Wars of Religion



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Periods of the Thirty Years’ War
*The Thirty Years’ War was the last of the “Wars of Religion.” It took place in the Holy Roman Empire, but virtually every European power became involved either directly or indirectly. Internally, the causes of the war appeared to be religious. However, foreign powers became involved for primarily political reasons. Ultimately, the war was fought for political and financial gains as much as for religious reasons.


  1. The Bohemian Period (1618-1625): Ferdinand II (the Holy Roman Emperor), the Catholic League (Maximilian of Bavaria), and Spain v. the Palatinate (Frederick V) who was supported by England, France, and the Netherlands

  1. in 1618, the Habsburg Ferdinand, the archduke of Styria, became the ruler of Bohemia

  1. he was also in the line of succession to the imperial throne

  2. he wanted to restore the traditional faith throughout the eastern Habsburg lands (Austria, Bohemia, and Poland)

  3. he revoked the religious freedoms of Bohemian Protestants…they responded with the


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