Posted at 10.08.2018
The amount of crisis that happened in European countries in the seventeenth century was one of the toughest in history. After the process of expansion and progress experienced during the fifteenth and sixteenth ages, Europe found itself in a deep turmoil that lasted nearly a century. A crisis that was characterize by various features, most important the demographic, because following the late Middle Ages the population got increased progressively; until it can stop abruptly in the sixteenth hundred years even to recede in many places. Other reasons which were attributed for causing this crisis included being hungry, wars, revolts, politics, plagues and weather changes. Eric Hobsbawn argues that on the big picture, it was monetary and social makes that created this middle 17th century problems. Alternatively, Trevor Roper emphasized that the primary causes for this problems were the religious and political issue. Although both arguments can be valid and were within this disaster, I believe that the root causes of this problems were religious and political distinctions, which eventually led Europe to get economic and social conflicts as well.
One important example of this crisis is the thirty years warfare. It had been a warfare that took place in central Europe (especially in Germany) between 1618 and 1648, where the majority of the fantastic European powers intervened. This warfare would mark the near future if the Western continent in the ages to check out. The origin of the war dates back to the Tranquility of Augsburg, which fundamentally stated that the religious beliefs of the ruler of the land will be the religion of people. This resolved the conflicts between the Catholics and the Protestants for a while, but due to the diverse religions employed in the German states, it didn't solve the actual spiritual issues definitively. Just by analyzing the phrases above, we automatically obtain the sense that it was spiritual conflicts the primary cause of this battle. This is proved by the event that sparked the warfare, the revolt in Bohemia. With this revolt, member of the predominantly protestant bohemian legislature threw two catholic authorities representatives pot the screen, as an indicator of protest from the religious procedures of the newly elected king, the catholic Ferdinand II. However, the Catholics defeated the protestants, and this leads us to some other example of faith leading to the 30 years conflict; the intervention of the Danish and then your Swedish. This happened due to concern with these kingdoms that their sovereignty as protestant lands was threatened by the Catholic success in the battle, and also because the declarations of the king Frederick V, where he said that all European countries should be back to Catholic. Nevertheless, at this point the Catholics remain winning the battle, and this attracts the awareness of Cardinal Richelieu, who was the chief minister of Ruler Louis XII of France. Out of this point on, this religious war becomes political, because even though he was catholic, France chooses to become listed on the warfare and help the Protestants. The explanation for this was simple, balance of electricity; the French believed that Habsburgs have gained too much ability and they did not want just one single great power to control European countries.
This war is a great exemplory case of how spiritual and politics reasons formed this European crisis, and how these events led to the economic and social issues that a battle brings, to be able to fund the war with money and men. In the end, this warfare was ended with the Treaty of Westphalia; which ironically finished up being like the treaty of the tranquility Augsburg that explained that the faith of the prince is the religion of individuals. The political ramifications of this war were very distressing as well, first it weakened the power of the empire, and the average person territories of the Germany gained more autonomy even than before the war.
Another problem that increased during this crisis was the war of the three kingdoms. This is another great example to argue that Trevor Roper was appropriate in explaining the main reason behind the crisis. This war happened after Britain, Ireland and Scotland became united under the energy of only 1 ruler. This is possible because, since Queen Elizabeth of Great britain had no direct heir to her throne, another in line was Adam Stuart, the king of Scotland. Just what exactly types of problems this created? First, James was a company believer of the "divine right monarchy", which essentially means that he was placed there by god and does not have to are accountable to other people. This belief didn't bring many problems to other nations; however, the actual fact that England possessed a parliament created a whole lot of political tensions in this era. Expanding upon this, the prosperity that the people of the parliament acquired purchased from the agricultural technology, the expansion with their land and sheep count up, increased this problems even more, because they now wished to match their political power with their economic power. The actual fact of this taking place brings us back to our thesis, and shows a spiritual problem becoming politics, which finally becomes public. I argue this because the parliament begins to have electricity from the days of Ruler Henry, when he needed their acceptance to separate from the Catholic Cathedral (religious beliefs). Years after, this backfires to Ruler James, because it gave more expert to the wealthy parliament, and clash along with his ideals of divine right and absolutism (Politics). Eventually, creating a whole lot tension and distress among the people of the three kingdoms, whose laws and regulations and taxes maintained changing as the energy of the monarchy and the parliament would fluctuate (Sociable).
