Protestantism spread throughout Austria, Bohemia and Hungary while the Habsburg monarchs remained Catholic. Maximilian II asserted that he was neither Catholic nor Protestant but
Christian and he rejected aggressive counterreformation tactics and was largely tolerant of Protestantism.
Rudolf II: 1576-1612 (1 minute)
Rudolf II (1576-1612) was the son of Maximilian II who had been educated in Spain and was a strict Catholic. When he came to power he dismissed all Protestants from court service. He organized counter-reformation activities to convert Austria back to Catholicism. His efforts in Lower Austria were successful but Protestant opposition remained in Upper Austria which was only subdued by the efforts of Ferdinand II the Holy Roman Emperor in the Thirty Years’ War. Protestantism in inner Austria, Hungary and Silesia remained
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Skirmishes along the frontier with the Ottoman Empire continued for several years, this was known as the Long War (1592-1606) after the Ottomans were unsuccessful in their attempt to
penetrate the Hapsburg boarder they ended the conflict.
Map Of Czech Republic And Austria Photo Gallery
Map Central Europe Tour – Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia
The Thirty Years’ War: 1618-1648 (2 minutes)
Rudolf II delegated the rule of many of his lands to his brothers – his brother Matthias (1612-1619) received Austria and other lands. It was under his reign that
the Thirty Years’ War would start and would last through the reign of the next ruler Ferdinand II (1619-1637) and midway through the reign Ferdinand III (16371657); it was one of the
most lengthy and destructive wars in European history.
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How Far is it Between Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic
The Thirty Years’ War was started as a religious war between Protestants and Catholics that involved most of Europe, then became a conflict of old rivals -the House of Bourbon and the
House of Habsburg. The first phase of the war known as the Revolt in Bohemia (1618-1621) started when Ferdinand II became Holy Roman Emperor in 1619. He was a fierce Counter-Rerformer who sent imperial troops into Bohemia (today part of the Czech Republic) when Bohemian and Moravian (today the Czech Republic) troops invaded Austria to protest Ferdinand’s ascension to the Bohemian throne.
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The war at first spread through the all the lands controlled by the Bohemian throne including Bohemia proper, Silesia (today part of Poland), Upper Lusatia (today part of Germany) and Lower Lusatia (today part of Germany and Poland), and Moravia (today part of the Czech Republic) and then throughout Europe. The Battle of White Mountain in 1620 gave Ferdinand II control of Bohemia (today part of Germany).
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The second phase of the war was the Danish War (1625-1629) followed by the Swedish War (1630-1635) and the Franco-Swedish War (1635-1648). The war was settled by the Peace of
Westphalia in 1648 which upheld the principle of Cuius regio, eius religio, allowing a prince to determine the religion of his subjects. France and Swedian gained territory and became dominate powers, while the Holy Roman Empire and Spain declined. The Netherlands became an independent state and Switzerland ended its ties to the Holy Roman Empire. Austria received little damage from the war.