Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the war in Europe which begain in 1618 and continued on such a scale and with such devastation that its like was not seen for another three hundred years. It pitched Catholics against Protestants, Lutherans against Calvinists and Catholics against Catholics across the Holy Roman Empire, drawing in their neighbours and it lasted for thirty gruelling years, from the Defenestration of Prague to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. Many more civilians died than soldiers, and famine was so great that even cannibalism was excused. This topic was chosen from several hundred suggested by listeners this autumn.
The image above is a detail from a painting of The Battle of White Mountain on 7-8 November 1620, by Pieter Snayers (1592-1667)
Peter Wilson
Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford
Ulinka Rublack
Professor of Early Modern European History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John’s College
Toby Osborne
Associate Professor in History at Durham University
Producer: Simon Tillotson
United States


00:00:00this is the baby say this podcast is supported by advertising outside the U. K. BBC sounds music radio podcasts thanks for downloading this episode of in on time there's a reading this to go with it on our website and you can get news about our programs if you
00:00:19follow us on Twitter that's B. B. C. enough time I hope you enjoy the programs hello in sixteen nineteen a war began in Europe on such a scale and with such devastation that is like was not seen for another three hundred years it pitch Catholics against Protestants Lutherans
00:00:34against communists and Catholics against Catholics across the holy Roman Empire drawing in the neighbors and it lasted for thirty grueling is from the defenestration of Prague in sixteen eighteen to the peace of Westphalia in sixteen forty eight many more services dogs and soldiers and found was so great
00:00:52that even cannibalism was excuse we discuss the thirty as well now as this autumn we asked you to suggest today's topic this one came from don Jackson remarked Andrea Q. rex Walters and I could go on about another dozen supporters my thanks to them to all of you
00:01:09for sending in several hundred ideas with me to discuss the thirty years war Peter Wilson to Chile professor of history of war at the university of Oxford link a real black professor of early modern European history at the university of Cambridge and Phillips in John's college and Toby
00:01:25Osborne associate professor in history a dorm university only grew black voter was sickle holy Roman Empire another holding a room in our Nampa what's the Roman Empire that we meeting and sixteen eighteen it's a pretty complex %HESITATION entity we need to go into the history of it but
00:01:42it really really matters to understand it and I'll tell you why because we now think of the thirty years war is really not primarily motivated by religious division but primarily as a conflict about the nature of governance in the German lands and about the balance of power in
00:01:58Europe so to understand the issues about the nature of convincing and need to understand what the holy Roman Empire walls any might be easiest however for us to think about what it was not say was not among the key with one ruler and it was not just the
00:02:12confederation of territories without any over an old like Switzerland it had to be shaped in the Middle Ages as the feudal union of personal association bound to an elected M. pro and he was also religiously super charged the idea was that he was an empire that was the
00:02:31guardian of Christianity and that was in fact the lost world empire %HESITATION S. prophesized in the book of Daniel and the Bible so with an elected M. pro the key question is well who elects the and Perot and this was laid down in the golden bowl in thirteen
00:02:50fifty six %HESITATION that with three archbishop some mines Clinton trivia and for a secular territories that could elect the emperor %HESITATION Latin nuts Saxony problem book and put him in this matter is false story and for sixteen eighteen because the question is who's missing so that is another
00:03:08big B. that's missing that's Bavaria Bavaria turns into a very powerful %HESITATION a territory and he's not amongst these electives how big is the her room number using Clinton breed contempt map of Europe up because if if this all of Germany on what else you see one of
00:03:23the tricky things to understand about is that it's actually not a territory that's why I said you know it's a it's a it's a funeral home configuration really listen assist you but it reaches if you wanna times %HESITATION from from from a **** you know from the north
00:03:38up to northern Italian territories I mean it's obviously in a very big part of of central Europe we're looking at %HESITATION the empress that were elected intended to be out Catholic Habsburgs always were in a period of this configuration was put on the strain by the reformation of
00:03:56but these trains were resolved in the peace of ox book in fifteen fifty five invisible as I understand it each prince or ruler could choose the religion I could choose a religion for that people how did not work out well it worked out surprisingly well so you can
00:04:13see it strengthened the territorial stating quite an amazing way it's that you know if if the really changed his mind Sir mind than the population at two following and dissidents were given the right to emigrate to what we see after fifteen fifty five awful bounce a twenty five
00:04:30years is that we have to impress for him the first cemex me on the second actually very %HESITATION engage with the politics and the German lands there are a number of political summits on there is an interest in getting the institutions of the empire such as Supreme Court
00:04:47said mandate against the miscarriage of just this to work suit view again that this was a a kind of a configuration it was doomed to failure off to the piece of all explore going off to a quiet the mazing gesture that said we can tolerate to face Lutheran
00:05:03and Catholic faith is just not true so %HESITATION off onto the fifteen eighties this works pretty well then we see the pressure and tensions mounting and through a number of reasons one is that we have Calvinism as another Protestant of faith that emerges along side use furnace and
