Religion In The Thirty Years War

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The Thirty Years War’s war origins were largely due to religion, although political factors coincided as the war continued throughout the seventeenth century, and so the importance of religion within these wars shouldn’t be overstated as there were other factors interweaving alongside religion. The importance of religion in the Thirty Years War is emphasised through the evolution of new religious denominations appearing during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, causing friction in Europe.
The context behind the Thirty Years War is essential in order to understand the reason behind religion being a significant factor. This view is further exemplified by Peter H. Wilson who stated that “the assumption that the Thirty Years’ War had been
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When the war first broke out, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and the rulers in Bavaria attempted to enforce the Counter-Reformation in direct defiance of the 1555 Peace of Augsburg. This was a religious and political hybrid document, which attempted to resolve the Lutheran struggle in Germany, which demonstrates the importance of both religious and political factors in the foreshadowing of the Thirty Years war. George Pages proceeded to give importance to religion being a superior factor in the origins of the negotiations behind the Peace of Augsburg. The aforementioned was due to the Calvinist faith continuing to expand and produce a more solid form of opposition which triggered major religious tensions between Calvinists and Catholics. The fact that the Counter-Reformation was a Catholic resurgence in response to the Protestant Reformation demonstrates the seriousness of religious conflict and the extent to which reformists would go to have their religion as the superior one. This demonstrates how the Thirty Years War was a continuation of previous religious struggles which were exacerbated through dividing Germany into Catholic and Protestant divisions who were willing to fight for their belief and helped pushed the motivations for the continuation of the …show more content…
Ferdinand II was a devout Catholic who disliked Protestants and initiated his own religion on the land. Hans Heberle stated that under Ferdinand “persecution arose, with war, rebellion, and the shedding of much Christian blood” when Ferdinand attempted to restore his religion. Heberle being a devout Lutheran would have a oppositional of Catholics, and so could over-emphasise Ferdinand’s impact, so his description must not be taken as gospel. It has been interpreted that the initial trigger of the war was his election and his first attempts to re-Catholicise Bohemia which resulted in the 1618 Defenestration of Prague. Religious tensions were seen when he attempted to close Protestant Churches through the use of representatives (four Catholic Lords Regents) of the Holy Roman Empire, including Matthew Leopold Popel Lobcowitz who was the grand prior and exerted his authority on Bohemia for Ferdinand. However, religious struggles increased when Ferdinand started to curtail some of the privileges his subjects experienced in Bohemia and they appealed for Protestant aid against him. It’s argued by Nicola Sutherland that “by the end of 1619, a predominantly Protestant rebellion had

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