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The Thirty Years War Essay

986 words - 4 pages

The section of documents, numbering nineteen to twenty three, consist of many different accounts ranging from of a portion of the “Swedish rule of war”, a theologian’s take on peace, the assassination of General Wallenstein, an account of battle and even a Cardinal’s warning. These documents vary in years from 1632-1634, drawing a close to the middle segment of the Thirty Years War. These articles illustrate not only events such as a General’s murder, Swedish defeat or French apprehension, they also show a growing desire for peace and political well-being contrasted with serious religious sentiment. At this stage in history Sweden is now involved with many allying to protect German liberties. The balance of power in Europe, always a delicate manner, was naturally threatened by the war, kingdoms such as France watched closely to protect their own states. It is through the coupling of this time of history with the documents listed here that one can see an intricate web of motives, including ones from political success and dominance to religious purity, all under the blanket of a “religious war”. This leads the audience to ask and judge where Europeans’s opinion and ideas stand considering the war as the unique solution to war loomed ahead.
To investigate these different motives three out of the five mentioned documents will be closely analyzed, beginning with document twenty. Entitled “Memorandum of Hoe von Hoenegg” this article was written in Dresden, Germany by Lutheran Theologian Matthias Hoe von Hoenegg. It is his answer to the Elector of Saxony’s question on the religious consequences of peace. Just before this, the Heilbronn League formed, coming under Sweden and France to fight against imperialist forces. Yet, Saxony took another avenue by not joining the league and working for peace with the opposing side. By doing so, the Elector began a search for justification of his actions, leading the Elector to his court preacher. The court preacher, Hoe von Hoenegg, a very staunch advocate of Protestant success, knew the strength and impending power of Hapsburg influence in Europe. However, Hoe von Hoenegg refused to concede to the idea of alliance with Catholics. “Thus it would be forever a shame and unjustifiable if one should or would now, benevolently or willfully, surrender something from the true Church of God that could still be reserved for its benefit” (140). This, of course, was not what the Elector desired to hear, yet this memorandum or reminder did show those at the time the religious reasoning existing behind the war. Hoe von Hoenegg lists all that has been sacrificed by Protestants and urges that it cannot be in vain. However, this is not a revengeful statement; rather he insists that no one surrender what God Himself has given. Seemingly meant for public consumption this article will, as the introduction suggests, set a...

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