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Speilvogel Ch.

Unit IV

Ch.15 State Building and the Search for Order in the 17th Century
Social Crises, War, and Rebellions
I. The inflation-fueled prosperity of the 16thc showed signs of slackening by the
beginning of the 17thc. Economic contraction was evident in some parts of E in
the 1620s. In the 16 30s and 40s, as imports of silver from Am declined, economic
recession intensified, especially in the Med area
II. The 16thc was a period of expanding population, possibly related to warmer
climate and increased food supplies
A. It was the 1st major recovery of E population since the devastation of
the BD
B. There was a leveling off by 1620 and possibly decline by 1650,
especially in central and southern E
C. Only the F, D, and E grew in number in the 1st ½ of the 17thc
III. Another “Little Ice Age” after the middle of the 16thc when average
temperatures fell affected harvests and caused famines. These problems created
social tensions that came to a boil in the witchcraft age
The Witchcraft Craze
I. Witchcraft trials were held in E, SL, SZL, G, F, the LC, NE, and Am
II. It’s practice had been a traditional part of village culture for cs, but it became
to be viewed as sinister and dangerous when the medieval church began to
connect witches to the devil, transforming it into heresy that should be wiped out
A. After the establishment of the Inquisition, in the 13thc, people were
accused of a variety of witchcraft practices and turned over to secular
authorities for burning at the stake or hanging
The Spread of Witchcraft
I. What distinguished witchcraft in the 16th and 17thc from previous developments
was the increased number of trials and executions of presumed witches
A. As more people were brought to trial, the fear of witches as well as the
fear of being accused as a witch escalated to frightening proportions
B. The trials began in larger cities but spread to rural areas
II. The accused witches usually confessed after intense torture
A. Many said that they had sworn allegiance to the devil and attended
sabbats or nocturnal gatherings where they feasted, danced, and copulated
w/the devil in sexual orgies
B. Admitted to using evil incantations and special ointments and powders
to wreak havoc on neighbors by killing livestock, injuring children, and
raising storms
III. Many contributing factors have been suggested to explain why the witchcraft
frenzy became so widespread
A. Religious uncertainties played a part. Many witchcraft trials occurred in
areas where Protestantism had been recently victorious or in regions where
Pro-Cath controversies still raged. As religious passions became inflamed,
accusations of being in league w/the devil were common on both sides
B. Social conditions also played a part, especially the problems of a
society in turmoil. At a time when the old communal values that stressed
working together for the good of the community were disintegrating
before new economic ethic that emphasized self-concern, property owners
became more fearful of the growing numbers of poor among them and
transformed them psychologically into agents of the devil
C. Old women were especially susceptible to suspicion. Many of them, no
longer the recipients of the local charity available in traditional society,
may have tried to survive by selling herbs and potions
D. Nicholas Remy and many other witchcraft judges were not surprised
that most accused of being witches were women. Most theologians,
lawyers, and philosophers believed in the natural inferiority of women and
thus would have found in plausible that women would be more susceptible
to witchcraft
I. By the mid-17thc, the witchcraft hysteria had begun to decline. The destruction
caused by the religious wars forced people to accept toleration, tempering
religious passions
II. As governments began to stabilize after the period of crisis, fewer magistrates
were willing to accept the unsettling and divisive conditions caused by the witch
III. By the turn of the 18thc, more and more educated people were questioning
their old attitudes toward religion and finding in contrary to reason to believe in
the old view of a world haunted by evil spirits
The Thirty Years’ War
I. Although many E responded to the upheavals of the 2nd ½ of the 16thc w/a
desire for peace and order, the 1st 50 years of the 17thc continued to be plagued by
Background to the War
I. Religion, especially the struggle b/w militant Cath and militant Cal, played an
important role in the outbreak of the 30 Years’ War (1618-1648)
A. As the war progressed, it became clear that secular, dynastic-
nationalistic considerations were important
II. It took place primarily in the Germanic land of the HRE, but it became a E-
wide struggle. Some historians view it as part of a larger conflict for E leadership
b/w the Bourbon dynasty of F and the Habsburg dynasties of S and the HRE
III. The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 had brought an end to religious warfare b/w
GCaths and Luths. Religion, however, continued to play a diverse role in G life as
Luths and Caths persisted in vying for control of various principalities
A. A number of G states had adopted Cal as their state church. At the
beginning of the 17thc, the Cal ruler of the Palatinate, the Elector
Palatinate Fredrick IV, assumed the leadership in forming a league of G
Pro states called the Protestant Union
B. To counteract it, the Catholic League of German states was organized
by Duke Maximilian of the south German state of Bavaria. By 1609 G was
dividing into 2 armed camps in anticipation of the religious wars
IV. The religious division was exacerbated by a constitutional issue. The desire of
the Habsburg emperors to consolidate their authority in the HRE was resisted by
the princes, who fought for their “G liberties” their constitutional rights and
prerogatives as individual rulers
A. To pursue their policies, the H emperors looked to Sp for assistance
while the princes turned to the enemies of Sp, especially F, for help against
the emperors.
