Germany and the Holy Roman Empire Volume I: Maximilian I to the Peace of Westphalia, 1493-1648

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-12-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Germany and the Holy Roman Empire offers a striking new interpretation of a crucial era in German and European history, from the great reforms of 1495-1500 to the dissolution of the Reich in 1806. Over two volumes, Joachim Whaley rejects the notion that this was a long period of decline, and shows instead how imperial institutions developed in response to the crises of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, notably the Reformation and Thirty Years War. The impact of international developments on the Reich is also examined.

The first volume begins with an account of the reforms of the reign of Maximilian I and concludes with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. It offers a new interpretation of the Reformation, the Peasants' War, the Schmalkaldic War and the Peace of Augsburg, and of the post-Reformation development of Protestantism and Catholicism. The German policy successfully resisted the ambitions of Charles V and the repeated onslaughtsof both the Ottomans and the French, and it remained stable in the face of the French religious wars and the Dutch Revolt. The volume concludes with an analysis of the Thirty Years War as an essentially German constitutional conflict, triggered by the problems of the Habsburg dynasty and prolonged by the interventions of foreign powers. The Peace of Westphalia, which ended the conflict, both reflected the development of the German polity since the late fifteenth century and created teh framework for its development over the next hundred and fifty years.

Author Biography

Joachim Whaley is Senior Lecturer in German, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge.

Whaley read History at Christ's College Cambridge. He held Fellowships in History at Christ's College and Robinson College before becoming a Lecturer in German in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge, where he teaches German history, thought, and language. He is the author of Religious Toleration and Social Change in Hamburg 1529-1819 and of numerous articles on early modern and modern German history. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1984.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Narratives of Early Modern German History
I. Germany and the Holy Roman Empire in 1500
1. Origins and Frontiers
2. The Reich as a Polity
3. Fragmented Territories
4. The Reich and the German Nation
II. The Reform of the Reich and the Church c. 1490-1519
5. The Reformation Era in German history
6. The Reich under Maximilian I
7. Reich, Papacy, and Reichskirche
8. Religious Renewal and the Laity
9. Humanism in the Reich
10. The 'Print Revolution' and the Public Sphere
11. Economic Landscapes, Communities, and their Grievances
12. Martin Luther and the 'Luther affair' 1517-1519
III. Charles V and the Challenge of the Reformation in the 1520s
13. The Reich During the First Decade of Charles V
14. Luther and Imperial Politics, 1519-1526
15. Luther and the German Reform Movement
16. Alternative Reformations and the Dominance of Lutheranism
17. The Knights' War, 1522-1523
18. The Peasants' War, 1525
19. Reformation in the Cities
IV. Mastering the Reformation c. 1526-1555
20. The Emergence of Protestant Territories
21. The Persistence of Catholicism
22. Charles V, Ferdinand, and the Reich in Europe
23. The Establishment of Protestantism, 1526-1530
24. The Schmalkaldic League, its Counterparts, and the Politics of the Reich, 1530-1541
25. Charles V as 'Lord of Germany', 1541-1548
26. The Triumph of the Reich, 1548-1555
V. Managing the Peace 1555-1618
27. Contours of the 'Confessional Age'
28. Emperors, Imperial Officials, and Estates after the Peace of Augsburg
29. Constitutional developments after 1555: Reichstag, Kreise, Courts, and Legislation
30. The Reich in Europe
31. Managing the Domestic Peace, 1555-c.1585
32. The Consensus Falters, c. 1585-1603
33. Paralysis, 1603-1614
34. Problems of the Habsburg Dynasty
35. The Reich in the Reign of Emperor Matthias, 1612-1619
36. The Crisis of the Habsburg lands
37. Imperial Public Law and the Struggle over the Imperial Constitution
38. Irenicism and Patriotism on the Eve of War
VII. The German Territories and Cities after 1555
39. Problems of Interpretation
40. A Benign Environment?
41. State Formation?
42. Domestic Order and Defence
43. Confessionalization?
44. Finance, Taxation, and Estates
45. The Resurgence of the Courts
46. The Imperial Cities
47. Responding to Crises
VII. The Thirty Years War 1618-1648
48. The Thirty Years War in German History
49. What Kind of Conflict?
50. The Reconquest of Austria and Bohemia, 1618-1623
51. Ferdinand Victorious
52. Denmark and the War for the Reich, 1623-1629
53. What Kind of Reich? Sweden and the Defence of German Liberties, 1630-1635
54. Wallenstein and After
55. France, Sweden, and the German Way, 1635-1648
56. The Peace of Westphalia
57. The Impact of the War on German Society
58. The Thirty Years War and the German Polity

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