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.

  1. Nyvis Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    My family never left France, instead retreating to the most remote valleys and hills. To this day, you can encounter a protestant/catholic divide between hills and plains in a lot of places in southern France because those areas were such a pain to access they could never root them out completely. But with an earlier reason to move, they may have chosen to do so.
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  2. Threadmarks: Supplemental on The History of Religious Freedom, Saxony, 1533-1560

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Sigismunda Killinger, Lecture Record, November 7, 1998 Charpentier-Synthtranslate Edition.


    You will have found in your assigned reading for today, a chapter from Haller's new book, Paper Realm, references to the Strangers' Law, promulgated in 1541. Briefly before we proceed I would like to sketch out who it applies to, what it says, and how it works.

    Like Haller says, it is meant to apply to persons who have been non-resident in Saxony, who are Christian, and who do not intend to conform to Lutheran practice once they reside in the country. Is a native Saxon who wants to found some obscure cult covered by the law? No. Is a Jew, either native to Saxony or not, covered? No. Is an immigrant from France who intends to become a good Lutheran covered? No. In various ways, all these persons escape the purview of the Strangers' Law. The peregrinations of the conscience of a native-born Saxon is not, for this elector, a matter of coercive or criminal law. Likewise Jews are not implicated in these rules established specifically for Christians. And finally the law establishes no restrictions on immigrants generally, but once again, only those immigrants who arrive in Saxony intending to practice a Christian religion different from that which is privileged by the public life of the state--and make no mistake, Lutheranism is still very much privileged.

    The first article of this law provides new churches may be established by new arrivals, or strangers, to the land of Saxony only by these terms. Likewise, an existing religious group transporting itself into Saxony, according to the second article, must also follow these rules. Once again, a native Saxon founding a new church does not face these particular restrictions. Nor does an immigrant joining a new church founded by a native Saxon. Instead, once again, only churches founded by or coming with "the strangers" fall within these rules.

    Article three sets forth the bare-bones doctrinal requirement these churches must meet in order to be permitted by the elector. In its way, it is helpful to think of article three as the Nicene Creed transformed into a legal checklist. Does the Church believe in one God? In Jesus as the Son of God? In the death of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world? And so it goes, through nine points, culminating in the requirement that the church in question maintain the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. These were the same two sacraments embraced as absolutely necessary by Luther. A church organized under the Strangers' Law may embrace additional sacraments, but must recognize those two. Moreover, quite scandalous to the Lutheran community, there was no requirement that children born to church members be baptized. In short, Friedrich was willing to open Saxony to theological Anabaptists.

    This was followed in the Fourth Article by the requirement that these churches accept and abide by Saxon law and that they not preach, inveigh, or militate against Saxon public law. To our eyes, this may seem singularly uncontroversial. However, this fourth article has been the most hotly contested of all these provisions down the centuries, climaxing in its now-scandalous use to shut down Quaker meeting houses and other churches of foreign origin that were seeking the abolition of slavery in the German colonies.

    In that same vein, the Fifth Article prescribes that these churches accept all local authorities, including those of towns, villages and agents of the elector.

    Moreover, the Sixth Article establishes that none of the churches governed under the Strangers' Law may act to prejudice the Lutheran Church, its rights, its privileges, or properties. The Seventh Article extends this notion, providing that none of the former Catholic lands, properties or structures may be appropriated by one of the churches falling under this law for their use, but that such belongs exclusively to the Lutheran Church, in its role as the church of the state and of the elector. Krista! What's that smirk for?

    Finally, we reach the Eighth Article. In its own way, this is the furthest reaching in its intrusion into everyday religious practice. It creates a set of privileges on the part of public authorities at all levels, whether the elector or a burgermeister, and their hired agents.

    The first privilege is the privilege of deposit. To be a church under the provisions of the law, copies of all printed literature belonging to the church must be deposited with the state. At a minimum, that literature must be sufficient to certify its compliance with all other requirements of the law. Biblical commentaries, religious treatises, devotional guides, and hymnals must be provided. If any are held back, that could conceivably create a situation where a church may be disallowed from religious practice.

    The second privilege is the privilege of inspection. This gives those same authorities the right to enter a house of worship of this church at any time, with no notice, to conduct searches there, limited only by the requirement such intrusions not disrupt a regularly appointed worship service.

    The third privilege is the privilege of attendance. It permits the authorities to be non-disruptively present at any service of the religion, and creates the additional requirement that the church notify the authorities of the times and locations of all services, with any failure to provide such creating grounds for the church's closure.

    And the fourth privilege is that of interview. In it, the authorities can periodically question the priest or minister of the church to ascertain his teachings. More than the other privileges, this is given limiting language specifying that unless wrongdoing is revealed or some extraordinary circumstances arise, the questioning cannot be conducted in the custody of the state, be at all in the way of an interrogation, or make use of any torture or confinement.

