Backgrund to þe Þirty Years' Wye

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The following is an Anglish translation of an Encyclopedia Britannica article on the Thirty Years' War.

The Writ

Þe Þirty Years' Wye began wiþ twin tinderboxes in þe heart of Yorope: one in þe Rineland and þe oþþer in Beheemland, boþ lands in þe Holy Roomish Coaserdom. Þe Coaserdom of þe Doich folk was a land of many riches; þere were some 1,000 sundry, somewhat freestanding riches, many of þem full small. Þe Imperial Knights, lords of some of þese riches, and firsthand hews of þe coaser, were hoorly rife in þe suþewest, and each might own one a deal of one þorp, while oþþer knights might own lands abute as big as fully freestanding riches elsewhere, such as Scotland or þe Neþþerlandish Republick. At þe top came þe lands of þe Habsburgs of Eastrich, spanning þe kingdoms of Beheemland and Ungerland, as well as Eastrich, þe Tyrol, and Alsase, wiþ abute 8,000,000 men dewlling wiþin; next came Sexland, Brandenburg, and Bayern, wiþ more þan 1,000,000 men each; and þen þe Kurpfalts, Hesse, Treer, and Württemberg, wiþ abute 500,000 men each.

Þese were big riches, but þey were weakened by þree þings. First, þey did not beleeve in primogeniture: Hesse had been split into four deals at þe deaþ of Landgrave Filip þe Yivel, Looþer's patron, in 1567; þe lands of þe Eastrichish Habsburgs were split in 1564 and again in 1576. Twoþ, many of þe riches were made up of lands strewn abute: þus, þe Kurpfalts was split into an Upper Shire, next to þe borders of boþ Beheemland and Bayern, and a Lower Shire on þe middle Rine. Þese swayers had, in þe going of time, set in Doichland a heller of might among þe riches. Þe landholding strengþ of þe Habsburgs may have brought þem a monopoly of þe imperial title from 1438 onward, but þey could do no more: þe oþþer aþelings, when þreatened, could set up a þoftship whose herestrengþ mached þat of þe coaser himself. Hue ever, þe þird weakness, þe leef upheaving of þe 16þ yearhundred, wended all þat: aþelings who had formerly stood togeþer were nue split by leef. Sweeveland, for one, more or less mached in span to today's Switzerland, had 68 leefgrey and 40 unleefgrey aþelings and also 32 imperial free boroughs. By 1618 more þan half of þese leaders and almost exactly half of þe landsfolk were Caþolick; þe oþþers were Protestant. Neiþer block was willing to let þe oþþer call forþ a here. Stunnedness like þiss was to be fund in most oþþer shires: þe Reformasyon and Wiþþerreformasyon had split Doichland into foelike but even weighed leefteams.

Þe Leeffriþ of Augsburg in 1555 had put an end to 30 years of fitful infighting in Doichland between Caþolicks and Looþerans by setting up a framework of lawbeelds for þe folk of þe Coaserdom. At þe top was þe right of every seckewler weelder, from þe seven walers dune to þe Imperial Knights, to choose wheþer þeir underlings' leef was to be Looþeran or Caþolick (þe only wikenly þaved leefs). Þe only yutings to þiss ew were þe imperial free boroughs, where boþ Looþerans and Caþolicks were to have freedom of worship, and þe Caþolick churchriches, where bishops and abbots who wished to become Looþerans had to step dune first. Þe latter ew gave rise to a wye in 1583–1588 when þe alderbishop of Colone boded himself a Protestant but werned stepping dune: in þe end a team of Caþolick aþelings, led by þe heretow of Bayern, pushed him ute.

Þiss "Wye of Colone" was a wharving ord in þe leefstear of Doichland. Until þen, þe Caþolicks had been þe ones sheelding blows, losing grund steadily to þe Protestants. Even þe bidding of þe Moot of Trent, which stirred up Caþolicks elsewhere, trucked to strengþen þe standing of þe Roomish church in Doichland. After þe speedful struggle to keep Colone, hue ever, Caþolick aþelings began to forþfill þe cuius regio lodestar wiþ þriþe. In Bayern, as well as in Vürtsburg, Bamberg, and oþþer churchriches, Protestants were given þe kire of eiþer leefwharving or fleemdom. Most of þose rined were of þe Looþeran church, already weakened by fleers to Calvinleef, a new leef þat had almost no Doich beleevers at þe time of þe Leeffriþ of Augsburg. Þe weelders of þe Kurpfalts (1560), Nassue (1578), Hesse-Kassel (1603), and Brandenburg (1613) all forsook Looþeranleef for þe new Calvinleef, as did many lesser weelders and a handful of tunes. Small wonder þat þe Looþerans came to loaþe þe Calvinleevers even more þan þey loaþed þe Caþolicks.