00:05:20secondly we have the re customization off to the ending of the council of Trent and that is often realized in quite a militant way to re because Hollis size areas we have in you emperor Rudolf the second who turns out to be less effective we have in this
00:05:35is really a headache for instance for historians we have two calendars operating for fifteen eighty to one that was a papal reform calendar and another one of the Princeton's still hung out %HESITATION thank you very much it sent you you'll be given on the bill a lot of
00:05:50building blocks that so we hand and that's the time to come to this we add partitions against communists as well as pro business against Catholic schools Catholics against Catholics and the resurgence of the idea that companies should control who could bush can I move on you can have
00:06:05you page with these tensions %HESITATION about the freedom of religion aboard the rights and powers %HESITATION states within the empire and one is a bit of a mixture I mean I think that the the the it's a misnomer to think of it as a as a religious war
00:06:22because we tend to think of a religious war %HESITATION in in very much stock terms as a as a choice I between secular and religious I look and and we have to notice I think to understand the role of religion in this period we got to sort of
00:06:36rethink also was back in to have %HESITATION %HESITATION people in the sixteenth and seventeenth century %HESITATION soul religion in the alliance and it was %HESITATION sort of in and and an atheist tool secular position was was unthinkable so religion permeated everything so in some senses of course yes
00:06:53it's about religion %HESITATION but I think the way to understand that is to think that there is %HESITATION the majority of the population and certainly the majority of the political leadership all of what I would call moderates so yes they want to reunites %HESITATION Christendom in under their
00:07:10interpretation of Christianity them but they're fairly pragmatic about how they're going to achieve that and there's only a minority who %HESITATION a minute militants who are the ones who tend to follow a kind of providential lists %HESITATION theology where they might actually feel personally someone by cold to
00:07:27to fight and to take up arms but they're usually members of the clergy and the usually outside the realm of town was the much resentment it seems curious if the wasn't against Protestantism Leuthen processes I'm saying that the home one Catholic Church was corrupt and the Catholic Church
00:07:46saying we are the one church reaction pizzas representation on us seems to me religion mind to play if you tell me you should know much about how much of an impact it seems to me I you tell me that %HESITATION well the the if we read the polemic
00:08:02%HESITATION and again this comes from mainly from theologians %HESITATION that is very rude virulence and there is a lot of a lot of critique and but we have to remember that some people having to navigate the sort of divisions and sometimes in in some cities weatherman artists and
00:08:20so on and yes there is there are certain situations where there's rioting and %HESITATION protests but equally around the fifth of marriages on cross confessional marriages so people sort of bump along the rather long and they have other interests too and I think that's the the thing that
00:08:35usually missing from the explanation what is delicious well if we %HESITATION if we take %HESITATION the fact is that the attacks to go into the to war %HESITATION a major part of this is access to the church lands and cities make up about the seventh of the empire
00:08:51and so on the one hand it is a religious issue %HESITATION but it's also an issue concerning for example the family politics of the German princes because the different the different princely families who'd seen price Lutheranism didn't want to give up %HESITATION their access to the church lands
00:09:09that's the convenient place where you put your unmarried daughter %HESITATION you'll youngest son he's not going to inherit and they can exercise %HESITATION and and political influence and so there are these dynastic in family politics them that you're going to play in fact a major part and and
00:09:25what happens there on the spectacular event that seem to kick it off in six in nineteen the defenestration in the process of your progress three Celtics were thrown out of a high window only to land safely on the dung heap unknowns we a moral lesson well why was
00:09:40not such a trigger well and I mean they land on the dung heap but in in this kind of %HESITATION Protestant %HESITATION propaganda %HESITATION and there is a wonderful and that came into it image to this which is the the Madonna run fills a clue connect light them
00:09:55to the ground if you actually go to Prague you'll see that there is a kind of a Scotland tonight they've sort of fall into the windows the heavily bundled up in cloaks and they sort of basically banned selfless the slope of the bottom of injured but that that
00:10:08there and then %HESITATION wheeled Moses a trio well and the it it's it's a it's a deliberately provocative acts %HESITATION and its intended by a minority of %HESITATION malcontent it's %HESITATION Protestant nobles in but he may have been largely excluded from political office and to force people to
00:10:27take a to take up science %HESITATION it doesn't immediately %HESITATION trigger a major conflict or it does %HESITATION as long as two years of negotiations to try and settle this %HESITATION but the problem is that %HESITATION both sides feel that %HESITATION by arming and they can add weight
00:10:46%HESITATION into the negotiating position so there is there is a shift to war two wheels one how strong with the forces the alliances are backing the Catholic %HESITATION aluminum well the M. for himself actually lacked the resources in the when war broke out actually to issue a war
00:11:06against these rebels so far as he saw them %HESITATION and in the first instance he turns to fat and the second we took about hit the empress from six nineteen he turns to his Spanish cousins at that moment fatty willing to offer support to %HESITATION the imperial Habsburgs
00:11:24the Spanish at that moment for peace with the Dutch I'm not trees was going to expire in sixteen twenty one but never the less therapies but they thought the night on the fight the war may well received so the Spanish have arranged to teach you can trust and
