȱ’—’Ÿ’žŠ•ȱŒ˜—Ě’Œœȱ ’‘ȱ’쎛Ž—ȱ ’œœžŽœǰȱ ˜Ž—ȱ ’‘ȱ—˜ȱ ›ŽŠ•ȱ Œ˜––˜—ȱŽ—˜–’—Š˜›ǰȱ Š—ȱ’쎛Ž—ȱ™Š›’Œ’™Š—œǰȱ ’‘˜žȱ Š—¢ȱ Œ•ŽŠ›ȱ ‹Ž’——’—ȱ ˜›ȱ Ž—ǯȱ—Žȱ–’‘ȱ ‘žœȱ ‘’—”ȱ ˜ȱ ‘Žȱ ž›˜™ŽŠ—ȱ Œ˜—Ě’Œœȱ Šœǰȱ ˜›ȱ ’—œŠ—ŒŽǰȱ the war between Sweden and Poland1 or the struggle between France and the Spanish and Austrian Habsburgs for hegemony in Europe as being distinct episodes which cannot be Œ˜—ĚŠŽȱž—Ž›ȱŠȱœ’—•Žȱ•Š‹Ž•ǯ

žȱ ‘Ž›Žȱ Šœȱ ˜—Žȱ ŒŽ—›Š•ȱ ’œœžŽȱ ‘’Œ‘ȱ “žœ’ęŽœȱ ‘Žȱ Œ˜—Ž–™˜›Š›¢ȱ “žŽ–Ž—ȱ ‘Šȱ ‘Žȱ ȁ‘’›¢ȱŽŠ›œȂȱŠ›Ȃȱ Šœȱ Šȱ Œ˜—Žœȱ ’‘ȱ ŠȱŽę—’Žȱ ‹Ž’——’—ȱ Š—ȱ ŠȱŽę—’Žȱ Ž—ȱ Š—ȱ ’‘ȱ Šȱ œ›žŒž›Žȱ ’Ÿ’—ȱ Œ˜‘Ž›Ž—ŒŽȱ ˜ȱ ‘Žȱ ŸŠ›’˜žœȱ –’•’Š›¢ȱ ŒŠ–™Š’—œǰȱ ›Š‘Ž›ȱ ‘Š—ȱ œ’–™•¢ȱ Š—ȱ amorphous series of individual wars: the struggle for the constitution of the Holy Roman Empire and – inseparable from this question – the balance of political and religious forces ’—ȱŽ—›Š•ȱž›˜™Žǯȱ‘Žȱ‹Ž’——’—ȱ˜ȱ‘’œȱŒ˜—Ě’Œȱ ŠœȱŒ•ŽŠ›•¢ȱŠȱ Ž›–Š—ȱ Š›DZȱŠȱœŠ”Žȱ Ž›Žȱ ’—Ž›—Š•ȱ ’œœžŽœȱ ˜ȱ ‘Žȱ Ž–™’›Žǯȱ ‘’œȱ Œ˜—Ě’Œȱ Šœȱ ’—Œ›ŽŠœ’—•¢ȱ ’—Ž›—Š’˜—Š•’œŽǰȱ Žœ™ŽŒ’Š••¢ȱ ›˜–ȱŗŜřŖȱ˜— Š›œǰȱ ‘Ž—ȱ ŽŽ—ȱ’—ŸŠŽȱ‘ŽȱŽ–™’›Žǯȱ‘žœȱœŽŸŽ›Š•ȱ™‘ŠœŽœȱŒŠ—ȱŠ—ȱ‘ŠŸŽȱ ˜ȱ‹Žȱ’œ’—ž’œ‘Žǯȱ ˜ ŽŸŽ›ǰȱž—’•ȱŗŜŘşȱ‘ŽȱŒ˜—Ě’Œȱ ŠœȱŽœœŽ—’Š••¢ȱŒŽ—›Žȱ˜—ȱ‘Žȱ’–™Ž›’Š•ȱ Œ˜—œ’ž’˜—ȱŠ—ȱ‘Žȱ›Ž•Š’˜—œ‘’™ȱ‹Ž ŽŽ—ȱ‘ŽȱŒ˜—Žœœ’˜—œǯȱ‘Žȱ Š›ȱ Šœȱ˜ž‘ȱ‹¢ȱ Ž›–Š—ȱ Protestants (Lutherans and Calvinists) and Catholics alike in order