EBOOK º EPUB The Thirty Years War Europe's Tragedy ä 9780713995923 FREE ´ GWAIRSOFT

BOOK The Thirty Years War Europe's Tragedy

EBOOK º EPUB The Thirty Years War Europe's Tragedy ä 9780713995923 FREE ´ GWAIRSOFT ↠ [Reading] ➶ The Thirty Years War Europe's Tragedy Author Peter H. Wilson – Gwairsoft.co.uk Winner of the Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award 2011 The horrific R in a generation and a fascinating brilliantly written attempt to explain a compelling series of events Wilson's great strength is in allowing the reader to understand the tragedy of mixed motives that allowed rulers to gamble their countries' future with such horrifying results The principal actors in the drama Wallenstein Ferdinand II Gustavus Adolphus Richelieu are all here but so is the experience of the ordinary soldiers and civilians desperately trying to stay alive under impossible circumstanc THIRTY YEARS WARS2014 marks one hundred years since the outbreak of the Great War which was itself the beginning of a conflagration which some historians have referred to as the Second Thirty Years War 1914 1945 Yet while the Second Thirty Years War continues to transfix our collective consciousness hardly any of our contemporary political discourse in the West reflects on the original Thirty Years War or even seems to acknowledge the fact that the horrors Europe experienced in the twentieth century represented merely the latest European general war in a tradition of such periodic calamities stretching back through the centuries The Napoleonic Wars the Seven Years War and the Thirty Years War are but the most prominent examples But what could we in the West stand to learn from studying a conflict which began nearly four hundred years ago uite a lot it seems to me The Thirty Years War is often dismissed as the grotesue death rattle of European medievalsim; a struggle between culturally and intellectually backward religious fanatics in an exotic historical setting uite removed from our own time in which we have learned the values of liberty justice toleration empathy and self restraint Yet while reading through Peter Wilson's account I found myself often struck by the continuities between Early Modern Man and his twenty first century evolutionary descendant Millennial Man The European princes who plunged into war in the first half of the seventeenth century were certainly religious men some of them even to the point of zealotry but oftentimes their religious persuasions were bound up with political ambitions tribal animosities and moral uestions of freedom autonomy political representation self determination and redress of grievances which are perfectly intelligible to our postmodern universe This realization may be cause for discomfort; if such a calamity could fall upon largely reasonable people living centuries ago despite the best efforts of a large body of moderate statesmen genuinely interested in peace then who is to say that such a crisis could not confound us in our own time despite the elegant liberal internationalist structures we have built for ourselves; the partnerships for peace Is it possible that the cultural and political archetypes which gave birth to the hellish monster of continental war in the seventeenth century are still active like a volcanic magma chamber covered by earth ready to burst forth at some future time of seismic activity At a time in which entire Palestinian families are killed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and Israeli families are terrorized by Hamas rockets; in which Vladimir Putin and pro Russian partisans dismember the sovereign state of Ukraine in the name of ethnic kinship; in which the religious zealots of ISIS battle to create an Islamic state in Ira and Syria; in which the extreme right rears its head in European politics for the first time in decades; in which the United States casually expands its Afghan War into Pakistan patrolling the skies and killing innocents with robotic drones; in which political repression persists and perpetuates itself in all its overt and covert forms; we must pause to reflect on the past and the future We must not allow the superficial answers to satisfy us And we must be very very careful THE WARThe Thirty Years War was precipitated by a long political crisis within the Holy Roman Empire which was exacerbated to the point of open warfare by relatively small factions of religious extremists on all sides who were driven by a dangerous single mindedness and sense of divine purpose The 1555 Peace of Augsburg represented a truce between the Catholic and Lutheran princes of the empire and a recognition on the part of the Catholic emperors that total religious conformity could not be enforced at swordpoint and the Protestant Reformation could not simply be undone at least not overnight In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries however the Augsburg order became strained as devout Calvinist principalities like Palatine Hessen Kassel and Brandenburg excluded from the political concessions given to the Lutherans began to take extra constitutional measures to increase their influence within the empire Frederick V of Palatine headed a Union of protestant princes while Maximilian of Bavaria led the Catholic Liga in response as the Emperor himself and moderate Protestant princes like those in Saxony