00:11:37supporting them for at this stage %HESITATION them for also turns to Maximilian of Bavaria we've heard from building creek out this area already how that's ambitious but feels party marginalizes north no actual power at this stage and set them for %HESITATION contest SRT defeats these rebels by himself
00:11:56but he does so in alliance with these self interested parties his cousins and the veterans at the head of the Catholic League one grounds in the pro doesn't have if any hopeful thinking that they could resolve this quickly by false well I'm not sure the cut instead necessarily
00:12:15did think that there is hope this wonderful going on %HESITATION poppy circumstance I think this is one of the features and eternally command have their own %HESITATION ideas about this this is for me is one of the distinguishing features of this period is a combatants tended to think
00:12:30that they were in the right on that arguments for going to war party rested on Rick recourse to legal arguments to domestic arguments to principles and certainly the %HESITATION elective placid he became deducted king of Bohemia thought he was in the right the problem was cited for tonight
00:12:49and this is where we had cut this look ahead situation when neither side felt able or willing at least of those moments to back down or circumstances change things at various moments Frederick defeated wanted assessment but was unable to reach a settlement and things became more problematic when
00:13:06he's home terra chips were occupied as a consequence of the rebellion was there any sense at an early stage at this was going to become a thirty as well number and they can I think %HESITATION it at various moments we have these sort of staging post so to
00:13:21speak in the conflict as it unfolded wet piece could have been obtained and possibly peace could have been reached quite early in this in this period off to the best of what mountain where %HESITATION if he means a defeated Fredericks defeated at the hands of the pair lists
00:13:37%HESITATION bought the circumstances again %HESITATION %HESITATION mitigated against that Frederick retired outs of but he met retired north woods %HESITATION and %HESITATION actually managed %HESITATION the often must to muster some forces which provoked and imperil response on this part of the actual package of rewarding the Spanish and
00:14:02the Bavarians they went on then to occupy Ferdinand's Patrimonio taxes and it's at that point when things arguably begins to move beyond just a regional rebelling too much larger international conflict seems Lincoln seems all the stop started coming soon and then another another power comes in a little
00:14:19force to be reckoned with and on it goes again and this time he said it says under what's going to become a very long wall it was to devastate the region can you give us some idea what the older people suffered during this time if possible perhaps we
00:14:35should talk about figures but they're very hard to come by we now think about fifteen percent of the population of Lhasa across the German lines %HESITATION but the key point here is to say it was not a collective trauma Sir %HESITATION this did not hit Germany at the
00:14:50same time in the same way so on the one hand we can think of a territory in the southwest like written back what we have fifty seven percent of population lost fifty seven all but mostly off to the battle of nodding in sixteen thirty four on the other
00:15:04hand sex need ten to twenty percent and then city like Hamburg in the north that is not so %HESITATION ought not to hit most of the deaths were a result of disease %HESITATION that came in the wake of soldiers moving fighting rather than %HESITATION on direct combat of
00:15:21course some of the experience of common people are we will talk about cannibalism I think it was first of all when when the war had its devastating impact it was because soldiers will quartet and houses you have to remember this is the period when up people live with
00:15:39a very delicate ecology if they have one paycheck and that one pick will be scolded in December and that gets you through into they have one cow that's a cow that gives you all your milk the soldiers are quarter because the war was meant to feed on the
00:15:52weather quarter than that of people's houses and you know they just live off the resource because no soldier knows how long he's going to live on Sir %HESITATION there is then also famine and that is what cannibalism comments he's always been %HESITATION Fordham and it's it's it's a
00:16:07feel on this actually very little evidence that it happened but there is some evidence that it did happen %HESITATION and that is because also the idea once it was legitimize since antiquity that it was a sign of absolute desperation %HESITATION that made this legitimize so for instance says
00:16:25of pasta from Errani oxbow who writes on in horror about a woman whose eat now spent and disappear it simply replies okay Justin punish has to halt just very briefly just to follow on from Lincoln's point about played it shouldn't be forgotten of course that it's silly north
00:16:42Nettie was devastated by a plague as a consequence of incursions of troops from the empire at the end of sixteen twenty nine to sixteen thirty Nestle wasn't a major battleground maybe will comes to about this in a bit %HESITATION but never the less it's affects website he felt
00:16:57beyond the empire as well Peter Wilson Sweden then comes into the conflict is these countries keep popping up dying down and then the logs from the fun isn't dress I know Sweden blows the idea everywhere these religious well because they go in for commercial reasons as I understand
00:17:13and not not not exactly no I I mean the the you're quite right and the Swedish intervention %HESITATION transforms the situation I mean the war is effectively over by June sixteen twenty nine the impress defeated one of his opponents %HESITATION and that's about a year %HESITATION and the
00:17:32suites it intervene so the R. celebrates its %HESITATION improper Gander imprint to saving Jim Parsons %HESITATION that's not the case they haven't been invited to %HESITATION the %HESITATION brother in the war of and this office and offices Swedish king the %HESITATION the electric Brandenburg says %HESITATION you know
00:17:50the the the suite is a it's a it's a foreign prince who has no right to be here wanted them they come in because and they feel they're in security interests are affected and they're trying to combine to bowl to game plan so that's not religious centers occurs
