BECK index

Austrian Empire & German States 1648-1715

by Sanderson Beck

Austrian Empire 1648-70
Leopold’s Austria and Hungary 1671-88
Austrian Empire and Wars 1689-1715
Comenius on Education 1650-70
German States 1648-80
German States 1680-1715
Pufendorf and Thomasius
Leibniz and Ethics
Grimmelshausen’s Simplicissimus
Swiss Confederation and Neutrality 1648-1715

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Austrian Empire 1648-70

Germanic Empire and the 30-Year War 

     Although the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 banned the expelling of Protestants, by 1654 more than 650 churches in the Austrian Empire had been closed or converted to Catholic rites with 500 preachers banished. In the 17th century 1,500 Protestant churches in the Austrian Empire were reduced to 220. In 1650 Emperor Ferdinand III ordered the restoration of crosses and prayer-pillars which had been demolished in the war. In 1651 he set up commissions to register non-Catholics and sent out Catholic missionaries to instruct them for six weeks and then give them the choice of conversion or exile. In the duchies of Silesia controlled by the Habsburg Empire 600 Protestant churches were closed. Bohemia was given bishoprics at Leitmeritz in 1655 and at Hradec Kralové in 1660. Many Czech nobles began to use German as their primary language. Ferdinand’s second wife Maria Leopoldina of the Tyrol died in 1649, and in 1651 he married the Italian princess Eleanora of Gonzaga. On August 6, 1652 Ferdinand III increased the rights of Jews living in the Lower Wörd of Vienna, but foreign Jews did not have these property rights.
      The Imperial Diet met from June 1653 to May 1654. Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand III attended with an entourage of 3,000 and spent 46,000 talers on festivities including an opera. He convinced the Diet to pay Lorraine 300,000 talers to evacuate seven castles in the Rhineland. Spain cooperated by arresting Duke Charles IV of Lorraine in February 1654. In May the Imperial Diet elected the Emperor’s son Ferdinand IV king of the Romans, and he was crowned on June 27; but the young man died of smallpox on July 9. Cologne, Trier, Münster, and Neuburg formed a Rhenish alliance in December, and in 1655 the imperial Chancellor, Elector Johann Philipp of Mainz, helped them develop a plan to keep war out of the empire. That year scholar Janos Apaczai Csere supervised the publishing of the Hungarian Encyclopedia in Utrecht. The Emperor’s second son Leopold became King of Hungary in June 1655 and King of Bohemia in September 1656.
      Emperor Ferdinand III tried to negotiate with the refugee King Jan II Kazimierz Waza of Poland, but Ferdinand died on April 2, 1657. That day his son Leopold became Archduke of Austria and King of Croatia. Leopold was born on June 9, 1640. His mother was Felipe IV’s sister Maria Anna, but she died in 1646. He was educated by Jesuits, became a devoted Catholic, and could speak German, Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish. He studied theology, philosophy, law, and sciences including astrology.
      In late 1656 Transylvania’s Prince György Rákóczi II had allied with Sweden. In December an imperial alliance promised southern Poland to Rákóczi who in January 1657 invaded Poland from the south with 25,000 men, combined forces with the Swedes under Karl Gustav in Polish Sandomierz on April 11, and captured Lublin on April 19 and Warsaw on June 17. Leopold renewed his father’s alliance with Poland, urged Denmark to go to war against Sweden, and persuaded the Dutch to join. Many Swedes left to fight the Danes in Pomerania. An imperial army of 16,000 men led by Hatzfeldt was sent from Silesia to Poland, and they helped the Polish-Lithuanian army defeat the Transylvanians and Cossacks at Magierow on July 11 and again nine days later at Czarny Ostrow. Poland regained Krakow and Posen and drove György Rákóczi II back to Transylvania.
      In August 1657 the Electors met at Frankfurt. Austria increased its debt to pay bribes and gave Brandenburg’s Friedrich Wilhelm 150,000 talers alone. They also won over electors from Bohemia, Bavaria, and Saxony. Leopold made a secret agreement with France that they would not aid each other’s enemies, and he promised to uphold the liberties of the German princes, satisfying Johann Philipp of Mainz. After he turned 18 to qualify, Leopold was unanimously elected Roman Emperor of the German Nation on July 18, 1658. His capitulation had 45 articles shared by many of his predecessors and included confirmation of the Peace of Westphalia, liberties in ten Alsace towns, and a promise not to aid Spain in its wars in Italy.
      In August 1658 a new Federation of the Rhine (Rheinbund) was formed by the archbishops of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier, the Bishop of Münster, the Count of Neuburg, Louis XIV of France, Karl X Gustav of Sweden, and more than fifty German princes and cities; they signed a defensive alliance to maintain the Peace of Westphalia and to prevent imperial forces from passing through their territory to the Netherlands. They were aided by the French and agreed to maintain an army of 10,000 men. Leopold ordered a commission to investigate unpaid taxes from Lower Austria since 1617, but only a small fraction was collected. The number of Austrian troops in the Habsburg portion of Hungary increased from 4,000 in 1652 to 18,000 in 1660.
      Rákóczi II had renounced his Swedish alliance, and on July 31, 1657 Tatars killed about 500 Transylvanians and captured 11,000. The Turks deposed their vassal Rákóczi, and on November 3 Transylvanian estates elected Ferenc Rhédry; but Rákóczi attacked and defeated him. The Estates recognized him again as prince in January 1658. That year Ottoman Turks invaded Transylvania with two armies from the north and south, devastating Transylvania once again. In 1659 Rákóczi drove his rival Akos Barcsay out of Transylvania. The Ottoman Turks invaded and defeated Rákóczi’s forces at Gilau on May 17, 1660. Rákóczi II asked Emperor Leopold for help but died on June 7.
      The imperial army and the Rhenish League began helping Christian nations attacked by Turks. On January 1, 1661 the Transylvanian Estates elected commander Janos Kemény prince, and he asked Austria for support. His rival Barcsay was arrested and executed in September. General Raimondo Montecuccoli led the imperial army of 15,000 men and joined Kemény fighting the Turks. The Austrians garrisoned fortresses in northern Transylvania and then left. On January 22, 1662 the Turks defeated and killed Kemény at Nagyszöllös. Leopold convened the Diet at Regensburg in January 1663, and in April the Sultan Mehmed IV declared war. In July the Archbishop of Salzburg helped the Emperor get 6,000 French troops, and in January 1664 the Imperial Diet approved 21,000. In the spring the Ottoman army of 60,000 men led by Grand Vizier Ahmed Kiuprili began moving up the Danube toward Pressburg and Vienna, but the Austrians and Hungarians stopped them at Neuhausel.
      In January 1664 Hungarian Miklos Zrinyi led an attack on the Turkish part of Hungary, but in the summer they retreated. Louis XIV sent 6,000 French troops led by the Count of Coligny to support Hungary. In June the Turks took over the Zerinvar fortress in western Hungary. On August 1 the imperial army of the Rhine League with 25,000 men led by Montecuccoli defeated an Ottoman army twice as large led by Fazil Ahmed while they were crossing the Raab near the monastery of St. Gotthard. They agreed on a twenty-year truce at Vasvár, and Emperor Leopold paid 200,000 florins in compensation to the Turks, recognized the Turkish vassal Mihály Apafi as Prince of Transylvania, and let the Turks occupy Nagyvárad and Zerinvar as well as three fortresses in western Slovakia; but Transylvania was to be free of Turks and imperial forces. Many Hungarians resented the treaty which Leopold ratified on September 4. Miklos Zrinyi died on November 18 in a hunting accident, but his brother Petar Zrinyi began leading raids into Turkish Hungary with several thousand horsemen.
      Emperor Leopold I had been advised by his uncle Leopold Wilhelm until his death in January 1662, and then Emperor Leopold relied on Johan Ferdinand Count Portia as chief minister; but after his death in February 1665 Leopold decided to rule himself like Louis XIV.
      Inbreeding by the Habsburgs had contributed to the death of several male heirs, and by 1665 the only two remaining were Emperor Leopold I and the handicapped Carlos II of Spain. Leopold increased the imperial army from 25,000 men to 65,000 in 1664 and to 100,000 by 1700. He increased the Privy Council from a dozen men to about sixty and then formed a new Privy Conference that was smaller, but he added many favorites to that one also. The Vienna’s court chamber (Hofkammer) did little to control provincial treasuries in Bohemia, Inner Austria, and Tyrol.
      During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) the populations of Bohemia and Moravia had been reduced by about 40% from killing and emigration with livestock greatly depleted. In the feudal system the great lords exploited robota (compulsory) labor by peasants and acquired their lands but had to pay taxes. The estates of Bohemia met 59 times from 1648 to 1698. Tax commissions set up in Bohemia in 1654 and Moravia in 1664 contributed more than half of the Empire’s revenue for the next century. Peasants in northern and western Bohemia revolted in 1679 and into 1680 when Leopold issued a charter to regulate the robota labor. The seigniory lords controlled the lives of the peasants on their land. Yet by 1700 Bohemia and Moravia had regained the population lost in the long war.
      Prominent economists who promoted mercantilism in the Austrian Empire were the Germans Wilhelm von Schröder (1640-88), Johann Joachim Becher (1635-82), and Philipp Wilhelm von Hörnigk (1640-1714). Becher advised forming the Oriental Trading Company in Vienna in 1666, and they directed cattle drives from southern Hungary to Austria. The Occidental Company was organized to remove foreign middlemen from the export of raw materials, but Count Sinzendorf’s corruption prevented both companies from lasting long. The Austrian Empire primarily exported food and raw materials and imported manufactured goods, though Becher promoted a successful wool factory at Linz in 1672.
      On December 12, 1666 Leopold married Felipe IV’s 15-year-old daughter and his own cousin and niece, Margaret Theresa, and the celebrations lasted twelve weeks and included the famous Il pomo d’oro opera by Francesco Sbarra and Marc Antonio Cesti for which Leopold composed some arias. The production cost 100,000 florins, and in five and a half hours goddesses competed for a prize that Jupiter awarded to Empress Margareta. She had four children but died on March 13, 1673 with only one daughter surviving.
      In January 1667 Johann Paul Hocher became chancellor. In January 1668 Prince Johann Weikhard Auersperg and French ambassador Jacques Grémonville devised a secret treaty partitioning Spain and its empire between Leopold and Louis XIV; but it was never signed, and on December 10 Leopold dismissed Auersperg and banished him. A conspiracy against Emperor Leopold was led by Croatia’s viceroy Petar Zrinyi, the palatine Ferenc Wesselényi, Hungary’s greatest landowner Prince Ferenc Rákóczi, Hungary’s chief justice Thomas Nádasdy, Primate and Archbishop György Lippay, and Marquis Lionne de Berny. Croatian magnate Ferenc Frangepáni tried to take Zagreb in April 1670 and surrendered with his brother-in-law Petar Zrinyi, asking Leopold for mercy, but he ordered them and all the conspirators arrested. Ferenc Rákóczi’s mother paid a 400,000 florin ransom to free her son. Austrian troops invaded Hungary in May and by August regained all the fortresses taken. By 1670 Protestants had been driven from the western counties of Sopron and Vas.
      Although he had confirmed their rights in 1659, in 1669 Leopold ordered all Jews to leave Vienna, starting with the poor and foreign Jews. No Jewish records were kept after March 31, 1670, and the final expulsion was to be completed by August. Leopold also decreed on April 27 that riots against Jews were to stop and did so again in June. On July 24 the city of Vienna purchased the Jewish quarter from the Emperor for 100,000 Gulden to cover Jewish debts up to 10,000 Gulden and to replace the synagogue with a church. About 3,000 Jews were expelled, and 132 buildings were confiscated. Many went to Berlin in Brandenburg where they were given legal status and to Frankfurt on the Oder where 2,500 Jews lived in 1700. The wealthy Jew, Samuel Oppenheimer (1630-1703), loaned money to the Emperor for as much as 20% interest to fund the military especially for the war against France 1673-79.

