European History Pt. 9 — Thirty Years’ War, Protestant Resurgence

As I explained last time, the Thirty Years’ war went quite badly at first for the protestants. The elector palatine had been called to aid the beleaguered Bohemian protestants. He was squarely defeated by Catholic forces.  The Duke of Holstein then tried to help the protestant cause, but he was defeated and Denmark  was invaded. Albert of Wallenstein was successful again.

The next person who took up the protestant cause was Gustavus Adolphus a Swedish mensch. Unlike the previous leaders, Gustavus was superbly capable and won a series of victories. Meanwhile, Albert of Wallenstein had lost interest in the war, refused to fight the Swedes for this Catholic masters. He tried to carve out a place for himself in history with his treachery and machinations, but he was assassinated.

Diplomatically, the Swedes were isolated from the German lands that they marched through by Catholic scheming. The Catholics promised to give back  confiscated protestant lands, which made Germany willing to seek peace.

However, CRUCIALLY, the other countries in Europe were not ready for a peaceful settlement. They did not want Germany coalescence into a single political unit. Especially France. As the war waned in intensity, France fanned the flames by paying the Swedes to fight on as well as courting German princes. “The Fleur-de-lis at last moved toward the Rhine.” Germany was filled with resentment by this move. Essentially, other bigger countries wanted to fight each other on its soil.


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