the birthplace of the Reformation sought to avoid allowing the Empire to become divided on religious grounds This buildup culminated in the famous Defenestration of Prague in 1618 in which the Emperor's envoys sent to negotiate with protestant statesmen in the Prague Castle were seized and hurled from the castle windows marking the beginning of the Bohemian Revolt Frederick V of Palatine was subseuently crowned King of Bohemia as anti Habsburg rebels overran the countryside Ferdinand II Holy Roman Emperor relied on the Liga forces to crush the revolt furthering the conflict's sectarian character The enterprising Liga general Count Tilly scores a decisive victory against the rebels at the Battle of White Mountain and by the year 1623 the rebels have been thoroughly trounced and Frederick has fled to the NetherlandsIt is here that the conflict begins to take on an even tragic character because though the war could have ended here the structural weakness of the Holy Roman Empire and the sense of religious mission so pervasive among European rulers invited outside intervention on behalf of the beleaguered protestant princes of the Empire continuously stoking the fires of blood lust ambition and religious passion which fed the carnage and contributed to the brutal character of the war In the latter 1620s King Christian IV of Denmark which has a seat on the Reichstag thanks to its holdings in Holstein tries to salvage the protestant cause by intervening in northern Germany in 1625 partially out of religious sympathy and partly to secure his dynastic holdings near the river systems of the region and contribute to the maritime tributary system which financed the Danish monarchy and made the Danish royals some of the richest people in Europe Christian is comprehensively defeated by Tilly's forces and the imperialists advance all the way to the Baltic alarming Sweden and prompting its king Gustav II Adolf wrapping up a war with the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth to contemplate his own intervention in the Empire Gustav lands in Pomerania in 1630 opening a bloody new chapter in the war and extending it by another eighteen years He is lionized in protestant propaganda as a messianic figure of sorts sent from the heavens to liberate the German protestants from the satanic tyranny of the Habsburgs Tilly's run comes to an end as his army is smashed at the Battle of Breitenfeld 1631 and Gustav secures the support of Brandenburg Hessen Kassel and Saxony The war becomes a massive and convoluted struggle between the German princes as foreign powers like Sweden France and Spain feed in troops on either side each finding a cause to support or at least an enemy to thwart in the Empire Gustav's luck runs out at Lutzen where he is killed in battle against Wallenstein's imperial army in 1632 leaving the Swedes rudderless and causing the war to become even universal localized convoluted and directionless and subseuently adding to the plight of civilians throughout the empire For them a nominally friendly army is as dangerous as a hostile one as the underdeveloped military financial system of Europe compels armies to make war at the enemy's expense; plundering cities and villages for supplies billeting in private homes extorting money and information from the local people and generally making life miserable for the European peasantry Armies become criminal gangs as rape murder arson and highway robbery become a ways of life for the still semi mercenary European soldiery Peasants take matters into their own hands resisting armies on all sides in the pursuit of perhaps the most noble cause of the war that of not allowing their communities to be ravaged by private warfare between the European princes Isolated soldiers are ambushed robbed and killed by peasant guerillasArmies carry not only weapons with which to murder and terrorize but infectious diseases which decimate populations Having plundered the countryside and run out of food none of the belligerents in Germany are able to field large armies for the final decade of the war Most of the fighting is between small mobile forces of cavalry which are unable to conduct seiges or garrison captured fortifications without adeuate infantry contingents After Gustav II Adolf's death at Lutzen Wallenstein inexplicably withdraws from the battlefield He mystifies Ferdinand II by refusing to press his advantage against the now leaderless Swedes He conducts unilateral negotiations with the Pro Swedish princes in direct defiance of the Emperor With his loyalty to the Habsburgs cast into doubt the emperor uietly issues a statement stripping him of command On February 25 1634 a group of Irish and Scottish officers burst into his bedroom and run him through with a halberd The war becomes increasingly internationalized as the Swedish presence weakens in Germany France and Spain become proactive belligerents in pursuit of their wider European objectives Spain under the Count Duke Olivares seeks Habsburg support against the ongoing Dutch Revolt as its ongoing war in the Spanish Netherlands modern Belgium is the theatre of massive grinding engagements that would later become typical of the First World War Spain's problems are further exacerbated by open war with France and revolts in Portugal and Catalonia in 1640 Olivares hopes to stabilize the Empire by helping