Leopold’s Austria and Hungary 1671-88

      Two thousand Hungarians fled to Transylvania, and imperial troops occupied towns in March 1671. Leopold decreed that every town was responsible for maintaining the soldiers. Petar Zrinyi, Nádasdy, and Frangepáni were beheaded on April 30, and three others were also executed. By July 1671 a special tribunal had heard 200 cases, and by the end of the year about 2,000 suspected rebels had been imprisoned. Leopold was concerned that he was violating his oath to respect the liberties of the Magyars in Hungary and consulted his friend, the Capuchin Emmerich Sinelli, but a troubled conscience made the Emperor indecisive. Hungary had many Germans who were mostly Lutherans while the Magyars tended to be Catholics or Calvinists; but the Austrian Empire favored German-speaking Catholics, resulting in many conflicts. Protestant refugees told Europeans about the religious persecution.
      In February 1672 Emperor Leopold set up a Hungarian Chamber with Bishop Leopold Kollonitsch of Wiener-Neustadt (1631-1707) as president. Leopold suspended Hungary’s constitution and one year later appointed four Germans and four Hungarians to a Gubernium at Pressburg with the Teutonic Knights’ Grand Master Johann Gaspar Ampringen as president. Kollonitsch with 12,000 imperial soldiers was sent to aid Archbishop György Szelepcsényi of Esztergom in suppressing Protestant churches and schools in Pressburg and mining towns in Slovakia. Hungary’s Chancellor Tamás Pálffy cooperated with this persecution. They arrested and interrogated 2,000 nobles and confiscated 300 estates worth three million florins. From September 1673 to April 1674 Szelepcsényi judged 330 Protestant preachers for treason in Pressburg, and more than two hundred agreed to leave Hungary and never preach or teach. In 1675 Kollonitsch sent forty who refused to agree to be slaves in Neapolitan galleys, but in February 1676 Admiral de Ruyter persuaded the Spanish Viceroy of Naples to free them.
      Historians called the 1670s Hungary’s “ten dark years.” Imperial forces occupied the country, and to pay for that the Emperor increased their taxes fivefold. Kuruc (crusaders) raids against garrisons began in September 1672 and continued every summer, and atrocities such as torture, mutilation, and taking no prisoners, brought retaliation. In 1673 two-thirds of the Hungarian soldiers in the border fortresses were dismissed as unreliable. Counties were required to quarter the imperial soldiers and were taxed to pay their expenses. István Petroczy wrote and distributed a “Kuruc proclamation” warning that Germans hate all Hungarians regardless of religion, and Kuruc bands engaged in guerrilla actions.
      On November 13, 1671 Prince Lobkovic had agreed to a secret neutrality treaty with Louis XIV; but in June 1672 Austria allied with Brandenburg-Prussia as each promised to provide 12,000 soldiers within two months to defend the Empire which in December allied with the Dutch against France. Montecuccoli led 15,000 men in August to take back Alsace. In the next two years they also allied with Spain, Brunswick, and Saxony. Bohemia paid most of the taxes that supported the army of 50,000 men on the upper Rhine. In 1673 Montecuccoli’s army forced the French to retreat from the Rhine, but the next year Marshal Turenne’s army dispersed the imperial soldiers there and ravaged the Palatinate.
      On May 28, 1674 the Imperial Diet at Regensburg and Emperor Leopold declared war on France, and Brandenburg joined the alliance in June. On October 16 Leopold banished Lobkovic, confiscated his 190,000 Gulden, and began to rely more on Chancellor Hocher. On July 27, 1675 neither side won the battle at Sassbach, but a cannon ball killed Turenne. Five days later the imperial army defeated the French at Altenheim and then regained Trier. The extinction of the Liegnitz line enabled the Habsburg Empire to annex Liegnitz, Brieg, and Wohlau. When Franco-Dutch peace talks began in February 1676, Leopold released the Protestant clergy. After the Netherlands and Spain made peace with France in the summer of 1678, Leopold agreed to a treaty on February 5, 1679, giving up Freiburg in Outer Austria and conceding the French occupation of Lorraine, angering Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg.
      Leopold had married Claudia Felicitas of Florence on October 15, 1673; but both her daughters died as infants, and she passed on April 8, 1676. However, his marriage to Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg on December 14 was successful in that she had ten children including the future emperors Joseph and Charles.
      Peasants had rebelled in 1652, 1668, and 1673. In June 1674 and May 1676 imperial edicts prohibited French imports. In 1678 a plague spread through Hungary and into Austria in 1679 and in 1680 to Bohemia where 83,000 died in Prague by 1681, one-third of the city and including 3,500 in a Jewish ghetto. In early 1680 serfs in northern Bohemia presented a petition to Emperor Leopold, but he directed them to the district courts. He abolished their liberties and privileges, and radical peasants began calling for a revolt. Serfs refused to provide services, and soldiers put down armed demonstrations. Peasants had no weapons but farm tools and were dispersed, and more than a hundred were killed in the districts of Pizen and Caslav. The uprising was suppressed by the end of April, and about a hundred suspected leaders were executed while a thousand were put in labor camps or prisons. On June 28 the Emperor issued a robotni patent recognizing their rights and limiting the robota work days to three per week.
      Exiled Protestants were led by Count Mihaly Teleki and Imri Thököly in northeastern Hungary. In 1671 at the age of 14 Thököly had witnessed his father’s death at an imperial siege of his family castle at Arva. In the summer of 1678 Thököly with about 25,000 Kuruc fighters including French officers and Polish mercenaries tried to drive out the Austrian soldiers. The Turkish Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa (1676-83) also invaded imperial Hungary. Archbishop Szelepcsényi executed 18 Protestant pastors for supporting them. Catholics closed Protestant schools, and Thököly retaliated against Jesuit colleges. In October his rebels occupied mining towns in Slovakia and raided Silesia and Moravia, occupying much of northern and western Hungary by 1680. For the past century the same 75 aristocratic families had ruled Hungary, but now the Austrian court began raising new families to weaken the power of the old ones.
      The Spanish friar Cristobal de Rojas y Spinola worked for reforms and advocated mercantilism. Georg Ludwig Count Sinzendorf, was president of Vienna’s court chamber and chief financial officer from 1656 to 1679, and he managed to embezzle two million florins which was about 40% of the Emperor’s revenues. He was removed on April 2, 1680, and some of the money was recovered. A financial report made on January 2, 1681 led to bringing under the court chamber in Vienna the treasury chambers of Bohemia in Prague, of Silesia in Breslau, and of Hungary in Pressburg and Kaschau. However, later that year at the Diet of Sopron the Emperor restored the independence of the Hungarian treasuries, allowed some religious freedom, and dismissed Ampringen.
      Pope Innocent XI sent Buonvisi as nuncio to Vienna, and Leopold summoned the Hungarian Estates which met in May 1681 and allowed them to elect Count Paul Esterházy as Palatine. The Gubernium was disbanded; the Hungarian Chamber was permitted to be independent; state offices were to be filled by Hungarians; the Estates were to meet once every three years; Protestant liberties were restored, and exiled preachers were allowed to come home. Yet of the 888 Protestant churches closed in a decade, the Catholics managed to block the restoration of all but 50 of them. They could not agree on religious issues, and in July the Emperor ordered the Diet to put aside private affairs. The Protestants objected and withdrew from the agreements made. After they learned that the French had taken Strasbourg, Leopold decreed peace and constitutional rights in Hungary on October 8.
      These imperial concessions did not satisfy Thököly who demanded a pardon, restitution, his own principality, and religious freedom in Hungary, and he had about 25,000 men fighting for Hungary. On June 15 Thököly was allowed to marry Petar Zrinyi’s daughter Ilona (Helena), widow of Ferenc Rákóczi and ward of Leopold, gaining her large estates. Nine days after the wedding Thököly renounced the truce and allied with Transylvania’s Prince Apafi and the Turkish pasha of Buda. Sultan Mehmed IV proclaimed Thököly king of Hungary and Croatia as his vassal, and in October they invaded Upper Hungary and began raiding Moravia and Silesia. Turks burned villages, but by the end of 1682 Leopold agreed to a truce and recognized Thököly in eastern Hungary.
      In the spring of 1682 Poland’s King Jan III Sobieski had promised not to let the French aid Hungarian rebels in his realm, and he agreed to an alliance with Austria on March 31, 1683. On that day Mehmed IV and Kara Mustafa led an Ottoman army of 100,000 men from Adrianople, and in Hungary they were supported by Prince Apafi and his Transylvanian army and 20,000 Kurucs led by Thököly, bringing their force to 140,000. On May 3 they camped around Belgrade. Thököly led the fight in western Slovakia but could not take Pressburg where Duke Charles V of Lorraine camped with the Christian army of 36,000 men on May 6. That spring Pope Innocent XI organized a crusading alliance to support the Austrian Empire with Poland and Venice. Poland’s Sobieski and the electors Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria and Johann Georg III of Saxony added forces that increased their army to 90,000 men. Pope Innocent XI contributed 500,000 Gulden to Leopold and Sobieski for the last major crusade against the Turks.
      By July 2 the Ottoman army was at the Györ fortress on the Hungarian frontier. Five days later word reached Vienna that the Turks were marching toward them, and Leopold and his family fled upriver to Passau. Thousands of Viennese left the city and went west, and thousands from suburbs and villages moved inside the walls. Count Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg arrived on the 8th and directed emergency measures, and Cardinal Kolonitsch arrived to coordinate medical services. On July 13 the Turks burned the suburbs and the next day besieged Vienna. Both sides killed captured enemies, and a Turkish attack on August 12 reduced the garrison by 1,200 men. Dysentery devastated both armies. On September 4 the Turks assaulted Vienna, but on the 12th Christian armies relieved the imperial city and defeated the Ottoman soldiers who retreated after one day of fighting. The Polish army gathered up most of the booty from the Turks’ camp. Leopold arrived the next day but moved his court to Linz while Vienna was cleaned up. Mehmet IV sent an executioner who strangled and beheaded Kara Mustafa at Belgrade on December 25.
      Emperor Leopold organized an amnesty commission at Pressburg, and on January 12, 1684 decreed free pardons and security for those who had followed Thököly. In March Pope Innocent XI organized at Linz the Holy League that included the Emperor, King Jan of Poland, and Venice. The Christian allies drove out most of the Turkish garrisons from Royal Hungary while Polish troops plundered the country. Charles V of Lorraine led an imperial army that drove the Turks out of Pest and then besieged their fort at Buda on July 14, and a Bavarian force of 8,000 men arrived on September 9. The Christian army suffered 20,000 casualties before going into winter quarters on November 1. Buda became a German-speaking town again.
      By 1685 nearly 40,000 Germans were fighting in Hungary. Many volunteers came from western Europe, but Louis XIV forbade the French from fighting for the Empire against the Turks. After the deaths of Archbishop Szelepcsényi in January and Bishop Sinelli in February the imperial government seized their estates. The Venetian Capuchin monk Marco d’Aviano served the imperial army as a spiritual advisor from 1683 to 1689. On July 15, 1685 Leopold’s daughter Maria Antonia married Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria, strengthening that alliance. Charles V of Lorraine led the reconquest of Upper Hungary by taking Neuhausel on August 19, and by October the remaining 17,000 Kuruczok forces had accepted the Emperor who promised religious freedom.
      On April 1, 1686 Friedrich Wilhelm signed a treaty with Austria and sent 8,000 Brandenburg troops to Hungary. They were followed in June by about 5,000 from Saxony and a thousand Swedes, making 34,000 auxiliary soldiers, increasing the imperial army to more than 65,000 for the fight against the Turks. The Catholic Church contributed about 1.5 million Gulden. On June 28 envoys from Transylvania agreed to a treaty with Emperor Leopold, but Prince Apafi declined to ratify it until Buda, Temesvar, Belgrade, and other Turkish fortresses in southern Hungary were conquered. The Christian army besieged Buda on June 18 and captured it on September 2, losing 5,000 dead while killing 3,000 and capturing 7,000 people. In 1686 imperial taxes on estates in Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary brought in 5.5 million florins.
      Bishop Leopold Kollonitsch wrote The Organization of Hungary; but his plan was ignored as heavy taxes were imposed on Hungarians. In February 1687 Count Antonio Caraffa, Leopold’s military governor of Hungary, falsely accused many of treason and tortured and brutally executed 17 burghers and nobles, causing wealthy citizens to escape to Poland, but on August 21 Leopold terminated the special court. On August 12 Charles V of Lorraine had triumphed again at Harsány Mountain to restore southern Hungary. They removed Turkish garrisons from central Slavonia in October, and on the 18th Leopold convened the Estates and persuaded them to make the Hungarian crown hereditary in the Habsburg line. On October 27 Prince Apafi agreed to surrender twelve fortresses and promised to provide for the imperial army and pay 700,000 Gulden. On December 9 Leopold’s oldest son Joseph was crowned King of Hungary. On May 9, 1688 the Diet of Transylvania accepted the sovereignty of Emperor Leopold as their hereditary king. He ratified this on June 17 and guaranteed their religious freedom.
      Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria led an army of 34,000 men that besieged Belgrade on July 30 and captured it on September 6. Leopold set up a commission to study the government of Hungary, and they issued a report the following summer, recommending the abolition of feudal laws that prohibited vassals from accusing their lords. Control by landlords was overcome by establishing appellate courts in Kaschau, Buda, and Zagreb. The militia was replaced by a standing army with 12,000 Magyars and 12,000 Germans. A century and a half of rule by the Ottoman Empire in Hungary had been reversed in five years by the Holy League. Leopold by annexing Hungary and Transylvania nearly doubled the territory of his hereditary monarchy.