B. The divisions in the HRE made it almost inevitable that if war did
erupt, it would be widespread and difficult to stop
The Bohemian Phase
I. The BP (1618-1625) began in one of the H own territories. In 1617, the
Bohemian Estates accepted the H Archduke Ferdinand as their king but soon
found themselves unhappy w/their choice
A. F was a devout Cath who began a process of Cath Bohemia and
strengthening royal power even though the nobles were Cal
B. The Pro nobles rebelled against F in May 1618 and proclaimed their
resistance by throwing 2 of the H governors out of the window of the royal
castle of Prague, the seat of the B government
C. The Cath side claimed that their seemingly miraculous escape was due
to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, while Pro pointed out that they fell
into a manure pile
D. The B rebels now seized control of B, deposed F, and elected as his
replacement the Pro ruler Palatinate, Elector Fredrick V, who was also
head of the Pro Union
II. F refused to accept his deposition. Aided by the forces of Maximilian of
Bavaria and the Cath league, the imperial forces defeated Fredrick and the B
nobles at the Battle of White Mountain outside Prague on November 8, 1620
A. S troops took advantage of Fred predicament by invading the Palatinate
and conquering it by the end of 1622.
B. Fred fled into exile in the United Provinces. The S took control of the
western part of the Palatinate to gain access to the route from Italy to the
NL that they had wanted. Duke Max took the rest of the territory
C. Reestablished as the king of B, F declared B a hereditary H possession,
confiscated the land of the Pro nobles, and established Cath as the sole
D. The Sp renewed their attack on the D, and the forces of Cath seemed on
the road to victory
The Danish Phase
I. The DP (1625-1629) began when king Christian IV of Denmark, a Luth,
intervened on behalf of the Pro cause by leading an army into northern G.
A. Christian made an anti-H and anti-Cath alliance w/the United Provinces
and E. He also wanted to gain possession of some Cath territories in
northern G to benefit his family
II. F had in the meantime gained a new commander for the imperial forces in
Albrecht von Wallenstein who was a B nobleman who had taken advantage of F
victory to become the country’s wealthiest landowner.
A. Wallenstien’s forces defeated a Pro army at Dessau and then continued
to operate in northern Germany.
