In 1642, civil war began (Charles I against the Calvinist Scots). Directed by Parliament and
financed by taxes and the merchants, the war was fought by the New Model Army led by
, a Puritan squire with a gift for military leadership.
In Jan 1649, Charles I was publicly executed
by order of Parliament. During the interregnum
(time between kings) of the next 11 yrs, Parliament joined w/ the army to govern the country as a
In the distribution of power between the army and the Parliament, Cromwell proved to
be a key element. He had the support of the army’s officers and some of its rank and file, and he
had been a member of Parliament for many yrs.
In the context of the 1650s, Cromwell was a moderate republican who also believed in limited
religious toleration for Prots, yet history has painted him, somewhat unjustly, as a milit dictator.
Treaty of Westphalia
The 30YW (1618-1648)
began when the Bohemians attempted to put a Protestant king on their
throne. Austrian + Spanish Hapsburgs reacted by sending an army into the kingdom of Bohemia,
and suddenly the whole empire was forced to take sides along religious lines. The Bohemian
nobility, after cent.s of enforcing serfdom, failed to rally the rural masses behind them, and
victory went to the emperor. Bohemia + the German states suffered almost unimaginable
devastation; ravaging Hapsburg armies sacked and burned 3/4s of each kingdom’s towns and
practically exterminated its aristocracy.
Until the 1630’s, it looked as if the Hapsburgs would be able to use the war to enhance their
power and promote centralization. But the intervention of Lutheran Sweden, led by Gustavus
Adolphus and encouraged by France, wrecked Hapsburg ambitions. The ensuing military conflict
devastated cast areas of n’ern + central Euro. The civilian pop suffered untold hardships: soldiers
raped women and pillaged the land, and thousands of refugees took to the roads and forests.
Partly because the French finally intervened directly, the Spanish Hapsburgs emerged from the
30YW w/ no benefits. At the Treaty of Westphalia (
), their Austrian cousins reaffirmed their
right to govern the e’ern states of the kingdom, w/ Vienna as their capital. Austria took shape as a
dynastic state, and the German territories in the empire remained fragmented by the inde interests
of their largely recalcitrant feudal nobility.
As a result of the settlement at Westphalia, the Austrian Hapsburgs gained firm control over most
of Hungary and Bohemia, where they installed a virtually new and foreign nobility.
At the same
time, they strengthened their grip on Vienna. In one of the few spectacular successes achieved by
the CT Refor’n, the ruling elites in all three territories were forcibly, or in many cases willingly,
converted back to Cath’m.
The Starry Messenger