30YearsWar: #2 - 'The Small Print'
The Holy Roman Empire was a unique place, full of unique laws, unique settlements and very unique rulers. Unique is just a polite way of saying, that the HRE was a freakin’ mess, but it is a mess which we have to acquaint ourselves with if we’re to stand any chance of understanding the event which it housed – the Thirty Years War. It was in the lands of this sort of state/sort of empire that the events of this conflict were played out. It was fanned and exacerbated by men like Electors and Emperors, it was driven by arguments over religion and constitutions, and it was empowered by actors outside of the Empire, who had their eye on manipulating the situation to their advantage.
Our focus in this episode goes to 1555, where a settlement between protestant and catholic agents was agreed. The Peace of Augsburg, the religious and profane peace, as it would come to be known, was a crucial milestone in the history of the Empire, but it is also vital to our understanding of the conflict which followed three generations later. How did the Empire work, what did the Electors did, how did the Emperor get elected, what did the whole thing look like in practice – all of these are questions which we will get to grips with in this episode, so I hope you’ll join me!
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