History 321: State and Society in Early Modern Europe:The Thirty Years War
Course Requirements • Reading • Value of attendance and participation • Review the questions on p. 4 of the syllabus in preparation for each class. • Bring assigned readings to every class. • Tests • Written assignments • Consult the syllabus regularly and follow all instructions carefully.
Resources for Course • Home page • slides for lectures and tutorials • Maps • online • Europe’s Tragedy • Sourcebook • Genealogy in Europe’s Tragedy • Chronology in Sourcebook • SFU Library
Interpreting the Thirty Years War • Earliest interpretations: popularity of the Peace of Westphalia (1648): “preserving the liberties of Protestant Germans and strengthening the imperial constitution” (p. 3) • after the French Revolution (1789) and in the context of European Romanticism • narrative of death and destruction • “tragic inevitability” (p. 6) • a choice of Germanies
Interpreting the Thirty Years War • other national narratives • a religious war • a war that contributed to the secularization and modernization of Europe absolutism • a wider war (international war school)
Wilson’s Argument • Three distinctive elements: • The war affected all of Europe. • The war was not fundamentally a religious war. • The war was not inevitable.
Wilson’s Argument • The war affected all of Europe. • Russia • Poland, Ottoman Empire • Dutch Republic; France, Spain • Britain • Denmark, Sweden
Wilson’s Argument • The war was not fundamentally a religious war. • religion: “a powerful focus for identity” (p. 9) • “The war was religious only to the extent that faith guided all early modern public policy and private behaviour” (p. 9) • moderate believers: “pragmatic;” unity of Christendom a “distant” goal • militant believers: a minority, observers and victims, fundamentalists; stubborn resolve “poorly suited to achieving military success” (p. 10) • “Militants’ influence was at times disproportionate to their numbers, but this does not mean we should interpret the conflict through their eyes” (p. 10)
Wilson’s Argument • The war was not inevitable. • 1555-1618: a period of peace
Trouble in the Heart of Christendom • The Empire • Confessionalization • Religion and Imperial Law
What was the Empire? • a “monstrosity” (Samuel Pufendorf, d. 1694) • Communities • MatthäusMerian, TopographiaGermaniae (1642-1654) • delineation between urban and rural space • sacred space • political space
Who ruled (in) the Empire? • Emperor • Reichskirche: Imperial Church • Lords: immediate / mediate: fiefs • 7 Electors (by Golden Bull of 1356) • Archbishops of Mainz, Cologne, Trier • Kingdom of Bohemia, Palatinate, Saxony, Brandenburg • Princes: • bishops, archbishops, duke, landgrave, margrave • Habsburg dynasty: 2/5 of Empire, +7M subjects • lesser lords: counts, etc. • Free Imperial Cities (ca. 80) • Augsburg (48,000); most had -4,000
How did the Empire function? • Emperor as overlord and adjudicator: Habsburg dynasty • financing the Empire: from Emperor’s lands and from imperial contributions/taxes: Roman months (multiples of pay for 24,000 soldiers / month)
How did the Empire funciton? • Reichstag (Imperial Diet) • a representative and consultative body: for binding decisions and sounding out opinions • vote by imperial estates • recommendation • Recess
How did the Empire function? • two supreme courts: • Reichskammergericht (Imperial Cameral Court) • Reichshofrat (Imperial Aulic Council) • Imperial Circles (10 by 1570) • to enforce verdicts of the courts • to raise taxes • to raise troops for internal peace and defence of Empire • Each circle had its own assembly.
What characterized the Empire’s political culture? • German freedom: privileges and responsibilities • impersonal and personal dimensions • the cumbersome search for compromise
What were the contours of the religious situation in the Empire? • Confessionalization and social disciplining • cultural differences • limits: intermarriage, relative absence of violence in the second half of the sixteenth century • Catholicism and “the primacy of organization” (p. 25) • Lutheranism and “the primacy of doctrine” (p. 26) • Calvinism and the “primacy of practice” (p. 26)
What were the contours of the religious situation in the Empire? • “Religious tension impaired the working of the imperial constitution and contributed to the outbreak of the war in 1618” (p. 25). • “Militancy was certainly growing, particularly as those who had only known a confessionally divided world reached maturity and positions of influence around 1580. But it is impossible to ascribe the outbreak of war in 1618 directly to such sentiment” (p. 40).