    Now of course, especially with respect to local authorities, the extensive sets of powers granted herein could be used to persecute minority Christian churches. Recognizing this, the law mandated in a coda a right of appeal to the elector personally on the part of any church covered in the law, a formidable threat given the character of the person who had instituted this law, and the influence Saxony's Calvinist minority would exercise upon his heirs.

    In total, all these provisions may give the impression of anything but a milestone in religious freedom. In particular, any mystery religions among the populations covered by the law are effectively banned. But what the Strangers' Law is is an effort to come to a set of arrangements for how different faiths, albeit different faiths within a limited continuum of Christian belief, can interact with each other not on the basis of a prohibition exercised or curbed, or on the basis of a multiplicity temporarily accepted on the way to the restoration of some or other unanimity, but instead as coexisting members of a shared community each of whom with the right to be there.


    STUDENT: Dr. Killinger, I don't understand. Are the churches who fall under the law because they're of foreign origin in a better or worse situation than the Saxon Catholics who have been there the whole time?

    DR. KILLINGER: I know, fascinating, isn't it? Next question. No, not you, not. Not--

    STUDENT: Dr. Killinger, what troubles me about the readings from Haller and this discussion is all this talk about how enlightened and amazing the Elector Friedrich IV is. To me, it's clear. His personal preferences were at odds with the doctrines that held sway in the Lutheran Saxony bequeathed him by Johann the Steadfast. He held beliefs more in agreement with the people he was letting immigrate into Saxony than who were down the street at the Leucorea. Why do we talk about him as some visionary, when plainly he was just doing what he could to change the balance of power in terms of religious doctrine in the electorate in his favor, without upsetting too much the people who could cause him trouble?

    DR. KILLINGER: You know, I do believe in my thirty years researching and teaching this period of history I have never seen a paper make that precise argument. Nor do I ever think I will one that passes, Krista.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  3. AmericaninBeijing Not Particularly Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2016
    @Dr. Waterhouse

    This begs the question; who’s closer to right, student or teacher?
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  4. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    That's one of the things I've decided about my use of the academic authorities in the timeline. In the same way that the legacies of real people like Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are these hotly contested open questions, I want to leave some things, particularly some questions of historical interpretation, open. That actually has the effect I think of making the timeline's events read more like a real history, filled with disagreement and passion. Not quite sure how yet, but I want at some point soon to post an update that's going to be a hostile academic take-down of Killinger, Hadrami or our new scholar, David Haller. (Yes, the name is an easter egg).
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  5. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Sorry for not catching this earlier. Corrections to my French are more than welcome. The line "protecteur contre torches" or "protecteur contre les torches" is supposed to mean "protector against torches."

    The idea is that Friedrich is what stands between these people and the age's penalty for heresy.
  6. AmericaninBeijing Not Particularly Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2016
    I understand completely, that was more in the nature of a rhetorical question. Nothing in the timeline thus far has actually proved this one way or another... nor do I expect you to resolve that anytime soon, haha.
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  7. Nyvis Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    It doesn't sound very good in French. But I can't find a way to make a title sound right while keeping the graphical nature in it. "Protecteur contre le bûcher", maybe.
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  8. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
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  9. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1551-2

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Armor of Ferdinand I (3).jpg View attachment 393733

    Armor of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor

    "Machinations" from Outlaw Saxony: New Perspectives on the Sechszentes Jahrhundert Empire by Louis Hadrami

    Not for nothing did the Elector Friedrich IV make the ducal prince Julius of Braunschweig his emissary to Charles V for the purpose of reaching some accommodation. Julius of course was fast proving himself a skilled and trustworthy agent for Friedrich. But here the reasoning was more practical: as the son of one of Charles V's most reliable lieutenants among the German princes, Julius could not be held or harmed without triggering unacceptable ramifications for the Habsburg emperor. In the eyes of Friedrich IV, he could simply load Julius down with whatever treasons or heresies he liked, send him on his way to the emperor and be utterly confident Charles would, at the very least, let him return.

    Friedrich was never a prince given to tarry under exigent circumstances. Thus he formulated his proposal to Charles V within a week of Julius's presentation of the offer from Henri II and his allies. The first item was the most important, exceeding even the matters of titles, territories, or the elector's heir. Charles must permit princes within the empire to adopt religious policies at variance with the Roman Catholic religion, with it stipulated that all princes of the empire must permit Catholic worship within their territories. Friedrich knew better than to demand a freedom of worship for all Christians in every territory, or for Protestant princes to have the power to impose their will on their Catholic subjects.

    To assume such a position even as an opening gambit in a negotiation would be only too likely to so anger Charles that the enterprise would end as soon as it began. Instead, perhaps sensing that the flow of religious exiles out of the Catholic princely states of the empire would over time strengthen Saxony and sap her rivals, he agreed to let Charles retain the power to discriminate against his Protestant subjects but declined on the part of the Protestant princes to exercise the same power. This would establish a structural bias in the empire in favor of Catholics, but he hoped this would be enough of a concession that Charles would accept it.