00:18:05in it coming on the building and it pretty much and and their interventions broke could Bonnie %HESITATION by fronts which helps fund this let's conflicts according process indeed it is it is yes that's right I mean obviously %HESITATION that what they're shooting is a is a war where
00:18:22they see I'm real long term religious goals as reconcilable with that more major strategic interests so they think that an intervention in the impala %HESITATION will %HESITATION redress the balance and and restore the loss rights of the of the Lutherans in particular is when you sense that your
00:18:41level headed theoretical retrospective view is actually covering up what was opportunism sampai was weak it was all over the place and there was a chance to grab something while the going was good care if there is I think an element of opportunism in and the Swedish intervention that's
00:18:58true I mean the the the land with our %HESITATION with maps attorney go to %HESITATION as far as %HESITATION north in Germany and %HESITATION as a result of off the bat fifteen months of intervention of a result of a major victory at Brighton felt %HESITATION they greatly increase
00:19:14the goals because the scope of their operations increases I one thing I would add is a bit of caution is that we go to remember the %HESITATION the these are people who are not cynically using religion to excuse things and I also %HESITATION they are all very to
00:19:30vent to and so they they they do you think that %HESITATION if they act country to %HESITATION true religion they will be punished for this side there is a measure of caution Toronto to override version because everybody was bound by most he almost every look if you want
00:19:45to give too much of your time was cut out knew some bound by religion at that time but it wasn't the full front it was we're going to save the souls of the people in north Germany at not not in the in in terms of this region to
00:19:57mention that he also we have a real challenge for historians how do we read the sources if we read the official declaration of Sweden it is absolutely all of our call us in the Baltic and at the same time styles of it'll whose rights to the elect of
00:20:13Brandenburg in four lines saying look you know you're either with us in on the side of cold or you will on the side of evil so how do we are consolidated to document so we had a sauna thank you to do an experiment to me %HESITATION those a
00:20:27little proxy wars going on around the edges can you give us one or two of the most prominent ones well we could probably for simplicity's sake which uses to three the Baltic we've heard about that already from pizza %HESITATION and this Baltic region involved a series of ongoing
00:20:43domestic territorial commercial disputes between Sweden Poland on the one hand and Sweden Denmark on the other second region was the %HESITATION in the Netherlands involving Spain and the Dutch Republic is it wasn't because for the Dutch this is that eighty is will that had its origins in fifty
00:21:02in fifteen sixty is itself result in sixteen forty eight temporarily put on hold in six nine nine and then resumed in sixteen twenty one and then the third region would be northeast city so those forty speaking of the three areas that around the edges that have an impact
00:21:19a role to play link %HESITATION you mention documents with you since he was depressed it's going to press for east played a part in this yeah the press is %HESITATION %HESITATION will be nice in ways it hasn't been so we have by %HESITATION sixteen forty eight of the
00:21:34F. thirty weekly newspapers with them %HESITATION distribution of fifteen thousand them anymore %HESITATION readers and we have %HESITATION %HESITATION publications like the Teatro M. R. Pam which we tries to give %HESITATION as close an account of battles and of negotiations as possible that's what is it reader but
00:21:51then this is also a great age of propaganda so we have single leaf proved she's just as in the reformation that combined images and text and for instance one of the great battles is that of mac to bark %HESITATION of that resists of the Catholic forces and taken
00:22:07by telly and instantly the Catholic propaganda arm a celebrates that as a triumph or against the made in who's been taken right for the was the Protestants say well the maiden's to sleeping and he's waiting for rescue the Protestants build up instantly %HESITATION Gustav's Adolphus of Sweden as
00:22:28%HESITATION Protestant rescue and he dies of course very quickly off to two years so in sixteen thirty to the battle of let's sum and instantly stylized as a martyr who spilled his blood in order to save German liberties and Protestantism and of course there were many tensions we
00:22:47must not forget amongst new friends even so young Gelgel Saxony paid particular role he is portrayed along side Gustav's dole foods to demonstrate Protestant unity so it certainly does a lot of propaganda that comes into play how effective is well it's it's it has a middling effect I
00:23:11mean we have I think the thing to do is to is to think that some of this material is targeted to particular audiences so to %HESITATION what the general population are getting all essentially messages that are passed through the pope it and that is basically a mule since
00:23:27of course this war and so this is another way in which we can see this is a war involving religion but not in the way that we would expect from religion to be in full so there are no calls to arms and all told to go and massacre
00:23:40the their neighbors on the country that told it is you'll sinfulness and you need to be beaten pipes and %HESITATION eventually global we'll we'll take war %HESITATION %HESITATION why you shouldn't say anything about the devastation of mind of a hundred thousand people were killed is there any propaganda
00:23:55about that things and not me hello to all kinds of mass slaughter at that time it this is certainly %HESITATION as Seleucus says I mean %HESITATION this %HESITATION this is this is woven into the the sort of Swedish rationale I mean the sweets basically effect on the vendors
00:24:10who if the accordingly then refused and summons and %HESITATION the the the the the city catches fire and most of the people were all are in fact seemingly suffocated in cellars and so on rather than directly killed and it's a disaster %HESITATION for everyone will concerned %HESITATION and
