Archbishop Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg of Cologne converted to Calvinism in December 1582 and made that religion equal to the Catholic faith in Cologne. In April 1583 Pope Gregory XIII excommunicated him and appointed Bavarian prince Ernst his successor in the electoral college. Gebhard put his troops under Palatine Count Johann Casimir (r. 1583-92); but Gregory XIII hired several thousand Spanish troops to help Ernst in 1585, and without help from Lutheran princes Gebhard was defeated and fled to the Netherlands, though Gebhard’s supporters regained Bonn in September 1588. Duke Alexander Farnese of Parma’s Spanish forces occupied Rheinberg’s Cologne fortress in 1589 and won the Cologne War.
Lutheran Christian I was Elector of Saxony 1586-91 and made Nikolaus Krell chancellor in 1589, abolishing his Privy Council. In February 1590 Saxony began negotiating with the Palatinate, and the following January representatives of three electors and three landgraves of Hesse agreed to a defensive alliance in the Union of Torgau. After Christian of Saxony died on September 25, 1591, his 8-year-old son was ruled by his guardians Friedrich Wilhelm of Saxe-Altenburg and Elector Johann Georg of Brandenburg, who adhered to the Lutheran Formula Concordiae. They had Chancellor Krell imprisoned in 1591 for modifying a Lutheran rite in a Calvinist way and for backing French Huguenots, and he was tried in 1595. After a long appeal to Emperor Rudolf II, Krell was finally beheaded on October 9, 1601 at Dresden.
Emperor Rudolf II (r. 1576-1612) renewed Maximilian’s armistice with the Sultan in 1591, but war with the Turks resumed in 1593. That year Rudolf appointed his brother Matthias to govern Upper and Lower Austria, and upon the death of their brother Ernst, Archduke of Austria, in 1595 he became Rudolf’s heir. Their brother Albrecht became a cardinal but then married Felipe II’s daughter Isabella Clara Eugenia and became co-ruler with her of the southern Netherlands in 1598.
Inner Austria’s Archduke Karl II Franz (r. 1564-90) founded the University of Graz in the Steiermark province in 1586, and it was directed by Jesuits. Karl’s son Ferdinand II (1578-1637) succeeded as Archduke of Inner Austria and began ruling in 1595. He established reformation commissions to force parishes to be Catholic again, closing Protestant schools and destroying Lutheran churches and cemeteries. The expulsion of Protestant preachers and economic hardships provoked a revolt that year. The peasants rose up in Upper Austria, and the rebellion spread to the northern part of Lower Austria. After a peasant victory at Neumarkt in November an Imperial Commission appointed the next year ordered the peasants disarmed, and in 1597 the Commission restored the power of the Catholic Church in Austria with privileges for nobles and preferences for towns. In 1598 Archduke Leopold, Coadjutor of Passau, was made a bishop at the age of 12.
After a long war against the Persians the Turks invaded the west again in 1593 from Bosnia and Belgrade. At the Diet of Regensburg (Ratisbon) in June most wanted to fund the war against the Turks; but Protestants presented grievances, and the right to change one’s religion was protected. Catholic rulers were not allowed to expel Protestant subjects. The Reichstag raised about twenty million florins in taxes and got 7.1 million from Pope Clement VIII, Spain, and Italy. In 1594 archdukes Matthias and Maximilian III of Austria led Christian armies, and leaders from Transylvania, Moldavia, and Wallachia allied with Emperor Rudolf. In late October 1596 at Meso-Keresztes about 100,000 Turks and Tatars led by Sultan Mehmed III (r. 1595-1603) invaded Hungary, seized Eger, and defeated about 45,000 men led by Archduke Maximilian III and Sigismund of Transylvania in a 3-day battle. Each side had about 25,000 casualties, but it was an Ottoman victory.
The Habsburg war with Turkey led to government confiscation of Hutterite property to cover their taxes, and this happened in 1589 and every year from 1596 to 1622, when the Hutterites were expelled from Moravia. Hutterites survived in Hungary and used admonition and banning to maintain their nonviolent discipline as many migrated to Russia.
Johann Casimir acted as regent for his nephew, Elector Friedrich IV of the Palatinate, and he promoted the University of Heidelberg. Friedrich was an alcoholic and in 1595 appointed the Calvinist Christian of Anhalt to govern the Upper Palatinate from Heidelberg.
Conflicts between Catholics and Protestants continued while animosity between Lutherans and Calvinists increased. Stanislaus Rescius reported that at the Frankfurt fair books with Protestants criticizing other Protestants were three times as popular as those in which Protestants condemned Catholics. Count Wolfgang of Isenburg-Ronneburg had dismissed all the Lutheran officials in his territory in 1585; but in 1598 his brother Heinrich succeeded him and ordered the Calvinist preachers to leave during the winter. Then in 1601 Count Wolfgang Ernst expelled the Lutherans and reinstated the Calvinists. Lutherans also replaced Calvinists in Anhalt in 1595, in Hanau in 1596, and in Lippe in 1600. Landgrave Maurice of Hesse-Cassel became a Calvinist in 1604 and imposed it the next year.
After the death of Strasbourg’s Bishop Manderscheid in 1592 Protestants elected 15-year-old Johann Georg of Brandenburg their bishop while Catholics chose Duke Charles of Lorraine. Duke Friedrich I of Württemberg loaned young Georg 330,000 florins in exchange for control of the bishopric. The next year France’s Henri IV mediated a compromise that gave seven districts to Lorraine and six including Oberkirch to Georg; but Johann Georg sold his position for a pension and payment of his debts to Württemberg who then gave the bishopric to Lorraine.
During the counter-reformation Jesuits began colleges at Cologne, Trier, Coblenz, Mainz, Speyer, Dillingen, Münster, Würzburg, Ingolstadt, Paderborn, and Freiburg. During the last six years of the 16th century the Jesuit Conrad Vetter wrote ten abusive pamphlets, claiming he was following the example of the Lutherans.
Like his father, Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria, Maximilian was educated by Jesuits and in 1591 entered the government. Wilhelm spent money until he abdicated in 1597 so that he could live in a monastery. His son and successor Maximilian I was Duke of Bavaria 1597-1651. He enforced the Catholic religion in public and private, requiring church attendance and regulating clothes worn by boys and girls. He had Protestants driven out, and many lost their possessions. In 1598 Maximilian wrote to his father that the only princes respected were those with much land or money.
The Germans regained Gyor-Raab in 1598, and Emperor Rudolf II awarded General Adolf von Schwarzenberg the Golden Fleece insignia. Also in 1598 Spanish troops from the Netherlands invaded the Rhineland, and Rudolf deposed the Protestant Mayor of Aachen and the city councilors, restoring the Catholic religion. Expelling the Protestants was based on the judgment issued by the Imperial Aulic Council in Vienna. On December 12, 1598 Lutheran princes formed an alliance at Frankfort. Brandenburg’s Elector Johann Georg had died on January 8, 1598 and was succeeded by his son Joachim III Friedrich. A compromise divided the bishopric, and by 1604 Protestants had given up the upper Rhine.
In 1598 Archduke Ferdinand II claimed fullness of power over religion, but the Styrian estates argued he only had sovereignty over his royal lands. Rudolf inherited a prosperous kingdom from his father, but he lived in seclusion studying occult sciences and neglected to see foreign ambassadors. He avoided the terrors of his realm and spent his time with mistresses. During thirty years of his misrule the Habsburg realms deteriorated. In 1600 Ferdinand appointed a commission to end Protestant worship and education by threatening preachers who did not leave with death and by banishing their followers. That year Bishop Martin Brenner of Seckau returned to Graz and supervised the burning of 10,000 Protestant books. Between 1598 and 1605 about 11,000 Lutherans were expelled or emigrated from Inner Austria.
Melchior Klesl (1552-1630) became a Catholic while attending the University of Vienna, and in 1580 he became its chancellor; after a year he only allowed Catholics to graduate. In 1585 Emperor Rudolf II made Klesl an imperial councilor to lead the reform movement. In 1598 Klesl became Bishop of Vienna and led soldiers in Upper Austria to install Catholic priests in parishes, and they closed the Protestant Estates’ school in Linz. The next year he led 23,000 pilgrims from Lower Austria to Mariazell in Upper Styria. Catholics organized more processions, but in 1600 on a Corpus Christi march to Linz citizens drowned the priest in a river. Protestant privileges were suspended, and schoolteachers were expelled from Upper Austria. When salt miners in the Salzkammergut protested, Archduke Matthias sent 1,200 soldiers to force them back to work in February 1602.
Emperor Rudolf II had been educated in Spain and was devoted to Roman Catholicism. He became a recluse in his castle at Prague while the reviving Catholic faith in Austria and Hungary provoked Protestant opposition. Rudolf suffered from melancholy, and by 1598 he refused to sign documents or make political decisions. In 1601 when his Jewish banker Markus Meyzel died, Rudolf confiscated his entire estate including what had been bequeathed to the poor. In 1602 the Emperor was persuaded by Catholics to dismiss his liberal Protestant counselors and renew the restrictions on the Bohemian Brothers. In 1603-04 Catholics in Hungary got Rudolf to prosecute the Lutheran Istvan Illeshazy for sedition, prohibit debate of religious complaints at the diet, and sequester Protestant churches in Kassa and smaller towns. Reforming Catholics held a synod at Prague in 1605. Thus the Habsburgs tried to revive the Catholic faith in their territory; but only a quarter of the 50,000 Viennese were Catholic, and they failed to win converts in Bohemia, Silesia, and Lusatia.
By the late 16th century trials of witches were being prosecuted throughout Germany, and in the next century about 100,000 victims would be executed. Andreas Celichius was superintendent of Mecklenburg and in 1595 wrote a treatise on possessions and exorcism.
In March 1599 princes at Frankfurt decided to raise 16,000 men to fight the Spaniards. Lutherans strengthened their union and on February 12, 1603 formed the defensive and offensive alliance of Heidelberg. The Palatine Elector Friedrich IV (r. 1592-1610) was a Calvinist as was his son Friedrich V (r. 1610-23). Johannes Althusius was also a Calvinist German who observed the Dutch revolution. In 1603 he was elected a municipal trustee of Emden in East Frisia, and that year he published his Politica Methodice Digesta presenting a federalist political system based on sovereignty of the people, the social contract, and the right to oppose illegal acts of government.
In 1605 Rudolf II (r. 1576-1612) gave his brother Matthias responsibility for war and peace. Rudolf was not satisfied with him, but on April 25, 1606 Khlesl convened a meeting of archdukes who deposed Rudolf and made Matthias head of the family. By then Rudolf had lost his reason and could not act. Istvan Bocskai turned against the Habsburg empire and with his army from Transylvania invaded Austria. On June 23, 1606 Archduke Matthias made peace with Bocskai and recognized him as Prince of Transylvania. That year the Ottoman empire was at war with Persia. The Habsburgs ended the war against the Turks on November 11 at Zsitvatorok.
In May 1605 the city council of Donauworth in Swabia decided that monks could march on St. Mark’s Day but with banners furled. In April 1606 the Catholics unfurled their flags in the procession, and Protestant burghers ripped up the banners and chased the monks back to the abbey. On September 3 the Reichshofrat ruled this a breach of the peace. On March 17, 1607 Emperor Rudolf II authorized Maximilian of Bavaria to enforce the law, but Duke Friedrich of Württemberg complained it should have been done by a Swabian authority. In April militants rioted and expelled Bavarian investigators, and on August 3 Rudolf imposed an imperial ban on the city. Finally he sent Maximilian with 6,500 troops, and they occupied Donauworth on December 17. Maximilian restored the Catholic churches but did not suppress Lutherans until 1609. Rudolf ordered Donauworth to pay for Maximilian’s expenses which exceeded 300,000 florins, but the city’s revenues were only 15,000 a year.
Emperor Rudolf II sent Archduke Ferdinand II of Styria to represent him in February 1608 at the Imperial Diet in Regensburg (Ratisbon) which refused to grant more taxes for the Turkish war. Protestants insisted on reviving the violated religious peace of Augsburg (1555). Ferdinand agreed to do so if the Protestants would restore all Catholic church property seized since 1552. The Austrian and Hungarian estates met in February 1608 at Pressburg and supported Matthias, but the nobility and Catholic clergy boycotted them. In March the Archduke Ferdinand II granted Upper and Lower Austria freedom of religion and accepted Protestants into the government. Yet Palatine delegates protested to Ferdinand and walked out in April, followed by others from Brandenburg, Ansbach, Kulmbach, Baden-Durlach, Hesse-Kassel, and Württemberg. Ferdinand dissolved the Diet on May 3.
On May 14 at a conference at Anhausen in Anhalt the Prince Christian of Anhalt persuaded the defense group led by Palatinate Elector Friedrich IV to join with the dukes of Württemberg, Baden-Durlach, and Pfalz-Neuburg to form a union. By January 1610 they would be joined by Brandenburg, Hesse-Kassel, Zweibrücken, Anhalt’s brothers, the Count of Ottingen, and sixteen imperial cities including Strasbourg, Ulm, and Nuremberg. This Union for the Defense of Evangelical Religion would hold 25 plenary sessions over 13 years but would be weakened by conflicts between Lutherans and Calvinists and would not form its own institutions.
In June 1608 the Landgrave Moritz (Maurice) of Hesse-Kassel mediated the Treaty of Dortumund between Brandenburg and Neuberg princes. That month a compromise gave Rudolf II’s brother Matthias control over Hungary, Moravia, and Austria. Matthias summoned the estates of Austria to meet on July 12, but the Protestants demanded toleration. He accepted the mediation of Moravian states who agreed to restore the religious privileges of the Protestants on March 19, 1609.
On July 9 Rudolf II held on to Bohemia by sending his Letter of Majesty that protected all Bohemians against religious imposition, and a month later Silesians gained even more religious freedom. Yet that year a commission required all imperial office-holders to be Catholic.
In July 1609 a new Catholic League was organized at Munich with southern German prelates led by Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria that included the prince-bishops of Swabia and Franconia and the Rhineland archbishops of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne. In August 1610 Maximilian persuaded Spain’s Ambassador Balthasar de Zuñiga to get support from Spain and the Pope, and the League recognized King Felipe III and Archduke Ferdinand II as its protectors, though only a small subsidy came from the Vatican. Maximilian outlawed the Protestant religion and had its preachers arrested along with nobles who refused to leave the Catholic Church.
By 1589 the elderly Duke Wilhelm the Rich of Jülich-Cleves-Berg could no longer govern. His surviving son Johann Wilhelm succeeded his father in 1592; but because he suffered from mental illness, his Catholic wife Jakobea of Baden governed until her arrest and death in September 1597 for corruption and adultery. In 1599 he married Antoinette of Lorraine who also governed. Johann Wilhelm died on March 25, 1609 with no direct heir. On May 24 Emperor Rudolf II announced that he would choose his successor, but on June 10 Philipp Ludwig of Pfalz-Neuburg and Elector Johann Sigismund of Brandenburg signed the treaty of Dortmund establishing a provisional government with local estates. Archduke Leopold of Strasbourg persuaded his cousin Rudolf to annul the Dortmund treaty, and Emperor Rudolf made young Leopold imperial commissioner on July 14. Nine days later Archbishop Leopold took command of the Strasbourg garrison in the Jülich fortress, but they were blockaded by soldiers.