Austrian Empire and Wars 1689-1715

      On August 16, 1688 a French army had occupied Cologne. Emperor Leopold reacted by joining the League of Augsburg to form the Grand Alliance with Bavaria, Brandenburg, the Dutch, the British, Spain, Portugal, Savoy, and Sweden. In September the French armies invaded the Rhineland and attacked Trier, Mainz, the Palatinate, and besieged the Philippsburg fortress on the 27th which surrendered on October 29. In January 1689 French armies ravaged Heilbronn and Heidelberg, and they began to lay waste the Palatinate. On April 3 Leopold declared war on France, officially entering the Nine Years War, and Chancellor Stratmann negotiated a treaty with the Dutch that was signed on May 12. That month the French dismantled fortresses at Speyer, Worms, and Oppenheim. Duke Charles V of Lorraine mobilized an imperial army in July and besieged Mainz, driving the French out in September. He sent troops who helped Brandenburgers take Bonn on October 9.
      The Habsburg Empire had only 24,000 troops remaining in the Balkans, but their commander Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden managed to invade Albania and Macedonia where he promised national autonomy, lower taxes, and religious freedom. Yet Jesuit missionaries tried to convert so many that they could not overthrow Ottoman domination. When the Turks attacked, Baden’s army retreated to Belgrade with 30,000 Serbian refugees. On August 30 his imperial forces attacked and dispersed a Turkish army south of Belgrade. In October 1689 nobles in the Diet of Hungary complained about new taxes on their land and giving peasants proprietary and judicial rights.
      On January 23, 1690 German princes granted an age exception when they elected Leopold’s 12-year-old son Joseph king of the Romans. The imperial commander Charles V of Lorraine died on April 18. Imre Thököly’s 16,000 warriors defeated Baden’s imperial army at Zernest on August 11. Prince Apafi had died on April 15, and the Diet of Transylvania elected Thököly their prince on September 22 and sent him with an army to occupy the territory. Six days later the Turks besieged Belgrade, and on October 8 they destroyed the fortress, killing most of the 8,000 men in the garrison.
      In August 1690 Grand Chamberlain Ferdinand Prince Dietrichstein presided over the Commission for Newly Acquired Lands that confiscated many estates if owners could not prove their claims or pay the 10% fee based on the land’s value by February 1, 1691. Lands confiscated were given to courtiers and generals, and rich landowners purchased others. The patriarch of Ipek, Arsen Cernojevic, brought about 40,000 Serbians who settled on the Hungarian plan, and on August 21, 1690 Emperor Leopold granted them the freedom to practice their Orthodox religion. Colonists from the Sudetenland, Swabia, Silesia, and Moravia were welcomed to increase the manpower, but in 1699 Leopold stopped immigration from Silesia and Moravia.
      Thököly fled from Transylvania in 1691 and led Turkish cavalry in the battle at Szalánkemén on August 19, but Ludwig Wilhelm’s army of 33,000 Christians defeated the Ottoman army of 50,000, which suffered 25,000 casualties including the death of the Grand Vizier Fazıl Mustafa Köprülü and several generals.
      The Diet of the Transylvanian Estates agreed to contribute 100,000 florins annually or 400,000 during a war, and on December 4, 1691 Emperor Leopold issued his Diploma Leopoldinum declaring himself Prince of Transylvania and confirming the privileges of the nobles, the three nations of Magyars, Saxons, and Székely, and the freedom of the Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Unitarians but not the Orthodox Romanian peasants nor the Armenian refugees who had fled from Turkish Wallachia in 1672. Imperial troops would occupy Transylvania. In the 1690s Jesuit missionaries worked to convert the Romanian and Armenian clergy to the Greek Catholic (Uniate) Church. A plague began spreading in 1690, and 30,000 people died by 1692.
      Leopold appealed to German princes, and in April 1692 Duke Ernst August of Brunswick-Lüneburg contributed 750,000 florins and troops, and he was appointed an elector in December. In February 1693 Leopold made Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden commander-in-chief, and on March 2 Johann Georg IV, who had succeeded his father as the Saxony Elector in 1691, allied with the imperial army. After his death on April 27, 1694 August Friedrich succeeded as Saxony’s elector at the age of 24 and was given an imperial command when he brought 8,000 soldiers.
      In August 1695 Sultan Mustafa II (1695-1703) led his army from Adrianople to Belgrade. After crossing the Danube, they captured Lippa on September 7. On the 20th the Turkish army defeated an isolated imperial force, killing 2,000 men including their general, Count Friedrich Veterani. Peasants rebelled against new taxes in 1697 in Upper Hungary in the eastern counties, defeating an imperial force and occupying Tokaj until the Hungarian nobles supported the imperial army and suppressed them. After 1696 Hungarian peasants were paying 3.5 million florins in tax, and nobles paid only 250,000, the amount also paid by the poor towns. Nobles collected the taxes and could also cheat.
      Leopold appointed Prince Eugene of Savoy commander-in-chief of the imperial army which on September 11, 1697 attacked the Ottoman army at Zenta as they were crossing the Tisza River; of the 30,000 Turks who died, a third were drowned.
      After Carlos II of Spain and William III of England made peace with Louis XIV on September 20, Leopold agreed to the treaty of Ryswick on October 30. His empire lost Alsace but recovered Freiburg and Breisach, and France gave up Lorraine. Prince Eugene with 7,000 soldiers passed through Bosnia and returned to Vienna on November 17. On October 11, 1698 a plan to partition the Spanish Empire would have given only Milan to Leopold, but the designated Habsburg heir Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria died at Brussels on February 6, 1699. A second partition proposal in June would have made Archduke Charles heir to the Spanish Empire with Italy going to Louis XIV. When the French ambassador Villars presented another ratified partition treaty on May 18, 1700, Leopold refused to agree. That month Prince Eugene led an imperial army across the Alps and into northern Italy, and they defeated a Franco-Spanish force at Carpi on July 9 and another at Chiari on September 1.
      On January 26, 1699 the Holy League and the Turks agreed to a peace treaty at Karlowitz. The Habsburg Empire retained most of Hungary except a strip near Belgrade and the Banat of Temesvár, but they claimed sovereignty over most of Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia, and Slavonia. By 1700 the nobles had more than 20% of the arable land in Bohemia while the Liechtenstein and Dietrichstein families owned a quarter of all the land in Moravia. In 1620 Bohemia had 1,128 noble families, but by 1700 only 238 remained. By 1700 Vienna had more than 100,000 people. Yet only 2% of the people in the Austrian monarchy lived in towns.
      Leopold sent Count Johann Wenzel Wratislaw to negotiate with the Dutch and English at The Hague, and the Emperor ratified the alliance against France on September 19, 1701. The imperial army in Italy was being depleted by casualties and desertion. On October 14, 1702 an imperial army led by Ludwig Wilhelm defeated the French led by Villars at Friedlingen. Leopold recalled Prince Eugene from Italy in December. Samuel Oppenheimer had loaned 11 million florins to Leopold for military supplies, but he died in May 1703. An audit of his estate revealed that the Imperial Treasury was bankrupt and could not pay half of its debt to him. Aristocrats and public officials made contributions to the Treasury, and the English and Dutch allies loaned the Empire 3.6 million florins.
      Leopold and Prince Joseph renounced their claims to Spain, making Archduke Charles eligible, and a treaty signed in Lisbon on May 16 persuaded Leopold to proclaim his son Charles king of Spain and to send him to Portugal. That month French forces under Villars combined with Max Emanuel’s Bavarians in Tyrol for an attack on Vienna, and the Tyrolean Diet activated their defenses. On June 18 Max Emmanuel captured the fortress of Kufstein as peasants fled into Innsbruck which the Bavarians entered on July 2. The Tyroleans rose up and prevented Max Emmanuel from retaking the Brenner Pass on the 17th, causing him to retreat to Munich on August 21. French general Vendome’s army met Austrians led by Eugene on the way to Trent which he bombarded in early September. The Bavarians occupied Augsburg and Passau and moved into Upper Austria. On September 20 at Höchstädt the Franco-Bavarian army defeated Eugene’s imperial force, which lost 11,000 men. However, on August 13, 1704 at Blenheim near Höchstädt the allied army of 52,000 men, led by the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, defeated 56,000 French and Bavarians who suffered 20,000 casualties while 14,190 were taken prisoners. The French then evacuated southern Germany, and Bavaria came under imperial administration. Max Emanuel was put under the imperial ban in 1706.
      Count Nicholas Bercsényi had been Royal Commissary-General of Upper Hungary but worked with Ferenc II Rákóczi (1675-1735) for independence. On May 6, 1703 he and Rákóczi at Brezán published a manifesto to the Hungarian people calling on them to arise and fight for their liberty. Rákóczi allied with Hungarian rebels and led a force of 8,000 men into Hungary in May attacking imperial officials. By July the cattle-trading town of Debrecen became the commissariat for the revolt. The Kuruczok bands increased by November to 30,000 men who raided the Danube region. In January 1704 Rákóczi wrote a manifesto directed to the princes and republics in the Christian world. By the end of the year they controlled most of Hungary and even invaded Lower Austria. On July 8 that year the Diet of Transylvania elected Ferenc II Rákóczi their prince. He and Bercsényi asked for support from Poland, Sweden, Russia, and the Ottoman Sultan, but only Louis XIV sent a monthly subsidy of 50,000 livres to support 5,000 soldiers. By 1705 the Kuruc army had 26 generals who were nobles and 100,000 men, but by 1706 Bercsényi was afraid they had lost the love of the common people. On November 11 the Austrian army of 20,000 soldiers led by Count Herbeville defeated 24,000 Kurucs at Zsibó, and the siege of Sopron led by János Bottyan failed.
      Emperor Leopold I suffered from heart attacks and died on May 5, 1705. He was succeeded by his oldest son who became Emperor Joseph I. On the 14th he distributed a letter promising to uphold the laws and the constitution, but it soon became clear that he was treating Hungary as part of his empire. The Austrian council of war began recruiting Bavarians in July while others escaped to fight as guerrilla bands, keeping 7,000 imperial soldiers busy. In the fall János Bottyan led rebels who conquered the Transdanubia region.
      Prince Eugene’s imperial army gained 28,000 German auxiliaries and 3 million florins in loans including 400,000 from England’s Queen Anne. Spanish and French forces besieged Turin on May 14, 1706. Eugene’s army met Victor Amadeus II of Savoy near Turin, and their 30,000 men fighting with the garrison defeated the French on September 7. In March 1707 Prince Eugene agreed to a truce that permitted the remaining 23,000 French troops to withdraw from northern Italy. Eugene sent an army of 10,000 to occupy Naples and complete the imperial conquest of the Italian peninsula.
      Ferenc II Rákóczi claimed the Transylvanian throne in April 1707 and on June 18 persuaded the Hungarian Diet at Onod to reject Emperor Joseph, and they introduced general taxation. They also expelled the Jesuits, and in reaction Pope Clement XI forbade Hungarian clergy to participate in the revolt. In the fall Rákóczi offered the Hungarian throne to the Elector Max Emanuel of Bavaria. On August 4, 1708 an Austrian force of 7,400 soldiers defeated 22,000 Kurucs at Trencsen. That year an Aulic Council put the Duke of Mantua, who favored the French, under an imperial ban, and Emperor Joseph combined Mantua with the duchy of Milan. He sent an army into the Papal States, and they persuaded Pope Clement XI to recognize his brother Charles as king of Spain. Also in 1708 Rákóczi got the legislators meeting at Sárospatak to free the serfs who were fighting and their children, but people were tired of war. In 1709 France stopped contributing to the Hungarian fight for independence. By February 1711 Rákóczi had left for Poland to seek a Russian alliance.
      A truce for peace talks was to end on April 7, and peace came to Austria before Emperor Joseph’s death on April 17, 1711. He was succeeded by his brother who became Emperor Charles VI. Twelve days later he approved the peace agreement that the Hungarian Estates and the Kuruc rebels signed at Szatmár on May 1 as 12,000 followers of Ferenc II Rákóczi swore allegiance to the Habsburg Empire and were allowed to keep their arms. The historian Ignácz Acsády estimated that in the war 85,000 Hungarians were killed in battle while 410,000 died of disease. Charles severely limited the role of Hungarian politicians. Yet in August 1712 the Hungarian Diet recognized the autonomy of Croatia. In 1713 Ferenc II Rákóczi moved to Poland and then to France. In the treaty signed at Rastatt on March 7, 1714 between France and Austria, the former territories of Spain in Italy, namely Naples, Milan, and Sardinia, and the southern Netherlands became part of the Habsburg Empire, but on November 15, 1715 the Barrier Treaty made at Antwerp gave the Dutch several garrisons in the southern Netherlands.