00:24:28so with the favorite for those who were killed world definitely definitely but I mean it's it's a it's a political disaster %HESITATION for both for both sides I mean from the big Catholic point of view the imperial side they they wanted to capture the city to uses as
00:24:41a base and so to the actually has to then publisher kind of defensive if his actions and %HESITATION for the suites they get get the back off the hook by the fact that the city has been destroyed because of that atrocity then wipes out the fact that they
00:24:56were unable to save it you wanted to come into the %HESITATION just a second looking from the margins in the proxy will so to speak %HESITATION what's interest I think in the cases of England we haven't mentioned in the tool so far than the students under the %HESITATION
00:25:11at but also taking more interesting %HESITATION could be from the perspective of fronts is the potential for domestic opinion actually to a play a role is to be mobilized ought to be called upon and wish the %HESITATION whose fronts chief minister for much of this period face enormous
00:25:27domestic pressures for his policies in opposing on seemingly opposing Kathy contrasting them partly supposing imperialist interests and %HESITATION we shouldn't forget that as as we've been talking about the fact that religion Oxley Boston's a component of the one the way that we might understand there were moments when
00:25:46religion could have a part to play in the political arguments discourses on and not something very evident in the ways in which French policy making was framed Reshma how to respond to those kinds of arguments he was facing home about the morality for want of a better word
00:26:01of his foreign policy is like because I think another right to we haven't mentioned which from mine what caught I'm interest in terms of the papacy the papacy's rolled it during through the entire thirties was again something very interesting it faces %HESITATION criticism at times for not intervening
00:26:18forcefully enough in defense of religion in the empire that's a lovely %HESITATION satire that appears in the wake of Sweden's intervention of the church %HESITATION %HESITATION covered in flies %HESITATION beseeching member beseeching run for aids and drug not coming to the church is a %HESITATION full this well
00:26:37I'm the one should know as I understand it there weren't many if any standing ominous so who for who felt this will I have a %HESITATION sorry let me play that well volunteers but they were conscripts and essentially mercenaries we have up to hundreds of thousands of of
00:26:52soldiers who fights %HESITATION with ministers come from mostly well they come from different %HESITATION of a country's Scott son role of people from Greece even a Cyprus six three multinational but of course most of them were retirement whose measurement because that's what was taking you put John yes
00:27:11I just suggest sister of qualify the the the term mastery which is kind of a historical and and heavily laden with prejudice and and so I I think it's better to think of the soldiers is is right very badly paid an ill disciplined regular troops %HESITATION %HESITATION they
00:27:27say they are a am retreated is on cassettes from Brian launch from the subjects of of the %HESITATION %HESITATION the ruler that they had serving except in the case of %HESITATION the suites whether the German collaborated salute the princes of allied with the the the the Swedes who
00:27:44have raising the bulk of the troops but only use a local people did some to go around the villages is a you you and you know what the people want already had some training in wolf %HESITATION who nothing about who brought into this %HESITATION into these ominous well
00:27:58on the whole what's really interesting is that %HESITATION Germany because then is standing armies I mean if people are not in the frame of mind for soldiering of are all from and you know they have the rudest try to mobilize some for defense purposes and the peasants I
00:28:12really not interested they just fool around %HESITATION so this is very different from a nation of of men actually being interests and then all %HESITATION so if we look at the than the the people who do this we know most about one particular soldier who left a diary
00:28:27of from the the time of sixteen twenty four to the end of the war and this is a very typical so do you fights on different sides the hemolysis twenty five thousand kilometers all together even gets to its fleet which you love so you know we have to
00:28:41remember that at the time of German live in communities was very rule bound so this was an opportunity for risk takers this was an opportunity for a man who wants to go against conventions that meant and reality for instance a lot of rape which he records %HESITATION are
00:28:59out then he eventually does marry but then he had to look off to wife and even manage the logistics of having a son and schooling him so quite remarkably but yeah he does for instance talk about fighting it marked a book and he does just a note of
00:29:14%HESITATION I'm I was sorry to see on this beautiful city of my fatherland go up in flames and is heavily injured but you know he does that Ole and and just will keep fighting forever %HESITATION he's fighting full I think certainly just a follow on from those points
00:29:29we shouldn't think of this period as one in which there are conscripts all volunteers all volunteer army is paid for by states from the authoring subjects and the %HESITATION we have a kind of mixed economy of fighting here of public private initiatives of businessmen of nobles %HESITATION hear
00:29:46you saying %HESITATION that resources that connections that credit mechanisms to raise troops in the hope of getting returns at some point %HESITATION on a one the other things I think that's quite striking at various moments throughout the period not just the thirty years war is that some of
00:30:01our songs are multinational we've we've already touched on this the Dutch %HESITATION is for instance before the thirties were included people from all over Europe from Baltic Scandinavia from Italy from the British Isles and equally quite strike me again this comes back to a point we've talked about
00:30:18in relation to religion this could also be cross confessional Mrs well that's to say Catholics fighting puts an arm is a vice versa server feeding it to them that the place on the whole Roman Empire crusher these people moving from one area to another dependent on opportunism circumstances
