The Extra Girl: For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dr. Waterhouse, Apr 19, 2018.

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  1. B_Munro Member

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    Depending on how answers are chosen, the quiz might indicate good things or very bad things for Europe's Jewish population... :oops:

    This seems extraordinarily progressive for a 16th century German prince. :hushedface:
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Additional Discussion to Supplemental on Religious Diversity, Germany

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    When I was writing the first iteration of the timeline, I was much more cautious on the matter on just that assumption. The narrative was basically toleration for other Protestants in the mid-sixteenth, then Catholics enter the tent after the First General War/Thirty Years War, then finally freedom for the Jews gets at least debated in the early eighteenth century.

    Then researching the beginning of "The Spanish War" I read about the debate at the court of Philip of Hesse, and Josel's role as a sort of free-wheeling defender-in-chief, which he was able to execute on the basis of his personal relationship with none other than Maximilian, Charles and Ferdinand--the three most important rulers in the whole first half of the sixteenth century in the HRE. Which was weird to me, given that one would assume Charles would just carry over the position of his other grandparents, Ferdinand and Isabella, and we know Maria Theresa's attitude toward Jews as late as the mid-eighteenth century. And a figure who was apparently friendly to Josel was the Alsatian reformer Wolfgang Capito. Capito even gave Josel letters to give to OTL's Johann Friedrich during his version of this debate.

    So anyway, it seemed to me that especially if Friedrich's relationship with Luther was already antagonistic, he could go the other way on the Jews, partly for the purpose of really pissing Luther off. I had already decided on the Karlstadt execution story as the way to open the door to tolerating Sacramentarians and even Anabaptists, even casting Friedrich as a closet sympathizer of these more radical, anti-Lutheran sects. Toleration in their case is his way of patting the knee under the table, so to speak. Now Friedrich's, let's say, "Sacramentarian-curious" attitude, as well as their age and their shared role in the League, made him and Philip of Hesse very close, much closer than Philip was to OTL's Johann Friedrich. If Philip had decided on a permissive attitude to Judaism, Friedrich would at least contemplate it as an option. Moreover, Friedrich would be much more receptive to the arguments of theologians like Capito. And if Friedrich had Luther in front of him, playing the bully, bellowing about fiends who must be purged, that would hearken back in Friedrich's memory to Karlstadt. And to use our contemporary parlance, it would trigger him.

    And that's the thing: Friedrich has had someone he loved burned. In multiple ways, he's grown up with the fear of being burned, himself. Just like he was separated from his mother, also on account of doctrinal differences. So it's not unreasonable for him, given this context, to apply some ideas that are circulating as part of the Reformation, even--in other contexts--in Luther's own writings: that of the empty observance of an enforced ritual versus a true, sincere, inwardly directed relationship to God. These ideas make Friedrich ask: what are these laws good for? Can you mandate a mystical relationship to Jesus on pain of death? So hence his answer to Luther: go be a better preacher, and stop bothering me with this.

    That said, it's going to be an open question going forward whether Friedrich's policy holds up under his heirs and if so how much, especially as Saxony becomes a much more volatile society in the latter sixteenth century, and especially considering how much all this is tied to his personal history. I can definitely see a figure like Christian being much more restrictive. But Christian will be very, very busy otherwise.

    Anyway, that's my thinking on the issue. Thanks for asking about this. I'm happy to get some discussion going.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  3. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    No, I am not ignoring this comment. It's just been some years since I was a regular contributor to the board, and in that time there have been thrilling advancements in message board technology. So I need to do research. What are these threadmarks you mention? How much do they cost? Are they permanent? Is a blood test involved? I'll get back to you.
     
  4. Neptune IN BAD TASTE

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    On the bottom left corner of your post (if you're on a desktop/laptop) there should be a "threadmark" option. When you click on it, you can name the threadmark and add it. It looks like you've already got one threadmark - "Prefatory Note I: The Rise of the Wettins to 1485" - so you're probably not that behind the times.
     
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  5. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    I'm always glad to be misunderstood as being more competent than I am, but I actually thought that was just a box for the title or something. I have actually searched the threads discussing the use of threadmarks and seen how some of the timelines use them. I'm going to think what information would be useful to have as the threadmark label so people can navigate. Plainly the book or article name of the faux source is not the best. It may be as simple as subject, place, year, in that order.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1546

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Two images of Charles V: a portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder, top; and Lambert Sustris, bottom. You decide which is propaganda.

    800px-Lucas_Cranach_d.Ä._-_Porträt_Kaiser_Karl_V..jpg

    800px-Emperor_Charles_V_seated_(Titian).jpg


    from The Heresiarchs, by Sigismunda Killinger & Lise Freitag (1987)


    As 1546 opened, both parties in the looming German conflict positioned themselves for maximum advantage. In Wittenberg, Luther’s funeral was carried out with ceremony overshadowing even that of the Elector Johann, fourteen years before. Katerina von Bora was given preeminence even over the two electresses, the dowager Elizabeth of England and the elector’s young wife, Dorothea of Denmark. It was a spectacle, commemorated in prints from the shop of Lucas Cranach, clearly meant to tie the Ernestine Wettins even more tightly to the memory and spirit of Luther. Friedrich’s own public display of grief bordered on the immoderate.