Austrian Empire and Wars 1715-48
Austrian Empire of Maria Theresa 1748-80
Austrian Empire of Joseph II’s Reforms 1780-88

Comenius on Education 1650-70

 Comenius on Education to 1648

     In 1650 Jan Amos Komenský better known as Comenius accepted an invitation by György Rákóczi’s widow to found a pansophic school at the Protestant Collegium in Sarospatak, Transylvania for a hundred students. The Moravian Bishop Comenius taught there until 1654 when he returned to Leszno with the manuscript for the first picture book for children he called The Visible World in Pictures (Orbis Pictus) and which became a popular textbook for generations. The Swedish invasion of Poland burned Leszno on April 25, 1656, and Comenius lost many manuscripts.
      In 1657 Comenius collected his writings on education and published his Didactica Opera Omnia which included The Great Didactic in Latin. In this work he explained his ideas on education and teaching. He promised a “Great Didactic” that is the “whole art of teaching all things” to all people with certainty, pleasantly, and thoroughly in order to lead to “true knowledge, to gentle morals, and to the deepest piety.”1 The first chapter begins with the idea that humanity is the highest and most excellent of all created things and the second suggests that the ultimate end is beyond this life. Thus life prepares one for eternity as the world serves for the training of the human race. The three stages are to know oneself, to master oneself, and to direct oneself to God by gaining knowledge, virtue, and piety. The seeds of these are found within ourselves, and we have a natural desire to know (as Aristotle also noted). Comenius marveled at how the small mass of our brains is capable of receiving so many thousands of images. Humans need to be formed by education which can make them the gentlest and most divine, but those without education or a bad one are the most intractable creatures in the world.
      Even though abilities differ, education is necessary for all people. Humans are most easily formed in early youth. Because humans mature more slowly, they have a longer period of training so that they can be more capable the rest of their lives. Comenius believed that humans must be educated in communities, and therefore schools are necessary. He argued that all boys and girls, noble and ignoble, rich and poor, should go to school. He also believed in teaching everyone regardless of ability, and he wrote, “No mind can be so ill-endowed that it cannot gradually be improved by education.”2 Comenius favored imitation and group games to learn social skills. He argued that women are endowed with equal intelligence which makes them just as fit as men to understand the sciences.
      Comenius worked to assimilate nature with the art of intellectual discipline and recommended schooling in four periods of six years each. They are infancy at the mother’s knee, childhood in a vernacular school, boyhood (and girlhood) in a Latin school or gymnasium, and youth at a university and traveling.
      Instruction should be universal so that the principles, causes, and uses of all important things may be learned. Comenius considered delight in God the highest pleasure one can attain in this life. He cited Martin Luther as proposing that schools should be found in all cities, towns, and villages with easy instruction so that learning becomes enjoyable. Comenius aimed to teach all children in all subjects “without blows, rigor, or compulsion as gently and pleasantly as possible” until they reach maturity. Teaching should be well ordered in arranging time, subjects taught, and the method. Nature should guide the order of instruction. Education can lead to a longer life, and Seneca noted that self-control is the secret to a long life. Bodies may be protected from diseases and injuries, and minds can attain all knowledge. Nourishment needs to be monitored as to quantity and quality. Subjects should be arranged in a natural order for learning. Language should be understood before science is studied. Motivation comes from within, and the first task of the scholar is to understand. The universal and ends can be understood before particulars. Nature proceeds step by step. Whatever is begun should continue until it is completed. Obstacles and anything causing harm should be avoided.
      Education should begin early before the mind has been corrupted. Teaching should proceed from the general to the specific and from what is easy to the difficult. Pupils should not be burdened with too many subjects, and the intellect should not be forced beyond its natural progress according to age and method. Everything can be taught through the senses with use kept in mind. Thus education can be easy and pleasant. Comenius warned against doing violence to the intellect by making pupils carry out tasks beyond their age and ability or by making them memorize what has not been clearly explained or understood. The development of children needs to progress in stages by letting them examine themselves and act on their own impulses.
      Subjects should be useful and progressively graded to avoid obstructions. Language is learned so that additional knowledge may be acquired and imparted to others. Language is easier to learn by practice. Rules may assist knowledge gained from practice, and those rules should be grammatical. Learning language begins in infancy and becomes more sophisticated as one matures.
      In moral education Comenius recommended learning the cardinal virtues of prudence, moderation, courage, justice, and honesty. Developing a willingness to serve others aids justice, and virtues are learned by constantly doing what is right. Examples of well-ordered lives are helpful, and rules of conduct can be guides. Comenius suggested that humans learn by doing. He wrote,

One learns to be virtuous by accomplishing acts of virtue.
By knowing we learn to know; by acting we learn to act.
Since children easily learn to walk by walking,
to speak by speaking, to write by writing, etc.,
they will also learn obedience by obeying,
abstinence by abstaining, truth be being truthful,
firmness by being firm, etc. provided always that there is
someone to show them the way by precept and example.3

      For Comenius piety is a gift of God and can be developed by meditation, prayer, and self-examination. He opposed corporal punishment and believed it stimulated aversion and hatred of studying. Discipline should be by positive encouragement and emulation with gentle remedies. It should be free of personal dislike or anger and should be exercised with sincerity so that pupils feel it is for their good. The point is not to punish for a past action that cannot be changed but to teach why such an action should not be repeated in the future.
      Comenius believed that life continually develops toward the divine. Education teaches people to understand the natural world through observation and reasoning, the moral world through character development, and God through piety. His goal was the salvation of the human race, and in 1668 he published The Way of Light (Via Lucis). In this work he recommended a “parliament of the whole world” so that “wars shall cease throughout the world, and Light, Peace, and Health return.”4 Comenius hoped for “universal books, universal schools, a universal college, and a universal language” with a universal alphabet that would be better than Latin. He also recognized “there is inborn in human nature a love of liberty” which cannot be driven out. In his wholistic philosophy he described pansophy as “seeing in a clear light the ends of all things, and the means to those ends, and the correct use of those means” so that one “might be able to direct all that they have to good ends.”5
      From 1657 to 1659 Comenius as bishop sent £8,900 to aid Protestants exiled by Catholic imperialism. He spent the rest of his life working on his General Consultation on the Reform of Human Affairs, but after his death on November 13, 1670 his associates neglected to publish it. The manuscripts were not discovered until 1935. The fourth part entitled The Pampaedia was published in Czech in 1948. Pampaedia means “education for all.” First, Comenius wanted all humans educated regardless of sex, nationality, or condition. Second, he wished them to be taught all things which perfect human nature. Third, he wanted them educated in all ways so that they can be more like God. He did not believe that people should live as beasts but that they should become as wise as possible. No person should be left without education. He argued that experience showed that force was not needed because wise and holy guidance is sufficient. Enlightenment enables one to know and enjoy the highest good by guiding consciousness from the circumference of things toward the center of all. The ultimate goal is God. Reasonable creatures can be educated easily by the use of reason to use everything correctly. His vision was for people to live, be worthy, observant, understand what one knows, be free to choose what one knows is good, live actively, enjoy good health, possess much, enjoy security, be eminent and honorable, eloquent in conveying knowledge, enjoy the favor of others, and finally be happy in God. Time can be managed wisely throughout one’s life.
      In his “Treatise on a Universal Improvement of Human Affairs,” Part 6 of the General Consultation, Comenius called for a College of Light, a Consistory for churchmen, and the Dicastery of Peace. The College of Light is to teach humanity with ministers of Light, schools, books, language, and Christ, the fountain of Light. The Dicastery of Peace focuses on justice with courts, judges, government, laws, and instruments of public equity and security with God being the eternal defender of justice. The Religious Consistory leads people to piety through faith, sacred gatherings, sacred books, acts of charity, and finally the Holy Spirit as the inner teacher.

