The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy

TitleThe Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWilson, Peter H.
Number of Pages1024
PublisherBelknap Press
CityCambridge, MA

A deadly continental struggle, the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) devastated seventeenth-century Europe, killing nearly a quarter of all Germans and laying waste to towns and countryside alike. This book offers the first new history in a generation of a horrifying conflict that transformed the map of the modern world. When defiant Bohemians tossed the Habsburg emperor’s envoys from the castle windows in Prague in 1618, the Holy Roman Empire struck back with a vengeance. Bohemia was ravaged by mercenary troops in the first battle of a conflagration that would engulf Europe from Spain to Sweden.  In a major reassessment, the author argues that religion was not the catalyst, but one element in a lethal stew of political, social, and dynastic forces that fed the conflict. By the war’s end a recognizably more modern Europe had been created, but at what price? The Thirty Years' War condemned German Central Europe to two centuries of internal religious division.

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