    Aware time was running out, princes rushed to take or cross sides for their various reasons. The Archbishop of Cologne defected to the party of the Lutherans, followed not too far behind by the Elector Palatine. Originally the elector intended to join the party of the Lutherans but stay out of the League of Schmalkald. However, the Saxon Elector, and more particularly Luther’s treatise Of the Anti-Christ and His Servants, convinced him mere conversion would do nothing but expose him to danger from both sides, and that the only way to secure the safety of his rule was to join the League outright. Luther’s words had also terrified the Elector of Brandenburg from the party of the emperor into a paralyzed neutrality, and Duke Moritz had been rendered so insecure in his dominions that he dared not return to them from the side of the emperor for a long while out of fear of a violent reception.

    Charles V meanwhile, secured the help of the Duke of Bavaria through another marriage alliance. Friedrich had tried, at the last minute, the stratagem of luring Bavaria into an alliance with the promise that if the imperial throne was vacated at that moment, the combined votes of Saxony, Brandenburg, Cologne and the Palatinate would be sufficient to overthrow the Habsburgs, and that if he guaranteed the Lutherans their liberty he might represent an effective compromise choice. In the end, the only result of this intrigue though was that the correspondence in which it was proposed was turned over to Charles, and the alliance between Bavaria and the Emperor sealed, though Bavaria did not promise too much more assistance beyond its own neutrality. Likewise, Cleves, though still technically in the camp of the emperor, suddenly withdrew all its promises of material assistance.

    The Emperor had more success with the Margrave of Kustrin, who renounced his membership in the League, and Margrave Albrecht Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, who famously declared that with sufficient pay he would join the service of the devil himself. Then on June 19th Charles signed a secret treaty giving Moritz the administratorship of the archbishopric of Magdeburg and the bishopric of Halberstadt, partly in exchange for his agreement to not introduce the reformation into those cities. Lutheran spies at Moritz’s court shocked at this bargain reached out to the elector, and soon it was Friedrich’s turn to publish purloined correspondence. His agents were able to reveal in early July the treaty’s text, which confirmed in the view of many Lutherans the worst fears stated in Of the Antichrist, that Moritz was willing to sell his subjects’ souls in order to curry favor with the emperor. The black legend of Duke Moritz had now truly taken root.

    Also in June Charles concluded his treaty with Pope Paul by which the papacy promised money and troops to restore the German Princes to the Church, and in return Charles was given the right to sell church property in Spain and levy taxes on the clergy there to finance the project.

    It was Philip of Hesse who was chosen to meet with Charles to try and ascertain his motives for the upcoming Diet, which was to be held at Regensburg. Philip encountered Charles on his way there, at Speyer. Friedrich had agents present, who reported back that Charles was headed to Speyer with only 400 soldiers. Friedrich immediately began considering the possibility of launching a surprise strike aimed at capturing the emperor and either wringing from him under duress the necessary concessions, vacating the imperial throne by an enforced abdication and electing some less troublesome compromise candidate, or even killing Charles outright. Yet this would ruin his policy until this point of not offering a provocation by which he could be condemned as disturbing the peace of the empire. Moreover, he could not be absolutely sure this itself was not a trap the emperor was laying for him.

    In the end, Friedrich chose to behave with the same ambiguity he had in his march to Dueren. He announced at the last minute, to do as none of the other princes of the Schmalkaldic League had done, and attend the Diet in person. What he did not say, but nonetheless decided, was that he would bring with him 7,000 infantry. Here too as in the Cleves campaign Friedrich marched his forces fast. They were in Nuernberg before word reached Charles at Regensburg of the advance. The emperor and his allied princes fled in a panic, and was at already at Passau when he paused to issue the imperial ban on Friedrich. However, in his rush he had left behind his guns at Regensburg. The forty guns Friedrich had previously seized at Dueren he had been forced to leave behind when he evacuated at the end of 1542, making of them a rich gift to the dukes of Cleves. The ones he presently acquired, which Charles had bought at great cost, could have otherwise been used against the walls of the cities of Saxony. Instead, Friedrich returned with them forthwith to Coburg. For all intents and purposes, Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria tipped his cap to him as the Saxons passed through his territory, offering no resistance as thousands of Saxon soldiers crossed his territory. Such was the value of the Bavarian alliance to Charles.

    Simultaneous with Friedrich’s “attendance” of the Diet, his brother Johann the Younger moved deftly to take advantage of Moritz’s own absence from his dominions. Saxon armies seized all the lands of Albertine Saxony, the willingness of Moritz’s retainers to resist sapped by the news of his collusion with the Emperor. Both Dresden and Leipzig were taken without violence, and Ernestine garrisons were even admitted to the formidable Festung Konigstein, which would be strengthened and adorned until over the centuries it became the unique symbol of Saxon, and then German, resolve.