Pestalozzi’s Early Ideas on Education

German States 1648-80

      At the conclusion of the 30-Year War in October 1648 the Protestant alliance had 63,698 soldiers (about 14,000 Swedes and the rest Germans), plus 11,040 Hessians and 9,000 French. The Austrian Empire had an army of 42,300 men, 20,563 Bavarians, 12,500 Westphalians, and at least 1,000 Spaniards. In addition to the 5 million talers Sweden received from the treaty the maintenance of their army would cost the Empire another 15 million. By 1648 one-third of the empire’s cultivated land had been abandoned, and it took at least fifteen years to make the wasteland productive again. The peace of Westphalia was ratified on February 18, 1649, but all the foreign armies and garrisons did not leave until 1654. Brandenburg’s Elector Friedrich Wilhelm (r. 1640-88) gained sovereignty over Pomerania, Minden, Halberstadt, and after the death of its administrator, the archdiocese of Magdeburg.
      Swedish commander Karl X Gustav invited French, Hessian, and Bavarian generals to meet with him in Nuremberg, and most of the envoys in Westphalia moved there in early May. The Nuremberg Execution Congress met from May 1649 to July 1650 and supervised the demobilization and paying off of about 160,000 soldiers with as many dependents. In the next two years they resolved 31 of 117 cases they considered and then gave the rest back to the Reichshofrat. On September 21, 1649 they agreed on a withdrawal plan. On March 4, 1650 the Swedes promised to accelerate their departure in exchange for another 200,000 talers. The Congress arranged Sweden’s evacuation from others’ territories in June and France’s in July. By September the imperial army had been reduced to 26,230 men. Conversion from war to peace helped cities and towns increase their tax revenues by 1651.
      Margrave Christian of Ansbach and Elector Karl Ludwig of the Palatinate (r. 1648-80) were most successful at restoring the devastation after the Long War. The latter used mercantilism to revive the city of Mannheim in 1652. He named the new church in Mannheim “St. Unity” as Catholic, Calvinist, and Lutheran services alternated. The University of Heidelberg was re-opened. Karl Ludwig’s policies were emulated by the pious Duke Ernst of Saxony-Gotha (r. 1640-75) who had eighteen children. His younger brother Bernhard of Weimar was a Lutheran and emphasized schooling. Duke Ernst supervised making the Werra River navigable to link Gotha with Weser and Bremen to the North Sea. Local customs duties hurt profitability, but after the great fire of London in 1666 Thuringian timber was shipped to rebuild the city.
      In 1650 the estates in Brandenburg met but refused to appropriate funds for the conflict with Sweden over Pomeranian territory. In early 1651 Brandenburg’s Elector Friedrich Wilhelm tried to impose a settlement on the Jülich-Cleves dispute. Claiming he was protecting 62,000 Protestants he sent 3,800 soldiers into Berg in June. The next month he increased Brandenburg’s force in the region to 7,500 while mobilizing 16,000 troops. Wolfgang Wilhelm, Count Palatine of Neuburg, had only 3,000 troops and appealed to Duke Charles IV of Lorraine who invaded Mark to feed his army. The Dutch condemned Brandenburg’s aggression; Sweden advised Friedrich Wilhelm to stop it, and Hatzfeldt came from Vienna and persuaded Wolfgang Wilhelm to accept a truce. Imperial mediation set up a Reichshofrat commission in October, and both sides withdrew the troops by December. The Brandenburg estates met again in 1652, and eventually in May 1653 they reached a compromise on taxes, granting the Elector 530,000 talers in annual installments for six years to maintain the army. Before their recess that year they required peasants to prove their freedom by title or their lord, or they would be treated as serfs. That year a school statute called for elementary schools for all Germans, and in the 1650s knights’ academies were established in German capitals to educate sons of the nobles. After graduating, those who could afford it traveled in the Empire, France, and Italy. Friedrich Wilhelm began the Hohenzollern policy of allowing nobles authority on their estates in exchange for their recognizing his rulership in national policy, diplomacy, and war.
      Rhenish circles formed in 1651, and in February 1652 the Hildesheim Union included the Guelph duchies of Brunswick, Hesse-Kassel, and Swedes through Bremen and Verden. The Hessians were given 800,000 talers and withdrew in 1652. In May 1653 Sweden’s Queen Kristina in the treaty of Stettin gave up Eastern Pomerania in exchange for half its revenue from tolls. Protestant imperial estates began meeting, and on July 21, Saxons claimed the leadership of the Lutherans.
      By 1654 Brandenburg’s Elector Friedrich Wilhelm had annexed East Pomerania to his Hohenzollern territory. He was neutral at the beginning of the First Northern War in 1655, but in the treaty of Königsberg on January 17, 1656 he allied with Sweden and then helped their forces with 8,500 Brandenburg soldiers to win the battle of Warsaw on July 30. In the treaty of Labiau on November 20 Sweden’s King Karl X Gustav recognized his ally Friedrich Wilhelm’s sovereignty in Prussia. On September 19, 1657 the treaty signed at Wehlau with Poland-Lithuania conceded territorial gains to Friedrich Wilhelm, and in the treaty of Bromberg on November 6 he became militarily allied with Poland and the Empire against Sweden. In September 1658 Friedrich Wilhelm led 7,000 of his own troops with 10,000 Austrians, and 6,000 Polish cavalry against the Duke of Holstein who had joined the Swedes. In exchange for helping Poland in its war against Sweden, Austria annexed the duchies of Oppeln and Ratibor in Upper Silesia. Friedrich Wilhelm rejected a bribe from Louis XIV and gave the deciding vote to elect Emperor Leopold I in 1658.
      In 1659 the Royal Library was founded in Berlin, and that year Johannes Praetorius (1630-1680) published his Ludicrum Chiromanticum after having studied chiromancy and astrology at Leipzig University. Although Evangelista Torricelli had invented the barometer in 1643, Otto von Guericke of Magdeburg, who experimented with vacuums and air pressure, used one to predict a severe storm in 1660, thus giving people the opportunity to prepare for changes in the weather. Also in 1660 Friedrich Staedtler started a pencil factory in Nuremberg.
      The peace of Oliva in May 1660 rejected Brandenburg’s claim to West Pomerania. Austria, Poland, and Brandenburg allowed the Swedes to keep German possessions they held in 1648, but the treaty confirmed the Brandenburg Elector as sovereign over Prussia. During the war 1655-60 Brandenburg’s army had grown and was put under the command of Field Marshal Otto Christof von Sparr or at times Friedrich Wilhelm himself. The Elector drew arms from Cleves-Mark and gained more control over the estates by 1661, though they retained the right to assemble and vote on taxes. Also in 1661 Brandenburg made a defensive alliance and commercial treaty with England. In the next two decades Friedrich Wilhelm would increase his power as he centralized the administration of Brandenburg, converting regional governments to appellate courts. He tripled the state’s annual revenue to nearly 3.4 million thalers by his death in 1688 and left behind an army of 30,000 men.
      In 1663 a Brandenburg army supported Austrians fighting the Turks, and Andreas Gryphius wrote his comedy Horribilicribrifax which satirized the Thirty Years’ War. In 1664 Friedrich Wilhelm banned the Lutheran Formula of Concord in his syncretistic edict. The Lutheran theologian Georg Calixtus (1586-1656) had tried to resolve differences between Lutherans and Calvinists in his Judicium de Controversiis in 1650, but his effort to merge Catholic and Protestant doctrines got him charged with syncretism. The great writer of hymns, Paul Gerhardt, refused to comply with the edict and was dismissed in 1666. That December the treaty of Cleves divided Jülich-Cleves recognizing Cleves, Mark, and Ravensburg as part of Brandenburg while Neuburg retained Jülich and Berg. Friedrich Wilhelm was neutral during France’s War of Devolution in the Palatinate that began in 1667, though a treaty with the French gave him subsidies.
      In 1670 Elector-Archbishop Maximilian Heinrich of Cologne and Liège and Prince-Bishop Bernhard Christoph of Münster allied with the invading French. The Cologne elector let the French take the fortress of Neuss and sent 18,000 men to join their army. German princes of the Palatinate, Neuburg, Trier, and Württemberg were neutral. In June 1671 Brandenburg, Bavaria, Cologne, Palatine-Neuberg, and other German states formed a defensive alliance to protect their fortresses and fight for the Empire. The Palatinate elector Karl Ludwig’s daughter Elizabeth Charlotte married Duke Philippe of Orléans on November 16. When the French attacked the Dutch Republic in May 1672, Brandenburg formed an alliance with the Dutch and in June sent 12,000 soldiers to support the imperial army of 16,000 which attacked the French allies Cologne and Münster.
      On June 6, 1673 Friedrich Wilhelm made a separate peace with France at Vossem, and the Dutch stopped sending subsidies to Brandenburg. In 1674 the Bishop of Münster made peace with the Netherlands and allied with Emperor Leopold. Mainz, Trier, the Palatinate, Brunswick-Celle, Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and Osnabrück also supported the Empire against the French as did Brandenburg in July. Emperor Leopold sent his army of 50,000 men to invade Alsace, but they were defeated at Türckheim by Turenne’s 30,000 French on January 5, 1675. In the next three years the imperial allies conquered all of West Pomerania, and in November 1678 Friedrich Wilhelm claimed West Pomerania except for Rügen which went to Denmark. That year the number of German auxiliaries supporting the imperial army reached a high of 74,100 men.
      When France’s Swedish allies invaded the Mark in 1675, Friedrich Wilhelm’s army defeated the Swedes at Fehrbellin on June 18. That year Brandenburg began their navy, and in 1676 the Middelburg merchant Benjamin Raule became its Director-General. Germans besieged the Swedes at Stettin in August 1677 and captured the fortress in December, and in 1678 they drove the Swedes off the islands of Rügen, Stralsund, and Greifswald. That year the first opera house in Germany opened at Hamburg. In the peace treaties made at Nijmegen in January 1679 German territories given to Sweden in the Peace of Westphalia were returned to the Swedes. Friedrich Wilhelm refused to accept this, but in June he agreed to the treaty of St. Germain which gave back West Pomerania to Sweden. On October 25 he formed a “close alliance” with France, and Louis XIV promised to pay him 100,000 livres annually for ten years.

German States 1680-1715

      In March 1681 Friedrich Wilhelm turned away from the French and made a commercial alliance with England, and on September 30 the French took over undefended Strasbourg. On that day Raule’s privateers defeated Spaniards by Cape St. Vincent. Also in 1681 the Imperial Diet organized the military in ten circles with a peacetime force of 40,000 soldiers. The Elector chartered the Brandenburg African Trading Company in 1682, and that year the intellectual periodical Acta Eruditorum began publishing. In 1683 Ernst August of Hanover established primogeniture in his domains. During the Turks’ siege of Vienna, the German states of Saxony, Bavaria, Franconia, and the Upper Rhine sent troops to help relieve the imperial capital. In August 1685 Brandenburg allied with the Dutch. That year the Catholic Philipp Wilhelm of Neuburg succeeded as Elector of the Palatinate, but Louis XIV claimed it because of his brother’s wife. On November 8 Friedrich Wilhelm issued his Edict of Potsdam which offered refuge to persecuted French Protestants (Huguenots).
      Colonists came to Brandenburg from Holland, and Huguenots driven out of France were welcomed. Brandenburg organized its own postal system to replace the imperial Thurn and Taxis posts. Friedrich Wilhelm took power from the nobles but gave them advantages as landlords. He imposed a progressive income tax on all his subjects to support the military. He had a canal built to connect the Spree and the Oder and by uniting the Havel and Elbe rivers ships could reach the North Sea. However, attempts to establish colonies in India and on the west coast of Africa eventually failed.
      After the Calvinist Elector Karl II of the Palatinate (r. 1680-85) died, his cousin, the Catholic Duke Philipp-Wilhelm of Neuberg, changed the religion of the Palatinate and was allied with Emperor Leopold until his death in 1690. Then Johann Wilhelm II was Palatine Elector until his death in 1716. He was married to Emperor Ferdinand III’s daughter Maria Anna 1678-89 and then to Cosimo III de’ Medici’s daughter Anna Maria from 1691. They had no children, probably because he gave her syphilis; but in 1705 his mistress Dorothea von Velen persuaded him to declare religious freedom.
      In February 1686 Friedrich Wilhelm secretly formed a defensive alliance with Karl XI of Sweden. In March he made a secret treaty with Emperor Leopold, and in April a Brandenburg army joined the Austrians fighting the Turks in Hungary. In July to oppose French aggression the League of Augsburg was formed by Emperor Leopold, Brandenburg, the Dutch Republic, England, Sweden, Spain, Bavaria, Saxony, and Franconia, and later they were joined by the Palatinate, the Upper Rhine, and Holstein. In 1688 Friedrich Wilhelm made a secret treaty with Prince Willem of Orange and sent 6,000 soldiers to protect the Dutch Republic so that Willem could gain the English throne.
      Friedrich Wilhelm died on April 29, 1688 and was succeed by his son Friedrich. Pope Innocent XI recognized Joseph Clemens as Archbishop of Cologne in June. On August 16 a French army occupied Cologne. The Nine Years’ War between France and this Grand Alliance began on September 24 when Louis XIV demanded destruction of the fortress of Philippsburg, settlement of the Palatinate, and confirmation of Wilhelm Egon von Fürstenburg as Archbishop of Cologne. In September the French armies had invaded the Rhineland and attacked Trier, Mainz, the Palatinate, and on the 27th they besieged the Philippsburg fortress which surrendered on October 29. In January 1689 French armies ravaged Heilbronn and Heidelberg, and they began to lay waste the Palatinate, Trier, Mainz, and Cologne before invading Swabia and Franconia. On October 22, 1688 Brandenburg Elector Friedrich III, Johann Georg III of Saxony, Ernst August of Hanover, and Karl of Hesse-Kassel formed the Magdeburg Concert. Brandenburg’s army defended the Lower Rhine, and the princes sent 22,000 soldiers to the central Rhine. The French army devastated Mannheim and burned Worms, Oppenheim, Frankenthal, and Speyer.
      In January 1689 Ernst August of Hanover began conscripting peasants and vagrants as soldiers. In the summer the Germans liberated the Lower and middle Rhine, but fighting went on for years in the Upper Rhine. In 1690 the number of German auxiliary soldiers was at a low of 2,500. In May 1693 the French army destroyed the university town of Heidelberg. The war ended when the Empire signed the treaty of Ryswick on October 30, 1697. Louis XIV gave up all his attempted “reunions” except Alsace with Strasbourg.
      In March 1692 Emperor Leopold decreed a ninth electorate which he granted to Hanover. That year the Germanic Empire had 1,200 different kinds of coins as territorial rulers had minting rights. Max Emanuel of Bavaria became regent of the Spanish Netherlands. In 1694 Friedrich August became Elector of Saxony, and on June 1, 1697 he converted to Catholicism at Baden so that on the 27th he could be crowned King of Poland. In 1698 the Aulic Council decided that the Estates are required to pay tax for the Empire, and in 1701 the annual tax was set at 120,000 thalers with thirds paid by nobles, towns, and ducal domains.
      Brandenburg Elector Friedrich III (r. 1688-1713) hired sculptor Andreas Schlüter to build palaces in Berlin. He also founded the University of Halle in 1694 and the Berlin Academy of Sciences in 1700. In 1699 he refused to let Saxon troops cross his territory to attack Sweden, and in 1700 he prohibited the Swedish army from crossing Brandenburg to attack Saxony. He offered Emperor Leopold 8,000 auxiliary troops for recognition as King of Prussia, and on January 18, 1701 he was crowned King Friedrich I of Prussia at Königsberg. In 1700 German Protestants adopted the Gregorian Calendar.
      The War of the Spanish Succession began in 1701 with the French fighting for the Bourbon Felipe V who claimed the throne of Spain. Brandenburg, Brunswick-Lüneburg, the Palatinate, and Ansbach contributed to the Dutch army of 100,000 men by July. However, on August 5 a group led by Anton Ulrich of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and the Duke of Gotha asked Louis XIV for support, and Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel raised 8,000 troops and Saxe-Gotha 6,000. French diplomats persuaded the South German circles, Franconia, Swabia, the Upper Rhine, the electoral Rhine, and Bavaria to form a neutral army in August. Yet by March 1702 all the Associated Circles of German states, except Bavaria, had gathered 40,000 men to join with Austria in the renewed Grand Alliance against France. Duke Anton was removed by his cousin in April. Max Emanuel sided with the French by recognizing Felipe V in Spain, and his Bavarians joined the French forces in the Black Forest in May 1703. That year Brandenburg conscripted unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 40 for the local militia, and Saxony conscripted men into the army from 1702 to 1711. On August 13, 1704 the Allies defeated the French and Bavarians in a great battle involving more than a 100,000 soldiers at Höchstädt (Blenheim) that killed or wounded more than 30,000 men.
      Maximilian Emanuel’s Wittelsbach brother Joseph Clemens of Bavaria was Prince-Bishop of Freising, Regensburg, and Liège as well as Archbishop-Elector of Cologne. In 1701 France gave him a subsidy to hire 4,000 soldiers; but he came into conflict with the chapter of Cologne in August, and the Estates refused to provide supplies. When he threatened to use force to raise taxes, the chapter appealed to Emperor Leopold. Clemens asked the French to send troops in November to his fortresses, but the constitutional parties in Liège and Cologne opposed that. In 1702 Clemens fled to Bonn and then to the French court. Max Emanuel tricked the imperial city of Ulm into capitulating in September, and in 1703 he led the campaign against Tyrol. However, in September the Allies regained Ulm, and the Austrian army occupied Bavaria for the rest of the war. Peasants revolted in 1705 and were brutally suppressed. That year Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover united the ducal territories. In April 1706 the Electoral College approved an imperial ban on Max Emanuel and his brother Joseph Clemens.
      In 1709 Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit invented an alcohol thermometer and in 1714 one with mercury in a glass tube. On March 28, 1709 Johann Friedrich Böttger informed King August II he had learned how to make hard Chinese porcelain, and he began manufacturing it in 1711.
      In August 1707 Prussia and Sweden agreed to a perpetual alliance and promised to send 6,000 soldiers to help each other. That year Margrave Ludwig died, and the French temporarily disturbed Swabia before retreating to Alsace. From 1709 to 1711 the plague took the lives of more than 200,000 people in Prussia. The total number of German soldiers in the Circles and auxiliaries fighting for the Empire gradually increased to 156,700 men in 1710, but the total German military strength not counting militia was 343,300 men. Those fighting for the Empire dropped sharply to 74,400 with peace negotiations in 1713, but German armies still had 303,400 soldiers in 1714.
      Friedrich of Brandenburg and Prussia died on February 25, 1713 and was succeeded by his son Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia. That year Prussia, Saxony, and Hanover were fighting the Swedes in the north, and the imperial army did not prevent the French from taking Landau and Freiburg. In September 1714 the treaty at Baden ended the War of the Spanish Succession that had involved so many Germans. That year Jews got their first synagogue in Berlin.