In January 1610 the Protestant Union expanded its membership, and in March the Elector of the Palatinate, the Margrave of Baden, and the Duke of Württemberg organized a Union army that invaded Strasbourg. Emperor Rudolf II convened a conference at Prague on May 1 with leaders who insisted that Leopold be replaced. They could not agree and set the peace conference for Cologne in August. The Protestant Union appealed to France which sent 9,000 men who had signed up for only four months. Leopold escaped from Jülich, leaving a garrison of 1,500 men. In August an Anglo-Dutch army led by Prince Maurice of Orange with 30,000 Union Protestants and a French force marched against Jülich. On August 10 a truce enabled the Duke of Lorraine and Alsatian nobles to withdraw. In September the Catholic League mobilized an army of 19,000 led by Maximilian of Bavaria; but they never engaged because the fortress with 2,000 defenders had surrendered on September 1. On October 24 Maximilian made a treaty with the Protestants who agreed to evacuate Alsace and repair what they had damaged. The Union and the League agreed to withdraw and disband their forces by the end of the year. Leopold spent 2.6 million florins on this war, and the costs to the Austrian Alsace were about 1.14 million. France’s Henri IV spent 5.38 million florins, a third of his war chest.
Also in 1610 Calvinists from the Lower Rhine held a general synod to separate themselves from the Dutch Church. Archduke Leopold collected his army at Passau in December and by recruiting veterans of the Turkish War with secret support from the Austrian War Council increased the force to 4,000 cavalry and 8,000 infantry. That month Colonel Ramée led the unpaid soldiers into Upper Austria which they ravaged for five weeks causing two million florins worth of damage and taking 269 wagons filled with booty to Bohemia. Other troops plundered Upper Alsace. Leopold joined his army as they entered Prague on February 15, 1611. Maximilian sent an army of 10,000 men to Salzburg and had Archbishop Raitenau imprisoned in his palace for six years until his death.
Archduke Matthias left Vienna with only 2,500 troops, but in two weeks on the way to Prague his army increased to 18,000 men. Rudolf II asked his cousin Leopold V, who was Bishop of Passau and Strasbourg, for help; but his attack on Prague with a mercenary army provoked the Bohemians to turn to Matthias. He made a deal with Leopold who condemned Ramée, though he escaped, and his Passau troops were finally paid. Spain rejected Leopold and gave Matthias 200,000 ducats. He made concessions to Lutherans by promising to respect their rights. The Bohemian estates met and elected Matthias as their king, and he was crowned on May 23, 1611. Matthias stopped food supplies to the Hradschin district in Prague until Rudolf abdicated that crown in May 1611. Klesl urged all groups to support Matthias who married his 26-year-old cousin Anna of Tyrol on December 4. Rudolf was trapped in the citadel at Hradschin and died on January 20, 1612.
Matthias was unanimously elected Emperor on June 13, 1612. Protestants had seized Aachen, and so he was crowned at Frankfurt on June 26. During the celebration the baker Vincent Fettmilch suggested they elect a city council that is more democratic. He led those who wanted to expel Jews because the city council gave them advantages.
Emperor Matthias moved the imperial court from Prague to Vienna. He enjoyed pleasures of the court and let Melchior Klesl administer the government. Klesl’s policy was friendly compromises (amicabilis composito) on religious differences, and he tried to conciliate German Protestants with promises of an imperial diet and the Cameral Tribunal.
The Diet at Regensburg in August 1613 was the only meeting between 1608 and 1640. Many Protestants declined to attend, and Union representatives learned their demands would not be met and walked out. At the same time the Catholic League met, and Klesl and the imperial Archchancellor Johann Schweikart von Kronberg of Mainz persuaded most to accept decentralization. Klesl hoped to open membership to Lutherans, and in March 1614 he privately allied with Würzburg, Bamberg, Eichstatt, and Ellwangen. That month Duke Maximilian of Bavaria formed a small alliance with his neighbors, though he would resign as director in February 1616. In 1615 the Bohemian Diet passed anti-German laws which Matthias accepted, but he closed important churches outside Vienna, stimulating the Protestants to demand a special court.
Elector Johann Sigismund of Brandenburg began introducing Calvinism in 1608, but he did not convert until 1613. In July of that year Wolfgang Wilhelm of Palatinate-Neuburg became a Catholic. Archduke Albrecht of Austria and the Spanish banker and general Ambroglio di Spinola mobilized an army of about 15,000 in August 1614 and occupied Jülich and Berg, and the garrison surrendered on September 5. In the Treaty of Xanten on November 12 the duchy of Jülich-Cleves-Berg was divided by the Calvinist Johann Sigismund of Brandenburg and the Catholic Wolfgang Wilhelm of Pfalz-Neuburg who got Jülich, Berg, and Ravenstein while Cleves, Mark, and Ravensberg went to Johann Sigismund. Most of the bishoprics in western and southern Germany remained Catholic, but in the east and the north the Protestant princes took over the dioceses.
In April 1612 the Protestant Union formed an alliance with England’s King James I, and young Friedrich V married his daughter Elizabeth Stuart on February 14, 1613. In May the Union also made a 15-year treaty with the Netherlands. In July 1614 the zealous Calvinist Friedrich V inherited the Palatinate. That year the Protestants held a general diet at Linz.
After several years of agitation against Jews in Frankfurt by guild leader Vincent Fettmilch, Emperor Matthias tried to intervene. On August 22, 1614 Fettmilch incited an insurrection and took over city hall, and a mob pillaged the Jewish ghetto, looting homes and killing two Jews while others were herded to their cemetery and then expelled from the city. News spread, and at Worms the guilds plundered the synagogue and drove 1,400 Jews from the city. Jews were also expelled from Baden. The Emperor and Elector of Mainz sent a force to Frankfurt, and Fettmilch and six other leaders were arrested and hanged. The city council was restored, and the order banning Jews was repealed. Imperial soldiers escorted the exiles back to their homes. Edicts ordered stolen property returned to the Jews, and the city council authorized funds to repair the synagogue and damaged houses. In January 1616 the imperial army also helped Jews return to Worms.
In January 1615 Moritz of Hesse-Kassel warned Protestants that the Catholic League was protected by Pope Paul V, King Felipe III of Spain, and Emperor Matthias, and they would wage war to destroy the evangelical religion. In 1615 Klesl confirmed and renewed the truce with the Ottoman Empire, and he was made a cardinal in December. By 1616 he had negotiated with each province to pay off 70% of Rudolf’s debt of 30 million florins. In 1615 Neuberg seceded from the Protestant Union, followed by Brandenburg in 1617. In April that year Emperor Matthias dissolved the Catholic League to reduce conflict. That month the Protestant Union assembled at Heilbronn. The alliance depended on the cities for funds, but many princes were behind in their contributions; they agreed to extend the charter to 1621.
Emperor Matthias had no children, and in the summer of 1617 Spain’s Felipe III recognized Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria and his male heirs in Hungary and Bohemia. Ferdinand promised the Spanish ambassador Oñate that he would give Felipe the Piombino and Finale principalities, possession of Alsace, and the county of Ortenau on the Rhine River. The Bohemian Diet elected Ferdinand II King of Bohemia on June 5, 1617 despite opposition, and he was crowned at Prague on June 29. He became King of Hungary and Croatia at Pressburg on July 1, 1618. By then Bohemians had revolted against Klesl’s policies.
From 1615 to 1618 the Habsburg Austrians and Spaniards fought the Uskok War against Venetians, Dutch, and the English. The Austrians used Croatian Uskoks in guerrilla warfare. Uskoks had attacked Turkish ships, and after the Turkish War their pirates went after Venetians and then Spanish ships too. On December 20, 1615 Venetians besieged Gradisca on the Isonzo River, and by February 1616 they had 12,000 soldiers there. The Ottomans used the opportunity to raid the Uskoks. Venetians suffered disease, but 3,000 Dutch mercenaries arrived in May to increase their force to 16,000. More Dutch and English arrived in November, and they increased the Venetian navy to 86 ships. After an inconclusive engagement Felipe III on June 6, 1617 agreed to renounce claims in Bohemia and Hungary, and he was promised an Austrian province in the Oñate treaty on July 29. After Archduke Ferdinand was crowned King of Bohemia, he raised 4,000 soldiers, and Albrecht von Wallenstein brought Austrian reinforcements and supplies to Fort Stella. Ferdinand agreed to French and Spanish mediation that produced the Treaty of Madrid on September 26. The Venetians withdrew, and the Austrians resettled the Uskoks away from the shore.
Religion for some became less popular as critics exposed corruption, though pamphlets and books on religion were widely disseminated and discussed. The German Book of Concord of 1580 was challenged by Rudolf Hospinian of Zurich when he published his treatise, Discordant Concord in 1607. Johann Arndt wrote Four Books of True Christianity and published his popular Garden of Paradise in 1612. The Lutheran Matthias Hoe von Hoenegg attacked the papacy in several books, and in 1613 he became the senior Saxon preacher and criticized Calvinists. The Calvinist David Pareus taught theology at the University of Heidelberg, and he wrote Irenicum in 1614-15 to urge a general synod to unite Lutherans and Calvinists; but the Lutheran theologian Leonhard Hutter rejected his peace offer. In 1618 Pareus urged Protestant princes to lead a crusade against the Pope. In 1617 two Protestant literary societies formed, one for the defense of the German language at Weimar and the Order of the Golden Palm for Calvinist nobles at Amberg.
In Brandenburg the Lutherans and Calvinists quarreled violently over whether the consecrated host was Christ, and in 1614 Calvinism was declared the true religion. In the next three years some 200 pamphlets were published on the Brandenburg religious conflict. The publication of religious pamphlets reached a peak of 1,800 in 1618.
Cologne issued an ordinance against witchcraft in 1607, and more than 300 people were put to death for it in Ellwangen about 1611. Bishop Friedrich Förner in Bamberg led the persecution starting in 1612. Special witchcraft tribunals were set up so that they could get around laws against torture. Victims were executed, and prosecutors confiscated their property. Förner’s group seized goods worth more than a half million florins in Bamberg. These prosecutions had three waves, 1612-13, 1616-19, and 1626-30 during which more than a thousand people were executed including Bamberg’s mayor and Chancellor Georg Haan with his family because he had criticized the witch trials. Eventually the Reichshofrat issued six mandates and letters to protect the accused, and in 1630 the bishop was ordered to desist and cease confiscating property. In 1634 inhabitants demolished the Malefactors’ Hall which had a chapel and torture chambers.
Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II (r. 1576-1612) kept his court in Prague until his death in January 1612. Rudolf promoted the arts and sciences, especially chemistry and astronomy. The Turks invaded in 1593 and conquered the sanjaks (districts) of Fil’akovo, Szecsény, and Nograd by 1594. Czech was the official language of Bohemia and Moravia while German was used in the Lusatias and Lower Silesia where Lutherans became a majority.
Emperor Rudolf II tried to make Bohemia Catholic in 1600, but from that year on he suffered mental illness. In 1602 he issued a decree against the Bohemian Brothers. The Diet met at Prague on January 9, 1603, and the Protestant leader, Venceslas Budovec of Budova, criticized the King’s policy; but he persuaded the reluctant Estates to grant money the King requested. Then Rudolf closed the Diet after only six days. In 1605 the Archbishop of Prague held a synod that established restrictions on all the decrees of the Council of Trent, placing barriers between Protestants and Catholics. Hungarians objected to Rudolf’s decree against their religious freedom, and they invaded Moravia. They asked Rudolf to cede the government of Hungary to his brother Archduke Matthias. Because of Rudolf’s illness the other dukes recognized Matthias as head of the Habsburg house. Finally Rudolf let Matthias negotiate with the Hungarians, and they made a treaty with the Turks on June 23, 1606; but Rudolf refused to ratify it. Matthias met with leading nobles of Moravia, and then the Hungarian Diet met at Bratislava with delegates from Austria. They pledged to honor the treaty with the Turks, challenging Rudolf’s authority. The Moravian Estates meeting at Ivancice also complained about Rudolf.
In 1608 Matthias raised an army in Austria and entered Moravia, proclaiming at Znoymo that he was taking over the government of countries that the incompetent Rudolf was ruining. Matthias stated his intention to enter Bohemia and summoned their estates to meet at Caslav on May 4. Rudolf in Prague called for a General Diet, and the Bohemian Estates met on March 10. The General Diet was planned for April 14. Matthias demanded that Rudolf abdicate and leave Bohemia. The Diet began on May 23, but only Bohemia was represented. Budovec led the commission that devised 25 articles which were signed by 300 nobles and knights and were presented to King Rudolf who hesitated before approving some of the articles while leaving religious issues for the next Diet. Budovec persuaded the Protestant Estates to accept the compromise. Matthias had marched near Prague, and he agreed to a peace treaty with his brother Rudolf on June 25. Matthias was crowned King of Hungary and Croatia on November 19.
The Bohemian Diet met to discuss religious affairs on January 28, 1609. Rudolf II demanded that they accept the Catholic faith and rites except that laymen could receive communion in both kinds. In a letter he asked the Estates to recognize the Catholic Archbishop of Prague and to expel heretical preachers. The Estates elected a committee which insisted that the Consistory and the University of Prague be directed by Protestants (Lutherans and the Bohemian Brothers). Finally on March 31 Rudolf announced that he would not make concessions on ecclesiastical issues. Budovec led the drafting of a declaration which was approved by a large meeting of Protestants the next day. This was read at the Diet, and then the supreme Burgrave dissolved the Diet. Rudolf had been trying to oppose most of the people, but he finally acceded to their demands.
After consulting with the Spanish ambassador Zuñiga, King Rudolf II ordered the Estates to gather at the Hradcany on May 25, and again they formulated their demands. A “Letter of Majesty” was presented to Rudolf on June 13, but he still refused to compromise. Feeling the threat of civil war, the Estates of Silesia formed an alliance with Bohemia for mutual defense. Finally on July 9 the King signed the “Letter of Majesty,” recognizing the Bohemian Confession and authorizing the election of the members of the Consistory. Both Catholics and Protestants were guaranteed religious freedom. The Bohemians received a religious charter that recognized the faith of the Utraquists. but it increased the conflict between the Protestant Union and the Catholic League.
The Catholic estates refused to accept the agreements, and in February 1610 formed a union. That year a Protestant synod met in Zilina and organized three superintendencies in western and central Slovakia. Rudolf offered his cousin Archduke Leopold the chance to succeed him, and he mobilized an army that invaded Bohemia in 1611. They were stopped at Prague by soldiers organized by Count Thurm and the Estates. King Matthias of Hungary also defended Bohemia and became its king. After Rudolf died on January 20, 1612, the German Electors chose Matthias to be the next Emperor. The Bohemian Diet gained the right to assemble without royal authorization and the right to levy troops. Another meeting in Spisske Podhradie in 1614 formed two superintendencies in eastern Slovakia. From 1611 to 1616 the Silesian-Lusatian Chancellery was independent in Wroclaw. King Matthias (1611-17) granted religious freedom in the Lusatias in 1611. At a General Diet of the Estates at Prague in 1615 they voted to make Czech the official language of the nation. Matthias nominated Archduke Ferdinand of Styria as his successor, and the Diet met at Prague on June 5, 1617 and elected Ferdinand II who was crowned King of Bohemia on June 29. He was a devout Catholic and refused to recognize the religious liberties of the Protestants. In December the Archbishop of Prague had the church at Hrob destroyed.
Although Emperor Matthias had confirmed the imperial Letters of Majesty to Bohemia and Silesia, as King he transferred crown land to the Catholic Church in order to reduce territory affected by the toleration grants. Peasants there were not permitted to attend church services on private estates. Protestant worship had been banned in 1614 in Braunau (Broumov) and Klostergrab (Hroby) in northeastern Bohemia where German was spoken because they were under the Brevnov Abbey and the Archbishop of Prague respectively. In 1617 King Ferdinand of Bohemia confirmed these even though he had recognized Protestant privileges in order to be chosen as king. Then he arrested those complaining that the Klostergrab church was destroyed, and he ordered royal judges to reduce funding for Protestant parishes. He secretly promised the Habsburgs in Spain that he would cede Alsace and imperial fiefs in Italy to them if he were elected Emperor.