    Everywhere in ducal Saxony, the court officers, knights, churchmen, and councilors of town and village were demanded to take the same oath, renouncing all allegiance to the pope, the king of Spain and their servant Moritz, in favor of God, Luther’s Church and the Elector of Saxony. Johann the Younger rounded up those of sufficient prominence who refused and shipped them off to the Veste Coburg, deep in the Ernestines’ own lands, where they would be lodged, their survival both contingent on the good deportment of their families left behind and at the expense of those families. If the most loyal followers of Moritz were reduced to penury in this way, and the proceeds fund what was sure to be a vastly expensive war, what was the harm?

    Immediately on his return from Regensburg Friedrich was met by the Duke Johann at Leipzig. There, with pageantry and fanfare, the brothers produced legal authority that the 1485 Partition of Leipzig had violated the term of the Golden Bull of 1357 in that it had divided the territories of an electoral prince, which was not permitted. Then they ripped up and burned the document, canceled the partition, and officially restored the former Albertine Saxony to their lands, characterizing their act as one of deliverance of a people from a miscreant prince who meant to deliver the souls of the people charged to his care to Satan. Clearly, the time for tip-toing to avoid provocation was over.

    The next Saxon attack was also of a legal, rather than military, nature: no sooner had Charles, and the territorial princes who had assembled originally for the diet, issued the ban that he received a legal brief, no doubt prepared beforehand, asserting the ban was a nullity because it was issued without the correct constitutional process, which required the approval by a full Diet. And so the point could not be mistaken, this response was handed to Charles by Henry VIII’s own ambassador. At that very moment, Friedrich and Philip met at Gotha, on the border of their two territories, and announced their attention to unite their forces and march to defend any Protestant prince attacked by Charles anywhere in the empire.

    All this had been conducted parallel to the campaign of the South German Protestants. The Palatinate, Wuerttemberg, Augsburg, Constance, and Ulm appealed to the Swiss to close the passes to armies from Italy traveling to support the emperor and began hiring mercenaries. Those mercenaries, under the leadership of the experienced commander Sebastian Shaertlin, immediately began disrupting competing imperial efforts to recruit the Swiss, and advanced on the opposite side of Friedrich on the imperial Diet at Regensburg. In fact, the timeline is cloudy, but it is possible that if Schaertlin had not been frightened off by the threats of the Duke of Bavaria he and Friedrich could have trapped the emperor there. Friedrich next sent letters that beseeched Schaertlin to invade Tyrol and occupy the pass at Innsbruck to hold off reinforcements. Once again, the South German war council overruled him, and Schaertlin withdrew to Augsburg.

    Through that route arrived Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who at Landshut promptly presented the Emperor with an additional 10,000 Italian infantry. The army at the Emperor Charles V numbered a total of 30,000. At the moment, Friedrich realized that he and Philip could command a total of 45,000 soldiers, giving them a momentary advantage. However, Friedrich knew over time that Charles could call on an endless flow of reinforcements, especially given the support he had from the papacy, whereas the Protestants’ armies were soldered together by the present crisis, and were likely to scatter as the moment wore on and resources were spent. Friedrich knew he must act, or else lose the initiative.

    It was at this point Friedrich received word that the Imperial general Maximiliaan van Egmont, Count of Buren had crossed the Rhine, seeking to join up with the Emperor, with 10,000 infantry and 7,000 cavalry. Friedrich for once was able to prevail upon the rest of the League’s princes that Buren could not be allowed to combine his army with Charles’ and that he represented the easier target. In September, not even waiting for all the forces of his sprawling coalition to muster, Friedrich struck west into Franconia, trying to intercept Buren. On September 13, Friedrich and Buren met at Rieneck. In this first pitched battle of the war, Friedrich found himself unprepared against a more experienced general. With 26,000 soldiers on the field, facing Buren’s 17,000 total, he was defeated. The Elector of Saxony lost 6,000 soldiers that day, but was able to withdraw in good order north into the territory of his ally the Landgrave of Hesse. Buren lost 4,000, and was able to proceed to join Charles, as planned, on September 23. It was Friedrich’s first reversal of the war, and would not be his last.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  7. B_Munro Member

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    I don't really find anything to object to in re Friedrich protecting the Jews from forced conversion - there's plenty of precedent for that - it's the granting them full legal equality (at least de jure if probably often not de facto) to Christians which is remarkable. After all, by the 1500s everyone "knows" the Jews are hell-bound, Christ-killing, Sacrament-stabbing, money-grubbing Christian haters: I suspect there will be accusations of Freidrich being a secret Muslim Judaizer, for starters.
     
