Hussite Period
30 Years War
in Bohemia

The Bohemian Lands 1526-1618

In 1526 an Ottoman Army crushed the Hungarians in the BATTLE OF MOHACS; the Habsburg diplomacy achieved major successes in the acquisition of the crown of what was left of Hungary, and of the Bohemian Lands.
The Habsburg dynasty was intent to reduce the influence of the diet and secure Habsburg succession to the throne of Bohemia. In general, the heir was crowned king while his father was still ruling the country (Maximilian in 1548, Rudolf II. in 1575, Ferdinand II. in 1617), thus avoiding the risk of the diet electing another candidate.
Rudolf II. made Prague his residence (1576-1611). Prague again became a cultural center of major importance, attracting the astronomers TYCHO BRAHE and JOHANNES KEPLER.
The reformation had found open doors in Bohemia, where the so-called NEW UTRAQUISTS regarded themselves as forerunners to protestantism; Another protestant denomination was the UNION OF BRETHREN (Bohemian and Moravian Brethren); they had broken with Catholicism and the Utraquists in 1468, established an independent church hierarchy with elected bishops.
As New Utraquism and the Union of Brethren were already established in Bohemia, Lutheranism found most of it's adherents among the German population of Bohemia. The Czech language bible was published by protestants in 1579-1594.
King Maximilian called the Jesuits to Prague to take on the task of the counterreformation (1562). Their success in converting protestants to Tridentine Catholicism was limited; in 1618 the burghers of Prague and the noblemen dominating the Bohemian diet, who staged the DEFENESTRATION OF PRAGUE, were mostly protestant.

Czechoslovakia, from : Library of Congress, Country Studies
State of the Estates (= Ständestaat), from Czech History
REFERENCE Derek Sayer, The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History, Princeton : Univ. Press 1998, pp.42-45

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on April 15th 2005

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