Count Thurn lost his position as castellan of Karlstadt and led the opposition in the Defenders Committee which called a Protestant conference in March 1618 to express their grievances. They sent a petition to Emperor Matthias and met again on May 21. When Chancellor Klesl prohibited the assembly, Thurn urged pastors to announce that delegates would debate the issues. After Regents ordered them to disband, Thurn on May 22 suggested they “throw them out of the window, as is customary,” for such had been the fate of Prague’s mayor and councilors on July 30, 1419. Thurn and other nobles threw the most hated imperial privy councilors, Count Vilém Slavata and Count Jaroslav Borita Martinitz, headfirst from the window, followed by chaplain Jacob Fabricius, but these men landed in a pile of rubbish and were not hurt. Martinitz had called on the Madonna, and some Catholics believed that Maria had saved them. On May 25 Protestants proclaimed the assembly a diet and elected twelve directors from each of the three estates of the lords, knights, and towns to replace the Bohemian regents. Thurn chose to be army commander instead. They affirmed their loyalty to Emperor Matthias and listed the provocations Protestants had suffered. They blamed Jesuits for stirring up strife, and on June 2 the new Bohemian government expelled all Jesuits.
Spain’s Felipe III had promised money to pay off Ferdinand’s army after the Uskok War, but now it was used to maintain 3,000 mostly German soldiers. The Palatinate sent 5,200 militia and peasants to destroy the Udenheim fortress on June 15, 1618. The Moravian diet mobilized 3,000 soldiers in August, but Cardinal Dietrichstein and Karel Zierotin made sure they stayed in the province and let the Habsburg army of the imperial commander Count Bucquoy pass through on their way to Prague. Peasant guerrillas disrupted their supply lines, and Bucquoy’s soldiers plundered 24 villages near Caslav for food. They avoided Thurn’s army and camped by Budweis. Pope Paul V sent a small contribution that reached Vienna in September. Friedrich V offered to mediate, but Matthias declined. Bohemians approved a levy of 30,000 citizens in September; but only 10,500 showed up, and they were sent home the next month. The Protestant Union met in October but took no action. Archduke Maximilian of Austria died on November 2. Count Mansfeld led 2,000 Swiss mercenaries and besieged Pilsen which capitulated on November 25. Count Henri Duval Dampierre’s imperial forces fell back to Krems.
Ferdinand II was already ruling Austria before the ailing Matthias died on March 20, 1619. On April 18 the Directors sent Thurn’s army of 9,000 men to invade Moravia. Dampierre led his 2,000 men, but they were too late to stop them. One of the three Moravian regiments defected to the rebels. In May the estates of Moravia met in Brünn and set up a new government of thirty directors with twelve elected by nobles, twelve by knights, and six by delegates from towns.
Emperor Ferdinand II (r. 1619-37) objected to Klesel’s concessions to the rebels; but Thurn rejected them because of the condition they disarm. Both sides began raising armies. When Klesl attended a conference with Archduke Maximilian of Tyrol and Ambassador Oñate at Hofburg, he was arrested and taken to Tyrol and then Innsbruck. His wealth went into the war-chest, and he was tried and convicted in June 1619. The College of Cardinals ratified his guilt, and in 1622 he was put under house arrest in Rome. In 1628 Ferdinand let Klesl return to Vienna where he lived in retirement until his death in 1630.
Albrecht Wenzel von Wallenstein was born in Bohemia and brought up as a Protestant. He was expelled from the Calvinist Altdorf University for brawling and traveled in Germany, France, and Italy where he attended lectures. In 1604 he fought with Bohemians for the Habsburgs against Hungarians, and he converted to Catholicism in 1606. Kepler drew his horoscope for him in 1608, and the next year he married the elderly widow Lucretia Neksova who owned very large estates in Moravia which he inherited after her death in 1614. In 1617 Wallenstein provided a mercenary force for Emperor Ferdinand’s war against Venice. He raised a regiment of cavalry in 1619 to fight for Ferdinand who appointed him to govern Bohemia. When Wallenstein’s infantry mutinied, he killed their major, marched his men to Olmütz, seized the Moravian Estates’ funds, and fled to the south.
Cardinal Dietrichstein tried to negotiate with Thurn in Brünn and resigned, and Zierotin refused to ally with the Bohemians. Thurn agreed to a truce for four months, and the Estates’ army drank the wine in Dietrichstein’s cellar. Thurn crossed the border with his army of 10,000 men and attacked Vienna in early June. Protestants considering reconciliation with Ferdinand had been meeting and were almost scared away by the arrival of Dampierre’s 400 cavalry. Students mobilized, and reinforcements increased the imperial capital’s defenders to 5,000. With no siege artillery Thurn’s army retreated north on June 7. Then Archduke Leopold led a house-to-house search arresting subversives and confiscating weapons. Protestant nobles fled to fortified Horn. On June 10 Bucquoy’s army of 5,000 defeated Mansfeld’s 3,000 troops at Netolitz which was set on fire. Many of the unpaid Swiss defected to the Habsburg army for a month’s pay. Bohemia’s commander, Count Georg Friedrich Hohenlohe, had failed to intervene, and his forces rejoined Thurn’s retreating army. That June a Union congress approved an army of 11,000 men for defense.
On July 31, 1619 the estates of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia formed a confederation, and then they allied with Upper and Lower Austria. Each of the five provinces maintained its own diet and laws. On August 22 they deposed King Ferdinand, and four days later they elected the Protestant Union leader, Palatine Elector Friedrich V, on his 23rd birthday to be King of Bohemia.
On August 28 at Frankfurt the Bohemians were excluded from participating as Ferdinand II was elected emperor unanimously; he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor on September 9. Ferdinand went to Munich, and on October 8 he recognized the Catholic League in a treaty with Bavaria. The League met at Würzburg and on December 5 funded an army of 25,000 from its members’ contributions. Pope Paul V would send only 380,000 florins in three years, enough to pay the imperial army for one month, though he raised 1.24 million from Italian and German clergy by 1624. Other League members provided 4.83 million. Spain would send 2 million florins by 1621.
Transylvanian prince Bethlen Gabor wanted to rule Hungary and promised to join the Bohemians in Moravia. In September he led 35,000 men to Kassa, followed by Gyorgy Rakoczi’s 5,000 Upper Hungarians. Ferenc Rhédey led 12,000 cavalry into Moravia. On October 13 Bethlen’s forces defeated the only Habsburg army still in Hungary that was led by Ferdinand’s brother Leopold. Allied with Hohenlohe and Thurn, the Protestants also forced Bucquoy’s army to retreat across the Danube to Vienna as they burned a bridge on October 25, 1619.
Friedrich V appointed Johann Casimir of Zweibrücken to govern the Palatine and moved to Prague in October where he was crowned King of Bohemia on November 4, 1619. At the Protestant Union conference Friedrich was supported by Ansbach and Baden, but Hessen-Kassel resigned. The Dutch let two regiments of Britons and Germans recruited from their army join the Union forces, but they never paid a subsidy. Friedrich announced he would tolerate loyal Catholics, but he did little to stop their harassment. Needing money, he ordered Catholic estates and church property confiscated. Palatine Calvinists even plundered art works from St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague at Christmas, destroying the crucifix over the altar and breaking into the tombs of saints. Bohemians resented this but managed to field about 12,000 soldiers, and Moravia and Silesia each turned out 3,000; Lusatia paid money instead. Only a few thousand Protestants from Upper and Lower Austria joined the Confederate army. Mansfeld’s army in western Bohemia had 7,000 men including two British and seven German regiments with four Walloon units and one Dutch.
The Protestant armies gathered 42,000 troops outside Vienna but had no artillery. Leopold had gathered enough food to feed 20,000 soldiers and 75,000 civilians in the city. The unpaid Bohemians suffered in heavy rain. On November 27 news arrived that Transylvania had been attacked, and the Transylvanians and Hungarians went home a week later. The Bohemians remained in Lower Austria.
Zygmunt III was King of Sweden and Poland, and he led an army of 19,000 soldiers who invaded Silesia in early 1620. Their support enabled the imperial commander Bucquoy to attack Krems in March, April, and early June. Thurn’s Bohemians and Austrians camped by Langenlois in the north were joined by returning Silesians and Moravians to swell the Confederate army to 25,000 men by May when Anhalt took command. On January 15 the Hungarian Diet at Bratislava had proclaimed Bethlen their prince. He sent 8,000 Hungarian and Transylvanian horsemen to join the Confederate army. Friedrich had dispatched a delegation to Istanbul in March, and envoy Mehmed Aga visited Prague in July and offered 60,000 Ottoman auxiliaries to Bohemia. Friedrich V wrote a letter to the Ottoman Sultan Osman II accepting the alliance and sent a hundred Bohemians, Hungarians, and Transylvanians with 70,000 florins to confirm the contract.
Ferdinand had summoned a diet to meet at Neusohl in Upper Hungary; but Bethlen’s party abolished the clerical estate and confiscated the property of their opponents. On April 30 Ferdinand accused Friedrich V of usurping the Bohemian crown and warned him to leave the Empire by June 1, or his property would be confiscated. Ferdinand ordered the Hungarian Diet to dissolve on August 13, but twelve days later they elected Bethlen king of Hungary. The imperial army had cost 5 million florins in ten months, but crown revenues were less than 2.4 million because rebel estates controlled 3 million in annual taxes. The imperial military deficit rose to 4.3 million fl. Austria established a separate Aulic Chancellery, and there were also chancelleries in Bohemia and Hungary.
By May 1620 the Protestants had 13,000 men led by the margrave of Ansbach at Ulm while the League had recruited 30,000 troops nearby at Lauingen and Günzburg. On July 3 the Union and the League agreed not to fight each other in Germany; but Maximilian was allowed to intervene in Bohemia, and Protestants could oppose Spain.
Ferdinand II had six imperial armies. Bucquoy’s force of 21,500 left Vienna to march on Krems and drive Anhalt from Lower Austria. On July 17 Count Jean Tserclaes of Tilly led 30,000 League soldiers into Upper Austria. One week later Maximilian left 8,600 men to protect the Upper Palatinate and marched with 21,400 troops to counter Protestants at Ulm. Spaniards invaded the Lower Palatine, and Johann Georg of Saxony attacked Lusatia in September. Peasant militias tried to resist in Upper Austrian mountains, but the Bavarians captured Linz on August 3. The Calvinist Baron Georg Erasmus Tschernembl and radicals fled, and the League army gained 3,500 moderates. Catholic Habsburgs now controlled both Austrian provinces even though a majority of the inhabitants were Protestants, but about 13,000 League soldiers died from the Hungarian fever during the 1620 campaign.
Ansbach marched an army of 21,800 troops to Oppenheim, and they were joined by 2,000 English and 2,000 Dutch horsemen. Ansbach avoided a battle, hoping for English mediation. Bethlen with 30,000 cavalry recaptured Pressburg; Dampierre’s imperial forces tried to disrupt Bethlen’s coronation, but Dampierre was killed on October 9. Ferdinand put Maximilian in command of the imperial armies, and he marched on Prague.
Calvinist Christian Anhalt had 11,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry at White Mountain near Prague, and they were opposed by Bucquoy’s imperial army that had 2,000 more men. Anhalt’s men attacked on November 8, and the imperial army suffered 650 casualties; but the Confederate army had 600 killed on the field and another 1,000 on the retreat to Prague, plus 1,200 wounded. This battle proved decisive as the Confederate morale collapsed. Confederate pay was in arrears up to 5.5 million florins. Victorious imperial soldiers plundered houses. Moravian Estates paid homage to Emperor Ferdinand before the year ended. After long negotiations the Lusatians and Silesians in March 1621 surrendered to Saxony Elector Johann Georg who had voted for Emperor Ferdinand and remained loyal.
On January 29, 1621 Emperor Ferdinand II put Friedrich V, Christian of Anhalt, Count Hohenlohe, and Johann Georg von Brandenburg-Jägerndorf under the imperial ban. On the night of February 20 leading rebels were arrested in Prague. In March the Catholic League met at Augsburg and decided to reduce their army to 15,000 men. That month Friedrich V met with the Protestant Union and others, and Denmark deployed 5,000 troops in its German territories. On April 12 the Union in a treaty at Mainz agreed to evacuate it forces from the Lower Palatinate in exchange for the general Spinola stopping fighting. The Union was dissolved by not renewing its charter on May 14.
On May 23 Ferdinand II signed death warrants for 28 Bohemian rebel leaders; one committed suicide in prison, and the others were brutally executed on June 21 while 700 horsemen patrolled Prague. Many had blamed the leaders for starting the war, but the cruel punishments evoked sympathy for their cause. Ferdinand realized his mistake and after this commuted sentences to life imprisonment, and all were released by the end of the decade. The imperial court punished 680 Bohemian families, and 166 lost their estates along with 135 Prague burghers and 150 Moravians. Bohemians nobles continued to speak Czech, but this language was replaced by German in Moravia.
In the east the Margrave of Jägerndorf occupied Görlitz in Upper Lusatia and Glatz. He abandoned Görlitz on March 3 but continued the fight. Bethlen Gabor refused to give up being King of Hungary and broke off talks with Ferdinand at Hainburg on April 22. He raised 17,000 light cavalry and 4,000 foot soldiers. On May 5 the imperial commander Bucquoy with 20,000 men captured Pressburg, Tyrnau, and Neutra in Moravia and Lower Austria. That month Saxons brought Silesia under Habsburg control. Bethlen retreated and appealed to Jägerndorf who, because of 8,000 advancing Saxons, had to retreat to the south, reaching Upper Hungary in July. Bethlen sent 6,000 light cavalry who broke the siege of Neuhausel and killed Bucquoy on July 10. He was replaced by Colonel Maximilian Liechtenstein who abandoned his siege train and fled across the Neutra River the next night. Bethlen had 15,000 men, and Jägerndorf added 8,000 more. They besieged Pressburg on August 18 and raided Moravia while Bethlen’s western Hungarians attacked Lower and Inner Austria south of the Danube.
Wallenstein gathered 4,000 men and increased the imperial army to 12,000. Bethlen negotiated a treaty by the end of the year that was ratified on January 6, 1622, dividing Hungary and confirming religious privileges. Jägerndorf’s army dispersed. Imperial troops surrounded Glatz in March, and the town surrendered on October 25. The Saxons left Silesia, and 10,000 imperial troops occupied Moravia.
Leopold had 6,000 imperial soldiers in Alsace, and for the summer they were joined by 9,000 Cossacks. On July 9, 1621 Emperor Ferdinand let Maximilian of Bavaria invade the Upper Palatinate, and Tilly marched to the Rhine in November to fight the rebellious Count Ernst Mansfeld who dug in 13,000 men at Waidhaus while 2,000 guarded against the Bavarians. Tilly and Count Marradas attacked them with more than 18,000 League and imperial troops while Maximilian had 14,500 men at Straubing. Crop failures in 1621-22 doubled the price of food. In January 1622 Ferdinand hired a consortium of speculators to establish a private mint in Prague. The currency was debased while prices were controlled. They issued 29.6 million florins in bad coin, saving the Habsburg treasury six million. In January 1623 Ferdinand did not renew the consortium’s contract, and in December he ordered coinage devalued 87%. People hoarded the good money while food prices multiplied by twelve.