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  8. Threadmarks: Additional Discussion to Supplemental on Religious Diversity, Germany

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Yeah, the narrative at that point didn't really permit me to elaborate too much. The equality mentioned is with respect to choice of profession or business. There's no prohibition from the elector saying a Jew can't make shoes, or be, say, a barber-surgeon, or hold land. The rule is if a line of work or business is not denied by law to Christians, it's not denied to Jews. That's the equality, and it's fairly narrow. Because is there any requirement that local guilds admit Jews? No. And are rules limiting business to guild members done away with? No. And are there mandates for educational institutions to admit Jews? No. The decision is to not impose, as Hesse did, one layer of explicit, state-directed prohibitions. But that's different from a modern set of anti-discrimination laws that would mandate the similar treatment of Christians and non-Christians throughout society. Or let's take the example of real property. There is no legal prohibition from the elector on a Jew buying a house. But that doesn't restrict the prerogatives of a town from restricting who purchases homes there, and it doesn't require sellers to sell, and it certainly doesn't require them to sell on the same terms. Once again, a layer of prohibition is not there, but that does not mean that other social rules have been invalidated, or that the state has acquired new powers to regulate contracts between parties, or commercial life generally.

    Also, something that is going to be the case going forward for a while not just with the Jews, but with the other reformed religions and even the Catholics (bonus points if you can spot the bump in the road they just hit) is that this is still a medieval enough world that the church is a fundamental building block of the society. And here that's still, for all Friedrich's permissiveness, the Lutheran Church. For example, the schools we are all going to be finding more about shortly, all operate through the structure of the parish. The idea, of, say, non-Lutheran holders of court or local offices is not going to happen for a very long while, particularly while they're in this death struggle with Charles, and Catholicism is aligned with the external foe.

    And finally, because once again that this is still the late-medieval world, the idea is not that converting the Jews has ceased to be desirable, or that Christianity does not want to either absorb or expel anything not itself. Instead, the critical juncture here is that Friedrich thinks the use of duress to do that is bad practice. If it can't be done without violence, force or privation, it ought not be done because that's not going to be true Christianity. Now, that actually even echoes a position of Luther's from earlier in his career. The vehemently anti-semitic Luther of the 1530's and 1540's is partly the result of him having previously thought the Christian conversion of the Jews would be quick and easy, getting mad over that not happening, and throwing a tantrum over it. No kinder way to put it.

    And of course it's interesting that our Saxony is far from the only exception to the rule in sixteenth century Europe. In fact, OTL's Johann Friedrich's decision to expel the Jews in 1537 tells you implicitly something about the policies of Friedrich the Wise and Johann the Steadfast, doesn't it? But my favorite example is actually Pope Alexander VI, who is of course better known for a few other things. When Ferdinand and Isabella do their thing, he welcomes the fleeing religious minorities of Spain. Wait, the Jews, you say? No, the Moors too. The Borgia pope may have been many things, but he wasn't some barbarian.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  9. Unknown Member

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    Good update. Like the world-building going on, and waiting for more, of course...
     
  10. QueCosa! Member

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    Love the reboot, just hope a certain group of runaways and a specific Electress get a chance to come back! Loved the original when I started reading it some years ago. ;)
     
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  11. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1546

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    [​IMG]

    Philip of Hesse, by Lucas Cranach the Elder

    In the days of autumn 1546, following the ignominious defeat at Rieneck, the situation of the Protestant Army was disintegrating rapidly. The Count of Buren had met up with Charles V at Schweinfurt, creating a combined army of some 58,000 soldiers, easily enough to command the strategically pivotal Franconian valley and to outmatch any army that could conceivably be fielded against them by anyone but the Great Turk. Knowing this full well, Friedrich and Philip fled north, without illusion, without pretense. While the Saxon elector had at his disposal the nigh impregnable fortress of the Coburg Veste just east of where he was, the Imperial army lay between he and it. There was no way he could flee that direction without running headlong into the emperor.

    At this point, buoyed by reports of the Saxon elector's poor generalship at Rieneck, Charles V decided to pursue a quick victory before the close of the campaigning season, to save him the expense of raising another army of the same size the next year. And so with great confidence the Imperial Army bestirred itself from Schweinfurt, and gave chase to Elector and Landgrave north. Less from any design than the urgent need to head the direction opposite the 60,000 man enemy, the Protestants plunged into the valley of the Werra River.

    On their way, it was first Philip of Hesse who realized the possibility opened up by the hilly terrain around them, ill-suited to large-scale field tactics. On October 20, the army of the Schmalkaldic League made to ford the Werra in the vicinity of an old convent named Kreuzberg. The process was slow. The river, dried by the summer and autumn heat, was low, but still treacherous. And though slowed by its enormous size, the Imperial Army proceeded quickly down the valley of the Ulster river, a tributary of the Werra, to intercept, trying to reach it before the Schmalkaldic Army could complete its crossing. Arriving at the place, they found they had just missed the Reformist princes. Their tracks were fresh, and manure from the horses had not even cooled. Impatient, Charles ordered the army forward, lest the Schmalkaldic Army make its way into Friedrich's territory and shut themselves behind the walls of a city.

    At first, the crossing of the Werra proceeded without any problem. Relaxed and cheerful, the emperor's generals believed they were mere days from a decisive victory. Card games were being played in the emperor's tent. Then, Saxon infantry attacked the leading edge of the Imperial army from the east. There was no warning, and the Imperials had no opportunity to form up in the tercio formations in which they were close to invulnerable. Soon, the Saxons occupied the heights overlooking the river and the imperial van.