00:30:36and people they're they're legion stir and this just goes on and on vision and seeing any logic and %HESITATION yes there is logic and I mean this is the thing that spanned a pitcher is that this is somehow gets out of control and %HESITATION if we look at
00:30:51the sort of engravings of the times so you and Jack calautti to greater and lesser miseries of war and shows all the scenes of plundering and oversee that that is happening %HESITATION but plundering is incredibly bad for discipline it it arose minute vacation and it is punished and
00:31:08the loss of Carlos engravings is the hanging tree and they also marauders have been punished and and it is this a sign that %HESITATION want over it very very considerable problems and this was a war for conventionally and the purpose of war was not to exterminate your opponent
00:31:26it was to force your opponent to make an acceptable peace and then the negotiations in the diplomacy of the war are very closely linked to the military operations which have that purpose so how do they go Hyundai said about trying to construct a peace treaty which could become
00:31:44a lasting peace which ended up in a your best bet in sixteen forty eight I mean how do they move towards us well mating full beginning to that long to the six forty eight settlement ready can be locating the early sixteen forties I think Pete is absolutely right
00:32:01it took I think partly because of the way in which people %HESITATION went into a wall I'm recalls two arguments legal arguments juridical augments trying to defend their positions on the one hand this made actual negotiating problematic because people would have to come to a point where they
00:32:17would compromise on those principles but she also made the war receptive to negotiation throughout that's the point I think of legal arguments that they're open to negotiation the problem was is actually getting the different parties is P. to set to a point where they're willing to negotiate and
00:32:33I think that that fall comes the dawn cynosure of when than millet tree %HESITATION successes off ideas were out well in terms of the balance is between those mismatches successes and failures wet when they reach the point where it was no longer a to them to a benefit
00:32:47to continue fighting sort of exhaustion now don't tonight's mustard agent calculation absolutely this is the thing is %HESITATION I entirely agree I mean this is this will doesn't and three mutual exhaustion they could have carried on fighting but that means the most to the parties have got enough
00:33:05Gainey as sufficient gains that it that they need the medic septimal to make peace lingo what sense will rise as of the time and alerted making of this well the best nine is grandma's house and all but what's important to know about him is that he's born in
00:33:20sixteen twenty one and he writes long off to and he %HESITATION really sensationalize is %HESITATION figures like famously the kouros shot a woman who's a governed by her insatiable sexual lust and also her insatiable lust for plundering and is of the figure is the simply it sees the
00:33:39most so what he wants to move away from in a way is that the predominant view that %HESITATION of %HESITATION is made by god or you know divinely ordained and he depicted is very manmade is bringing out the worst in people such as across to him this is
00:33:56what keeps readers going outside the oven aga scenes of group sex with multiple soldiers and and so on so the depravity and yet she is a kind of very you're at cat and %HESITATION woman she decides to be a farm and then she is a fama and she's
00:34:09always coming in and the survivor both of them also vivus it so that is one of the responses might hurt you through this getting to the piece which was not exhaustion and just put forth the proposition to be convicted of course which you did moment can you tell
00:34:26us a bit more you're to whine whine they decided up slowing it out for thirty years and now is the time to stop make more data that well the M. the for the French in the streets of from France's intervenes and %HESITATION in sixteen thirty five at the
00:34:41point when it looks as if the the suites are going to be knocked out and the French in the streets of old eventually a fairly effective ministry partnership which targets the various German principalities that the still back in the emperor and the bully them into neutrality so gradually
00:34:58the M. parts of the empire that a best supporting the imperial %HESITATION is a shrinking so the empress definitely on on on the back foot and he has a very effective negotiating team %HESITATION he makes a series of concessions about the arrangements for the peace negotiations so to
00:35:16citizen and the region of S. failure declared mutually sentiments to and also the brook and and his generals are %HESITATION while they still suffer significant defeats %HESITATION none the less hold sufficient ground that it becomes obvious to them the streets in the French that %HESITATION this would just
00:35:38drag on forever %HESITATION and so they they are prepared to to to compromise on some of their demands as well to go back to the impala okay was there any sense of of the holy Roman Empire felt we've had it where we're about to disintegrated they have a
00:35:54field seriously threatened %HESITATION if you mean as the harm from the people well this is one of the people around him %HESITATION I would I wouldn't think so %HESITATION really %HESITATION %HESITATION I mean it was you know it's clear that they saw themselves as the %HESITATION elected leaders
00:36:13of this entity %HESITATION and and so we're very powerful so I I wouldn't yeah there's some pretty dark moments %HESITATION but the the the the point the point is that they they they still have sufficient forces to continue fighting and they're still able to mobilize oldest is researching
00:36:29to depict him fundamentally the ruling Habsburg family of them didn't think that's what I'm assuming by them well that depends on what you mean by fundamentally my love but how fundamental I one of the really extraordinary %HESITATION features is the financing I mean if you just %HESITATION think
00:36:49of how expensive and that's why they ease no standing army %HESITATION %HESITATION in the job because it is so expensive %HESITATION and yet the financing goes on on on the resources keep keep moving but I think of a point we really have to %HESITATION stress in the program