On April 27, 1622 Tilly with 15,000 men attacked Mansfeld and Friedrich’s army at Mingolsheim, and his Croats burned the village. In the battle Tilly lost about 2,000 men, and Mansfeld had 400 killed. Georg Friedrich brought 12,700 more men to Mansfeld and Friedrich V, and Gonzalo de Cordoba arrived with 5,300 Spaniards for Tilly. On May 6 they fought again near Wimpfen. The imperialists lost about 4,000 men, but the Protestants suffered more than 12,000 casualties. General Caracciolo arrived with the Spanish corps from Bohemia and others with Count Anholt increased the imperial forces to 30,000. Duke Christian of Brunswick led a force of 17,000 men that tried to join Friedrich V, but on June 22 Tilly’s and Cordoba’s army attacked them near Höchst. Christian lost a third of his army. Others joined Mansfeld who lost 2,000 covering their retreat. King James persuaded Friedrich to cancel Mansfeld’s contract on July 13. Tilly regained Ladenburg and captured Heidelberg on September 15 and Mannheim on November 2 with sieges. Duke Maximilian now controlled the eastern half of the Lower Palatinate, and he appointed Heinrich von Metternich to govern it.
Hyperinflation between 1621 and 1623 made food prices so high that wages were inadequate. In January 1623 an imperial edict ended or reduced the Bohemian restrictions on Jewish trading in grain, wine, cloth. At Christmas the Emperor devalued the currency and fired the speculators. By then most of the confiscated land had been sold for less than a third of its value. Ferdinand held the Bohemian Estates responsible for 8.2 million florins of his debt. The economic depression lasted until 1626. On February 23, 1623 Emperor Ferdinand deposed Friedrich V, and Maximilian of Bavaria was invested with his titles two days later. That month the Catholic League approved maintenance of Tilly’s army of 15,000, and Maximilian sent Heidelberg’s library of 8,800 books to Pope Gregory XV.
Elector Johann Georg recruited Upper Saxons to keep them from moving east. Tilly guarded Westphalia with 17,000 troops, and Anholt covered the southern half of Westphalia with 12,000. Catholic influence in Westphalia and Lower Saxony was limited to southwest Westphalia where they depended on Elector Ferdinand of Cologne. Count Rambaldo Collalto brought 8,000 men from Bohemia and reinforced Tilly in May. France sent 6,000 men by sea to Mansfeld in June, putting his army over 20,000. By then Christian’s brother Friedrich Ulrich had raised 21,000 men in Halberstadt and Wolfenbüttel. Christian’s army met Tilly’s on August 6 at Stadtlohn. The Protestants led by Christian lost 6,000 killed and 4,000 captured while the imperialists under Tilly had only 1,000 casualties.
On May 4, 1624 King James in a treaty in London offered to pay Count Mansfeld to raise 13,000 English soldiers. James helped him with impressment, and Mansfeld sailed to Zeeland in February 1625. His force was reduced to 7,000 by disease, and Mansfeld ignored his deal with James and cooperated with the Dutch.
Bethlen suspended his campaign but resumed in September and defeated the imperialists in Göding, enslaving 15,000 people. Catholics had triumphed except in the east where Bethlen had consolidated his power in his part of Hungary and attended the diet at Pressburg in October 1625 with a large escort. In the empire only Hungary had maintained religious liberty and its privileges.
In May 1624 the Jesuit theologian Wilhelm Lamormaini persuaded Emperor Ferdinand II to expel from Bohemia all Protestant ministers. Jesuits searched for heretical books, and Andrew Konias claimed that he burned 60,000 Bohemian books. Church officials were given more authority than the three estates. Maximilian of Bavaria was given the Palatinate and Upper Austria until Ferdinand paid the 12 million florins he owed him for war expenses. The Emperor also gave Upper Austria to Johann Georg of Saxony because of his debt for 3.93 million in expenses. By August the Emperor had created eleven new princes. In December the Emperor designated Vienna’s suburb of Leopoldstadt as a Jewish precinct where they could build a synagogue which had been prohibited since 1421.
Ferdinand II promulgated renewed constitutions for Upper Austria in 1625, Bohemia in 1627, and Moravia in 1628. Between 1598 and 1660 about 100,000 people migrated from Inner and Lower Austria because of persecution while about the same number fled from Silesia. Also during this period about 150,000 left Bohemia and Moravia. Jesuits burned 10,000 Protestant books in the Upper Palatinate while giving away their own devotional literature.
In Upper Austria Catholic authorities had expelled pastors and teachers in October 1624, and in 1625 they fined one million florins those involved in the revolt of 1618. All Protestants were ordered to convert or depart, provoking opposition. Duke Maximilian lowered the fine to 600,000 and reduced his Bavarian garrison to 5,000 men, and Ferdinand persuaded them to extend the conversion deadline to Easter 1626. On September 18, 1625 Maximilian led 8,000 men across the frontier, but they were routed by peasants in the mountains. Maximilian ordered General Pappenheim and 4,750 men from Passau, and they relieved Linz on November 4 and killed 12,000 rebels. The resistance was quelled, and they arrested a hundred men accused of being leaders and executed more than twenty of them.
Denmark’s King Kristian IV (r. 1588-1648) began negotiating a Protestant alliance in January 1625, entered the war in May, and by June received an English subsidy and had gathered more than 20,000 men in Holstein and thirty ships. Emperor Ferdinand prohibited imperial estates from helping the Danes, and on May 7 he asked the Catholic League to fight the empire’s enemies. Yet he wanted to avoid another war, and on July 27 he confirmed the Mühlhausen guarantee which protected Lutheran administrators who remained loyal to the empire. Two days later the imperial general Tilly with 18,000 men seized Weser river crossings. Kristian demanded that Tilly withdraw and wanted the League dissolved. The English promised the Protestants £30,000 a month, and the Dutch added £5,000 on December 9. Mansfeld gathered 10,000 recruits and joined the Danes in October. Tilly’s army lost 8,000 men to a plague, and they captured only Calenberg on November 3. Ferdinand put Kristian under an imperial ban in December. Another 8,000 British joined Kristian in 1626. By 1627 Denmark had spent 8.2. million riksdalers on this war.
In 1623 Wallenstein married Spanish Isabella Katharina whose father was the most influential imperial councilor. By then Wallenstein had loaned 1.6 million florins to Emperor Ferdinand who raised his estates to the duchy of Friedland in March 1624 and appointed him head of all imperial forces on April 7, 1625. That fall Wallenstein brought the plague with his imperial army to the middle Elbe, killing nearly 40% of the urban populations of Magdeburg and Halberstadt.
Kristian IV ratified his alliance with the Dutch in March 1626. His main army of 20,000 men was at Wolfenbüttel, hoping to keep Wallenstein and Tilly divided. Count Mansfeld had 12,000 rebels at Lauenberg on the Elbe prepared to invade Brandenburg. Wallenstein had an army of 14,000 men when Mansfeld attacked them with only 7,000 on April 25. Mansfeld’s cavalry fled toward Havelberg while his foot soldiers surrendered. Mansfeld managed to revive his army to 10,000 men, and with 7,000 Danes led by Johann Ernst of Weimar they avoided Berlin in July and invaded Silesia. Wallenstein left 16,000 men with Tilly and followed Mansfeld with 20,000 soldiers. Criticized for letting him escape, Wallenstein resigned; but he agreed to stay when he was allowed an army of 70,000 men.
Tilly’s army plundered Münden in July 1626, captured Northeim, and attacked Göttingen which surrendered on August 11. Kristian IV tried to retreat, and two armies with 20,000 men each met at Lutter on August 27. Denmark’s army had 3,000 killed and 2,000 captured while 2,000 deserted, but Tilly’s force had only 700 casualties. The retreating Danes plundered 24 villages near Wolfenbüttel and crossed Lüneburg. Tilly incorporated 2,100 prisoners into his army; but when Kristian promised 6 talers to any deserter who rejoined his army, most of the captured left the Catholic army. Wallenstein’s army crossed Silesia in August and prevented the pasha of Buda from supporting Bethlen who made a truce with Emperor Ferdinand on November 11. Disease and desertion depleted the forces of Mansfeld and Johann Ernst to 5,400 men. Mansfeld became ill and died on December 14, and Johann Ernst succumbed to the plague two weeks later. Bethlen agreed to the peace of Pressburg on December 30, and the Buda pasha renewed his 1606 truce in September 1627.
Kristian IV had an army of 15,000 men at Lauenburg with 5,000 British and Dutch auxiliaries on the lower Weser. After persuading Emperor Ferdinand to authorize an imperial army of 100,000 in May 1627, Wallenstein forced the Danes out of Silesia in July. Habsburg taxes provided 1.2 million florins a year for the military frontier. Wallenstein cooperated with the Bavarian general Tilly in the conquest of Mecklenburg, Holstein, Schleswig, and continental Denmark, and he was given Sagan in Silesia as payment on September 1 to wipe out 150,850 florins of the Emperor’s debt. Wallenstein joined forces with Tilly north of Lauenburg on September 5, and they invaded Holstein while 8,000 Danes and Thurn fled north. On the 26th the imperialists bombarded the Danes’ camp, and only a thousand escaped to their ships. Rendsburg fell on October 16, opening the Danish peninsula to Ferdinand’s empire. Kristian had been pushed off the mainland but retained the Danish islands. In 1628 he tried to recover some of mainland Denmark with 6,000 soldiers, but Wallenstein attacked him with 8,000. Kristian escaped to his fleet but left behind 1,000 dead and 1,100 captured.
Emperor Ferdinand had been crowned king of Bohemia again in November 1627, and that year he banished anyone who did not conform to the Roman Catholic Church. By 1628 Wallenstein had advanced the Emperor 6.95 million florins with help from his Calvinist banker, Hans de Witte. That year Wallenstein hired Kepler for his astrological advice. In February 1628 Ferdinand assigned the duchy of Mecklenburg and the bishopric of Schwerin to Wallenstein to remove 4.75 million florins of his debt. On February 22 Maximilian gave up Upper Austria and was enfeoffed with all of the Upper Palatinate and the eastern half of the Lower Palatinate. That month the Reichshofrat appointed commissioners to confiscate estates of Kristian’s officers in Westphalia and Lower Saxony, and by June 1630 they had seized land worth 740,000 florins. Also in 1628 the Emperor expelled Protestant landowners from Inner Austria, and by 1630 about 800 Styrian, Carinthian, and Carniolan nobles had gone into exile. Bethlen died on November 15, 1629, and Gyorgy Rakoczi struggled to take over Transylvania, achieving success in 1636.
In January 1629 Wallenstein persuaded Emperor Ferdinand to return the Danish provinces to make them an ally against the threat of Swedish intervention. Wallenstein could no longer pay the interest on his debts to de Witte by May, but at Lübeck on the 22nd Wallenstein and Kristian IV signed the treaty that restored Denmark’s pre-war territory. Emperor Ferdinand ratified it on June 7, and nine days later he made Wallenstein the hereditary Duke of Mecklenburg.
In March 1629 Emperor Ferdinand II promulgated the Edict of Restitution which demanded the return of all Catholic land taken since 1552 including bishoprics. Wallenstein opposed the edict and turned to Hanseatic mediation to resolve the crisis. In exchange for 150,000 talers he exempted the archbishopric of Magdeburg for which the Hanseatic League contributed another 50,000 talers.
The Catholic imperialists took over Magdeburg, and Saxon prince August was elected archduke in May 1630. Catholic commissioners also recovered the archbishopric of Bremen, four bishoprics, two abbeys, and about 150 monasteries, convents, and churches. Protestant pastors and city councilors were expelled, but there were not enough priests, monks, and nuns to restore the institutions. Lutherans and Calvinists held a summit at Annaburg in April 1630 to try to resolve their differences. The controversial edict ruined any attempt to extend the Peace of Lübeck in the empire.
In April 1629 Count Jean II Merode-Waroux had led 5,000 imperial troops who occupied Valtellina in Lombardy, and Emperor Ferdinand II sent 30,000 more under Count Rambaldo Collalto who besieged Mantua in May. Venice sent 7,000 auxiliaries that could not stop them as Duke Charles II Gonzaga of Mantua held out in the town with 4,000 French, Swiss, and Italian soldiers. Another 17,000 Venetian troops went to relieve Mantua, but imperial forces led by Count Matthias Gallas and General Johann Aldringen defeated them at Villabuona. After winter the refugees swelled the population of Mantua to more than 30,000. By July 1630 only 700 soldiers could fight. Collalto attacked on the 16th, and two days later Duke Charles surrendered the citadel. Imperial soldiers pillaged Mantua for booty valued at 18 million ducats. More than 10,000 people died during the siege, and Mantua was left with only 9,000.
Imperial electors met at Regensburg from July to November 1630. They declined to approve military aid to Spain in the Netherlands or Italy, and Catholics refused to dissolve their League and its association with Wallenstein’s army. The electors insisted that Wallenstein be dismissed, or they would not elect Ferdinand’s son to succeed him. The Emperor dismissed Wallenstein on August 13, and de Witte was so afraid he would not receive his money that he drowned himself on September 11. The electors recognized Emperor Ferdinand II as supreme commander with Tilly as lieutenant-general, though the latter’s army was separate from the League army. The Imperial army was reduced to 40,000 men and the League army to 20,000. Ferdinand agreed to arbitration over Mantua and compensation for the Gonzaga relatives of Duke Charles, and Savoy remained part of Monferrato. The electors also confirmed imperial jurisdiction.
On July 6, 1630 Sweden’s King Gustav Adolf led the invasion that landed at Usedom off Pomerania with a force of 13,600 men who would join 5,000 in Stralsund. That summer another 7,000 arrived. In November the Swedish invasion force had about 29,000 soldiers, but a third of them were ill. They faced 50,000 imperial and Catholic League troops in northern Germany, plus about 30,000 more in the west and south. After the defeated efforts led by the Palatine Elector Friedrich V and Denmark’s Kristian IV, German Protestants supported Gustav. Emperor Ferdinand II accused Gustav of unprovoked aggression, and the Swedish King responded by supporting German freedom of religion. Bogislav Philipp von Chemnitz as Hippolithus a Lapide wrote a partisan history suggesting that the Swedes were attempting to restore the imperial constitution, but his book was banned. Gustav marched his army to Stettin and claimed the conquest of Pomerania. Duke Bogislav XIV of Pomerania surrendered on July 20.
Christian Wilhelm declared for Sweden and on July 27 reclaimed Magdeburg with a few supporters, forcing cathedral canons and city councilors to join him in the Swedish alliance. Gustav sent Colonel Dietrich von Falkenberg to take command of Magdeburg in October. Count Gottfried Heinrich Pappenheim led 3,000 Imperialists who forced the civic guard to retreat inside the city walls, and he was sent 7,000 reinforcements for the siege. Swedish forces drove imperialists out of Gartz and Greifenhagen and secured the lower Oder on January 5, 1631. Gustav avoided imperial armies in Brandenburg and crossed Pomerania to Mecklenburg, taking Demmin on February 25. Tilly’s imperial army stormed Neubrandenburg on March 19, killing about 250 Swedish defenders. Tilly’s force then increased the army besieging Magdeburg to 25,000 men.
Cardinal Richelieu wanted Bavaria, and Gustav formed an alliance with France in the Treaty of Barwalde on January 23, 1631. Gustav promised to guarantee Catholic freedom and received an annual subsidy of 400,000 talers. Richelieu also allied with Duke Maximilian of Bavaria and ratified the Treaty of Fontainebleau on May 31 even though it obligated him to fight Bavaria’s enemies which included Sweden.
Elector Johann Georg of Saxony invited Protestants to meet at Leipzig in February, and on April 12 they agreed to fund an army of 40,000 men to uphold the imperial constitution and German liberties. When Emperor Ferdinand declined to make concessions, the exiled dukes Wilhelm and Bernhard of Weimar joined with Landgrave Wilhelm V of Hesse-Kassel to muster 7,000 soldiers. Franconians mobilized 2,600 men in Nuremberg. On May 14 Ferdinand ordered the Protestants to disband their troops. Wilhelm refused and was protected by the Swedish army in July.