    Now, at this point it is necessary to recall that since 1509, when guards in the employ of the English delegation bearing the Princess Elizabeth had proved their skill against a peasant mob, the Ernestine Saxons had been impressed with the English longbow, and had endeavored to cultivate their own corps of longbowmen in the hope that it would make them unstoppable conquerors. This was, sadly, the case even though the glory gays of the longbow in even the English army had long since passed. This was so for various reasons, not least the increasing use of plate armor. For decades, every report from England of some new permutation, technique or trick, that would enable longbow arrows to finally pierce steel had been received with enthusiasm, and not long afterward, once tried, disappointment.

    Now in the Peasant's War, the Saxon longbowmen had acquitted themselves wondrously. Of course, this had been precisely because they were deployed against foes without plate to speak of. In fact, for some years it had become the conventional wisdom that the success of the longbowmen at Frankenhausen had been a misfortune for the House of Saxony, because it had prolonged the collective delusion that the longbowmen would win them their very own Crecys and Agincourts in the middle of Germany, plate armor and gunpowder be damned. This was in fact the opinion of the elector Friedrich, who had retained them half out of nostalgia, half out of the recognition of the outrageous expense that had already been sunk into them and the unwillingness to declare it a total loss.

    Finally, at Riebeck the time had come for them to prove themselves, and against the Spanish tercios they had performed miserably. In fact, as Friedrich explained in a letter recounting the battle to his brother, the best quality they had displayed was that their light weaponry enabled them to quickly run away from the fight. And so, on the whole dreary flight northeast into the wild country between Thuringia and Hesse, Friedrich had been cursing the great trouble his uncle, father and himself had gone to to train the longbowmen, and the even greater expense of feeding the burly fellows necessary to pull the strings on the giant bows. He had even threatened, if his longbowmen did not prove their worth otherwise imminently, to use them as replacements for his train's draught animals.

    But now the moment came.

    The Imperial Army, though by now aware of events and rushing to dispose itself for an attack, could not armor itself on short notice. Many men while crossing the Werra had greatly feared the danger from crossing water with the weight of steel on their backs, only to now find themselves in much worse circumstances. Likewise, the horses were completely unprotected and vulnerable, and once the air turned black with the repeated volleys, many panicked and drowned or broke their legs. Likewise, the guns were unavailable, given that men could not reach the gunpowder that had been bagged so as to safely get it across the river. For their part, the Saxons, having swept the imperials from the high ground, could now give their archers the best fixed position, at the head of a slope too steep for cavalry or even a pike charge. It would not be necessary even for them to drive stakes into the ground to prevent an attempt against their position from the front.

    Without facing the defense of plate or the competition of gunfire, the advantages of the longbows, long obscured, reigned. Their range was such that they made sport of the men in the water, and some of the stronger archers could reach the Imperial soldiers on the opposite bank. And they could reload several times faster than even the most efficient gun.

    The Imperial commanders were just organizing themselves for a pitched battle when the Saxon cavalry attacked from north and south on the east bank, creating a box for what remained of the approximate one-third of the imperial army that had made it across. Suddenly, the imperials lost their resolve, and the survivors began a frantic flight west across the river. Water now began to claim more imperial soldiers than the copper tips of the arrows. On the heights over the Werra, where Friedrich surveyed and commanded, the worst problem the Saxons faced was the possibility they might run out of projectiles. But now came the Hessians' moment, as Philip, having traveled a few miles east upriver to an easier ford, and crossing there, suddenly appeared from the east, attacking the flank the Imperials believed safe.

    Confidence and certainty had been transformed into its opposite, defeat became rout. In disorder the Imperial army fled.

    An estimated 20,000 of the Imperial Army lay dead, most of them on the east bank of the Werra. Virtually the whole of the imperial cavalry, both men and horses, was lost. For its part the League had sacrificed only 5,000 men. The aged Count of Buren, who just before had been the hero of the Imperial Army, was drowned, pinned beneath his wounded horse, mid-river. Duke Moritz, caught on the east bank in the pfeilsturm, himself survived only because he was strong enough to swim back across the river in his armor, even as the arrows fell around him. The emperor himself had been forced to flee for his life from his tent on the Werra's west bank, pursued by Hessians who helped themselves to his armors, reliquaries and priceless objets d' art. Philip was in a position to pursue, and did so. Friedrich sent word cautioning him against overconfidence, but went unheeded. The landgrave had ridden a mile down the path of the tributary Ulster River, pursuing the Imperials, before he had to be dragged back to camp by his own men lest he risk assassination.

    As word traveled, Protestant church bells rang, even in those princely states like Brandenburg that had sided with emperor against elector, a caution that perhaps the wrong choice had been made. The Protestant princes, by luck, guile and obsolete weaponry that had found its unique moment, had proved they could vindicate their claims against the emperor in a pitched battle. The emperor realized there might be absolute limits to what his might could accomplish, if the German princes remained solid in their resolve. In short, the whole nature of the conflict had changed, and in place of a superior army's chase of an overmatched foe it seemed as if two closely matched forces contested for the Empire. Word of the battle was received with rejoicing in the England of the dying Henry VIII, whereas in Italy and Spain embellished tales were spread that at the end of the Battle of Kreuzberg Friedrich had re-crossed the Werra on the backs of slain men, and as he did so blasphemously compared himself to Jesus, walking on water.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  12. Shiva Dreaming... always dreaming...

