By the mid-1620’s, the Palatine phase of the War was all but over. The Imperial and Catholic League forces had essentially concluded their game of Protestant mercenary whack-a-mole, but peace remained elusive. Frederick and the remnants of the Evangelical Union began cast about more broadly for a new Protestant champion in Europe. Both the King […]Read more "A Christian War"
From White Mountain, Frederick’s decline continued at near terminal velocity. Not only was his correspondence being used by Catholic investigators to damn all of his contacts, but as an added humiliation his garters had been found in Prague Castle by Maximilian’s soldiers. Vicious as always, political cartoonists took to depicting him with his pants down […]Read more "War on the Rhine, in the Palatine"
With the passing of Matthias, central Europe abruptly dissolved into a war zone. With no way out in sight, the more moderate Bohemian Protestants fell in line behind Thurn. Then, from bad to worse for Ferdinand, the remaining and long oppressed Protestants in his Austrian backyard of Lusatia and Moravia revolted. Yet at the start […]Read more "The Season of the Winter King"
Speaking of war, this is as good a segue as any to tell a small story. Thirty five years after the Peace of Westphalia put an end to Germany’s grief, the Ottoman Empire marched out for one final stab at Vienna. Under the leadership of Mehmet IV, the Turks mustered an army of somewhere between […]Read more "The Weapons of War in the 17th Century"
Within Bohemia a collection of nobles called the Defenses were in charge of enforcing the Letter of Majesty’s conditions, and they were understandably concerned that any promises Ferdinand and his Jesuit advisors were making were just to mollify them until he had ascended the imperial throne. They had also seen Ferdinand’s preferred modus operandi in […]Read more "The (second) Prague Defenestration"
The internal squabble in the Hapsburg family came at the worst possible time. The Dutch and Spanish had both exhausted themselves and in 1609 had agreed to a 12 year peace so they could take a few years and pick up their teeth from the gutter. Yet both sides knew the war was going to […]Read more "Tremors in Bavaria, War in the Palatine"