to enforce their own ‘authentic interpretation’ of the Peace of Augsburg (1555). This happened notably when the –™Ž›˜›ȱ’œœžŽȱ‘Žȱ’Œȱ˜ȱŽœ’ž’˜—ȱ’—ȱŗŜŘşǰȱ ‘Ž›Žȱ’ȱ ŠœȱŒ•Š’–Žȱ‘Šȱ‘Žȱ’Œȱ Šœȱ‘Žȱ authentic interpretation of the Peace of Augsburg. The war was thus manifold: about the Ž–™’›ŽǰȱŠ‹˜žȱ›Ž•’’˜—ȱŠ—ȱŠ‹˜žȱ™˜ Ž›ȱ™˜•’’Œœȱ’—ȱž›˜™Žǯȱ‘’œȱ ŠœȱŠ•œ˜ȱ›ŽĚŽŒŽȱ’—ȱ‘ŽȱŽŠŒŽȱ ˜ȱŽœ™‘Š•’ŠǰȱŠȱ›ŽŠ¢ȱ ‘’Œ‘ǰȱŠŽ›ȱŠ••ǰȱ‘Šȱ‘Žȱ ˜˜•ȱŠ’–ȱ˜ȱ‹˜‘ȱœŽĴ•’—ȱ’—Ž›—Š’˜—Š•ȱ ›Ž•Š’˜—œȱŠ—ȱ˜ȱ’—›˜žŒ’—ȱŠȱœŽĴ•Ž–Ž—ȱ˜›ȱ‘ŽȱŽ–™’›ŽǰȱŠ—ȱŠ••ȱ‘’œȱ‹¢ȱœ’–ž•Š—Ž˜žœ•¢ǰȱŠ—ȱ ž—Š–Ž—Š••¢ǰȱŒ‘Š—’—ȱ‘Žȱ›Ž•Š’˜—œ‘’™ȱ‹Ž ŽŽ—ȱ™˜•’’ŒœȱŠ—ȱ›Ž•’’˜—ǯ

‘’œȱ ›ŽœŽŠ›Œ‘ȱ Œ˜–™Š—’˜—ȱ ‹›’—œȱ ˜Ž‘Ž›ȱ •ŽŠ’—ȱ œŒ‘˜•Š›œȱ ˜ȱ ‘Žȱ ꎕȱ ˜ȱ œ¢—‘Žœ’œŽȱ ‘Žȱ Ž¡’œ’—ȱ ”—˜ •ŽŽǰȱ  ‘’Œ‘ȱ ›Ž–Š’—œȱ œ˜–Ž ‘Šȱ ›Š–Ž—Žȱ Š•˜—ȱ ‘Žȱ ’Ÿ’’—ȱ •’—Žœȱ ˜ȱ •’—ž’œ’Œǰȱ Š—ȱ ‘Ž—ŒŽȱ ȁ—Š’˜—Š•Ȃǰȱ ‘’œ˜›’˜›Š™‘¢ǯȱ ŸŽ›ȱ ‘Žȱ Œ˜ž›œŽȱ ˜ȱ Řśȱ Œ‘Š™Ž›œȱ ‘Žȱ Œ˜–™•Ž¡’’Žœȱ˜ȱ‘Žȱ‘’›¢ȱŽŠ›œȂȱŠ›ȱŠ›ŽȱŽ¡™•˜›Žȱ’—ȱŠȱŒ˜–™›Ž‘Ž—œ’ŸŽǰȱŒ˜–™Š›Š’ŸŽȱŠ—ǰȱ  Žȱ‹Ž•’ŽŸŽǰȱ’——˜ŸŠ’ŸŽȱŠ™™›˜ŠŒ‘ǯȱ‘ŽȱŒ‘Š™Ž›œȱ›Š ȱ˜—ȱ›ŽŒŽ—ȱ›ŽœŽŠ›Œ‘ȱ ‘’Œ‘ȱ’œȱ—˜ȱŠ• Š¢œȱ available in English. A selected bibliography at the end of each chapter provides suggestions for further reading in English. Where English literature is scarce we have also supplied the most pertinent scholarship which is available in foreign languages. The chapters of this volume aim to furnish a narrative of the historical events and a more analytical evaluation


