Monday, February 19, 2018


Munich (München) is the largest city in the German state of Bavaria (third biggest in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg). It is a city founded "near the Monks" of a Benedictine monastery. Catholic Munich was a stronghold in the Counter-Reformation. The Reformation started in 1517 and while the core motivation was theological (sale of indulgences, reliance on scripture etc.), it was an opportunity for power bases to grow with rising nationalism. Around the same time in 1530, Henry VIII made England's church independent for other reasons. The Counter-Reformation was the fight back, and part of the Thirty-Year War (1618-1648). Ferdinand II wanted to restore Catholicism as the only religion in the Empire. The Protestants called on the support of King Gustav of Sweden - leader of the most powerful army in Europe at the time. Between 25-40% of the population of most German states were killed in this period. Directly through killed soldiers, and indirectly through famine, disease, and destroyed livelihoods. Ferdinand II lost (dying during the war), and though Bavaria was independent at the end of the war, his son Ferdinand III was the last Emperor to have any real power over the Holy Roman Empire. The unification of Germany only happened in 1871.

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