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    Friedrich had won a great victory, but he hasn't won the war. But we will see, we will see... :D
     
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  13. Unknown Member

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    Good update; Charles didn't see that coming...

    Wonder what'll happen next...
     
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  14. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    Oh, by electress, you mean Eleonore? I've missed her. That's really going to be fun to write. I am by the way in the middle of a 500 page biography of the Winter Queen, and I've visited Prague, so the grace notes and small details for the First General War is going to be bangin'.

    The Ausrissers will return. Somehow. That's going to be in the colonialism sections, and they are going to be getting some of the most wholesale revisions. But the Ausrissers, right down to the Ploughing Under and Cathbar Cutthroat, will be there.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Map, The Rieneck Campaign, 1546

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    The Rieneck campaign, September 1546

    Rieneck campaign.png Rieneck campaign 2.png
     
  16. Helga Duchess of Saxony-Zwickau

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    Another great chapter, glad to see the sucess for the Schmakaldic league.

    Also back to the previous chapter, yay for Saxony being reunited! In regards to the treatment of the Jews, didn't rulers at that time have court jews? Mostly as their physicians as far as I remember. Maybe medicine could be the field where Jews excel and become indispensable not just for the court but also the people at large. Let them found a medical college and hospitals for teaching and research and they over time could become an integral part of society.
     
  17. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    One of the things that's going to happen when we finally get to the end of Friedrich's time is we're going to pause and survey what's been happening around him. Some of this is going to be the result of policies and events we've talked about, and some of it is going to be things that don't fit neatly into the grand narratives of the religious settlement and the struggle with the Habsburgs. I don't really want to say too much more. :)
     
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  18. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1546-7

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

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    1280px-2011-03-26_Aschaffenburg_123_Schloss_Johannisburg_(6091030669).jpg

    Schloss Johannisburg, in Aschaffenburg, as Schloss Alexanderburg, near Wittenberg, or as it is more commonly known, Die Kaiserresidenz

    "Descent into the Underworld" from Outlaw Saxony: New Perspectives on the Sechszentes Jahrhundert Empire by Louis Hadrami

    From the very day of the victory at Kreuzberg, the Elector Friedrich and Landgrave Philip sought to make the most of the moment. Kreuzberg had reduced the emperor’s numbers to, at best, 35,000 infantry, to their 40,000. Both Friedrich and Philip knew though that Charles had the advantage of superior resources. A constant stream now fed his army from allied princes and his own possessions in Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. Over time, he could rebuild his strength, and allowed to fully bring that advantage to bear, he would inevitably smash them. Whatever chance they had at victory lay in pursuing the emperor immediately and prosecuting the war to its close, perhaps by capturing the emperor, or even killing him. So as soon as they could bring the whole of the Schmalkaldic Army back across the Werra, they marched west down the path the Imperials had left for them.

    For its part, the Imperial Army was dispirited. Winter was not far off, provisioning a large force in this country would be difficult in the best of circumstances, even more so without alienating politically sensitive allies by raiding or extortionate taxation. Charles’s army could conceivably have taken what it wanted from the countryside of Hesse, but that was made more difficult by the fact that Philip had prepared his people, who were now shut up behind town walls. And for a third time now, following the humiliations at Dueren and then Regensburg, the emperor’s artillery had fallen into the hands of the Saxon elector, so the possibility of the army taking what it needed from the towns was minimal.

    Thus, simultaneous with the marching came the diplomacy. Charles to Friedrich and Philip: restore the lands of ducal Saxony to Moritz and otherwise return to your own territories, and we will have a six-month truce followed by a national council of the kind the Lutherans had been calling for before the start of war. Friedrich and Philip to Wilhelm of Bavaria: join us against the emperor, agree to respect our liberties, and we will elect you his successor. Charles to the South German war council of Wuerttemberg, the Palatinate and the imperial cities: agree to a six-month truce, withdraw your forces from the army of Friedrich and Philip, and I will pardon you for all that has just transpired, and permit you your freedom of worship indefinitely.

    Heralds were scurrying between courts with these various messages when word arrived of yet another blow against the old order: the Archbishopric of Magdeburg, which Charles had just recently promised to Moritz, had been entered by the Duke Johann on behalf of his brother. The Saxon electors held among their many titles that of Burgrave of Magdeburg, though all of Friedrich’s predecessors would have been surprised to know that among the responsibilities that imparted was that of serving “as the defender of the city’s eternal German liberty”, which was what Johann was declaring now.