˜ȱ‘ŽȱŽ¡’œ’—ȱ‘’œ˜›’˜›Š™‘¢ǯȱ—Ž›™›ŽŠ’˜—œȱ˜ȱ—ŽŒŽœœŠ›’•¢ȱŸŠ›¢ǰȱŠ—ȱŠœȱŽ’˜›œȱ Žȱ Ž›Žȱ ”ŽŽ—ȱ˜ȱ™›ŽœŽ—ȱ‘ŽȱŽ¡’œ’—ȱ’쎛Ž—ŒŽœȱ’—ȱ‘’œȱŸ˜•ž–Žǯȱ‘Ž›ŽȱŠ™™›˜™›’ŠŽǰȱŒ›˜œœȬ›ŽŽ›Ž—ŒŽœȱ are given to other chapters in this volume. Even the student who is new to this subject will realise that some chapters make bolder claims than others for a revisionist interpretation of the existing scholarship. We believe that the balance of historical information and analysis ˜—ȱ‘Žȱ˜—Žȱ‘Š—ǰȱŠ—ȱ’—Ž›™›ŽŠ’ŸŽȱ›ŽȬŽŸŠ•žŠ’˜—ȱ˜—ȱ‘Žȱ˜‘Ž›ȱ ’••ȱŠ••˜ ȱ‘Žȱ›ŽŠŽ›ȱ˜ȱ›ŽŠŒ‘ȱ ‘’œȱ ˜ —ȱ “žŽ–Ž—ȱ ˜—ȱ ‘ŽœŽȱ Š–’ĴŽ•¢ȱ Œ˜–™•’ŒŠŽȱ Š—ȱ Œ˜—›˜ŸŽ›œ’Š•ȱ ’œœžŽœǰȱ ‘’Œ‘ȱ Žȱ ˜ȱ—˜ȱ Š—ȱ˜ȱœŽĴ•Žȱ™›Ž–Šž›Ž•¢ȱ’—ȱ‘’œȱ’—›˜žŒ’˜—ǯȱ—ȱ›ŽŒŽ—ȱ¢ŽŠ›œȱ‘Žȱ˜Œžœȱ˜—ȱŸŠ›’˜žœȱ Šœ™ŽŒœȱ˜ȱ‘Žȱ‘’›¢ȱŽŠ›œȂȱŠ›ȱ‘Šœȱ‹ŽŽ—ȱŒ˜—œ’Ž›Š‹•¢ȱœ‘Š›™Ž—Žǯȱ˜›ȱ’—œŠ—ŒŽǰȱ’œŒžœœ’˜—ȱ ˜ȱ‘ŽȱŒ˜—žŒȱ˜ȱ‘Žȱ Š›ǰȱ‘ŽȱŽ¡™Ž›’Ž—ŒŽȱ˜ȱ’ȱ˜›ȱœ˜•’Ž›œȱŠ—ȱ‘Žȱ˜›’—Š›¢ȱ™˜™ž•Š’˜—ȱ‘Šœȱ ŠĴ›ŠŒŽȱ—Ž ȱ›ŽœŽŠ›Œ‘ǯȱ‘ŽȱœŠ–Žȱ‘˜•œȱ›žŽȱ˜›ȱ‘Žȱ›˜•Žȱ›Ž•’’˜—ȱ™•Š¢Žȱ’—ȱ‘’œȱŒ˜—Ě’Œǯȱ˜›ȱ ‘Žȱę›œȱ’–Žȱ‘’œȱ›ŽœŽŠ›Œ‘ȱŒ˜–™Š—’˜—ȱŠĴŽ–™œȱ˜ȱ™›ŽœŽ—ȱ‘ŽœŽȱŸŠ›’˜žœȱꎕœȱ˜ȱ›ŽœŽŠ›Œ‘ȱ ’—ȱ ˜—Žȱ Œ˜–™›Ž‘Ž—œ’ŸŽȱ Ÿ˜•ž–Žǯȱ ’ŸŽ—ȱ ‘Žȱ Œ˜–™•Ž¡’’Žœȱ ˜ȱ ‘’œȱ ž›˜™ŽŠ—ȱ  Š›ǰȱ Šȱ ™›˜™Ž›ȱ understanding of it must begin by looking closely at the preceding situation within the empire and the emerging European state system.