What were the contours of the religious situation in the Empire? Catholicism • Catholicism’s basic strengths in the Empire: Reichskirche, Habsburgs, Bavaria • Council of Trent (1545-1563) • Catholic piety: processions, pilgrimages, cult of the saints • Society of Jesus (Jesuits): controversialists, confessors, educators
What were the contours of the religious situation in the Empire? Lutheranism • Augsburg Confession (1530) • territorial Church • Schmalkaldic Wars (1546-1552) • intraconfessional conflict: • Philippists vs. Gnesio-Lutherans • Book of Concord (1580) • preponderance in territory and population but not in imperial institutions
What were the contours of the religious situation in the Empire? Calvinism • John Calvin, reformer of Geneva (d. 1564) • doctrinal differences • a minority with Lutheran converts • foothold in Empire: Palatinate (1560), Hessen (1603), Brandenburg (1613) • Heidelberg Catechism (1563) • leadership of the Elector Palatine
What was the Peace of Augsburg (1555)? • a religious peace within a context of constitutional reforms • an ambiguous peace: • faith and terms (e.g. “reformation) not defined • adherents of the Confession of Augsburg • right of reformation (iusreformandi): 1552 • right to emigrate (iusemigrandi) • Article 18: ecclesiastical reservation • Declaration of Ferdinand • “the most contested parts of the 1555 Peace” (p. 45)
What was the Peace of Augsburg (1555)? • cuiusregioeiusreligio: The religion of the prince determines the religion of his territory. • Calvinists • arbitration for disputes: Reichskammergericht
How should the Peace of Augsburg be interpreted? • Puzzles • Could Lutheran princes incorporate ecclesiastical territories? • Lutherans in cathedral chapters; diocesan administrators • What was the status of unincorporated mediate ecclesiastical property in Lutheran territories? • What was the status of subjects’ religious freedoms? • princely expulsion vs. voluntary freedoms
How should the Peace of Augsburg be interpreted? • “the fundamental underlying problem: the Peace had given Lutherans legal equality, but left Catholics with a political majority” (p. 45) • imperial efforts to defuse tension: Ferdinand I, Maximilian II
How should the Peace of Augsburg be interpreted? • Catholic views • the lesser of two evils (toleration vs. war) • moderates: • a stable peace with unequal Lutheran dissenters in a Catholic Empire • a limit to Lutheran expansion with the opportunity of conversion to Catholicism • militants: a temporary suspension of the Edict of Worms (1521) until a theological resolution Council of Trent!
How should the Peace of Augsburg be interpreted? • Protestant views • a beginning, not an end • resistance or obedience? • just war: recognized authority, just cause, extent of resistance: fight injustice or overthrow a regime? • right of resistance for lesser magistrates • the effect of 1555
How should the Peace of Augsburg be interpreted? • Wilson’s views • vs. Geoffrey Parker: “a temporary end to open confessional warfare in Germany” • 63 years of peace • a “comparatively satisfactory settlement” (p. 43) • foundation for the Peace of Westphalia • “little basis…for the standard interpretation…of steadily polarizing opinion” (p. 46) • waxing and waning of moderate and militant opinions
How should we read primary documents? • Who produced the document? • What date can we assign to the document? • What is the document’s context? • What are the main concepts in the document? • What basic message does the document communicate? How is it historically significant? • Do particular passages reveal significant information? • Is the document logically self-consistent, or do you notice any contradictions?
Sourcebook, docs. 1 and 2 • the primacy of peace • Who benefits? • What are the issues? What is at stake? • Article 18 and the Declaration of Ferdinand