Originating in Bohemia, the war’s roots take seed over a religious conflict. Duke Ferdinand issues an edict that goes against Bohemian culture by eliminating the ability for the Bohemian people to autonomously electing their own king. This singular action creates an imbalance of power, which fuels the Bohemians. A group of Bohemian nobles retaliate by throwing two emissaries of the emperor and their scribe out of a window of the Royal Palace in Prague, inciting the first symbolic act of the Bohemian rebellion from the empire.
In 1619, Duke Ferdinand is crowned emperor Ferdinand II. In response the Bohemian party offered the throne to the Calvinist Frederick, Count Palatine, who was the Elector of the Palatinate. At this point, war was inevitable, and in 1620 General Tilly, who was the commander of the Imperial forces and the Catholic League, defeated the Bohemians and forced Frederick to flee Bohemia. The Protestant Forces had to retreat north, and the remaining Lutheran princes were unwilling to challenge the powerful Catholic League and preferred to stay out of conflict. The conquest of the Bohemian Protestants left the balance of power stron...
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...ed this same right that had been denied to them prior to the war.
In a nutshell, the significance of the Thirty Years ' War for German history can hardly be overestimated. The war started out as a dispute over a declaration by Duke Ferdinand and escalated to a large-scale war between Catholic versus Protestant, Calvinist, and Lutheran religions. While the war began due to religious motivation, the war ultimately ended up being a political tool used to limit the Hapsburg power in Spain. France, a Catholic power, and other anti-Catholic entities throwing their support behind Gustavus Adolphus, who was a deeply religious Protestant fighting the largely Catholic Spain. This led to a division of the Holy Roman Empire and left Germany divided as Sweden, France, and the Catholic Church carved out their territories through political means to increase their own party’s power.
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