00:37:04is and how old the Wu is remember out and we really have to turn to the nineteenth century and that is a great age when myths about this war are constructed remote miss son who wants to start with the minister wanted just to go back to the early
00:37:20if I may about the %HESITATION existential threat to the empire if there was a threat to all keep it came from the M. for when you have a place his hand on my wrist moments and German princes feel threatened so sexy reverse threat not the threat to the
00:37:32emperor but threat from them for %HESITATION going up onto the because it is in no sorry let's just go back to the peace of Westphalia itself at sixteen forty I was being a bit of a surprise to a lot of people how did it play at the time
00:37:45how do you go down at the time at will the peace negotiations have been going on for a number of years %HESITATION and there are certain concerns whether this peace will last and so they're a great efforts to convince people that the pieces that you've been finding mates
00:38:02are around thirty thousand printed copies of the peace treaty %HESITATION made and distributed %HESITATION there is a special Congress of %HESITATION generals and others held in Nuremberg which and settle the process of paying off and withdrawing the troops that's actually extraordinarily successful %HESITATION and by about sixteen fifty
00:38:22it is very clear that the empire is at peace were as and the French and the Spanish %HESITATION continuing their their war and his word but yes even longer they lost nine yes yes that's right %HESITATION and so then we move into this %HESITATION air off and the
00:38:40initially celebration so whom and literally for a big fireworks display at the end of fender the Swedes try to it do the imperialists with a final at this place SO rivalries still continuing and but then it we move into this this %HESITATION prices of commemoration which is %HESITATION
00:38:56it done deliberately on a on a almost annual basis when you talk about commemoration legacy to have if I may before we get that just very briefly to follow in pieces point the choreography of the peace negotiations I think a really quite important quite a fascinating never much
00:39:12having these two separate cities %HESITATION effect to be taken out of imperial jurisdiction for the duration of the talks and this I think is our a a roof response to the delicacies of actually organizing a piece on on this scale but also between the confessions in this at
00:39:28this does to a degree pave the way to future negotiations will get you in a couple more was commemorative about the from four six invited on which means actually commemorated still of the out of the city of ox book today %HESITATION that is that a piece meal %HESITATION
00:39:43and children I think it's something for free say what matters then however in the nineteen sentries ease the common to a race and that is really quite faithful up on two levels %HESITATION so festival here arises the idea pod because Rick grimace thousands now read arm in a
00:40:00major way that this was a collective trauma for the termination and there is myth making that the opportunity to build a strong Protestant nation state was lost particular when Gustav Adolph Stuy that he would have been a leader and that in fact it's a negative commemoration from then
00:40:20on that loss since the twenty century that the peace of Westphalia reduced this wonderful nation of culture ought to adjust to a puzzle of little insignificant territories and Germany just into %HESITATION it in a way yeah an insignificant %HESITATION entity in Europe I think that's another story %HESITATION
00:40:43so to speak of which we've mentioned in passing that say the myth of Westphalia %HESITATION and every talking about his legacy than the legacy for international relations specialist and faced ones at the purposes been enormous with a misguided and that's rested very briefly on two foundations first will
00:40:59that this was the last war religion and we forty dissected that to a degree but also that this is the first time this is the first piece involving states as autonomous discrete entities who can make their own policies both of those foundations with those claims a problematic finally
00:41:17yes sign to I entirely agree I mean I I think we we we shift in terms of commemoration we ship from a fairly positive memory initially I mean apart from the destruction that's emphasize right from the beginning but that the piece of S. failures as Toby says I
00:41:32mean it's been it's international dimension has been exaggerated it really was a settlement of sort of resetting the imperial constitution and that is actually very successful impalas another hundred and fifty years or so when it collapses in the midst in the Napoleonic Wars then this negative %HESITATION narrative
00:41:50sets in exactly is this the Lincoln was outlining moving them much Peter Wilson owning to reflect on Tony was born actually gets to go in and the green knight the great medieval poem centered come look at Christmas and lost for hundreds of years thanks for listening and thanks
00:42:05to the listeners for sending that on here and in our time with Melvin Bragg is produced by Simon to that sim and you in all time book marking the program's twentieth birthday and by some fifty of the most popular programs is available now and the in all time
00:42:19put costs get some extra time now with a few minutes of bonus material for Melvin and his guests would would you love to send you didn't say %HESITATION I think Kim to come back to your question about the sort of won the war loss are long and what
00:42:34we were talking about it in terms of the financing of the woman I think the thing that we we missed is really this redistribution of of %HESITATION Landon tonsils and and jurisdictions so essentially because the major route is counts and pay their ominous they're relying on the senior
00:42:52commanders to sort of raise the street some credit and the senior commanders of being rewarded with %HESITATION essentially gifts of territory and so the empress stance this by confiscating property from %HESITATION his opponents and and the changes that happen in invite him here all the the the largest
00:43:12transfer private property in Europe %HESITATION prior to the seizure by the communists in fact the descendants of the beneficiaries of this process in in in the in the late forties and then the the suites and copy %HESITATION this process very quickly once they've arrived in so what you
