• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
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  • T
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  • A
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  • P
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  • FOREIGN POLICY
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  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
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  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Ferdinand II

    lang=EN-US style='font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Meridien-Medium","serif"; color:black'>(15781637)

    Holy Roman Emperor

    Ferdinand was the grandson of Ferdinand I and

    the eldest son of the ruler of Inner Austria, Archduke

    Charles (154090), and Maria of Bavaria.

    He was educated by the JESUITS at the University

    of Ingolstadt in BAVARIA. He was deeply influenced

    by Catholic teaching and intended to

    restore the Catholic faith in his domain. Consequently,

    in 1602 Protestant teachers and preachers

    were expelled from Styria, which he ruled

    under a regency, closing or destroying their

    churches and presenting his nonnoble subjects

    with the alternative of conversion or exile. Even

    the astronomer Johannes KEPLER (15711630)

    had to flee, placing himself under the patronage

    of RUDOLF II (15521612) in Prague. Since

    Rudolf and Emperor Matthias (161219) had no

    heirs, they renounced their rights of succession

    in favor of Ferdinand and engineered his coronation

    as king of Bohemia in 1617 and Hungary

    in 1618. In 1619 he was elected Holy Roman

    Emperor, succeeding Matthias. He was opposed

    by the Protestant electors, and in May 1618 the

    Bohemian nobility rose in revolt. The forces of

    the Catholic League under Count Tilly bloodily

    suppressed the Protestant rebels in Austria and

    Bohemia in 1620. It was Ferdinands efforts to

    restore Catholicism that precipitated the THIRTY

    YEARS WAR.

    Pursuing his anti-Protestant policies, Ferdinand

    by 1627 banned all Protestant worship.

    This policy was combined with political repres-

    374 Ferdinand II

    sion when a new constitution eliminated the

    national liberties of the Bohemians. The Danish

    intervention between 1625 and 1629 was

    defeated by the coalition of the Catholic League

    under Generals Tilly and WALLENSTEIN, resulting

    in the Peace of Lübeck in 1629. Then Ferdinand

    issued the Edict of Restitution, which decreed

    that those lands that had been secularized since

    1552 were to be restored to the church. Ferdinand

    was forced to dismiss General Wallenstein,

    which handicapped the imperial forces when

    the Empire soon was invaded by Gustavus II

    Adolphus of Sweden (15941632). Tilly was

    killed and his army defeated at Breitenfeld in

    SAXONY in 1631, forcing Ferdinand to reappoint

    Wallenstein. After some successes his army was

    defeated at the Battle of Lützen (1632), his army

    destroyed, and Gustavus Adolphus killed. As a

    result, Ferdinand had Wallenstein assassinated

    and the Edict of Restitution was modified, making

    1627 the criterion for the ownership of

    church land. Ferdinand died at age 57 in 1637,

    before the Thirty Years War was over. A devoted

    Catholic but not a wise political leader, he failed

    to suppress PROTESTANTISM in the Empire and

    widened the rift between imperial authority and

    the German princes. He did succeed in reuniting

    the principal Habsburg domains in central

    Europe.

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