Germans 1713-40 and Wolff on Law
Germany, Friedrich II and Wars 1740-63
German States and Friedrich’s Prussia 1763-88

Pufendorf and Thomasius

      Samuel Pufendorf was born on January 8, 1632 in Saxony in the family of a poor Lutheran pastor; but a rich nobleman helped him get a good education, and Pufendorf studied theology at Leipzig University. In 1656 he went to Jena, and he was influenced by the writings of Grotius, Hobbes, and Descartes. While he was tutoring the family of the Swedish ambassador in Denmark, war broke out between the two countries, resulting in his being imprisoned with them for six months. Having developed his own philosophy, in 1660 Pufendorf published Two Books on the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence. This gained attention and earned him a position at Heidelberg University, making him the first professor of international law. In 1664 he used the name Severinus de Mozambano on the influential pamphlet State of the German Empire, and in 1667 he published under a pseudonym an attack on the constitution of the Holy Roman Empire. After being banned this book was widely translated and spread abroad. The next year Pufendorf left Heidelberg, and he then taught for twenty years at the new University of Lund in Sweden. In 1672 he published his major work, Eight Books on the Law of Nature and of Nations. Appointed royal historiographer in Stockholm in 1677, Pufendorf wrote a history of Sweden in 33 volumes. On the Duty of Man and Citizen was translated into English in 1682 as was his History of Popedom in 1691. In 1687 he published Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion in Reference to Civil Society. He went to Berlin in 1688 and wrote 19 volumes on the life and reign of Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg. Pufendorf died of a stroke on October 13, 1694, but his Law of Diplomacy, or Agreement and Disagreement of Protestants was published in 1695.
      Pufendorf based his legal theories of natural law on the social nature of human experience, and he believed in human freedom and equality. Although humans are naturally sociable, their unsocial behaviors need to be regulated by law. Humans often go beyond the nature of other animals in their greed, lusts, vanity, and competitiveness. From natural law reason indicates that humans have duties to God, to oneself, and to others. For mutual advantage and to gain protection from others, humans organize themselves in communities. Pufendorf believed that civil government is more effective in restraining abusive behavior than either God or conscience. He defined the three causes of a just war and differentiated defensive and offensive wars as follows:

The causes of just war may be reduced to these three heads.
First, to defend ourselves and properties
against others that design to do us harm,
either by assaulting our persons,
or taking away or ruining our estates.
Secondly, to assert our rights when others,
who are justly obliged, refuse to pay them to us.
And lastly, to recover satisfaction
for damages we have injuriously sustained,
and to force the person that did the injury,
to give caution for his good behavior for the future.
And hence arises the division of just wars
into offensive and defensive.
The latter of which I take to be those sorts of wars,
in which men endeavor to defend and keep what is their own.
The former are, when men extort their rights
that are denied by force,
attempt to recover what has been unjustly taken from them,
and require caution for the future.6

In international law Pufendorf was concerned that nations had begun to believe they had a right to go to war without considering the ethical issues. Thus he argued that following natural law by means of reason is preferable to the precedents of past customs and treaties.
      Philipp Jakob Spener (1635-1705) earned his master’s degree opposing the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and became a Lutheran preacher in Frankfurt. He published Pia desideria in 1675 and founded Pietism. He suggested improvements for the Lutheran church by avoiding disputations and by urging simplicity and dedication. In 1686 he became a chaplain in Dresden and was given a position by Saxony’s Elector Johan Georg III, though he criticized the morals of his court. In 1691 Spener became the rector at St. Nicholas in Berlin. He helped found the University of Halle in 1694. Lutheran theologians at Wittenberg accused him of 264 errors in 1695. Spener emphasized personal transformation and spiritual renewal through devotion and piety. He promoted philanthropic work and Protestant missions.
      Christian Thomasius (1655-1728) was taught by his father Jakob Thomasius who was a professor of science at the University of Leipzig. After studying all the sciences Christian went into law and began lecturing on it at the same university in 1681. At first he opposed the ideas of Grotius and Pufendorf, but after studying them carefully he was converted and taught the evolution of natural law toward international law. In 1688 Thomasius began lecturing in German instead of Latin, arguing that the French had gained much by cultivating their own language. He started a literary journal in German. He was tolerant and was criticized for defending the marriage of a Lutheran Prince of Saxony to a Calvinist Princess of Brandenburg. He published Doctrine of Common Sense in 1691 and Doctrine of Morals in 1692.
      In 1694 Thomasius was one of the founders of the University of Halle and taught law there, becoming a member of the privy council in 1709 and rector in 1710. His lectures were popular as he encouraged questions and gave students printed outlines so that they could listen better without taking notes. He discussed manners, morals, politics, and economics all in the context of history. His students learned about municipal and international law, state administration, and public economy.
      Thomasius wrote Natural and International Law in 1705. After studying the history of witchcraft trials he concluded that torturing and persecuting suspected witches is wrong, and he went on to argue against superstitious beliefs that included the devil. From 1675 to 1690 in Salzburg 139 people were executed for witchcraft, but the efforts of Thomasius helped reduce the number of those killed in Europe after 1700 to ten. In 1705 his student Martin Bernhardt led a campaign against the use of torture. In 1722 Thomasius published his History of the Struggle between the Empire and the Church in the Middle Ages, exposing errors of Church fathers and showing the futility of persecution and the need for religious liberty. In higher education he argued for freedom from sectarian interference or control.

