Essay on Revolt and Anarchy in Seventeenth Century Europe

Essay on Revolt and Anarchy in Seventeenth Century Europe

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Throughout the seventeenth century, Europe was in a state of crisis. In many countries, violent revolts and riots were not out of the ordinary. In most of these cases of violence, human behaviors and actions of the controlling governments and royalty authorities were the underlying factors that set the stage for the chaotic state. However, in all of the instances of revolt and anarchy seen throughout Europe, religious behaviors and influences were the most prominent and contributing cause that sparked the most violence in the general crisis during the 1600’s.
Beginning very early in the seventeenth century, religious tension was rampant throughout Europe. An example that illustrates the disastrous effects of religious conflicts in Europe that caused a tremendous amount of violence can be seen in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1618, Ferdinand Habsburg a devout Catholic succeeded the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, and set out to unify the empire under the Catholic faith. However, this mission of Ferdinand Habsburg was not accepted by Protestant citizens, which essentially led to the violence to come. In May 1618, a group of Protestant nobles killed two of the king’s catholic officials, which created the spark for Protestants all throughout the Empire to revolt. Instances of religious revolts were reported in Hungary and Bohemia, ultimately creating an exponential effect, and a reason for Protestants to unite and revolt to preserve their faith. This particular historical event later was termed the Defenestration of Prague. However, the violence did not stop there; in fact the violence only multiplied. Religious conflicts continued to occur in Bohemia in the Battle of White Mountain in 1620 in which Frederick V a Calvinist, lost to Fer...

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...t proved to be the most predominant factor that caused much of the violence seen throughout Europe. While it is usually not favored by many authoritative figures, the establishment of some sort of religious toleration law would prove to resolve many of the religious conflicts within the European countries. Examples of this such as the Edict of Nantes and the Toleration Act proved to be effective since there were little to no religious uprisings under their enforcement. In addition, the government or authoritative ruler could enact a law to punish those who persecute others based on their religion. If these two suggestions were taken into account earlier on in the sixteenth century, the violence of the seventeenth century would have been greatly reduced. More importantly, however, these solutions can be used to prevent future religious violent acts from happening.

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