Against the background of a war that now stretched from Catalonia to Denmark, 1643 marks the inauspicious beginning of the Westphalian Congress. In keeping with the eternal drudgery of this narrative, even this start was the belated result of literally two years spent negotiating just what, where, and how peace terms could be talked about. […]Read more "Journey to the Westphalia"
Part of the reason de Melo had been able to regroup after Rocroi had a lot to do with what the Dutch had been up to. Namely, not much in 1643. The Provinces were extremely tired by the nearly eighty years of on again, off again, war with Spain. With the power of the House […]Read more "Meanwhile, in Denmark"
While the long term future was bright for France, its ability to command anything bigger than a corgi in 1643 must have seemed doubtful. Their military reputation was a mix of the odd success seasoned with some truly awkward failures. The good news for Mazarin was that he finally had two French Commanders he would […]Read more "The Battle of Rocroi"
As Friedrich Wilhelm and the Swedes began to peel apart imperial unity, the Hapsburg’s most implacable foe must have died with a smile on his face. A victim of his own doctors as well as outright disease, Cardinal Richelieu passed in December 4th, 1642. For years the Cardinal had put his considerable intellect towards the […]Read more "The Passing of Richelieu and Olivares"
The fortunes of the other supposed Hapsburg young gun Emperor Ferdinand III were only looking marginally better than a stomach ulcer death in 1640-41. Just the year before, Johanes Baner’s army had stormed into Bohemia once again and set half the country on fire. Even Baner was appalled at the state of the place, not […]Read more "The ReBrandenburging"
By 1639 the Thirty Years War and its tangled sister wars in the Netherlands, Italy, and France had stretched the long foundering Spanish Empire to the breaking point. Breisach and the closure of the Spanish Road had been a painful loss, and Olivares had taken to badmouthing the Cardinal-Infante for not relieving the fortress in […]Read more "Spain, Down(s) but Not Out"