Vattel on International Law

Leibniz and Ethics

      Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born in Leipzig on July 1, 1646. His father taught moral philosophy at the University of Leipzig but died when Gottfried was only six. The boy taught himself Latin with help from the Orbis Pictus by Comenius, studied Greek, and read books in his father’s library by Plato, Xenophon, Herodotus, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Polybius, Augustine, Church fathers, Thomas Aquinas, Francis Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Gassendi, Kepler, and Galileo. He especially liked to read the historians and poets. In 1661 Leibniz began to explore universal ideas and entered Leipzig University. For his bachelor’s degree in 1662 he wrote his Metaphysical Disputation on the Principle of Individuation, and for his master’s degree in 1664 he wrote his thesis on “Collected Philosophical Problems of Right.”
      In 1666 Leibniz wrote an essay on the art of combining concepts basing his ideas on the works of the Franciscan Ramon Llull, and he earned his doctorate in law at the nearby University of Altdorf in Nuremberg. At the end of 1667 he published his essay, “On a New Method for the Study and Teaching of Jurisprudence.” This enabled him to become the legal advisor of the Elector of Mainz, Johann Philipp von Schönborn, and the Archbishop of Frankfurt, and Leibniz worked on a new legal code for Mainz. In March 1672 he was sent as a diplomat to Paris where he met Nicolas Malebranche and Antoine Arnauld, and he returned there after visiting Robert Boyle in England in early 1673. In January 1675 Leibniz began serving Duke Johann Friedrich of Hanover. In 1675 Leibniz invented the differential calculus and the infinitesimal calculus and published about them in 1684 and 1686. He also invented the best system of notation for calculus. Isaac Newton had also developed calculus but did not publish anything on it until 1687. Leibniz visited Baruch Spinoza in November 1676 before returning to Germany, but he came to believe that the philosophies of Descartes and Spinoza lead to atheism.
      Leibniz served as court counselor and librarian for the Brunswick family of Hanover from December 1676 until his death. In the early 1680s he suggested a medical system and state education for Hanover. In 1682 he founded the first German scientific journal, Acta Eruditorum, in Leipzig. In 1685 he began writing the Guelf history, and in 1686 he wrote his Discourse on Metaphysics in French and began corresponding about it with Arnauld. From October 1687 to 1690 Leibniz did historical research traveling to Munich, Augsberg, Vienna, Modena, Rome, Naples, Florence, and Bologna before returning to Hanover. In 1691 he became director of the court library at Wolfenbüttel also. In March 1692 his historical research persuaded Emperor Leopold to grant the territory of Calenberg and Celle in Hanover electorate status, making Duke Ernst August the ninth elector. In 1693 Leibniz published the Codex Juris Gentium Diplomaticus. On February 5, 1695 he declined the offer to become custodian of the Vatican Library if he converted to Catholicism. In 1697 he stopped trying to reconcile Catholicism and Lutheranism and turned his attention to uniting the latter with Calvinism. On February 2, 1698 Duke Ernst August died and was succeeded by his son Georg Ludwig, and in the next seven years Leibniz spent much time in Berlin with Georg Ludwig’s sister Sophie Charlotte, Electress of Brandenburg. In 1699 Leibniz began corresponding with Gilbert Burnet on the Anglican Church and Protestant reunification.
      In February 1700 Leibniz was elected a foreign member of the Parisian Académie Royale des Sciences, and in July he became the first president of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. In the fall Emperor Leopold summoned him to Vienna to work on reunifying the Catholic and Protestant churches. Leibniz also favored a united Europe and approved of Abbey de Saint-Pierre’s plan for perpetual peace. Leibniz tried to persuade Louis XIV, and in 1711 in Hanover he talked with Russia’s traveling Tsar Peter. Leibniz became interested in China, studied Chinese philosophy, and defended Jesuit missions in China; he spent ten years working on his Discourse on the natural Theology of the Chinese. In 1714 he was disappointed that Elector Georg of Hanover did not take him to London when he became King George I. In the summer of 1716 Leibniz worked on improving his calculating machine, and he died on November 14. His death was little noticed, though one year later Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle gave a eulogy of Leibniz at the Academy of Sciences in Paris. Leibniz had also influenced the founding of scientific academies in Vienna, Amsterdam, and Moscow. He had spent many years writing a history of the House of Brunswick but left it unfinished, and it was not published until 1843-45.
      Leibniz believed deeply in God and universal harmony and is considered one of the most optimistic philosophers. In 1669 he wrote to Jakob Thomasius that Nature does nothing in vain and called it the “clock of God.” In 1671 he wrote that God the Creator wills what is most harmonious. These ideas had been shared by Nicholas of Cusa and Giordano Bruno. Leibniz suggested that deductive logic analyzes to discover necessary truths while inductive reasoning synthesizes experience to describe contingent truths. His principle of sufficient reasoning is that nothing happens without a reason. He tried to use mathematics to discover a universal language of symbols, and he envisioned a comprehensive encyclopedia of human knowledge. He saw philosophy as perennial with truth in all systems, though they may err in what they deny. He tried to unite Aristotle’s purpose from the final cause with the recent mechanical theories of Descartes and empiricists. Leibniz worked ten years on a reply to Locke’s famous Essay Concerning Human Understanding, but his unfinished New Essays on Human Understanding was not published until 1765.
      In the mid-1690s Leibniz wrote in his short essay “Felicity” that the science of happiness is wisdom and that virtue is the habit of acting according to wisdom. Love finds pleasure in the perfection of others. Then he wrote this about justice:

Justice is charity or a habit of loving conformed to wisdom.
Thus when one is inclined to justice,
one tries to procure good for everybody, so far as one can,
reasonably, but in proportion to the needs and merits of each;
and even if one is obliged sometimes to punish evil persons,
it is for the general good.7

For Leibniz right is a moral power and obligation a moral necessity, and a good person loves all people according to reason. Justice is the charity of the wise; charity is universal benevolence; benevolence is the will to love; and love is cherishing the happiness of others. Those who obey God seek the common good, and those who love God love all. The wise do good to as many as they can and are friends of God. The wise are just and happy.
      In 1710 Leibniz published in French his Theodicy: Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man, and the Origin of Evil. This was the only book on philosophy that he published during his lifetime, and he also wrote an abridgment. He argued that evil only exists as a privation because it is deficient as Augustine suggested. God allows humans to exercise liberty which results in relative evil occurring in the world for the greater good of learning from free choices. God never wills what is evil but only allows suffering as a means to a good purpose, enabling the one suffering to achieve greater perfection. All created things are imperfect because they are limited. Thus no creature can know everything, and all creatures make mistakes. God wills what is good, but even in the best of all possible worlds all the creatures are imperfect. Yet the world has more good than bad, and physical suffering usually results from moral evil so that free human beings can move toward perfection. A world without evil would not be good because no one would have freedom if relative evils or lesser goods that are temporal were not allowed. God governs wisely and justly, and human ethics cannot exist without free choices. Freedom comes from spontaneity and intelligence. The overall harmony in the universe helps all things progress toward grace according to nature. Rational souls may become “images of divinity” as they understand the system of the universe and enter into a relationship with God. Happiness is never complete because there is always something more to desire, but perpetual progress moves toward better pleasures. Dynamic and perpetual self-perfection can join in harmony with others. Leibniz believed that history is the progress of this perfecting which at times suffers from conflicts. Yet he also believed that God created a universe that is better than any other possible universe.
      In 1714 Leibniz wrote The Principles of Nature and of Grace and dedicated it to Prince Eugene of Savoy. Leibniz also wrote his Monadology in Vienna and Hanover, and it was published after his death. He used the term “monad” as a substance without parts which can only be non-physical. Monads with more distinct perception and memory he called “souls” which are active centers of divine energy or sparks of the eternal being of God. Evil is perceived only because human understanding of God’s will is limited. God is the source of all and has infinite power, knowledge, and will. This is the brilliant conclusion of his Monadology:

Among other differences which exist between ordinary souls
and spirits, some of which I have already mentioned,
there is also, this: that souls in general are living mirrors
or images of the universe of creatures,
but minds or spirits are also images of the Divinity itself,
or of the author of nature,
able to know the system of the universe,
and to imitate something of it by architectonic samples,
each mind being like a little divinity in its own department.
Hence it is that spirits are capable of entering into
a sort of society with God, and he is in relation to them,
not only what an inventor is to his machine
(as God is in relation to the other creatures),
but also what a prince is to his subjects,
and even a father to his children.
Whence it is easy to conclude that
the assembly of all spirits must compose the City of God,
that is, the most perfect state which is possible,
under the most perfect of monarchs.
This City of God, this truly universal monarchy,
is a moral world within the natural world,
and the highest and most divine of the works of God;
it is in this that the glory of God truly consists,
for he would have none if his greatness and goodness
were not known and admired by spirits.
It is, too, in relation to this divine city
that he properly has goodness,
whereas his wisdom and his power are everywhere manifest.
As we have above established a perfect harmony
between the two natural kingdoms,
the one of efficient, the other of final causes,
we should also notice here another harmony
between the physical kingdom of nature
and the moral kingdom of grace, that is, between God,
considered as the architect of the mechanism of the universe
and God considered as monarch of the divine city of spirits.
This harmony makes things progress
toward grace by natural means.
This globe, for example, must be destroyed
and repaired by natural means,
at such times as the government of spirits may demand it,
for the punishment of some and the reward of others.
It may be said, farther, that God as architect
satisfies in every respect God as legislator,
and that therefore sins, by the order of nature
and perforce even of the mechanical structure of things,
must carry their punishment with them;
and that in the same way,
good actions will obtain their rewards by mechanical ways
through their relations to bodies, although this cannot
and ought not always happen immediately.
Finally, under this perfect government, there will be
no good action unrewarded, no bad one unpunished;
and everything must result in the well-being of the good,
that is, of those who are not disaffected in this great State,
who, after having done their duty, trust in providence,
and who love and imitate, as is meet, the author of all good,
finding pleasure in the contemplation of his perfections,
according to the nature of truly pure love,
which takes pleasure in the happiness of the beloved.
This is what causes wise and virtuous persons
to work for all which seems in harmony with the divine will,
presumptive or antecedent, and nevertheless
to content themselves with that which God in reality
brings to pass by his secret, consequent and decisive will,
recognizing that if we could sufficiently understand
the order of the universe,
we should find that it surpasses all the desires of the wisest,
and that it is impossible to render it better than it is,
not only for all in general, but also for ourselves in particular,
if we are attached, as we should be, to the author of all,
not only as to the architect and efficient cause of our being,
but also as to our master and final cause,
who ought to be the whole aim of our will,
and who, alone, can make our happiness.8

Grimmelshausen’s Simplicissimus

      Hans Jacob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen was born between 1621 and 1626 and soon became an orphan but educated himself. He was abducted by Hessian soldiers when he was ten years old and was fighting as a musketeer by 1637. His ability to write got him a position as secretary to commandant Reinhard von Schauenburg at Oldenburg in 1639. After the war ended in 1648, he served as a steward at the Schauenburg estate and collected taxes from peasants. He was caught having bought land with the family money and left in 1660 to work for a physician in Strasbourg and then for a tavern-keeper and a bailiff. In 1665 Strasbourg’s bishop appointed him mayor of Renchen in Baden. This enabled him to spend more time writing, and in 1668 he began publishing under a pseudonym his autobiographical novel Simplicissimus, which became the best-selling novel of the century. This was the first major novel set during the Thirty Years’ War and describes the miserable conditions and behaviors vividly, mixing the cruelty of war with humorous adventures. Grimmelshausen was influenced by picaresque novels and Arcadia by Philip Sidney. He was eventually raised to a noble rank and died in 1676. His 1670 novel Life of the Arch-Cheat and Renegade Courage was adapted into the anti-war play Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht which premiered in Zürich in 1941.
      Simplicissimus narrates his own story from an ignorant boy growing up on a farm until it was ravaged and destroyed by soldiers who slaughtered the livestock, tortured peasants, raped women, and burned the house. The boy ran into the woods and found shelter in a hollow tree. He meets a hermit who teaches him a song, the Christian religion, and how to read, naming him Simplicissimus. For two years he lives simply in a small hut and is taught by the wise hermit until he digs his grave and dies. Advised to know himself, avoid bad company, and stand fast, Simplicissimus wants to see the world but tries to be an anchorite until musketeers ransack his hut. He ventures into the world and notices enmity between soldiers and peasants. He describes their lives during the war as hunger and thirst, murdering, torturing, and robbing. He observes that nobles are more able to recruit soldiers with money than peasants. He finds a letter to him the hermit had hidden. Simplicissimus is captured and brought before a governor who has him put in chains. Suddenly he is washed, fed well, and given new clothes, and he learns that the hermit was the governor’s brother-in-law. The governor makes Simplicissimus his page, and he observes that most Christians are hypocrites who worship money. He sees people at a feast getting drunk and after disturbing a dance is locked up.
      Simplicissimus is selected to be the fool and serves the Swedish army, undergoing strange adventures. He returns to the governor and is living like a nobleman until he is abducted by Croats. He is captured by a highwayman and joins a gang of thieves. He sees witches dancing and becomes a fool again. Disguising himself as a girl he escapes from the Croats. He is imprisoned for treason but pleads his innocence and is freed. Simplicissimus becomes a musketeer, and he learns how to be the famous hunter of Soest. He steals from the rich and discovers that someone is committing crimes in his name. Swedes capture him and want to make him an officer, but Simplicissimus is trying to acquire money and friends so that he can become a nobleman. Women like him, and he marries a colonel’s daughter. He travels to Cologne and Paris where he has love affairs but catches smallpox. After being robbed he returns to Germany as a mountebank. Once again he is forced to be a soldier. His friend Ulrich Herzbruder gets him discharged, and they travel in southern Europe. After the war he meets the man he called Dad who informs him that the hermit was actually a nobleman and his father and that his mother was the sister of a Scottish officer. Simplicissimus marries again, but his wife gets sick and dies after a year. He has an adventure by a German lake and then goes with a friend to Russia where he is captured by Tartars before returning through China and Japan to Germany to become a hermit.