To further support our point, we can cite the historian Paul Threat, who coined the word "crisis of the European consciousness" to determine an ideological problems that might be found in the intellectual ambient of European countries after the wars of faith. That is a valid argument since it is logical to assume that religious issues could rupture the emotional stability of any society that is very much indeed inspired by god and faith. The increase and growth of new religions that differed in many matters with early Catholicism brought into the map many thinkers that challenged even more the original values. Intellectuals such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke and Newton show the time, it could even be dated astronomically with the famous Halley's comet of 1680 which allowed Pierre Bayle drafting its Charter, and utilize this to make fun (in ways) at the Religious superstitions and affirm that knowledge must be constantly proven and kept up to date. However, this eventually created some sociable problems, since almost all of the colleges and coaching centers were controlled and experienced the patronage of the chapel, being either catholic, like the Jesuits, or protestants. That is another exemplory case of how religious issues (Trevor's discussion) occurred first and the led to sociable problems (Hobsbawn discussion)
Possibly the best exemplory case of the religious and political factors behind this problems was the glorious trend. Going back to the origin of the situation, old King Adam II was a Catholic that experienced already irritated the parliament by soothing the restrictions on the Catholics and permitting them to hold positions in public offices. Nevertheless, Wayne was old and next series for the throne was his daughter Mary, a protestant that was married to William of Orange; so the parliament will not really take any action. However, things flip ugly after James II has a child that would signify the continuity of Catholic rule in England, that your parliament wouldn't normally allow. This induced the glorious trend, and causes Wayne to flee to France along with his boy, and William of Orange is asked to be ruler of England.
It is interesting to see how the biggest politics problem that Ruler James II experienced was the actual fact that he was catholic; once more religion. Furthermore, the fact that the parliament is the the one that invites William to be ruler summarizes the amount of power that he would have, which once we can easily see, was not a lot of. He was presented with many restrictions, such as the responsibility to be an Anglican, he was not allowed to have a position army, he had not been permitted to veto a parliament work and there is no arbitrary arrest. Predicated on this, comes a liberal social activity that will support the ideas of the parliament in ways, and moves Great britain even further from absolutism. A leader of this motion is John Locke. We are able to see in his "Two treatises to the federal government" his idea of the natural right to live, which quite simply states that people all have a right to liberty and the ownership of property. In addition, if the federal government will not protect the natural to live of the individuals, they can revel and a demand a ruler would you not violate their privileges.
Trevor and Hobsbawn use the Fronde in France as another example of the general problems. It begun because of standard discontent of the individuals. His beginnings were predicated on the economic crisis and increasing the tax burden generated to deal with the price of participation of France in the Thirty Years Conflict. Its most immediate cause, however, can be found in the means employed by the monarchy to raise taxes. With all the introduction of the regent individuals expected the monarchy to minimize rates, however, not so: Cardinal Mazarin thought that France could support the warfare and didn't let in the pressure. Furthermore, the Parliament of Paris attempted to limit the energy of King Louis XIV and also the nobility sensed threatened by the ruler and needed more of a words in the federal government. All of the causes of the Fronde have political implications to it. Even If it's argued that the increase of the fees was a sociable problem, it was a political decision to improve the taxes for conflict and specially to really enter the conflict, with the ideals of balance of electricity.
In conclusion, the general crisis was characterized by some wars, revolts, drop of society and political and interpersonal changes that in many cases could have been prevented if the right safeguards would have been used. However, the actual fact Europe was starting a time political absolutism (at least that is what the rulers expected) and the close relationship between cathedral and government, made it impossible to enough time conflicts. The numerous wars that happened (all for politics and spiritual reasons) aided by plagues and diseases, caused the first decrease in the population after the dark ages, therefore creating communal and monetary problems in your community. This is the reason why I think that Trevor Roper was right by saying that the root cause of the turmoil was politics and religious (decisions to go to war, monarchs chosen for their religion, etc); which in turn led to financial and interpersonal problem(increase of taxation, price revolution, and drop in inhabitants), aggravating even more the problem.