the Emperor win the war; thereby freeing Imperial troops to join the battle against France and the Dutch France under the feckless Louis XIII and the hardnosed realist Cardinal Richelieu seeks to stave off encirclement by the Habsburgs Despite the Catholicism of the French monarchy Richelieu supports the Dutch Revolt to drive the Spanish off France's northern border stirs up trouble in Italy to threaten Spain's duchy in Milan and finally sends military expeditions into Germany to support the anti Habsburg forces hoping to create a neutral protestant power bloc that will neutralize the Austrian wing of the Habsburg monarchy By the mid 1640s it is apparent that the disaster is only going to end through a widespread negotiated settlement After confusion and controversy on all sides during the Congress of Westphalia from 1646 48 the catastrophe finally ends in 1648 as Spain makes peace with the Dutch with the treaty of Munster and the Empire is pacified by the Peace of Westphalia Though stemming from the pragmatic needs of the belligerents Westphalia was a milestone in the history of European statecraft It created a paradigm in European politics in which interventions in the sovereign territory of another state or principality were stripped of much of their legitimacy It was also among the first truly secular political conferences in European history; although the stated goal of the Congress was to forge a lasting Christian peace The Emperor's power was significantly weakened inaugurating a new era in which Austria largely disengaged from German affairs instead expanding the Austrian state through conuests in Eastern Europe and the Balkans until challenged by Frederick II in 1740 and eventually ejected from Germany by Bismarck in 1866 71 Religious and political toleration was extended to Calvinists in the Empire The Peace was a foundational event for modern internationalism as the representatives of the various European powers present at the Congress were addressed largely on eual terms undermining the traditionally hierarchical structure of European politics in which the Emperor was taken to be higher in status than the mere kings who ruled the rest of Europe THOUGHTS AND REACTIONSReading about the Thirty Years War one can't help but wonder how is it that any of the millions of people who were victimized by the war were able to hold on to their religious faith when so many people with genuine religious convictions similar to their own were doing such horrible things to one another Having one's home plundered and family murdered on multiple occasions by multiple armies under leaders of different yet eually heartfelt religious persuasions must have caused a great deal of cynicism Why would God allow such a thing to happen Wilson points out a common refrain from all sides of the war everyone acknowledged that the Christians of Europe were treating one another with far cruelty barbarity and pure unadulterated malice than was ever perpetrated against them by the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire The Turks could never dream of doing as much damage to Christendom as Christians themselves did during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries The paradox surrounding the ferocity of conflicts within Christianity among zealous followers of a faith which implores us to turn the other cheek remains to me one of the great enigmas of the Christian faith It seems to me that what happened politically in the Thirty Years War is somewhat analogous to the crisis in Syria over the last few years just on a much larger scale In both cases the governing regime suffered a partial breakdown as dissenting factions took up arms Then ambitious foreign powers began to project their idological projects onto the internal war In Syria the Americans saw a chance to support freedom fighters rebelling against a tyrannical government while Russia saw a conservative sovereign state under attack from an international gang of radicals Weakness within a state is a siren's song which invites aggression from other stronger powers The Thirty Years War was a much deadlier conflagration than that in Syria simply because the Holy Roman Empire was comparatively speaking a much larger populous and strategically important entity encompassing the heart of Europe It was this slippery sloped logic of intervention that drove the Thirty Years War from a revolt in Bohemia to a major European war which deprived Germany of perhaps one uarter of its population and permanently set back its political development For my part I remain intimidated that in many uarters the most important lessons of the war have still not been learned Against all who would take up arms to fulfill their ambitions through the fires of war let our refrain be thus remember Westphalia

Peter H. Wilson Ù The Thirty Years War Europe's Tragedy EPUB

