The Thirty Years War

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The section of documents, numbering nineteen to twenty three, consist of many different accounts ranging from of a portion of the “Swedish rule of war”, a theologian’s take on peace, the assassination of General Wallenstein, an account of battle and even a Cardinal’s warning. These documents vary in years from 1632-1634, drawing a close to the middle segment of the Thirty Years War. These articles illustrate not only events such as a General’s murder, Swedish defeat or French apprehension, they also show a growing desire for peace and political well-being contrasted with serious religious sentiment. At this stage in history Sweden is now involved with many allying to protect German liberties. The balance of power in Europe, always a delicate manner, was naturally threatened by the war, kingdoms such as France watched closely to protect their own states. It is through the coupling of this time of history with the documents listed here that one can see an intricate web of motives, including ones from political success and dominance to religious purity, all under the blanket of a “religious war”. This leads the audience to ask and judge where Europeans’s opinion and ideas stand considering the war as the unique solution to war loomed ahead. To investigate these different motives three out of the five mentioned documents will be closely analyzed, beginning with document twenty. Entitled “Memorandum of Hoe von Hoenegg” this article was written in Dresden, Germany by Lutheran Theologian Matthias Hoe von Hoenegg. It is his answer to the Elector of Saxony’s question on the religious consequences of peace. Just before this, the Heilbronn League formed, coming under Sweden and France to fight against imperialist forces. Yet, Sa... ... middle of paper ... ... only one question: how, how would France take these next steps for their national interests. Richelieu ends his letter with this heed, “but that if, in order to remedy the present evil, one fails to make an extraordinary expenditure now, it will be necessary to make one in the future—through it would then not produce any result, nor prevent our ruin” (152). French involvement is for the protection of the nation, and it would seem this sentiment alone. The above documents seem to be the opinions and views of particular people throughout this tumultuous time. They show two motives: religious and political. What remains is to decipher if this theme is of value and if so, what value does it have and what can it tell historians about the war, as well as the approaching treaty that would come to rule European ideas on religion and government for decades to come.
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