B. The forces of Christian IV, despite substantial aid from their allies, were
defeated in 1626 by an army of the Cath League under Count Tilly and
then suffered an even more devastating loss to Ws forces the following
C. W now occupied parts of northern G, including the Baltic ports of
Hamburg, Lubeck, and Bremen. Christian IV’s defeat meant the end of
Danish supremacy in the Baltic
III. After the success of the imperial armies, Emperor F II was at the height of his
power and took this opportunity to issue the Edict of Restitution in March 1629
A. His proclamation prohibited Cal worship and restored the Cath church
all property taken by Pro princes or cities during the past 75 years
B. The sudden growth of the H emperor frightened many German princes,
who feared for their independent status and reacted by forcing the emperor
to dismiss W
The Swedish Phase
I. The Sp (1630-1635) marked the entry of Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden
A. Responsible for reviving Sweden and making it into a great Baltic
power. He brought a disciplined and well equipped Swedish army to
northern G. He was a devout Luth who felt compelled to aid his
coreligionists in G
II. Gv army swept the imperial forces out of the north and moved into the heart of
A. In desperation, the imperial side recalled W, who was given command
of the imperial army and met Gv troops near Leipzig
B. At the Battle of Lutzen (1632), the Swedish forced prevailed but paid a
high price for the victory when the Sw king was killed in battle
C. The Sw forces remained in G but proved far less effective
III. The imperial army decisively defeated the Swedes at the Battle of Nordlingen
at the end of 1634 and drove them out of southern G
A. The victory guaranteed that southern G would remain Cath
B. The emperor used this opportunity to make peace w/G princes by
agreeing to annul the Edict of Restitution of 1629. But peace failed to
come to G
C. The Swedes wished to continue, while the F entered the war directly
The Franco-Swedish Phase
I. By this time, religious issues were losing their significance.
A. Cath F were now supporting the Swedes against the C Habsburgs of G
and S
II. The Battle of Rocroi in 1643 proved decisive as the F beat the S and brought
an end to S military greatness. The F then moved on to victories over the
imperialist-Bavarian armies in southern G
A. By this time, all parties were ready for peace, and after 5 years of
negotiations, the war in G officially by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648
B. The war b/w F and S continued until the Peace of the Pyrenees in 1659.
By that time, S had become a 2nd class power, and F had emerged as the
dominant nation in E
Outcomes of the War
I. The Peace of Westphalia ensured that all G states, including the Cal ones, were
free to determine their own religion. France gained parts of western G, part of
Alsace, and the three of Metz, Toul, and Verdun, giving the F control of the F-G
border area
II. While Sweden and the G states of Brandenburg and Bavaria gained some
territory in G, the Austrian H did not lose any but did see their authority as rulers
of G further diminished
III. The 300 states that made up the HRE were recognized as virtually
independent, since each received the power to conduct its own foreign policy
A. The H emperor had been reduced to a figurehead in the HRE
IV. The Peace of Westphalia also made it clear that religion and politics were
B. The pope was completely ignored in all decisions at WP, and political
motives became the guiding force in public affairs as religion moved
closer to becoming primarily a matter of personal conviction and
individual choice
V. Hurt the G economy and caused the population to decline. Some areas of
Germany were completely devastated while others remained untouched
A Military Revolution?
I. By the 17thc, war played an increasingly important role in E affairs.
A. Military power was considered essential to a ruler’s reputation and
power; thus the pressure to build and effective military machine was
II. Medieval warfare had been transformed in the Ren by the employment of
infantry armed w/pikes and halberds and arranged in squadrons or battalions
A. The use of firearms required adjustments to the size and shape of the
massed infantry and made cavalry less effective
III. Gv developed the 1st standing army of conscripts, notable for flexibility and
tactics. The new tactics required coordination, careful training, and better
discipline, forcing rulers to move away from undisciplined mercenary forces
A. Many changes included the increased use of firearms and cannons,
greater flexibility and mobility tactics, and better-trained armies
B. These innovations necessitated standing armies, based on conscription,
which grew ever larger and more expensive and could be maintained only
be heavier taxes, making war an economic burden and an ever more
important part of the early modern E state
C. The creation of large bureaucracies to supervise the military resources
of the state led to a growth in the power of state governments
I. Before, during, and after the 30 years war, a series of rebellions and civil wars
stemming from discontent of both nobles and commoners rocked the domestic
stability of many E governments
A. Monarchs attempted to extend their authority at the expense of
traditional powerful elements who resisted the rulers’ efforts
B. In order to fight wars, governments increased taxes and created such
hardships that common people also arose in opposition
II. B/w 1590 and 1640, peasant and lower-class revolts erupted in central and
southern F, Austria, and Hungary. Portugal and Catalonia rebelled against S
government in 1640. The common people of Naples and Sicily revolted against
both the government and nobility in 1647. Russia was rocked by rebellions in
1641, 1645, and 1648. Nobles rebelled in F from 1648 to 1652 to halt the growth
of royal power. The northern governments of Sweden, Denmark, and the United
Provinces were not immune to upheavals involving clergy, nobles, and mercantile