Thirty Years War

The Thirty Years War

"The Thirty Years’ War" is a name given by historians to a series of conflicts in Central Europe, which started in 1618 and was still in full swing during the years of our campaign.

Today it is estimated to be one of the lengthiest and most violent conflicts in European history. What originally commenced as a feud between the Protestant and the Catholic countries, within the area previously known as the Holy Roman Empire, gradually scaled out of all proportion, becoming a matter of life and death for all the European superpowers. The France was pitted against the Habsburgs in a race for European hegemony, whereas the common folk were almost entirely engrossed in supporting one side or the other, religion being an important subject, discussed among all classes on a daily basis. 

The onset of the war was marked by the newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II imposing religious uniformity on all his lands.

This meant that whatever their previous religion was, from now on all his subjects would have to convert to Roman Catholicism. The northern Protestant states vehemently objected this, saying that the Emperor’s new laws were a violation of their citizen rights. Therefore, they conjoined starting the Protestant Union. The act led to an atmosphere of religious-political unrest spreading throughout Europe and ultimately to the Protestant Bohemians, living on the territory known today as Czech Republic, rebelling against the Habsburgs. A series of conflicts followed.

The citizens of Bohemia wanted to get rid of the Habsburgs and they did so in electing Frederick V, Elector of Palatinate (an area covering various states in what would later become Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany).

This, however, was an incendiary event for the southern Catholic states, which formed the Catholic League. They supported Ferdinand II, the Roman Catholic Emperor and wanted in turn to oust Frederick. The Battle of White Mountain ensued, where the Empire prevailed and the Palatinate armies were defeated. As a result, the Protestants just got more annoyed. Soon, Saxony joined the Protestant Union, with Sweden, a military superpower of the era.

Despite being a Catholic country, France joined the war a couple of years before the start of the campaign, on the side of the Protestant Union, against the Holy Roman Empire. This was mainly at the urging of Cardinal Richelieu on the grounds that it would be better for France than ceding more power to the empire and to Spain, and better for the Rule of King Louis XIII.

Thirty Years War

All for One MickH666