Winner of the Society for Military History Distinguished Years War eBook #10003 Book Award The horrific series of conflicts known as the Thirty Years Wartore the heart out of Europe killing perhaps a uarter of all Germans and laying waste to The Thirty PDFEPUB or whole areas of Central Europe to such a degree that many towns and regions never recovered All the major European powers apart from Russia were heavily involved and while each country started out with rational war aims the fighting rapidly sp This is a difficult book Peter Wilson clearly has provided us with a detailed volume that is a major resource on the Thirty Years War However it is not a reader friendly work For one thing we need maps to make sense of events whether of the entire region being discussed or lower level focused maps For another the actors move by in kaleidoscopic fashion one after the other and it is not easy to keep track of key players and the governments that they represent A table summarizing such information at key points in the narrative would be usefulHowever one cannot uestion Wilson's mastery of the subject He begins the work before the outset of the War to provide background and context and ground the sanguinary struggle within a larger setting It is clear from the book that countries were trying to maintain some semblance of piece But religious differences dynastic power struggles and a variety of other forces pushed toward war The actors ranged geographically from Sweden to Spain from France to the Ottoman EmpireThe war itself was brutal There are maps outlining the basics of key battles but as noted larger scale maps would have been useful Also the print in the maps is not the easiest style to read Wilson provides a good sense of the ebb and flow of the war as well as the varying skill levels of military commanders and their leadersThe book concludes with a very detailed analysis of the end results and impact of the war The Treaty of Westphalia has been hailed by many as marking the modern understanding of states and the concept of sovereignty Wilson examines the contention skillfully There were profound economic and demographic effects as well as larger political conseuences Again Wilson addresses these with considerable sensitivity not given to hyperboleMy sense I am not an expert in this part of history is that this is an impressive resource for those who want a detailed view of this historical trauma But be forewarned that this is not a reader friendly work

KINDLE É The Thirty Years War Europe's Tragedy Ù Peter H. Wilson

The Thirty Years War Europe's TragedyIralled out Thirty Years War Epub #222 of control with great battles giving way to marauding bands of starving soldiers spreading plague and murder The war was both a religious and a political one and it was this tangle of motives that made it impossible to stop Whether motivated by idealism or cynicism everyone drawn into the conflict was destroyed by it At its end a recognizably modern Europe had been created but at a terrible price Peter Wilson's book is a major work the first new history of the wa There are a few problems with this book but the main one is that it is simply too long 800 pages on the Thirty Years War is just too much unless you have an extreme interest in the topic I was interested in learning about the war because it is one of those topics that are skimmed over in European history classes and there really isn’t that much out there to read Plus the start of the book makes it seem like it will be fun reading as he discusses how the war was started because of some Bohemian Protestants tossing the Emperor’s representatives out a window But the book uickly drags with incredible unnecessary detail that for most people will be out of their head three pages later anyway Yes I did learn a lot about the war but with so much detail I didn’t enjoy learning it and a lot of what the book covered I have no memory of whatsoeverLet’s compare this book to Desmond Seward’s book on the Hundred Years War Seward covers his topic in sufficient detail in only 300 pages That book moves uickly and is fun and interesting But it takes Wilson eight chapters almost 250 pages to even get to the beginning of the Thirty Years War And Wilson throws so many people and places at us without enough maps or family trees that trying to remember who’s who and where’s where makes the book even frustrating We get emperors kings dukes princes knights bishops generals electors from German states Poland Denmark Sweden Russia Italy Holland with cities towns provinces principalities protectorates and trying to keep track of who is in charge of what place and where that place is in relation to the next place is impossible or at least it was for me The book has only two maps other than battle maps One is a map of central Europe that lacks sufficient detail and the other is a map of Switzerland that is mostly useless The battle maps themselves look like something Wilson might have drawn on the back of a cocktail napkin This is the 21st century so getting a clear and detailed map should not be a great difficulty Try to imagine someone writing a book on World War II without including several maps showing the pitch and flow of the war across Europe during the 6 years of fighting And as far as pictures go the pictures on Wikipedia’s article on the war are better than anything you will find in this bookBut the main problem is that the book is way too long because Wilson feels a need to tell us everything about the war and the 50 or so years before the war started that his research dug up Plus Wilson is a lousy writer If Wilson had limited himself to even 500 pages and aimed his book at a reader other than the historian in the next office this book could have been worth reading It’s too bad that Wilson didn’t use his first chapter as a model for writing the book