Þese leefsplits set up a manyfold weave in Doichland. By þe first yearten of þe 17þ yearhundred, þe Caþolicks were sundly dug in suþe of þe Danewb and þe Looþerans norþeast of þe Elbe; but þe lands in between were a pachwork cwilt of Calvinleever, Looþeran, and Caþolick, and in some steads one could find all þree. One such was Donuevört, a freestanding borough right beyond þe Danewb from Bayern, bund (by þe Leeffriþ of Augsburg) to þave boþ Caþolicks and Protestants. But for years þe smaller deal of Caþolick had not been given full rights of open worship. When in 1606 Caþolick preests fanded to hold a forþgang þrough þe roads of þe borough, þey were beaten and þeir relicks and fanes were sullied. Shortly afterward, an Italish Capoochin, Fray Lorenzo, later hallowed, came to þe borough and was himself mobbed by a Looþeran crude. He heard from þe borough's clergy of þeir plight and swore to find boot. Wiþin a year, Fray Lorenzo had gotten oaþs of help from Heretow Maximilian of Bayern and Coaser Rudolf II. When þe Looþeran magistrates of Donuevört flatly werned to give þeir Caþolick underlings freedom of worship, þe Bayerners marched into þe borough and ednewed Caþolick worship by þrake in Ereyool 1607. Maximilian's men also forbade Protestant worship and set up a leedward þat later handed over þe borough to firsthand Bayernish weeld.

Þese befallings þoroughly worried Protestants elsewhere in Doichland. Was þiss, þey wondered, þe first step in a new Caþolick fight against dwild? Waler Frederick IV of þe Kurpfalts took þe lead. On þe 14þ of Þrimilch, 1608, he set up þe Protestant Þoftship, a fellowship þat was to last 10 years and ward against þe Caþolicks. At first first þe Þoftship was Doich only, but before long it became overþeedish.

Þe new plight began wiþ þe deaþ of John William, þe childless heretow of Clefes-Jülich, in Reeþmonþ 1609. His heretowdoms, which held a noteworþy spot in þe Lower Rineland, had boþ Protestant and Caþolick underlings, but boþ of þe main claimers to þe erf were Protestants; under þe cuius regio principle, þeir suxessyon would lead to þe driving ute of þe Caþolicks. Þe coaser þerefore would not acknowledge þe Protestant aþelings' claim. Sinse boþ were liþs of þe Þoftship, þey sought, and nome, oaþs of herely help from þeir fellows; þey also nome, þrough Cristian of Anhalt, alike oaþs from þe kings of Frankrich and England. Þiss swift growþ in Protestant strengþ made þe Doich Caþolicks set abute wiþ wiþþerdeeds: a Caþolick Leag was made between Heretow Maximilian of Bayern and his neighbours on Afterliþe 10, 1609, soon to be þeeded by þe churchy weelders of þe Rineland and being held up by Spain and þe Papacy. Again, bulwarking on one side sparked wiþþerdeeds. Þe leaders of þe Protestant Þoftship made a berrowy forþward wiþ England in 1612 (set in stone by þe wedlock between þe Þoftship's steerend, þe young Frederick V of þe Kurpfalts, to þe king of England's daughter) and wiþ þe Duch Republick in 1613.

At first sight, þiss seems like þe web of þoftships, crafted by þe leaders of Yorope 300 years later, which plundged þe mainland into World War I. But whereas þe drive behind errandrakes before 1914 was fear of one's rich being bestridden, before 1618 it was fear for one's leef being wiped ute. Þe Þoftship liþs beleeved þat þere was a Caþolick plot to root ute Protestantleef from þe rich. Þiss weening was shared by þe Þoftship's utelandish backers. At þe time of þe Clefes-Jülich erf plight, Her Ralf Winwood, an English errandrake at þe heart of happenings, wrote to his lords þat, alþough "þe goings on of þiss whole business, if slightly recked, may seem eaþly and mean," in trewþ its utecome would "uphold or cast dune þe greatness of þe huse of Eastrich and þe church of Rome in þese lands." Such fears were likely uncalled for at þiss time. In 1609 þe bond of goal between pope and coaser was in sooþ far from flawless, and þe last þing Maximilian of Bayern wished to see was Habsburg midwist in þe Leag: raþer þan þole it, in 1614 he made a sunder fellowship of his own and in 1616 he wiþdrew from þe Leag altogeþer. Þiss waning in þe Caþolick þreat was enough to drive wiþþerdeeds from þe Protestants. Alþough þere was ednewed fighting in 1614 over Clefes-Jülich, þe liþs of þe Protestant Þoftship had forsaken þeir herely mood by 1618, when þe forþward of þoftship came up for ewnewing. Þey boded þat þey would no longer become wrapped up in þe mere wrangles of lone liþs, and þey set ute to lengþen þeir liþship for only þree years more.

Alþough wye kind of came to Doichland after 1618 owing to þe þese þoftships of leef, þe link must not be overblown. Boþ Þoftship and Leag were þe utecome of fear; but þe grunds for fear seemed to be waning. Þe English errandrake in Turin, Isaack Wake, was upbeat: "Þe gates of Janus have been shut," he afeed in late 1617, swearing "mild and Halcyonian days not only unto þe dwellers of þiss shire of Italy, but to þe greatest deal of Cristendome." Þat Wake was so soon shown wrong was owed in great deal to happenings in þe lands of þe Habsburgs of Eastrich over þe winter of 1617–18.