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Ferdinand or Frederick???

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  • Ferdinand or Frederick???

    Who was right?

    Emperor Ferdinand or Frederick of the Palatine?

    At the start of the 17th century, Bohemia was considered as one of the richtest regions of the Habsburg lands. It was an area known to be religious tolerant, therefore it had a mixed population: Catholics, Lutherans, Calvinists and Anabaptists. Knowing all too well that the new king Rudolf II was Catholic, the Protestants Bohemians offered their King the Letter of Majesty in 1609 –just to be sure that they would receive the liberty of worship. This agreement gave Bohemia the right to effectively control their religious structure free from imperial interference. However, it took some time for the king to ratify it and when he died in 1612, his successor, the aging Matthias still found the document unsigned.

    However, he did not rule long enough for it to have any consequence on his reign. More problematic was the fact that that Matthias was childless and the obvious question that needed to be answered was who would succeed him ? The Habsburgs chose the staunch Catholic Archduke Ferdinand of Styria to succeed, but the Protestants were not so glad with this choice: the Bohemians would rather have chosen the Elector of Saxony or the Elector of the Palatine Frederick. To many especially the Catholic Habsburg camp, it was horrifying to have a Protestant ruler in their midst. However the Protestants agreed to accept him IF he signed the Letter of Majesty.

    Ferdinand willingly agreed to it and was thus elected as king of Bohemia as soon as Matthias had died. but he never had intention of keeping his promise to the letter. No sooner had he officially become successor of the king of Bohemia when the old king Matthias was approached by some Roman Catholic officials who complained of the construction of some Protestant chapels on land of which they claimed ownership. Protestants argued that the land in question was royal, rather than owned by the Catholic Church, and was thus available for their own use as mentioned in the Letter of Majesty. Matthias however was not about to give in to the demands and soon insults were followed by deadly attacks on Protestants and Catholics alike.

    Both camps now got ready for a clash, but when Imperial representatives urged the Protestants to dissolve in may 1618 they were thrown out of the window (Defenestration of Prague). Now Bohemia erupted in open revolt. Ferdinand however, was not about to let his soon to be acquired throne be taken from him before he had sit on it. He called on his relatives from Spain for help and soon an army left from Flanders to subdue the revolt in Bohemia. The Prostestants from their side called on the help from the Duke of Savoy, who eagerly sent out an army under Mansfeld to counter the Catholic army. In March 1619, Matthias died and Ferdinand became Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, albeit without a throne. In July 1619, the Act of Confederation was signed between Bohemia, Lusatia, Moravia and Silesia. This agreement stated that the crown of Bohemia would remain elective. The Confederation had to appoint a new king.

    The rebels chose Frederick, Elector of the Palatine – and the youthful Frederick, although forewarned by European courts not to meddle in the affairs, gladly accepted. He arrived in Prague in October 1619 having accepted the crown. War clouds were now gathering fast. Maximillian of Bavaria offered Ferdinand the armed forces of the Catholic League. Secretly, Ferdinand had offered the Electoral title held by Frederick to Maximillian so his motives were not entirely altruistic.
    Ferdinand accepted Maximillian’s offer and in July 1620, 30,000 troops under Count von Tilly moved into Austria and the Austrian Estates were forced to break their alliance with Bohemia.

    Now, who do you believe was right, who’s side would you be on?

    The Catholics under the Emperor Ferdinand?

    The Protestants under Frederick of the Palatine?

    Were the Bohemians right in rebelling against Ferdinand and was it right for Frederick to assume the throne of Bohemia when offered to him?



    Greets,
    Stratego
    15
    Catholics - Emperor Ferdinand
    20.00%
    3
    Protestants - Frederick of the Palatine
    80.00%
    12
    Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

    BORG

  • #2
    One side was right?

    Great question Stratego, and well backgrounded.

    Ultimately I think I'd have to fall in with Ferdinand - if you start by assuming that all Protestants are dangerous heretics, then his position makes perfect sense. He's coming to save Germany from itself, and from that 'tumultuous priest' Martin Luther and his legacy (though I seem to recall that region was actually staunchly Calvinist? Could be wrong).

    Frederick on the other hand seems dangerously naive or dangerously selfish. He had to know he was massively outresourced if it came to a fight and whether he assumed Ferdinand would back down without one or was just willing to sacrifice the peace and livelihood of the German people in the Electorate he hoped to rule on the basis that Protestant support would eventually put him on the throne I would have to oppose him.

    Very much like to hear what others think on this one...?
    Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

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    • #3
      I went protestant .

      There a lot of side issues concerning the 30 years war, and imo was inevitable. The Hapsburgs were growing creating paranoia in other factions, especially Catholic France. The war became a conflict between idea of religeon or the nation-state being dominant, the old vs the new. For that reason alone I went protestant ie cutting out the middleman on the way to any enlightenment .
      Last edited by Nick the Noodle; 30 Apr 10, 10:44. Reason: atrochiuosly speeling
      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
      Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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      • #4
        I chose the side of Frederick.
        It is obvious that the majority didn't want Ferdinand on the throne and Ferdinand wasn't about to let the Protestants to tell him what to do.
        If I was elected to sit on the throne of Bohemia, I would'eve accepted all too gladly.



        Greets,
        Stratego
        Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

        It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

        Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

        BORG

        Comment


        • #5
          I chose Ferdinand simply because I have ancestors from Austria. However, I probably would have held myself out to the highest bidder. It would have been an expensive price to gain my support - an Ibis can get his followers to do his bidding.

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          • #6
            The trouble with the 30 Years War is that no one comes away the winner, no one looks good, and lots of innocents die. Bit like most wars.
            How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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            • #7
              I voted to side with the Winter King and Queen, Frederick and Elizabeth Stuart.
              IMO this short reign was one of the most romantic episodes of the seventeenth century which naturally evokes my sympathy.
              Second reason for my support would its connections with the Republic of the United Provinces.
              BoRG

              You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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              • #8
                I would say the Bohemians were in the right, but Frederick was a fool. But as a Polish-Lithuanian peasant I would have tried to stay out of it.

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