    Then, not four days following Kreuzberg, the Imperial and Schmalkaldic armies met again at Rosdorf, in the territories of the bishopric of Fulda. Friedrich once again tried to make innovative use of his archers, this time by loading them on wagons, so that they could be whipped about the field and easily withdrawn when pressed by the Imperial pikes. Normally these would have been vulnerable to a cavalry attack, but Friedrich now had superiority mobility due to the slaughter of the emperor’s horse in the Werra. Such plans worked well, but nevertheless, due to the superior generalship of Moritz, the Imperial army was able to deploy its squares and repulse the attack.

    Casualties that day however were 6,000 for the Imperial Army and 5,000 for the League. However, if the two sides appeared to be wearing each other down at an equal rate, in one sense that had a net effect of disadvantaging the emperor more, given that he led the offensive force in what was, despite what he asserted, enemy territory. Moreover, Protestant states like Brandenburg, Mecklenburg and Pomerania who had abstained from assisting Saxony on the supposition there would be no ramifications for that choice now looked more anxiously than ever on the events in ducal Saxony and Magdeburg.

    In the early Habsburg war plans, it was imagined Duke Moritz would invade Electoral Saxony from the south with the assistance of a Bohemian army provided by Ferdinand. Friedrich's neat preemption of Moritz by propaganda, espionage and force had derailed these notions completely. Ferdinand, for one, was wary of committing to an invasion of the Wettin lands without a component of the local, Lutheran nobility giving the effort the color of legal validity. But Moritz was now displaced, and moreover was now in the west with Charles's force in the wild countryside of the Bishopric of Fulda.

    Reluctantly, Ferdinand ordered the invasion of Saxony. The ambition of the Saxon princes, as much as their vulnerability, weakened them at this crucial moment, with Friedrich in the far west and Johann in the far north. So when the Bohemian hussars crossed into the Vogtland, they met little competent resistance. The elector left orders that any attack in the absence of defending armies should be met by a retreat behind town walls. Nonetheless, the stout peasants of the electorate marched out to confront the invaders, meeting a terrible defeat at Adorf.


    Meanwhile, in the west the Schmalkaldic Army marched first to Hersfeld, and then Marburg, in Philip’s territories, for necessary rest and re-supply, when word reached them that the South Germans had reached a separate truce with the Emperor, specifying an end to hostilities for six months. The Imperial army would quit the field for the time being and the Palatinate, Wuerttemberg, Ulm and the rest would withdraw their contributions to the army for the duration.

    The Emperor for his part had returned south into the more hospitable territories of the Franconian ecclesiastical lands, where he could more easily receive support along lines from the Rhine and Danube. It was now that word reached them of Ferdinand's invasion of the Vogtland. Friedrich and Philip had thought the Bohemian nobility would be reluctant enough to roust themselves to take sides in an inter-German dispute they need not worry, and that Ferdinand would not risk a Protestant revolt in his own kingdom. That bet had now been proved terribly wrong. For his part however, the Duke Johann seemed unworried. As he wrote to his duchess, "A week after we entered the prince-bishop's castle at Magdeburg we received word of the trouble in the Vogtland. I do believe it tallies to our profit though. There's more gold in Magdeburg than Adorf."

    At the same time Philip could not disregard the danger to his own country from the Emperor's army.


    Thus, at Marburg Philip and Friedrich took their leave. As if there were no other powers in Germany that mattered, Philip recognized Friedrich’s rights to ducal Saxony, Magdeburg and for good measure, Halberstadt. Friedrich reciprocated by allocating to Philip the Bishopric of Fulda, the lands of the Archbishop of Mainz in Eichsfeld, and the Waldeck country. Both elector and landgrave would strengthen their defenses in their own countries, recruit armies for the next year, and respond to any attack by the Emperor on the other. And with that, Friedrich left with his army, now somewhat more hardened than when he marched them to Regensburg not five months before, and returned home.

    What followed was the hard snow march of December 1546. Charles's Italian and Spanish forces had been disadvantaged by the weather of Germany in late autumn and early winter, but even with men native to the region, transit by foot across mountains in mid-winter was painful, difficult and slow. Friedrich used the opportunity to consider how to deploy his longbowmen to best advantage. He had displeased his army on the cruel march east by favoring his longbowmen, letting them ride in covered wagons so as to avoid the dangers of fever and frostbite.

    For their part, the Bohemian army had laid siege to Zwickau. On Christmas Eve, word came that the elector's army was approaching and meant to offer battle. The bulk of the Bohemian forces present were cavalry, the remainder mostly pikemen, and the snow was fifteen inches deep. Mobility would be extremely limited. In the Battle of the Snows, fought the next day at Werdau, the Saxon longbowmen basically used the fixed position of the west bank of the Pleisse from which to attack the Bohemian hussars. The hussars thought to cross the frozen river. Critically slowed by the snow, and not familiar with either the range or the firing rate of the kind of archers they were facing, they faced volley upon volley from the longbows before they could close. When the survivors reached the Pleisse, Friedrich ordered his cannon to open up the river beneath their feet.

    By the time it was done, so much of the work had been done by the distance weapons that, as one of the Saxon pikemen wrote his father, "we may might as well not have even got out of bed that day." 5,000 of the 7,000 Bohemians who had invaded the Vogtland were dead, and the Saxons had suffered only nominal losses. The Saxon longbowmen finally had their Crecy.

