Hapsburgs, Sweden, Russia, and England: The Rest of Chapter 21
Thirty Years’ War• Lasts from 1618 to 1648 (Thirty years! How ‘bout that?)• The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 was the agreement that each ruler could decide if his realm was going to be Catholic or Lutheran.• There’s still conflict between the two religions and neither of them like those crazy pre-destination Calvinists.• Things break loose when Ferdinand II, who was Catholic and head of the powerful Hapsburg family, conflicts with the Protestants in Bohemia.
• The Hapsburgs kick protestant keister the first 12 years and brutally treated the protestants by burning villages and plundering property.
• In 1630, the Lutheran king of Sweden gets involved. • Yes, Sweden was once a military power. • The king, Gustavus Adolphus was also a military innovator. • Up to this point, armies relied on massed infantry formation that emphasized pikemen with musketeers to drive off skirmishers. Artillery was large and immobile. • Adolphus switched things around. He armed most of his forces with firearms and used small, mobile, mass-produced cannons. The big massed formations became big targets.
• The French, under Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, also side with the protestants despite the fact they were Catholic. • They disliked the power of the Hapsburgs more than the competing religion of Lutheranism.• It’s finally ended by the Peace of Westphalia. • Sweden gets control of the Baltic, France gets some German land and a firm frontier on the Rhine, the Netherlands are solidly freed from Spain, the Calvinists get some recognition, and the concept of the modern nation-state was born.
• The war devastated the German economy and landscape, helping to keep it from uniting into a single country. • It didn’t help that it’s population dropped from 20 million to 16 million due to death or people escaping the destruction.
RussiaCzar Ivan IV (the Terrible)• Formally became czar at age three and others ruled in his place as regents. He disliked the boyars because of their neglect of him and the power struggles.• He was also known to throw cats and dogs out of the Kremlin windows.• He expands Russia’s borders by conquering Mongol territory.
• On the downside, he helps convert peasants into serfs, forms a secret police force, and starts going crazy. • He even kills his own son in a rage after his son confronted him about Ivan beating his son’s pregnant wife into a miscarriage because he thought her clothing was immodest.
Peter the Great• Becomes czar in 1682.• Was 6 feet 8 inches tall, but oddly proportioned with a small head and small feet and hands. • Apparently had some facial tics as well. Some speculate he may have suffered from petit mal epilepsy or stress-induced Tourette’s syndrome.
• Peter recognized that Russia was backwards, especially compared to the quickly developing and expanding European empires. • He hung out with the Euro folks in Moscow’s foreign quarter (where they were required by law to live). • He then went on the “Grand Embassy” to western Europe to get diplomatic support against the Ottomans. Failing that, he worked incognito and learned Western ways.
• When he returned to Russia, he immediately started implementing Western reforms.• He adopted a Western- style court, wore Western clothes (note the threads to the right), and even taxed people for wearing beards. Well, the men, anyway.• He also built St. Petersburg, his new capital, during which up to 100,000 workers died.
• Peter also had a grumpy side. He distrusted his son, Alexei, and, after promising him clemency to lure him back to Moscow, arrested him and tried for treason. • Alexei confessed under torture and was sentenced to death. He “accidentally” died two days later after receiving 40 lashes over two days as more torture.
EnglandEngland develops a little differently and doesn’t get those absolute monarchs.• Remember that it had that testy Parliament.• While Elizabeth was nearly absolute, this was because she was tactful in dealing with Parliament, which at this point was limited to its duty of collecting taxes and providing funds for the monarchy. Her successors, James I and then Charles I, weren’t quite so good at the political game.
• Charles, seen here, needed cash at one point, but Parliament refused until he agreed to the Petition of Right. • Among the petition’s measures were that it ensured habeas corpus and no billeting of soldiers in private homes. • These sound awfully similar to the 5th and 3rd amendments, respectively, in the U.S. Bill of Rights.
• Charles ignored the agreement, annoys some protestants, and gets aggressive towards the Scots.• Parliament gets aggressive with Charles, passes laws limiting his power and Charles tries arresting Parliament’s leaders.• War starts between the royalists, the Cavaliers, and the Parliamentarian rebels, the Roundheads. • It goes back and forth, but eh Roundheads finally get the upper hand with the help of Oliver Cromwell. • Charles is captured, tried for treason and executed. • This was big. The English people had just committed regicide. The rest of Europe, especially its royal families were shocked.
• Cromwell, ironically, ruled like a king and in fact had more power than Charles did. He also imposed puritan rules and ethics on the English, but was religiously tolerant. • Cromwell was a man of contradictions and is still a controversial figure.
• Cromwell dies in 1658, the government collapses and Parliament asks Charles’s son, Charles II to come back and become king, with some conditions. • Cromwell’s body was subsequently exhumed, tried for treason and symbolically beheaded. Cromwell’s death mask
• Charles II dies without an heir and his brother James II becomes but he’s too Catholic for the protestant English folks. • A few members of Parliament ask one of James II’s other daughters, Mary who’s married Dutch prince William (and is protestant), to come rule. • William and Mary invade, James II flees to France, and the bloodless coup is called the Glorious Revolution.