      Johann von Rist (1607-67) studied theology, Hebrew, mathematics, and medicine. He is best known for writing hymns, but he also wrote the baroque poems “Peace Trumpet” in 1646 and “Germany Longing for Peace” in 1647 and the musical drama Germany Jubilating Peace in 1653. During the war Hans Ulrich Franck (1603-75) interpreted a cycle of engravings called Memento Mori, depicting war crimes. Andreas Gryphius (1616-64) was from Silesia and portrayed the miseries of the war in poetry and drama. He was named an “immortal” by the literary Fruitbearing Society. Gryphius wrote five tragedies in the 1650s, and in 1663 his Horribilicribrifax adapted the ancient comedy Miles Gloriosus by Plautus. Veit Ludwig von Seckendorf (1626-92) advised Duke Ernst of Saxe-Gotha and published Princely State in 1655 and Christian State in 1685, and both had many editions. His ethics emphasized religion and education but also economic welfare. Nicola Avancini (1611-86) was a Tyrolean Jesuit who spent most of his life in Vienna and wrote the popular devotional book Vita et doctrina Jesus Christ as well as 53 religious and historical dramas.

Swiss Confederation and Neutrality 1648-1715

Swiss Confederation and Neutrality 1588-1648

      In October 1647 Basel’s Bürgermeister Johann Rudolf Wettstein was able to obtain a declaration from Emperor Ferdinand III that the thirteen cantons of the Swiss Confederation and their allies would not be under imperial jurisdiction, and at Westphalia in 1648 this became part of the treaty and the public law of Europe. After the Thirty Years’ War many Swiss emigrated to devastated areas in southern Germany and Alsace. Germany and northern Italy had been greatly weakened by the war, but the neutral Swiss Confederation had prospered in agriculture and commerce.
      As foreigners had immigrated into Switzerland, the patrician class gained more control of the governments in Bern, Lucerne, Freiburg, Solothurn, Basel, and Zürich. Swiss cantons had their own coins and were governed by elite burgher families in the cities, and the peasants were oppressed. Food prices had been high during the long war, and a fall in prices provoked a revolt by farmers who wanted a role in government. Late in 1652 Bern devalued the batzen by half. When Lucerne revised the rappen in January 1653, 3,000 peasants marched on the city which closed its gates. Peasants met at their Landsgemeinde and sent three delegates to Lucerne to protest the devaluation and the salt tax and to ask for a permit to pay taxes in goods. Ten other districts met at Wolhusen and formed a common cause. Zwyer of Uri mediated, and on April 1 Lucerne reduced tolls and dues, persuading the peasants to go home.
      The rebellion spread to other states. The Diet warned they would be punished; but in April 1653 the peasants from Bern, Lucerne, Solothurn, and Basel formed an alliance at Sumiswald, and they gathered at a Landsgemeinde in Huttwil on May 14. Their army of 16,000 people was commanded by Niklaus Leüwenberger, a renowned property-owner who led them to Bern, while a second force besieged Lucerne. After negotiation they accepted a treaty at Murifeld on May 28 without obtaining guarantees. Leüwenberger lifted the siege on Bern, and peasants at Lucerne accepted the truce. Many peasants refused to follow the leaders or break up the Huttwil League. On May 30 Zürich mobilized an army of 8,000 led by Conrad Werdmüller with 800 horses and 18 cannons, and they advanced toward the Aargau. On June 2 they met Leüwenberger’s army; but Werdmüller did not recognize the treaty, and the next day they defeated the rebels at Wohlenschwil. Four days later Bern’s army of 6,000 men led by Sigmund von Erlach defeated 2,000 of Leüwenberger’s peasants. They retreated to Herzogenbuchsee which was burned. Leüwenberger fled and was arrested. He was tortured and executed along with forty others. Many had their tongues or ears slit for identification. Complaints led to some reforms such as ending the sale of convicts to Venice to be used as galley slaves.
      The Swiss treaty with France had expired in 1651. The war between Spain and France continued, and in the spring of 1652 forces from Lorraine and Brandenburg invaded Alsace and entered Basel and Solothurn land, activating the Swiss Defensionale. That year a naval war began between the English and the Dutch. Protestant Swiss offered to mediate in the spring of 1653, and the peace treaty signed on April 15, 1654 designated the Protestant cantons to arbitrate any disputes until England and Holland came to terms.
      Pope Alexander VII’s papal nuncio persuaded the Catholic cantons to revive the Golden Borromaic League in October 1655, and they added the Catholics in Glarus. The Protestant cantons formed an alliance with England’s Protector Oliver Cromwell. That year the Schwyz canton began persecuting Protestants. Two women were sent to the Inquisition in Milan, and four people were decapitated. Seven families fled to Zürich and lost their property. Zürich demanded compensation, but the Schwyz wanted the exiles returned. Zürich persuaded Bern to declare war on the five Catholic cantons, and they raised 25,000 men. Zürich’s army besieged Rapperswil without success, and on January 24, 1656 the Catholic force of 6,000 soldiers from Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Lucerne, and Zug defeated troops from Bern and Zürich at Villmergen, killing 573. Bern and Zürich left behind ten cannons, twenty wagons of baggage, and their war-chest which were taken away to Lucerne. The war ended on February 20, and a peace treaty on March 7 at Baden mediated by Basel, Freiburg, Schaffhausen, and Solothurn confirmed the previous situation allowing each canton to decide on its religion with conflicts between confessions to be arbitrated by a court with equal representation.
      In June 1658 a French ambassador in Solothurn renewed an agreement on mercenary service, and the Swiss Confederation still claimed Franche Comté. In September 1663 the Swiss mercenary service was extended to all thirteen cantons and associated cities, and France was given the right to recruit 16,000 Swiss soldiers in exchange for paying each canton 3,000 francs annually and 1,500 to each city state. The Swiss also gained the right to buy salt and grain from France with no duties. In this era religious conflicts in Switzerland caused some Swiss to seek freedom in the American colonies of Virginia, Massachusetts, the Carolinas, and Pennsylvania.
      The French seized Franche Comté in 1668, and in March the Confederation sent 13,400 infantry and squadrons of cavalry to the Wyl as the Swiss Diet strengthened their Defensionale. On May 2 France gave Franche Comté to Spain in the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. About 25,000 Swiss soldiers participated in the French invasion of Holland in 1672, and the French returned to the Comté in 1674. On May 3 the Swiss Diet met in Baden and declared the Swiss Confederation a neutral state, and their War Council met often from 1674 to 1676. After Austrian troops led by Count Rudiger Stahrenburg passed through Basel, Swiss troops were sent to defend the border along the Rhine on June 28, 1678. The Diet sent 2,650 soldiers on July 8, and Austria apologized for Stahrenburg’s transgression.
      After Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and began persecuting Protestants, many Huguenots found refuge in Switzerland. In 1687 Escher of Zürich and Daxelhofer of Bern went to Paris to discuss French policy toward the Swiss and Geneva, and they refused to accept any gifts from Louis XIV. Between 1687 and 1710 Zürich spent 425,587 Gulden in support of Protestants taking refuge there, and in this era Geneva contributed about 5,000,000 to help 60,000 refugees. In 1687 thousands of Waldenses fled from persecution in Savoy and emigrated to Geneva, but during the war in August 1689 Henri Arnaud led 3,000 Waldenses exiled in Switzerland back to Savoy.
      To balance French recruitment of Swiss the Confederation allowed the English and Dutch to hire an equal number of Swiss mercenaries in 1688. Although Louis XIV violated the agreement by sending them into Germany, England’s new King William III would not accept Swiss recruits only for defense. In 1689 France paid more than 200,000 livres as pensions to Swiss cantons and other cities providing mercenaries. In 1691 the Confederation allowed Austrian Emperor Leopold to use Swiss soldiers to defend the Vorarlberg. The Swiss always insisted that their troops be used only for defense so that they would not be fighting each other. Yet in May 1693 the Dutch diplomat Pieter Valkenier persuaded Zürich to send mercenaries, and Bern, Schaffhausen, Appenzell, and the Grisons soon did the same, resulting in 9,000 Swiss fighting for the Dutch against 29,000 on the French side. In 1693 a conflict among the Swiss Brethren resulted in the founding of the Amish church named after the obscure Anabaptist Jakob Ammann. Swiss also fought for Venice in the Morea and Dalmatia, for Genoa, and for Poland. Swiss guards were hired by Popes, Louis XIV, dukes of Savoy and Lorraine, the Prince of Orange, and the electors of the Palatine and Brandenburg. In 1695 and 1696 the Catholic cantons renewed their agreements with Valais and the Bishop of Basel.
      In the Spanish War of Succession (1701-14) about 50,000 Swiss mercenaries were used by both sides, and Louis XIV supported Swiss neutrality on the banks of the Rhine, paying for their occupation. Spain’s Bourbon King Felipe V hired 6,000 Swiss mercenaries. In 1702 the Dutch army had 11,200 Swiss Protestants, and this increased to 16,000. About 4,800 Swiss from both sects protected Austrian lands on the Rhine, and two regiments with 4,900 Swiss fought for Prince Eugene of Savoy. They fought on both sides at Ramillies in May 1706, at Oudenarde in July 1708, and at Malplaquet in September 1709.
      On December 9, 1703 the Swiss Diet in Baden discussed the Savoy Duchy, and later they extended protection to Chablais and Faucigny in Upper Savoy. Catholics in the territory of the St. Gallen Abbey had persecuted Protestants at Toggenburg in 1664, and in 1707 Bern and Zürich urged Leodegar Bürgisser, the Abbot of St. Gallen, to recognize religious freedom in Toggenburg. On June 16 the death of the Duchess of Nemours, who had ruled the principality of Neuchâtel, ended the house of Longueville, and on November 3 King Friedrich I of Prussia took over Neuchâtel and confirmed their rights and alliance with the Swiss Confederation. Louis XIV proclaimed an embargo on trade with Neuchâtel; but Bern sent an army of 4,300 men, and in April 1708 the Swiss restored Neuchâtel’s trade with France. In the 1713 peace treaty at Utrecht the Swiss were included, and France accepted Prussia’s claim to Neuchâtel. Yet Catholic cantons refused to recognize Protestant Queen Anne in England while Protestant cantons declined to address the Austrian Emperor as “his Catholic Majesty.” Yet the powers had recognized Swiss neutrality.
      In 1712 the Abbot of St. Gallen planned to build a highway from Wattwil to Uznach that would facilitate military transportation to the Catholic cantons and disadvantage Protestants in Toggenberg. This provoked a violent conflict between Catholics and Protestants in the cantons of Basel, Schaffhausen, and Appenzell while Freiburg, Solothurn, and the Bishop of Basel declined to participate. Catholics got no help from France, and the Protestant armies of Bern and Zürich occupied most of Aargau, Thurgau, Rheintal, and Toggenburg, forcing the Abbot of St. Gallen to flee to southern Germany. Negotiations in June failed because Catholic cantons would not give up control in the Diet of Baden. The war resumed between about 9,000 Protestants of Zürich, Bern, Toggenberg, Geneva, and Neuchâtel against 12,000 Catholics from Lucerne Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Zug, Valais, and Freie Amter that killed more than 3,000 people in the second battle at Villmergen on July 25. On August 11 the peace of Aarau ended the Toggenberg war and granted Protestants and Catholics equal rights by repealing the Catholic domination begun in 1531 with the Kappel treaty. Catholic cantons managed to make a secret alliance with France at Solothurn on May 9, 1715. Despite these religious differences the Swiss would enjoy peace for the next eighty years.

Swiss Confederation 1715-88


1. The Great Didactic of John Amos Comenius tr. M. W. Keatinge, p. 157.
2. The Great Didactic Chapter 9, by Comenius quoted in John Amos Comenius on Education, introduction by Jean Piaget, p. 21.
3. Ibid. Chapter 23 by Comenius quoted in Piaget’s introduction, p. 18.
4. The Way of Light (Via Lucis) by Comenius tr. E. T. Campagnac, p. 8-9 quoted in History of Educational Thought by Robert Ulich, p. 198.
5. The Way of Light XVI.5 quoted in J. A. Comenius and the Concept of Universal Education by John Edward Sadler, p. 17.
6. The Law of Nature and of Nations Book 8, Chapter 6, §3 by Samuel Pufendorf, tr. Basil Kennett, p. 834.
7. Political Writings by Leibniz tr. Patrick Riley, p. 83.
8. The Monadology 83-90 by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz tr. H. Wilson-Carr and M. Morris in Selections by Leibniz ed. Philip P. Wiener, p. 550-552.

Copyright © 2016 by Sanderson Beck

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