00:43:28have is you have the rulers who essentially in hawk to that military commanders and and it's been very difficult to make peace without having to actually return some of these some of these positions I'm reading more of your accounts that term it the idea of a standing army
00:43:47became quite attractive and up as the most was when pressure began to build up a standing army yeah one of the interesting effects is for instance if you look at Frederick William off from Bergen and Brenda Prussia can be argued on that his whole sense of how he
00:44:01locates himself in time really shifts %HESITATION with this war that he's things of that as a a period of kos and uses that as an opportunity to push through against as it states that they must now finance %HESITATION a standing army and this was vastly expensive in order
00:44:20of course he says to %HESITATION be able not just react but you know to act be prepared for defensive wars but as we know who is suddenly easier later on of course these rules so aggressive wars that followed them from that oppression on me numbers a consequence of
00:44:34this figures will well I mean you know the building up of standing armies moves now question what do you want to say that you didn't second gosh one of the things that interest me in mind what cal for instance the intersections between Austin politics and we've heard about
00:44:51some the list tree responses to about their %HESITATION system artistic responses to all of that quite strongly nutritional Fisher auto I stand corrected visual out %HESITATION and send you my own interests in Lupin's he's a fascinating figure in %HESITATION in this period as an artist diplomat and somebody
00:45:11for whom all his visual out is a way of getting his head round peacemaking and also arguably around cross confessional peacemaking as well peacemaking between Catholics and Protestants if you were to go to France it's national gonna you'll see one of his visual responses to war and listen
00:45:29the dollars picture gallery and all its becomes a kind of international cultural language which cannot she mediate other kinds of differences and I think that's %HESITATION for ripping me off ribbons person is a way for him to %HESITATION and he is someone who is based in a war
00:45:47torn areas such speak on the frontline and I'm twerked which is itself a great day in the war against the Duchess's is on the Spanish control but also for a root as for princes in court to look to his office we're interested in is out it was a
00:46:01way in which they could actually have conversations at once about policy went directly about divisional politics I'll shed interests we did we begin to as deep as we could have done into the causes of the war well yeah they're actually we could and we twenty seven yeah yeah
00:46:18yeah %HESITATION all right so it's a can you talk about the formation of the process and yeah that that would be the one thing I I nine union yeah I mean to pick up on the link is point about the very I mean there is there and we
00:46:33know you have to have six that the number one family in the empire but the there's a second family the visual spouse and %HESITATION this is %HESITATION survey and into familial feud between them and then there is the Bavarian branch who backed the emperor and the panel time
00:46:47brunch oppose improv and it the Bavarians gain of the palatine expense and said the route they they had a specific historical precedent for this %HESITATION in the middle of the sixteenth century and they calculate that bad once they're palatine cousins to put their foot wrong by and accepting
00:47:06the Bahamian crime that they they think this is their opportunity of at achieving electoral status so it isn't taken the status is removed from the patent and given to the to the Bavarian brunch as a reward in the twenties of his favorites and trying to suddenly the eight
00:47:22electors and that is also really that manage to be the eight select as the variance and that just means that %HESITATION that's right either amongst the most powerful people in and out struck the impala and the the emperor of the empire go on in that state for much
00:47:38longer %HESITATION was it would be weakened by this and the letter weighing someone it's it's a I would argue it's actually strengthened I mean many is one of the greats outcome relieve the piece of S. failure is just to sort of remove the abstract from %HESITATION religious disputes
00:47:54so you're not arguing at whether Lutheranism is better than Catholicism three old theologically your wrong doing do you have the right to exercise jurisdiction over particular church and so it makes it much more difficult to polarize and disputes in the empire develops a very sophisticated %HESITATION legal machinery
00:48:12%HESITATION that resolves these through a process of arbitration and the sort of cataclysmic divisions %HESITATION political divisions and otherwise and and do not reoccur in fact until AM the rise of pressure basically breaks the system is being a second disproportionately large and powerful and German state %HESITATION along
00:48:35side the ocean abstinence with fine as you said really scares the mention the communists who were extremely important yes and we can look at a figure like Frederick of the platinum in here he's he's age twenty three he's very young when he decides to take the bohemian crown
00:48:52he's married to %HESITATION and is this two year than they really are the kind of glam a couple of the period he's it's such a couture from married into what is perceived as a strong English a a state that of course %HESITATION has United the crowns %HESITATION and
00:49:09%HESITATION is perceived to be of much will Kenya's than the platinum collection is quite poor into many of these small %HESITATION German territories don't have a lot of financial backing so here is our age twenty three on thinking you can take the bohemian crown and there are you
00:49:26know I do think we need to think a bit more about the psychology of someone like that what kind of man was he what was really going on %HESITATION in his mind but then %HESITATION we also in times limited by the sources that and always tell us well
00:49:40thank you very much I think we're being interrupted interrupt your coffee Cup of tea please Kenya to I'm insane sorry for interrupting you put just give me a minute I've got something I think you'll really love is cold lifeless this is the part costs from BBC radio four
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