King Gustav marched with 18,000 soldiers east to the Oder and attacked Frankfurt on April 13, killing 1,700 defenders of the garrison. Two weeks later the Swedes captured Landsberg in eastern Pomerania. On May 20 about 18,000 imperial and League troops assaulted Magdeburg, and Falkenberg was soon killed. Fire destroyed most of the city’s 1,900 buildings. Tilly tried to control his soldiers, and a thousand people were protected in the cathedral and 600 women in a monastery. About 20,000 defenders and civilians were killed, mostly by fire and smoke. At least 300 besiegers were killed in the assault with 1,600 more wounded. The massacre at Magdeburg was described in more than 205 pamphlets that year.
Gustav camped his army of 16,000 men outside of Berlin, and Georg Wilhelm surrendered on June 20, agreeing to contribute to the Swedes’ occupation of Brandenburg. The King sent Ake Tott with a force of 8,000 to conquer Mecklenburg while 16,000 camped at Werben. Tilly’s imperial forces skirmished with them during the summer as his army was reinforced. Imperial soldiers took over Merseburg on September 5 and Leipzig ten days later. Near there 23,000 battle-hardened Swedes joined with 16,000 Saxons in new uniforms. Tilly had 37,000 imperialists with 27 cannons. The two armies clashed by the village of Breitenfeld on September 17. More than 7,000 men were killed; but the imperialists had 9,000 captured during the battle and on the retreat with another 7,400 deserted or missing. The Swedes increased their numbers by impressing more prisoners into their army.
Tilly’s army fled west through Westphalia and south across Hessen to Franconia where reinforcements rebuilt this imperial army to 40,000 men with 20,000 more in Silesia. The army of Gustav seized Erfurt on October 2, and Würzburg capitulated on the 15th. Gustav entered Frankfurt in triumph on November 17, crossed the Rhine, and captured Mainz on December 23. In the next two weeks they conquered the Lower Palatinate.
By 1632 Germany had 250,000 troops. Johann Georg of Saxony had recruited 24,000 men, and they were supported by 13,000 from Brandenburg and several thousand cavalry gathered by 200 Bohemian and Moravian exiles. Expecting his campaigns to cost less than two million talers a year, Gustav actually spent ten million in 1631. His agent Johan Salvius managed to borrow eleven million in Hamburg and Amsterdam. Gustav also used German allies to collect taxes. The Swedes suffered from infectious diseases, and in the first six months they lost 46% of their men. By the end of 1631 they had lost 50,000, leaving only 13,000 Swedes and Finns. About 100 German regiments at a time were raised to fight with the Swedes during the war. The armies doubled in early 1632, and that year each side fielded armies with about 100,000 men.
On December 15, 1631 Emperor Ferdinand named Wallenstein “General Capo,” and they agreed with Maximilian of Bavaria in April 1632. On March 9 Tilly with 22,000 men attacked Bamberg after the League soldiers routed Swedish General Horn’s cavalry outposts. Horn lost a third of his army, mostly by desertion, and retreated. Gustav merged his army with Horn’s, and they entered Nuremberg on March 31. They took Donauworth and soon had 37,000 men and 72 cannons. Tilly and General Johann Aldringen had 21,000 men and 20 guns. They fought at Lech on April 14, and each side lost about 2,000 men, but about a thousand imperial troops and Bavarians were captured during their retreat. Gustav with Friedrich V stayed in Munich for ten days in May, and soldiers dug up 119 cannons that had been buried by Maximilian’s army.
Wallenstein raised the imperial army to 65,000 men, and Maximilian loaned him 300,000 florins for provisions. Gustav entrenched his army of 18,000 at Nuremberg and was surrounded by imperial forces in a city of 40,000 with 100,000 refugees. Imperialists burned the mills, and the defenders were put on half rations. Wallenstein camped outside with 55,000 soldiers, 50,000 camp followers, and 45,000 horses. Wallenstein sent General Henrik Holk with a force of 10,000 to invade Vogtland in southwest Saxony. Swedes captured a supply convoy in August, and on August 27 Swedish reinforcements with 24,000 men and 3,000 supply wagons made it into the city. Count Marradas assembled 20,000 imperialists at Steinau but lost 6,000 men in a failed attack on Dieban on September 4. Holk’s expedition and disease reduced Wallenstein’s army to 31,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry while Gustav had 28,000 foot soldiers, 17,000 horsemen, and 175 field guns. Gustav attacked in early September, and in the battle of the “old fort” (Alte Veste) each side had about a thousand men killed and 1,500 wounded; but Gustav retreated, and 11,000 men deserted. His camp had lost about 29,000 men, and so many horses died that they had to leave behind a thousand wagons of supplies.
After a long march the army of Gustav rested at Erfurt in November while Wallenstein was reinforced by Pappenheim. With 13,000 infantry, 6,200 cavalry, and 20 cannons Gustav attacked the imperialists at Lützen on November 16. Pappenheim was mortally wounded, and Gustav was shot three times and killed. Casualties on both sides were about the same.
In January 1633 Sweden’s Chancellor Axel Gustavsson Oxenstierna was appointed legate to Germany with broad power. Saxony’s Johann Georg met with imperial representatives in March at Leitmeritz, but Brandenburg would not abandon the Swedes. Oxenstierna named Bernhard of Saxe-Weimer commander in Swabia and Franconia, and General Horn joined him at Augsburg on April 9. On the 27th Oxenstierna organized the League of Heilbronn, and the Germans promised to fight until they were compensated and the empire was restored to the way it was before the war. The League agreed that Sweden should have Pomerania, and so on October 28 Brandenburg, which wanted it, joined the Franco-Swedish alliance instead of the League. As Bernhard and Horn were entering Bavaria on April 30, 1633, their unpaid army of 42,700 men mutinied. Bernhard met with Oxenstierna at Heilbronn, and they agreed to sell the bishoprics of Eichstatt and Augsburg, four lordships, and an abbey to Colonel Brandenstein for 800,000 talers and another million in the next two years if they captured the bishopric of Konstanz. They appointed Brandenstein treasurer of the League to help him raise the money. In five years the Swedish alliance would make 250 donations. In June they transferred Bamberg and Würzburg to Bernhard and named him Duke of Franconia, but he had to pay 600,000 talers over four years in addition to the taxes on his territories. His brother Wilhelm was given Eichsfeld in August.
Sweden’s German allies in the northwest declined to join the Heilbronn League, and Swedish regiments under Baron von Knyphausen could not centralize his command. Catholic League forces led by Count Gronsfeld were reinforced by 4,000 Walloons and money from exiled Catholic princes. In June with 10,800 infantry, 3,900 cavalry, and 15 cannons they marched to relieve Hameln. Knyphausen and Count Peter Eppelmann Melander joined Duke Georg of Brunswick at Hessich-Oldendorf arriving with 7,000 foot soldiers, 6,000 horsemen, and 37 cannons. On July 8 their Swedish allies lost only 300 men as they defeated the Habsburg imperialists who had 6,000 killed. Hameln surrendered ten days later. Oxenstierna withdrew five regiments from Knyphausen who resigned on February 26, 1634.
The Habsburg empire had 72,000 troops in Bohemia and Silesia and 30,000 men in garrisons, and Wallenstein expected those communities to pay for their housing, food, and clothes. Wallenstein wanted to use diplomacy rather than war and sent envoys to General Hans Georg von Arnim and Thurn in April 1633. The next month Wallenstein marched with 25,000 men and 28 new cannons (made from Prague’s church bells melted down) and joined Count Gallas with a similar army in Upper Silesia. Arnim was outnumbered and retreated, but while near each other on June 7 Wallenstein offered a two-week truce for more talks. On July 4 he attacked the allied garrison of 1,800 men in Schweidnitz but was repelled. On August 11 Wallenstein sent Holk with 10,000 men from Eger to plunder Saxony. After two weeks Wallenstein had Holt renew his talks with Johann Georg of Saxony. The two generals dined together, but Holk caught the plague and died. Negotiation went on until January 1634.
Emperor Ferdinand II wanted Wallenstein to fight, and on August 22, 1633 he gave his command to Maximilian of Bavaria. Sweden’s General Horn crossed the Rhine with 10,000 men and bombarded Konstanz on September 8, and they suffered losses in assaults. Duke Gomez of Feria governed Milan, but he brought 9,200 Spaniards and on September 29 joined imperial General Aldringen who had 12,000 troops at Ravensburg. Horn retreated on October 2. Bernhard’s army of 12,000 besieged Regensburg on November 4 and captured it ten days later. Lacking food, Feria and Aldringen took their armies back across the Rhine while pestered by Horn’s troops. The imperial soldiers were devastated by the plague, and Feria was dead by January 1634. Peasants attacked foraging soldiers and defended their villages. Catholic peasants had been raiding Swedish outposts, and in 1633 at Sundgau in reprisal the Swedes killed more than 4,000 people and burned villages. Also in 1633 Jacques Callot produced the engravings for The Miseries of War, though he also illustrated military victories.
Wallenstein ended another truce on October 2, 1633 and sent General Ottavio Piccolomini through Lusatia. Wallenstein took his army of 36,000 men down the Oder while 11,000 imperialists captured Frankfurt and Landsberg. He crossed over the mountains to Passau and made his winter camp around Pilsen. Emperor Ferdinand was frustrated that Wallenstein ignored his orders to attack, and on January 12, 1634 Wallenstein had 49 of his officers sign the Pilsner Reverse to declare their loyalty to him. Most were concerned that his dismissal would cause a credit collapse and ruin them. Meanwhile Piccolomini testified against Wallenstein in Vienna. On January 24 Ferdinand released all officers from following Wallenstein’s orders and replaced him with Gallas. On February 18 the Emperor accused Wallenstein of conspiracy, a capital crime. Piccolomini pursued Wallenstein with 2,000 cavalry and reached Eger on February 24. He invited Wallenstein’s bodyguards to a dinner, asked who were good imperialists, and had the others killed. Then they murdered Wallenstein in his bedroom.
Imperial garrisons in Swabia did not resist as Horn enlisted them in his army. On April 27 Ferdinand II appointed as commander his 25-year-old son, Archduke Ferdinand. He and his second-in-command Gallas with 25,000 men from Pilsen joined Aldringen and his 3,000 imperialists, 7,500 Bavarians, and 4,000 Spaniards on the Danube. Rodolfo Colloredo had 25,000 men in Bohemia, and his brother Hieronymus had 22,000 in Silesia. Breisach was held by 6,000, and the Catholic League had 15,000 troops in Westphalia. On May 23 the Bavarians besieged Regensburg. By the time of the surrender on July 26 the besiegers had suffered 8,000 casualties, and 6,000 had deserted.
Johan Baner rebuilt Thurn’s army to 14,000, and they were joined by 3,000 Brandenburgers under Georg Wilhelm and Arnim’s 14,000 Saxons. On May 8 at Liegnitz they defeated the imperial army led by Hieronymus Colloredo who lost 5,000 men and was court-martialed. Baner regained Frankfurt in June. The Swedes Horn and Bernhard met near Augsburg on July 12 and had a combined army of 22,000. On the 22nd they defeated a force at Landsberg, and Aldringen was killed. Rodolfo Colloredo with eleven regiments captured Donauworth on August 16.
Archduke Ferdinand’s army besieged Nördlingen on August 18, 1634. His cousin Cardinal-Infante Fernando arrived with 15,000 Spaniards, and the Duke of Lorraine commanded 8,500 Bavarians. Horn had 9,400 infantry and 4,000 cavalry and attacked on September 6. Horn and 4,000 Swedish allies were captured, but Bernhard escaped. Bavarian and imperial prisoners who had been impressed into the Swedish army were returned to their imperial units. The Swedish allies suffered about 8,000 casualties compared to 2,400 dead or wounded imperialists. Refugees took the news to Frankfurt on September 12, and the next day the Heilbronn delegates fled. The next four years after the battle of Nördlingen would cost Württemberg 44 million florins in damages and military exactions.
On October 31 Emperor Ferdinand II made a treaty at Ebersdorf with Spanish ambassador Oñate. Ferdinand secretly agreed to support Spain’s war in the Netherlands but was reluctant to do so. General Giovanni Isolano with 6,000 Croats destroyed the arms workshops at Suhl which had supplied the Swedish army since 1631, and in November they ravaged Hersfeld. Spaniards and Bavarians went west and captured Heidelberg on November 19. Emperor Ferdinand managed to restrain the victorious Catholics, stopping Bishop Hatzfeldt from punishing Franconian knights and refusing to let the Jesuits take over the university at Tübingen in Württemberg. Richelieu sent 500,000 livres to the Catholic League’s treasury and 12,000 troops. La Force led 19,000 men to the Rhine across from Mannheim.
The League of Heilbronn met at Worms on February 17, 1635; but they could not agree, and the League broke up on March 30. On May 30 Emperor Ferdinand II at Prague made peace with Saxony, Brandenburg, and most of the Lutheran territories. Ferdinand used the increasing French hostility as an excuse not to hold a Reichstag, but it left the Emperor in charge of peacemaking. By excluding some princes from the amnesty he gave credence to the Swedish and French claim that they were fighting for German liberties. Maximilian retained command over the Bavarian army, and the childless elector married Ferdinand’s daughter Maria Anna on July 17.
The Emperor was upset by France’s declaration of war against his ally Spain, and the imperial envoy left Paris in August. Spain withheld its subsidy of 549,000 florins for 1635. The imperial army had 90,000 men, and Gallas was given 35,000 to fight on the Rhine. Maximilian of Bavaria resented France’s siege of Heidelberg in December 1634, and 18,000 Bavarians helped blockade the French in Ehrenbreitstein while others supported Gallas. Piccolomini crossed the Rhine and marched toward Meuse with a force of 22,000 which helped Fernando to fight the French. Archduke Ferdinand brought reinforcements to Gallas, and they besieged Swedish outposts on the Rhine. Gallas besieged Mainz and Saarbrücken, and Bernhard sent 6,000 to counter them, leaving him only 7,500 men. Gronsfeld’s Bavarians captured Heidelberg castle on July 24, Frankfurt on August 21, and Mannheim on September 10.
Richelieu sent Cardinal La Valente with 10,000 soldiers to support Bernhard, and in August they relieved Mainz. Gallas ended the siege; but lack of supplies caused two-thirds of La Valente’s army to desert, and the rest retreated to Metz in September. Gronsfeld’s 6,500 Bavarians joined Gallas, and they invaded Lorraine, which was defended by the armies of La Valette, La Force, and Bernhard who formally allied with France on October 27. Both sides suffered from malnutrition and plague. Gallas lost 12,000 imperial soldiers and retreated. The French had similar losses and were blocked from relieving Bernhard’s garrison in Mainz where a thousand starving defenders surrendered in January 1636 and were allowed to go to Metz. Knyphausen died that month, and Oxenstierna replaced him with Alexander Leslie, later called the Earl of Leven. He revived morale, and in May several regiments from the army of Duke Georg of Lüneberg defected to him. Yet the Swedish alliance no longer had armies in southern and western Germany. Baner led the main army of 26,000 men, but 11,000 of them were in garrisons in Pomerania. The number of Swedes and Finns left in the field army of 15,000 was less than 3,000. On August 21 Chancellor Oxenstierna was forced by the “Powder Barrel Convention” to agree not to make peace without consulting the officers. After the Saxons took Werben on October 17, Baner retreated but defeated Baudissin’s 7,000 infantry as the Saxons lost 5,000 men. Sweden’s truce with Poland at Stuhmsdorf in September enabled Oxenstierna to move 9,700 soldiers from Prussia to Pomerania in October.
