The Thirty Years War: The Battle Of Lutzen

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For the first time in his adult life, Axel Oxenstierna, Chancellor of Sweden, suffered through a sleepless night. On November 6, 1632, Gustav II Adolf (also known as Gustavus Adolphus, the Latinized version of his name), the king of Sweden, fell during the Battle of Lutzen, part of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) being fought by Sweden, France, and their allies against the Holy Roman Empire, and its allies. While Gustav had an heir in his daughter Christina, she was only 6 years old at the time of her father’s death, and could not take power to the throne until her 18th birthday, per the Swedish laws of primogeniture. She was, however, officially crowned while yet a girl of 6, due to Sweden’s rule of law requiring a vote of the estates for …show more content…
As the famous Frenchman Voltaire once stated, the title for these lands, the Holy Roman Empire, was a misnomer, as “this agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire”. The Thirty Years War and its aftermath were largely an offshoot of the ongoing religious struggles between European states with interests in and outside of the German states over the notion of religious tolerance in the Empire for Protestants (at that time, only Lutherans were recognized by the Emperor as …show more content…
As Michael Roberts notes in one of his studies of Gustavus, “It was a partnership of equals . . . their temperaments were very different: Gustavus dynamic, impetuous . . . Oxenstierna imperturbable, tireless, unhurrying; the one supplying inspiration, the other ripe wisdom and many-sided administrative ability.” Yet in 1612, Gustavus demonstrated his supreme trust and faith in his Chancellor, saying, “It is not more particularly specified what he shall do, or how he shall act, in virtue of his office, but it is left to his modesty and his understanding as he may think best, and as he may answer it to God, to Us, and to all our loyal subjects.” This statement would prove prophetic given both Oxenstierna’s accomplishments at the king’s side and behest, and those which were the product of his own the pair’s combined accomplishments as well as the latter’s following the death of the king two decades later. So trusted was Oxenstierna that he was selected to attend the king during his journey into the Holy Roman Empire, in search of a bride. After a long journey and several meetings with princesses across the German states, Gustav found an agreeable, and fetching, bride in Maria Eleonora

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