    On New Years 1547 he was welcomed at the Electoral residence of Altenburg
    by the electresses Elizabeth and Dorothea. He also formally made Johann the Administrator of Magdeburg and Halberstadt. By this action in terms of personal territories and rents, the younger brother now surpassed the elder in his personal wealth, a situation Friedrich seemed only too comfortable with, given the degree to which he was relying on Johann in his time campaigning against the emperor. After a few days Friedrich then traveled to Erfurt, which he enfolded into his dominions on the understanding he would respect the city’s unique bi-confessional arrangement and defend it from all external attack.

    Friedrich had not been a party to the truce reached between the emperor and the other members of the League. That truce had weakened him critically to the point that he could not continue offensive operations against the emperor. It was this Charles had counted on when he quit the field and returned south to repair his forces. Nor did Friedrich think he would have to face further invasion from the humiliated king of Bohemia. Thus, Friedrich realized, this situation had left him open to act against the emperor’s allies adjacent to his territory. And as word spread of his victory in the Battle of the Snows, he realized his use of distance weapons in the winter landscape gave him an advantage he would be unwise not to press while he could.

    One target for Friedrich was Duke Heinrich of Braunschweig-Wolfenbuettel. Heinrich had provoked and menaced the Saxons before the war, interfering in the affairs of Goslar and Naumburg in order to catch Friedrich in a breach of the peace. Friedrich had abstained from violence against Heinrich then to avoid the trap, but acted now with full resolve.

    So in late January 1547, Friedrich marched across the lands of the Count of Mansfeld, made good his claim to Halberstadt, and promptly marched on Goslar. February 9, he entered Wolfenbuettel and sent Heinrich fleeing. However, it was now that Friedrich’s overconfidence got the better of him. Returning overland to Thuringia from his acquisitions, he was caught in a snow that separated him from the main body of his army. A small force of men loyal to Duke Heinrich who had been shadowing his army seized the opportunity. The house in which he was staying for the duration of the storm was surrounded. A pitched fight ensued. His guards were killed, the elector taken, and the soldiers of the duke of Braunschweig were vanishing over the horizon with their prisoner just as the main force of the Saxon army arrived. Friedrich was secreted through the countryside of Paderborn and Westphalia, with no one knowing who he was lest an attempt be made to free him. Finally, reaching Aachen on March 24, he was conveyed into the presence of the emperor, now his captor.

    Charles V gave him a choice. If he agreed to cede all territory seized since the beginning of the war, renounce his heresy, abdicate the electoral dignity and all other titles in favor of his son, and then surrender his son into the care of the Habsburgs to be raised as a Catholic, his life would be spared and the electoral dignity of the Ernestine House of Wettin would be kept intact. If he or any other members of his house failed to surrender his son, the electoral dignity and all the lands of the Ernestines would pass to Moritz and the Albertine line. But in no uncertain terms, Friedrich was told that if he wanted to live he must return to the Catholic Church, cede his conquests, and abdicate.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  19. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Religious Diversity, Germany, Contemporary

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Quiz Answers

    Thursday, December 25, 2014

    1. Wittenberg has the second largest Jewish community in Europe. Which is the largest?

    C. Amsterdam.

    It's close, though. Immigrants from points east make Prague almost equal to Amsterdam and Wittenberg.


    2. What is the size of the Jewish community of the Haupstadtbezirk Wittenberg?

    (D) 1.3 million.

    This might sound like a lot, but it's out of a total population of 7.6 million, which means fewer than 1 in 5 Wittenbergers are Jewish.


    3. During the Abfluss, which German colony received the most Jewish settlers?

    (A) Neuprussia

    The License of Settlement of the Empress Sofie sought to encourage migration to what was at the time the land between Louisiana and New Spain.


    4. Controversially, the Alexanderstadt Synagogue, the largest in Germany, was built in what architectural style?

    (B) Gothic

    When the synagogue was built, some thought it unseemly for Gothic architecture to be used in a non-Christian house of worship.


    5. Historically, though Wittenberg never had a ghetto, several different neighborhoods have served as the hub of Jewish life in the city. Which one serves that purpose now?

    (A) Eichenbrueche

    Founded in the seventeenth century, this district at the south foot of what was formerly the oak bridge crossing the Elbe began attracting Jewish tradespeople from the time the old walls of Wittenberg had filled, and has been a Jewish-majority neighborhood for the past 150 years.


    6. Whose statue adorns the plinth immediately in front of the Alexanderstadt Synagogue, on Herzogjohannstrasse?

    (C) Martin Luther

    The Alexandrines, a seventeenth-century cadet branch of the House of Wettin on whom the succession had been settled at the time, and who were instrumental in the planning and building of the Alexanderstadt, were emphatic in their reaffirmation of Luther as a historical figure.
     
  20. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Talk about a cliffhanger; wonder what Frederich's decision will be (I suspect I already know, from the hints and world-building you keep dropping)...

    Waiting for more, of course...
     
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