On December 30, 1635 Emperor Ferdinand II agreed to a treaty with Spain which promised him 100,000 talers a month to the end of the war in exchange for service by 25,000 Germans. In March 1636 the French ambassador was expelled from Vienna, and on the 30th a French envoy made a treaty with Oxenstierna which was ratified by Louis XIII on May 11 and paid Sweden 60,000 talers in arrears.
Ferdinand II in February had ordered Cardinal Dietrichstein to convene a meeting of 24 theologians, and a majority persuaded Wilhelm Lamormaini and eight other Jesuits to accept concessions. Ferdinand dissolved the Catholic League and most alliances. The amnesty was extended to those who had fought against the Emperor since 1630, but the Palatine elector was excluded along with Württemberg, Hessen-Kassel, Hohenlohe, Rhenish counts, Bohemian exiles, and others who could make their own peace. The Edict of Restitution was essentially suspended. All imperial estates had to pay taxes to support the army. Peace was made between the Emperor and Saxon representatives, and others were encouraged to join. Johann Georg had resigned his Swedish command in August 1635, and he became imperial commissioner in Saxon Kreise with his own army and could negotiate with Sweden. The Saxons withdrew from Silesia, and their army of 25,000 moved to Leipzig in July 1636. Landgrave Wilhelm V and Louis XIII formed an alliance at Wesel in October. France promised Wilhelm 200,000 thalers a year to support his 10,000 troops. The rodent population exploded for several years.
Emperor Ferdinand II sent 10,000 men led by Count Melchior Hatzfeldt to support the Saxons. When Baudissin resigned, Hatzfeldt commanded the Saxons as well. Most of Sweden’s German army of 45,000 men was in Pomerania and Mecklenburg. Leslie had 6,000 soldiers in Westphalia. Baner commanded 12,000 at Magdeburg, but he retreated to Werben on May 5, 1636. Hatzfeldt besieged Magdeburg and captured it on July 13. Baner abandoned plague-ravaged Werben on August 12 and joined Leslie in Lower Saxony. Baner crossed the Elbe to detach 3,800 men from Pomeranian garrisons, giving him an army of 17,000. They met Hatzfeldt’s comparable army at Wittstock on October 4. Baner’s army had about 3,500 casualties, but the imperialists lost 5,000 men including 2,000 killed and 2,000 captured. The imperialists plundered west to the Lower Rhine, but the Saxons went home. Baner’s army passed through Thuringia and relieved Erfurt. Then they turned east, entered Saxony, and seized Torgau in February 1637.
Electors met at Regensburg from September 15, 1636 to January 23, 1637. Spain through Oñate contributed more than 209,000 thalers to Bavaria, Mainz, Cologne, and Saxony even though they voted for young Ferdinand to be King of the Romans on December 22. Ferdinand had been King of Hungary and Croatia since 1625 and King of Bohemia since 1627. After his father’s death on February 15, 1637 he became Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III.
Johann Georg of Saxony proposed that Protestant Germans pay the Swedes to leave the empire. Brandenberg’s Georg Wilhelm fled to Prussia and negotiated an alliance with Ferdinand, hoping to keep him from giving Pomerania to Sweden. Duke Bolislav died on March 20, 1637, and Georg Wilhelm made a treaty on June 22, promising to reinforce the imperial army for financial aid.
Maximilian von Trauttmannsdorff became Ferdinand III’s most trusted advisor. He and Kurz von Senffenau, who became imperial vice-chancellor in October, wanted to negotiate peace with Sweden. Ferdinand sent 26,000 imperial and Bavarian soldiers led by Gallas, Piccolomini, and General Jan van Werth up the Meuse to Champagne while Duke Charles with 12,000 men that included Spanish allies attacked from Franche-Comté. The French paid for 117 wagons with supplies from the Dutch, but Werth’s army captured the convoy. They began bombarding Mainz on May 8, 1637, and only 195 of the 2,000 defenders survived to surrender on June 28; they were allowed to return to France. Richelieu sent 5,800 French troops under François de Hallier to reinforce Bernhard who moved southeast to Franche-Comté in May to support Burgundy’s army of 10,000 men led by Duc de Longueville. In June they defeated 6,000 soldiers led by Charles. Bernhard invaded Upper Alsace in early August while Gallas moved the imperial army east to defend the Saxons. Maximilian sent Werth’s 7,000 Bavarians to reinforce the imperial army, and they forced Bernhard’s diminished army of 6,900 men to retreat to Basel despite Swiss protests.
Gallas marched 20,000 imperial troops from the Rhine and picked up 10,000 imperial and Saxon forces at Pretzsch in June 1637. Baner was nearly trapped with 14,000 men at Torgau but managed to escape by giving his men stolen wine. Gallas had little trouble taking over unpaid garrison troops in Pomerania and Mecklenburg. The Westphalian army led by the Lutheran Count Johann Götz and Hatzfeldt reinforced Gallas, and the imperialists invaded Hessen-Kassel in October 1637, burning 17 towns and 300 villages.
In 1638 the Habsburg War Council had about 73,000 soldiers including Bavarians, Saxons, and Spanish-paid auxiliaries. On January 28 Bernhard crossed Switzerland with 6,000 men to attack the imperial garrison at Rheinfelden. Werth relieved the imperialists, and the battle began on February 28 and lasted three days. Werth’s Bavarian infantry were forced to surrendered as 500 were killed and 3,000 were taken prisoner. Rheinfelden resisted for three more weeks and then capitulated. Bernhard impressed the imperial prisoners increasing his army to 12,000, and Richelieu sent 4,500 infantry.
On March 15, 1638 Cardinal Richelieu and Oxenstierna agreed to a treaty at Hamburg, extending the annual French subsidy of 400,000 riksdalers for three years, but Sweden would not fight against Spain. Hatzfeldt detached 4,500 imperial soldiers from Westphalian garrisons and defeated Meppen’s Palatine forces in May. Oxenstierna raised 14,000 conscripts and 180,000 talers by July. Gallas mustered only 15,000 men and spent the winter containing Mecklenburg and Pomerania while Saxons blockaded Erfurt. Gallas was reinforced by 8,500 badly organized Brandenburgers. Baner’s forces broke through in October to recapture Gartz and take back Mecklenburg. Meanwhile Hatzfeldt increased his army to 6,420 in July, defeated Palatines at the Vlotho bridge on October 17 with cavalry, and captured Vechta in November. By then Gallas only had 29,500 men left in his two armies on the Upper Rhine.
Bernhard’s army captured Freiburg on April 10 and on June 15 arrived at Breisach. In the battle of Wittenweier on August 9 Götz had 2,000 imperialists killed and 1,700 captured along with 3,000 wagons of food and munitions while Bernhard’s army had only 1,000 casualties. They besieged Breisach from August 18 to December 17 when the imperialists surrendered. Baner was terminally ill but led the invasion of Lüneburg in January 1639. Then his 18,000 men moved into Saxony which in March proclaimed its neutrality. In mid-year Baner’s army entered Bohemia, but the Emperor’s younger brother, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, had an army of 30,000 men in Prague by July. Baner’s men plundered about a third of Bohemia in October. Bernhard had an army of 14,000 men in April. Before he died on July 18, probably from an epidemic, he selected three colonels to direct his army.
In 1639 the estimate of imperial forces was down to 59,000, not counting Bavarians and Saxons. Emperor Ferdinand III proclaimed a pardon for anyone who would fight with him against the foreign invaders. By January 1640 he had an army of 44,000 in Bohemia, but only 12,400 of them were useful as a field army led by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm. Piccolomini had 13,000 soldiers in Westphalia, and Saxons mustered 6,648 men. Bavaria had 17,000 soldiers, but about 10,000 of them were on the Upper Rhine.
Baner could count on only 10,000 soldiers and left Bohemia in March. Duke Georg Brunswick-Lüneburg sent some of his 20,000 troops to Baner, hoping the Swedes would protect Hildesheim. Melander had 4,000 Hessians who reinforced Baner in May. The Bavarian field army increased Leopold’s army to 25,000, and the archduke advanced north down the Weser to join Wahl’s 4,000 soldiers and take Höxter in October while Baner retreated. Leopold’s imperial army went south to Ingolstadt for the winter. Baner sent 7,000 men to blockade Wolfenbüttel while his remaining troops stayed with Guelph villagers.
Cavalry had been less than a third of field armies before 1635, but after that horsemen were generally outnumbered infantry, though the portion would decline to under a third again by 1700.
In November 1638 Ferdinand III used Kreis assemblies to bring more territories into the imperial government. Electors held their own congress at Nuremberg in February 1640, and Maximilian of Bavaria, who had supported the papal peace initiative in 1636, suggested they invite the Kreis princes. Ferdinand beat them to it by summoning an imperial Reichstag. In 1640 the Swedish alliance conquered western Brandenburg and Frankfurt on the Oder. Elector Georg Wilhelm died in December and was succeeded by the ambitious Friedrich Wilhelm who negotiated with Sweden.
In January 1641 Baner’s forces moved south from Thuringia to disrupt the convening imperialists. The French wanted to renew their alliance, and Oxenstierna approved in March. That month the Emperor sent 22,000 imperialist and Bavarians north, causing Baner’s army to retreat into Saxony in April while they lost 4,000 to disease and desertion, 2,000 prisoners, and their baggage. Baner rejoined the French led by the Count de Guébriant at Halberstadt but died on May 10. Only 500 native Swedes were left in the army of 16,000, and Swedes resented Richelieu’s taking over Bernhard’s army in 1639. Wahl’s Bavarians brought the imperial forces to 22,000 men. The Swedish coalition gathered an army of 26,000 at Wolfenbüttel where they fought on June 29. Leopold Wilhelm’s imperial forces suffered about 3,000 casualties while the allies lost about 2,000. On July 24 Brandenburg agreed to a two-year ceasefire as the Swedes held Gardelegen, Driessen, Landsberg, Crossen, and Frankfurt, giving them access to Pomerania and Silesia. Friedrich Wilhelm promised to supply monthly money and food.
Representatives of electors assembled with other estates in Regensburg from September 13, 1641 until October 10. The empire asked for more taxes, and Ferdinand made some concessions. Terms of amnesty were widened. That fall Hans Kaspar von Klitzing was blockading Ruischenberg’s imperial garrison, but his 7,000 men could not take the town. The allies besieged Göttingen to the south and broke the dam on October 1 before retreating. Peace talks began at Goslar on October 7. Emperor Ferdinand III’s envoy accepted the peace preliminaries with France and Sweden at Hamburg on Christmas Day, and Ferdinand ratified them reluctantly in July 1642.
In the battle of Kempen on January 17, 1642 the imperialists had 2,000 men killed and 5,000 captured. Louis XIII promoted Guébriant to Marshal of France and sent him 3,600 Breton recruits, and the Dutch added 3,000. Lennart Torstensson had arrived from Sweden with 7,000 conscripts to take command on November 25, 1641, and he invaded Silesia on May 4, 1642. They defeated the imperialists near Schweidnitz on the 31st, killing 1,800 and taking 2,000 prisoners. Torstensson left half his army to conquer Silesia and with the rest seized Olmütz. They looted monasteries, and he sent 10,000 books to erudite Queen Kristina. Often soldiers stole horses and cattle first. Most of the 3,000 people in Olmütz fled, leaving only 1,675 by 1650. The imperialists were reinforced by 2,670 Bohemians, and Leopold Wilhelm gathered 26,000 men. The Swedes retreated to Breitenfeld, where they fought again on November 2. Torstensson had 7,000 fewer soldiers and had 4,000 killed or severely wounded, but the imperialists lost 3,000 killed, almost 5,000 prisoners, and all 46 cannons. The news spread, and Leipzig surrendered on December 7, accepting a Swedish garrison and paying to avoid plundering.
Ferdinand III appointed Gallas commander even though he had become an alcoholic. Gallas had 32,000 men and Hatzfeldt 15,000. In March 1643 Torstensson marched through Lusatia to invade northern Bohemia and sent General Krockow into Pomerania. Brandenburg’s Friedrich Wilhelm made peace with Swedes on May 9, 1643. That year the Brandenburg estates agreed that towns would pay 59% of taxes with the rest to be collected from peasants by their tax-exempt Junker landlords. Guébriant went west in the Main valley to Württemberg. He lost 1,600 men when the Bavarians drove him away in January, 1644; but reinforcements increased his army to 11,000 by June. Richelieu’s successor Mazarin sent another 6,000 under Count Josias Rantzau. Guébriant captured Rottweil on November 8 but was mortally wounded. Duke Charles reinforced Franz von Mercy, giving him 15,000 troops, and they fought at Tuttlingen on November 24 but lost; 4,500 managed to get to French garrisons on the Rhine.
Spain’s Felipe IV ratified the Hamburg Peace Preliminaries on April 22, 1643, and Emperor Ferdinand III sent Johann Krane in May to Westphalia where Münster and Osnabrück were declared neutral in preparation for the assembly of delegates. Catholic delegates met at Münster while Protestants gathered at Osnabrück. A Spanish envoy arrived in October, and the French delegation came in April 1644. Of the 194 official delegates 178 were from the Empire including 138 from imperial estates. The other sixteen were from France, Sweden, and Spain. There had been medieval church councils, but this was the first secular international gathering. Eventually 235 official envoys attended, and they were accompanied by many more staff and servants. The two main French envoys had 319 assistants. The cost of the long convention was about 3.2 million talers, mostly spent on food and entertainment. Negotiations proceeded in bilateral talks held simultaneously with different partners rather than by any plenary sessions.
Maximilian von Trauttmannsdorff led the imperial negotiators after his arrival in November 1645. Sweden was represented by Axel Oxenstierna’s son Johan tempered by the older Salvius who was more willing to compromise and corresponded with Queen Kristina. She was advised by the international law expert, Grotius, in Paris. Duc de Longueville arrived in June 1645 with 139 bodyguards and 54 servants. French and Swedish delegates championed German liberties and insisted on full participation by the imperial estates. They also favored full amnesty for Bohemians and a return to the religious situation of 1618. Sweden insisted on the full restoration of the Palatinate, but the French wanted to give it to Maximilian of Bavaria. Swedes had three positions on Pomerania: Johan Oxenstierna wanted it all; Salvius would accept half; and Horn opposed its annexation.
Sweden went to war against Denmark at the end of 1643, and their forces in Germany dwindled to 11,000 men led by Field Marshal Götz. Ferdinand III mobilized 21,500 troops under Gallas while General Mercy led 19,640 Bavarians. The latter regained Uberlingen on May 10, 1644 as the French led by the Viscount de Turenne retreated. The former Duke Charles raided Lorraine for the empire. Cardinal Mazarin sent Condé d’Enghien to Freiburg, which after Bavarian bombardment surrendered on July 29, the day before the French arrived. D’Enghien had 4,000 horsemen and 6,000 foot soldiers, increasing the French army at Krozingen to 9,000 cavalry, 11,000 infantry, and 37 cannons. The battle of Freiburg was fought August 3-5 against Mercy’s 8,200 imperial cavalry, 8,600 infantry, and 20 cannons. D’Enghien attacked on the first day and lost 1,200 men, and the Bavarians lost half that many. Turenne lost 1,600 men to 400 imperial casualties. The next day it rained, and on the third day the French suffered 4,000 casualties and the Bavarians 1,100, mostly wounded.
D’Enghien moved his army north to the undefended Lower Palatinate through Baden and the bishoprics of Speyer and Worms. They besieged Philippsburg for three weeks and captured it on September 12. The French left 500 men as a garrison with cannons to control the citizens, occupying the town until 1650.
Meanwhile Gallas led 18,000 imperial soldiers down the Elbe River north to Holstein in July, but Torstensson’s ships escaped from Jutland. The imperial army seized Kiel and Rendsburg, but Torstensson forced them to retreat across the Elbe. Gallas was drunk, and only 3,000 imperialists reached Wittenberg in December. On January 24, 1645 Gallas was dismissed. Sweden ended its war against Denmark at Bromsebro in August, and Chancellor Oxenstierna sent word to his delegation in November that they should demand Bremen and Verden in addition to Pomerania and Wismar.
Austrian estates met and agreed to increase taxes and food supplies while the Emperor sold crown jewels, churches provided silver, and nobles made loans. He put Hatzfeldt in command, and Maximilian sent Werth with 5,000 Bavarian soldiers. Johan Georg sent 1,500 Saxon horsemen. In January 1645 the imperial field army mobilized at Pilsen with 11,000 cavalry, 500 dragoons, 5,000 foot soldiers, and 26 cannons, but the Swedish alliance now had 43,000 troops in Germany. Torstensson had 15,500 men in western Saxony and headed toward Olmütz, but Hatzfeldt’s army stopped them by Jankau on March 5. In the battle the imperial forces had 4,000 men killed and 4,500 captured. About 2,000 fled into Moravia where they plundered the peasants. Torstensson probably lost about 3,500 men. His army moved through southern Moravia and arrived outside Vienna with 16,000 men on April 9. Ferdinand III had rejoined the army and had led a religious procession in Vienna on March 29.
Meanwhile Turenne led a French army of 11,000 men across the Rhine near Speyer on March 26 and plundered Württemberg on his way toward Franconia. During the war the population of Württemberg was reduced from about 400,000 to 48,000. Imperialist armies led by Werth and Mercy gathered 9,650 men at Mergentheim on May 5. Turenne’s army scattered Bavarian cavalry, but they fled from Werth’s attack, losing 4,400 men while the Bavarians had only 600 casualties. D’Enghien led 7,000 men across the Rhine at Speyer. Sweden sent Königsmarck from Bremen, and he reinforced garrisons at Meisen and Leipzig and arrived with 4,000 men in Main. Amalie Elisabeth sent 6,000 Hessians to invade Darmstadt in June. Ferdinand of Cologne dispatched 4,500 Westphalians to reinforce Mercy’s imperialists on July 4, giving them 16,000 men. The allies had 23,000, and they fought at Allerheim near Nördlingen on August 3. Mercy was killed by a musket shot in the head. The French suffered at least 4,000 casualties while the imperialists had 2,500 plus 1,500 men captured. The French then seized Nördlingen and Dinkelsbühl but could not take Heilbronn.
Torstensson with the support of 14,200 Transylvanian soldiers besieged Brünn in Moravia from May 5 to August 19; but plague destroyed 8,000 men, and they gave up. The discouraged Transylvanians renewed their negotiations with the empire through the Bohemian Count Czernin. On August 25 Rakoczi accepted seven counties in Upper Hungary from Ferdinand III, who four days later was finally persuaded to invite all the imperial estates to the peace congress. Swedish allies plundered Saxony, and Elector Johann Georg signed an armistice with them on September 6 at Kötzschenbroda, promising to pay 11,000 talers a month to support the Swedish garrison at Leipzig. The imperial army gained new recruits and mustered 20,000 men. Torstensson was ill and had only 10,000 men by October as he retreated across Saxony to Thuringia. That month Leopold Wilhelm supported Bavarians, and then they helped him drive out the Swedish garrisons from Bohemia in February 1646.
At the peace conferences in Westphalia the Catholics and Protestants met separately, but they both debated with written statements in colleges of electors, princes, and cities. On March 31, 1646 Saxony’s Elector Johann Georg extended the Kötzschenbroda truce by promising to be neutral for the rest of the war, and the Swedes lowered his monthly tribute. During that year two imperial armies managed to regain control over Lower Austria and Silesia without Bavarian support. Swedes still occupied Olmütz as the armies of Königsmarck and Count Karl Gustav Wrangel spent the winter in Thuringia. Their 15,000 horseman and 8,000 foot soldiers were joined by 17,000 conscripts from Sweden. Leopold Wilhelm joined the Bavarian and Westphalian troops in the Wetterau to make an imperial army of 40,000 men who on July 15 pushed the French forces of Turenne across the Rhine at Wesel where the allies gathered 34,000 troops. Amalie Elisabeth’s Hessian army had captured Marburg on January 15 and mustered 5,000 men, but Landgrave Georg supported the Emperor on July 26.
The French persuaded Wrangel to negotiate at Ulm on December 8, and on March 14, 1647 they made an agreement with Maximilian’s envoys. Bavaria no longer had to pay tribute, but they gave up Memmingen and Uberlingen in Swabia to Swedish garrisons and Heilbronn to the French. In exchange the allies left western Bavaria. Maximilian promised to be neutral until there was a peace treaty. At the conference Trauttmannsdorff proposed dividing Pomerania with Sweden getting the richer west, and on February 19, 1647 Brandenburg accepted the larger east. In the spring Sweden was demanding 20 million talers, but the imperial estates were offering only 1.6 million. Felipe IV accepted Archduke Leopold Wilhelm as governor of the Spanish-controlled Netherlands. The Upper Palatinate was not included in the Ulm truce, and Wrangel went there to invade northwest Bohemia with help from 7,000 troops from Silesia led by Avid Wittenberg. The imperialists led by Melander had an army of 20,000 men in Bohemia, and Emperor Ferdinand III summoned 18,700 Bavarians on May 8. Melander was waiting for Werth’s forces, but on July 18 Wrangel and Wittenberg captured Eger. Melander attacked Wrangel’s camp on August 22, killing and wounding a thousand while taking 300 prisoners.
Ferdinand III accepted an eighth elector as Karl Ludwig was recognized in the Lower Palatinate. Amalie Elisabeth was champion of the Calvinists, but the French were opposed to her territorial claims. On April 2, 1648 the congress demanded they agree to arbitration which settled the issue twelve days later. The allied army of 63,000 now had 18,000 Swedes who were losing faith in the Germans. Melander mobilized 10,000 imperial soldiers with 14,000 Bavarians to try to stop Turenne from merging with Wrangel. On February 15 Turenne had crossed the Rhine at Mainz with 6,000 men while Wrangel invaded the Upper Palatinate to relieve Eger. Gronsfeld’s Bavarians joined with Melander; but the army declined to 15,370 men with 2,000 of the cavalry no longer having horses. Wrangel and Turenne had 14,500 horsemen and 7,500 foot soldiers. These allies attacked at Zusmarshausen early in the morning on May 17, and without his armor Melander was shot dead by a pistol. Gronsfeld’s army suffered 1,582 casualties with 315 men captured along with 353 wagons, and he fled at night to Augsburg. The imperial army retreated and dissolved.
Maximilian had Gronsfeld arrested on June 3, and he ordered Werth to bring 6,000 imperial cavalry from Bohemia to support Bavaria. Piccolomini had been fighting in the Netherlands until 1647, and now Ferdinand III appointed him commander of the imperial armies. Wrangel and Turenne with 24,000 troops invaded southern Bavaria. Piccolomini arrived with 3,000 men but was joined by Werth’s cavalry on August 3, 1648. Piccolomini distributed his own salary to unpaid troops, and the imperialists soon mustered 14,000 men; their Bavarian allies had 10,000 with militia. Wrangel and Turenne withdrew, trusting in the peace negotiations.
Queen Kristina had sent 7,150 Swedes under her cousin Karl Gustav of Pfalz-Zweibrücken in late July to Pomerania. On July 22 Königsmarck had 3,000 men in Pilsen, and they ravaged Bohemia trying to divide the Austrians and Bavarians, collecting 7 million talers worth of loot. On the 30th Wittenberg brought 6,000 men from Silesia. However, 3,500 imperialists led by Count Hans Christoph Puchheim got to Prague three days before Wittenberg. On October 4 Karl Gustav arrived with 8,000 troops from Saxony. They besieged the city where the Thirty Years’ War began. When news of the peace arrived on November 5, the Swedes fought on for five days until the arrival of Piccolomini’s army. By November 20, 1648 all of the imperial army had withdrawn into Bohemia.
At the peace conference Trauttmannsdorff accepted confessional parity, and in June the imperial estates agreed to pay 5 million talers to the Swedish army. If they had decided this sooner, they might not have lost 11 million talers of loot taken from Bregenz and Prague. The peace treaty at Osnabrück was settled on August 6, though France had not yet agreed. French and Mainz delegates came to terms with the imperial envoys at Münster on September 15. The Dutch gained independence for the Dutch Republic of the United Provinces, but the war between France and Spain continued. Ferdinand III accepted this even though Felipe IV had not yet agreed and protested on October 14. He claimed Alsace until 1659. The treaty of Osnabrück was signed on October 24, 1648, ending the war in Germany, and the next year 42,000 copies were printed for the public.
The Thirty Years’ War caused from combat and disease about 5 million deaths which was one-fifth of the Empire’s population. In the first half of the 17th century the largest losses were in Moravia 31%, Bohemia 29%, Lower Austria 25%, Silesia 22%, and Upper Austria 17%. These population losses were from deaths and migration; some other territories showed increases. An estimated 450,000 soldiers were killed in combat, and about 1.8 million soldiers died from all causes during the long war. In 1605 newspapers had been started in Strasbourg and Antwerp, but before 1618 only about one hundred copies of newspapers were circulated. By the end of the war in 1648 there were about thirty weekly papers distributing a total of 15,000 copies.
Johannes Kepler was born prematurely on December 27, 1571 at 2:30 in the afternoon in the free German town Weil der Stadt. In 1587 he went to the University of Tübingen. Kepler wanted to be a Lutheran minister, but he also learned about Copernican astronomy under Michael Mästlin. Kepler studied theology until 1594 when he was given a position teaching mathematics at Graz in Austria. In 1595 he got the idea that the five regular solids (tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron) discussed by Pythagoras and Plato could represent the intervals between the orbits of the six planets visible without a telescope. The next year he published his “Cosmographic Mystery” and sent a copy to Tycho Brahe who soon became imperial mathematician. In 1600 Kepler was hired to work on Brahe’s staff at Benatek and succeeded him upon his death the next year. In 1602 Kepler published “The More Certain Basics of Astrology.” He wrote,
The belief in the effect of the constellations
derives in the first place from experience,
which is so convincing that it can be denied
only by people who have not examined it.1
While studying a conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in Sagittarius in October 1604 Kepler noticed that a new star (supernova) appeared and could be seen for 17 months, disproving the ancient theory that the fixed stars never changed.
In 1609 Kepler discovered that the orbit of Mars is elliptical. Although he had recognized discoveries by Galileo, the Italian astronomer ignored Kepler’s breakthrough. Completing Kepler’s first planetary law is the observation that the sun is one of the two focuses of the planetary ellipses. His second planetary law is that planets speed up a little when closer to the sun and slow down when farther away, and they cut out equal areas from the sun in equal time periods. Kepler published these theories in his Harmonies of the World in 1619. This book included his third planetary law that a planet’s average distance from the sun is related to the time it takes to orbit the sun. The cube of the distance maintains the same ratio to the square of the time of one orbit. These were among the first natural laws that had been discovered and expressed in precise mathematical terms. Kepler also studied and wrote about optics, explaining how spectacles focused the image on the retina in the eye.
After Rudolf II died, Kepler left Prague and moved to Linz. His first wife had died, and he remarried in 1613. Kepler disagreed with his parson about the Lutheran doctrine that the body of Christ was omnipresent in the world and was denied communion. His elderly mother was accused of witchcraft in 1617, and his defense of her during her trial and fourteen months in prison prevented her from being tortured or burned before her death six years later.
Kepler noticed there had been a conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in Pisces in February 6 BC and suggested that Jesus may have been born at that time. Yet scholars did not discover that Herod the Great probably died in 4 BC until the late 19th century. Kepler moved to Ulm and printed his Rudophine Tables at his own expense. In 1608 Kepler had calculated the horoscope of Albrecht Wallenstein and guessed whose it was before he was informed of the fact. He became Wallenstein’s astrological advisor, and in his second horoscope in 1624 Kepler made predictions for the next ten years up to March 1634 when he prophesied “dreadful disorders over the land.” Wallenstein was murdered on February 25, 1634. Kepler visited the Imperial Diet at Regensburg where he became ill and died on November 15, 1630.
Jakob Boehme (Böhme) was born on March 8, 1575 near Görlitz in Upper Lusatia and worked as a cowherd until he was fourteen. Then he was a shoemaker’s apprentice. He had little schooling but read the Bible and writings by Paracelsus and Valentin Weigel. Boehme traveled as a journeyman shoemaker and became a master craftsman by 1599 at Görlitz. He had mystical experiences as a boy and was transformed by one in 1600 when he saw sunlight reflected from a pewter dish that helped him understand the “Being of Beings” and “Divine Wisdom.” He continued to work as a shoemaker and raised a family. In 1610 he had another mystical experience in which he experienced cosmic unity.
In 1612 Boehme wrote Aurora for himself, but the noble Karl von Ender made copies of the manuscript and circulated them. In this work Boehme associated the sun and moon with fire and good and evil, Mercury with illumination and expression, Venus with love and spiritual rebirth, the Earth with the body and forces waiting for rebirth, Mars with the choleric (anger) and destruction, Jupiter with the sanguine and gentle, and Saturn with melancholy and death. The leading pastor of Görlitz was Gregorius Richter, and he considered the book heretical and warned Boehme not to write anymore.
In 1613 Boehme stopped making shoes and sold his shop. Later his friends urged Boehme to write, and from 1619 until his death on November 17, 1624 Boehme wrote several books. Some of his short works were published on January 1, 1624 as The Way to Christ. In the spring he visited Dresden and stayed with the court physician, and he was recognized by nobles, high clergy, and professors who encouraged him to go home. The anonymous Life of One Jakob Boehme was published in 1644. Other works by Boehme were published in the early 1660s, but his complete writings were not printed until 1730.
Boehme described seven qualities with the lower triad of nature containing individual substances in contraction, diffusion, and oscillation between contraction and diffusion. The higher triad can transform the lower by love, expression, and the eternity of God. Between the two triads one may achieve harmony between the physical and spiritual worlds. At this fourth level one may experience the flash which reveals choices whereby one may die to the self and identify with a higher will in imitation of the suffering and triumph of Jesus Christ. Boehme emphasized the oneness of life and believed that duality can lead to enmity. One must go beyond the natural, individual will to be united with God as a divine child. He warned against pride, covetousness, envy, and anger, which he referred to as the four elements of the devil. All sins come from the self and desire. Boehme wrote that self-will serves selfhood, but a resigned will can bring one to the eternal mother to be one with her.
In Boehme’s “Of the Supersensual Life” a master explains to a disciple how one may see God and hear God speak. When one becomes still from thinking and willing of self, your intellect and will may be quiet and passive to the impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit. The soul’s wings take one above the temporal and outward senses, and limiting imagination by holy abstraction one may hear and see what is revealed. In the same work Boehme wrote,
In the highest sense of all, God is Love, and love is God.
Love being the highest principle,
is the virtue of all virtues; from whence they flow forth.
Love being the greatest majesty, is the power of all powers,
from whence they severally operate:
And it is the holy magical root, or ghostly power
from whence all the wonders of God
have been wrought by the hands of his elect servants,
in all their generations successively.
Whosoever finds it, finds nothing and all things.2
Jan Amos Komensky was born in eastern Moravia on March 28, 1592, and he came to be known by his Latin name Comenius. His father was a member of the Bohemian Brothers; but by the time Jan was twelve both his parents and two of his sisters had died. When he was sixteen, his church sent Comenius to a grammar school at Prerov. At age 19 he enrolled in the Calvinist college at Herborn in Nassau, where he studied educational methods and surely read Wolfgang Ratke’s essay on school reforms. In June 1613 Comenius entered the University of Heidelberg to study theology. The next year he began teaching at a Moravian school in Prerov. In April 1616 the Moravian Brothers ordained him a minister. In 1618 he became a pastor at a Moravian church in Fulnek and inspector of the school. He married a Hungarian woman; but in 1621 Spanish soldiers burned Fulnek, and Comenius lost most of his library and manuscripts. He and other Moravian Brothers were given refuge on the estate of Karl von Zerotin. In 1622 the wife and two children of Comenius died during an epidemic. Comenius married the daughter of a Moravian pastor who had a small fortune.
Comenius wrote books in Czech, and The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart was published in 1623. In most of the book the pilgrim looks at earthly things and how fraught they are with strife and falsehood. He accepts as his guide Impudence who calls himself “Searchall.” He says the Queen of the World is Wisdom, “though some wiseacres call her Vanity.” Pilgrim and Impudence are joined by Falsehood, and the pilgrim is equipped with the spectacles of illusion and custom. They enter the marketplace and discover hypocrisy, deformities, disorder, scandal, presumption, and various diseases.
The pilgrim describes how men and women pair off in matrimony as they experience misery, worry, and voluntary slavery. Then he investigates various trades people use to earn a living including wagoners and sailors. He describes how and why people study and the confusion among scholars. Specialists are grammarians, rhetoricians, poets, logicians, natural philosophers, mathematicians, musicians, astronomers and astrologers, historians, moralists, and politicians. He examines alchemists and Rosicrucians, physicians, and the legal system. Pagans, Jews, and Muslims are briefly described, and the Christian religion is satirized in more detail. Magistrates, judges, and lawyers are criticized.
Deadly arsenals and the cruelty of soldiers are described. The pilgrim observes the vanity of news-writers. Fortuna raises and lowers people by chance, and the pilgrim sees how the wealthy are fettered and burdened by their riches. Voluptuary revelers are portrayed. The pilgrim feels despair and quarrels with his guides. He finds the Queen of Worldly Wisdom in her palace. Solomon arrives to marry Wisdom, and he finds vanity, drunkenness, greed, usury, lust, pride, cruelty, laziness, and idleness. The poor suffer want and complain about injustice. Men and women criticize each other; but men agree to the superiority of women if they will be obedient. Solomon gets so involved in matrimony that he soon has 700 wives and 300 concubines, and people rebel against him.
The pilgrim decides to flee from the world, and a voice tells him to return to his heart. In himself he finds Light and surrenders to Jesus the Christ. The pilgrim accepts the Christ as his eternal spouse. He is transformed and finds a few true Christians among those willing to forsake all their goods for God. Guided by the Light of reason and faith he follows the laws of God, loving God above all and one’s neighbors as oneself, paying attention to conscience. True Christians share and live in community. The truly rich want nothing and are content with what they have. Guardian angels protect and teach those who have chosen God. True Christians are calm and detached from worldly things. They experience inner joy and do not fear death which brings them to the glory of God. The pilgrim thanks God for the vision he has received. This wonderfully spiritual book satirizes the corruption of the world and shows the path to true piety and spiritual joy.
In 1624 the imperial ban on Protestant ministers drove Comenius into the mountains of Bohemia, and three years later the exiling of all Protestants forced him to flee the country. In March 1628 Comenius moved to Leszno (Lissa), Poland. He taught school and wrote The Gate of Languages Unlocked (Janua Linguarum Reserata) with useful facts written in Latin and Czech which was published in 1631. This book became a textbook for two centuries and was translated into Czech, Latin, Greek, Polish, German, Swedish, Belgian, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, and Mongolian. Comenius advocated full-time schooling for all youths, and in 1633 he wrote The School of Infancy on early childhood learning and On the Study of Latin Style. Comenius was the first to emphasize the importance of infants being educated by their mothers in the first six years. In 1634 influenced by Tommaso Campanella, Comenius wrote The Reform of Physics according to Divine Light. He was also developing his philosophy of universal knowledge (Pansophia) and pedagogical methods for his treatise, The Great Didactic. He wrote the plays Diogenes Cynicus redivivus and Abrahamus Patriarchia, and his students at the Gymnasium performed them.
Comenius was influenced by the inductive reasoning of Francis Bacon, and in 1639 the German Samuel Hartlib, who lived in England, published Prodromus Pansophioe by Comenius, which he later expanded into The Great Didactic. Comenius wrote The Way of Light (Via Lucis) to explain his educational program, and in September 1641 he went to London to visit Samuel Hartlib. However, in 1642 the English Civil War began, and Comenius left in June. He was invited to France by Cardinal Richelieu and to Harvard College in America by John Winthrop; but he chose to go back to Sweden where he had been in 1638. On his way to Sweden he visited the rationalist René Descartes near Leyden, and they parted as friends with profound sympathy for each other’s methods.
The Dutch Ludwig de Geer was his patron in Sweden, and at Stockholm in a discussion with Chancellor Oxenstierna and Rector Skythe of Uppsala University they persuaded Comenius to settle in October 1642 in Elbing, East Prussia, which was part of Sweden then. He was paid to write textbooks for their schools. In 1643 Count György Rakoczi of Transylvania offered him the professorship that had been held by his former teacher, Johann Heinrich Alsted, in order to reform the Hungarian school system. After participating in a colloquium to reconcile the churches at Thorn in 1645 summoned by Wladislaw IV of Poland, Comenius realized that de Geer was disenchanted with him. He worked on his ideas to reform human society by unifying learning, supervising international education to maintain peace, and to encourage churches to become a tolerant Christianity.
In 1647 Comenius wrote On the Causes of this War. At the end of the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 Comenius was consecrated Bishop of the Unity by the Moravians; but like many Czechs he avoided the Catholic persecution of Protestants.
The Great Council and Small Council governed most of the thirteen Swiss cantons in the Confederation. In 1586 Ludwig Pfyffer organized the five Catholic cantons (Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden, Zug, and Lucerne) of Switzerland into a Christian Union called the Golden Borromaic Federation which met in Lucerne, and he appealed for aid from Spain’s Holy League. The next year these five cantons and Fribourg allied with Spain, giving King Felipe II’s troops passage through their territories for which they each would be paid 1,500 crowns per year. Spain was also granted Durchzug rights over the Gotthard. The eight Protestant cantons in this era were Zurich, Bern, Glarus, Basel, Fribourg, Solothurn, Schaffhausen, and Appenzell. Geneva was independent. In 1587 Charles Cusin left Burgundy because of religious persecution and went to Geneva where he initiated the making of Swiss watches and clocks.
Since 1586 Duke Karl Emanuel of Savoy had Geneva under an embargo. In February 1589 the French envoy Sanchi arrived in Geneva which in April made an alliance with France. The French promised them part of Savoy and were allowed to hire Swiss mercenaries. Sanchi raised 12,000 Swiss soldiers and took over the territory south of Lake Geneva for Bern. Then he took the troops to Henri IV of France. The Duke of Savoy and the Catholic League got soldiers from the five central cantons to occupy fortresses. Bern made peace with Savoy at Nyon on October 1. People in Bern objected to the betrayal of Geneva, and the German-speaking councils canceled the Nyon treaty. Swiss regiments helped Henri IV win the battle at Ivry against the Catholic League on March 14, 1590.
After Henri IV became a Catholic in 1593, the Protestant mercenaries came home. Appenzell allowed both the Catholic and Calvinist faiths, and in 1595 the canton was divided in half with Appenzell as the Catholic capital and Herisau for the Protestants. The Edict of Nantes in 1598 ended the persecution of Huguenots in France and stopped the flow of refugees into Switzerland. That year Bern required six years of residence before one could become a burgher. In 1638 Lucerne declared that no burghers would be added for fifty years.
Between 1591 and 1600 Bern executed 255 people for witchcraft, but in 1651 the government consulted theologians and physicians who doubted the proofs of witchcraft and advised caution. The Bernese Council then banned torture except on those whose guilt had been proven and prohibited investigation of accomplices. Between 1527 and 1681 Geneva held 319 witch trials and put to death 68, but no one was burned after 1642. From 1533 to 1714 Zurich tried 220 people for witchcraft and executed 74. Lucerne tried 505 from 1550 to 1675, putting to death 254.
On December 22, 1602 Savoy and Spanish soldiers attacked Geneva, but they lost some men and withdrew. Zurich and Bern reinforced Geneva. Neutral cantons mediated, and on July 21, 1603 Karl Emanuel promised he would not build fortresses or maintain garrisons in the city; they agreed upon a neutral zone at the border. Geneva enjoyed independence but was in a perpetual alliance with Bern and Zurich.
Graubünden is southeast of the Swiss Confederation, and there Raetia combined two Calvinist leagues and one Catholic. In 1603 they allied with Venice which could then recruit 6,000 men. The Spanish ruler of Milan closed the Splugen pass and embargoed grain shipments to Graubünden until they agreed not to admit any foreign troops (Venetian) without Spanish approval.
In 1612 Zurich and Bern made a treaty with Markraf of Baden, and in 1613 they allied with the French. That year Johann Jakob Breitinger became head of the Church ministry in Zurich.
Switzerland was the only country in Europe in which all men of military age were armed. Bern could raise 80,000 men and Geneva 50,000. During the Thirty Years’ War the Swiss remained neutral. The Spanish persuaded Milan to return Valtellina to Graubünden, but on July 19, 1620 a Catholic conspiracy from Valtellina killed more than 500 Calvinists in the Tirano valley. Catholic cantons marched troops to Chur to aid Spain, and Bern and Zurich sent a force to protect the Protestants. In September 2,100 Bernese, 1,100 Zurichers, and 1,200 Protestant Grisons occupied Bormio; but Spaniards defeated the Bernese on November 11, and the Swiss retreated. The Catholics replaced Protestant preachers with Jesuits and Capuchins.
The Reformed leader Jürg Jenatsch led a small band on February 25, 1621 that attacked Rietberg castle and killed the Spanish leader Pompeius Planta. Jenatsch’s Calvinist followers increased, and Innerschweiz troops fled from Chur. Jenatsch invaded Valtellina with 6,000 soldiers, but after a few weeks his men went home to Graubünden. An Austrian army of 8,000 led by Colonel Baldiron invaded Graubünden in October and occupied Prattigau, lower Engadine, and Davos while their Spanish allies took over Chiavenna. The Austrians entered Chur on November 22. Graubünden was forced to give up Valtellina and Bormio and stop closing its Alpine passes, and many Grisons fled the country. Austrians planned to hold Chur and Maienfeld for twelve years, and restrictions were imposed on visiting Calvinists. Men of Prattigau had been disarmed; but they used knives and clubs with nails to attack the occupiers on April 22, 1622, killing 450 Austrians. Rudolf von Salis led the Prattigauers, and they took over Maienfeld, the pass of Luzisteig, and fought off Austrians from Chur and Feldkirch. Baldiron withdrew from Chur, and Engadine was liberated, restoring the republic of the Three Leagues.
A new Austrian army arrived in the fall of 1622, and their force of 8,000 defeated the 2,000 led by Salis in the Lower Engadine. The invaders ravaged the country reconquering lost territory. Governments were forced to obey the Austrian empire, and punishments were severe. Rebellion led to plague and a famine. Finally in October 1624 a French army led by the Marquis of Coeuvres supported by 8,000 Swiss Protestants and an advance guard under Salis drove out the Austrians, papal forces, and the Spaniards from Graubünden, Chiavenna, and Valtellina. However, in 1626 Richelieu in a treaty made with Spain at Monzon in Aragon gave the forts of Valtellina to Pope Urban VIII. Fighting continued, and 40,000 imperial troops ravaged the region in 1629 on their way to Italy. That winter the plague wiped out a quarter of the people in the Three Leagues. After the French defeated the Austrians in Italy in 1631, the imperial troops withdrew from Graubünden.
Meanwhile in 1628 the Austrian imperial army threatened the Swiss from their northern border, and a Protestant force of 10,000 guarded the border in Thurgau. In 1629 Zurich and Bern proposed a defensive ordinance at a Conference of the Evangelical Orte. In July at the Great Council of Zurich Breitinger severely criticized the Catholic Orte, and the Council commissioned his friend Georg Hans von Peblis. In September 1629 Sweden’s King Gustav Adolf sent a letter with Philipp Sadler urging the “freedom-loving and courageous Swiss” to join him against their common enemy Austria, but Sadler believed it insulted the Catholics and did not deliver the message. Count Rasche obeyed the King and appealed to the Swiss Diet. Peblis joined King Gustav Adolf and his army. In February 1632 the Swiss Diet rejected this alliance, and in April the King offered a kind of neutrality and warned he might pass through Swiss land to fight the Austrians. In September some Bern troops passing through Jura to reinforce Mülhausen were attacked by an imperial army and had some killed and thirty men captured. The French supported Swiss neutrality and suggested they occupy cities on the Rhine.
On September 7, 1633 Swedish General Horn crossed the Swiss border at Stein am Rhein and marched toward Constance which was held by Austrian forces. Zurich’s force of 300 men had recently withdrawn from Stein am Rhein, and Catholic cantons accused them of complicity. A week later Horn wrote an apology to Zurich, and on October 3 he crossed back into Germany; but he offered Zurich an alliance. Catholics accused the Reformed Kesselring of complicity with the Swedes and had him imprisoned in Thurgau. Catholics alleged that on January 23, 1634 the Zurich War Council met with Bern delegates to plan a war against Catholics. The young Archduke Ferdinand led an army of 12,000 men through the Valtellina into Germany and defeated the Swedish alliance at Nordlingen in September. This removed pressure from the Swiss, and Kesselring was released. Horn and Peblis tried to persuade Bern to ally with the Swedes, but the entire Evangelical Orte refused on May 21, asserting the neutrality of all the Swiss.
In March 1635 Cardinal Richelieu appointed the Huguenot Duke Henri de Rohan with an army to govern Graubünden, and he was advised by Jenatsch. Rohan surprised Valtellina which surrendered along with Bormio and Chiavenna. The imperial General Fernamond led a force from Tirol, and Spaniards from Milan led by Serbelloni invaded the other side. The smaller French army managed to drive away the Austrians and then the Spaniards. Fernamond returned with fresh forces in October as did Serbelloni, but on October 31 Rohan’s army of 4,500 defeated 7,000 Austrians in the Val Fraele and then on November 10 was victorious over the Spaniards at Morbegno. Peace was restored, but Richelieu banned the Reformed religion there. Jenatsch went over to the Spanish and Austrians and became a Catholic, and on March 19 1637 he took over Maienfeld. Rohan surrendered and was allowed to withdraw in May. On January 24, 1639 Jenatsch was at a banquet in Chur when he was assassinated by Rudolf Planta, son of Pompeius Planta. Graubünden made a permanent peace with Spain on September 3, and the Grisons became independent and no longer sent delegates to the Swiss Diet.
In 1643 Bern limited burghership to the families who currently were burghers. Guilds in Zurich and other cantons challenged the ruling burghers, and in 1646 a revolt in Wadenswil and Knonau was punished by seven executions.
In January 1638 General Bernhard of Weimar violated Swiss neutrality by marching through Basel territory, and in response the Diet prohibited any foreign troops from entering Confederation land. In January 1647 they adopted the Defensionale of Wyl unanimously, and each canton pledged to maintain 700 soldiers on the Thurgau border and in the Rhine valley, and 12,000 men from the cantons and associated states were to be ready for defense along with 24,000 from each Orte as a reserve force. Swiss borders had become a federal responsibility. The Swiss sent the envoy Rudolf Wettstein to the peace talks at Münster, and in October the Reich authorities and the Emperor confirmed that the Swiss cantons and their associated states were no longer subject to their courts.
1. Quoted in The Watershed: A Biography of Johannes Kepler by Arthur Koestler, 39-40 from Kepler by Max Caspar, p. 108.
2. The Signature of All Things by Jacob Boehme tr. unknown, p. 240.