    The rest of his scheme reads like a recapitulation of his positions from the previous decade. Charles must again, after the disaster in 1548, call imperial diets regularly, and submit to the normal constitutional processes of the empire his laws and edicts. In particular he would have to do so with respect to the issuing of imperial bans and other acts prejudicial to the princes of the empire. Once again Friedrich appealed to Charles not to make use of foreign armies on the empire's soil against its princes, but this time with the novel--and appropriate--proviso that exceptions could be made when the empire is menaced by a foreign power.

    And of course, Friedrich asked Charles to formally recognize the cancellation of the Partition of Leipzig, the merger of Ernestine and Albertine Saxony, and Friedrich's new office of "prince defender" of Magdeburg and the other newly acquired territories of Saxony. This also meant also the recognition of the loss of these extensive lands to the church, although shrewdly Friedrich asked only for Charles's concession for the loss of these lands inside his own Saxon realm, not generally throughout the empire. Finally, almost as an afterthought, came the demand that Charles return immediately and safely the Duke Alexander.

    Now in return for all this, Friedrich offered to Charles V a Saxon army of nothing less than 20,000 infantry (it would be the largest force Saxony had fielded on its own since the start of the Spanish War) for the use against the French and any allies that kingdom might have among the German princes, whosoever they might be. This army Friedrich would pay and support himself. In addition he would forbear any separate peace between himself and France or her allies. Instead, he would be tied to Charles for the duration, if his word could be believed.

    It was a measure of how little trust remained between emperor and elector that after the many instances in which pouches had been opened, letters purloined and secrets circulated, Friedrich did not provide a written document to Charles listing these items, or allow Julius to make notes of them even in a cipher. Instead, Julius of Braunschweig would be expected to memorize and recite them before the emperor. The fidelity of his oral proposal to the emperor would be verified by a second trusted servant, sent on a separate route, himself without any written account of Friedrich's plan.

    What was written down was a letter from Friedrich to Henri II, Philip of Hesse, Moritz of Saxony, and the rest, declining their kind offer. It was, even for as frequent and skilled a practitioner of subterfuge as Friedrich, a work of extraordinary cunning. Friedrich explained that not long after the last truce had been agreed to in late 1549 he had received word through imperial diplomats at the English court that he should truly consider his son's life hostage to his good behavior and his willingness to abide by the terms thus set. Friedrich explained that, scruples about ceding imperial territory to France aside, he dared not act against Charles at this point for fear of endangering his son, as the safety of the boy had ever been his only consideration.

    Of course, the princes Friedrich was dealing with were themselves somewhat adept at the study of deception, and gathered when Friedrich's new favorite diplomatist, who had previously been his representative to themselves, was not the one who returned, that he had been sent elsewhere, and where that might be was no great mystery. Now to be clear, to suspect Friedrich of trying to negotiate a settlement and alliance with the Emperor is one thing, believing that to be a practical possibility given their long unhappy history was quite another. And the allies of Chambord were content to think that collusion between the two opposing poles of German politics was so unlikely they had little to worry about from a direct Saxon intervention.

    In fact, their prompt organization of their spring campaigns would make a problem for Saxony if it entered the war late that could not be underestimated. This was no era of national militaries assembled through bureaucratic conscription or a professional service. Instead, armies were organized and paid by various princes, sometimes with little thought on the part of the soldiers to whether they fought for their own or for another princely state. And certainly in Germany, where a common language made it much easier for soldiers to serve in the armies of neighboring princes, this was even more common. This was even more so where, because of the connections of religious feeling. Thus, due to the deep bonds existing between Saxon and Hessian armies after a full decade fighting side-by-side in sometimes harrowing circumstances, there was no shortage of Saxon soldiers who were now in the service of the princes who would be Saxony's mortal enemies, should Friedrich go so far as to seal his planned alliance with Charles V.

    Likewise, Moritz had maintained deep connections to the soldiery and their families in his old lands of ducal Saxony, and they leapt now at the chance to serve him under the notion they would be doing so not against their elector but against the hated emperor, Charles V. And because of the natural operation of any market for employment, taking the best and most experienced first, those soldiers now cross-serving under Philip and Moritz included many of the best and most experienced Saxon military men to be found.

    But for their part, the Allies received Friedrich's explanation of his action with the cynicism that, truth be told, his prior course of action had earned him. And if they still did not perceive Saxony as an immediate threat to their plans, they were willing to proceed ahead discounting its involvement in their favor. So in addition to the surrender of Toul, Metz and Verdun which Friedrich had found so offensive, in a new treaty, the signatories of Chambord had included in their many and garrulous terms an immediate effort to depose Charles as Holy Roman Emperor in favor of the French king, and the promise by all the parties to support by any means Henri II in the next imperial election.

    Now these means were not terribly significant given that none of them held a vote in the imperial election. But a solution to this problem, and to some others, was swiftly found in the secret term to restore to Moritz his family lands, to add to them the vicinity of Wittenberg which carried with them the electoral dignity, and thus to make him the new Elector of Saxony. Moritz would then vote for Henri II in any subsequent imperial election. With all these schemes in play, and Charles V preoccupied with the reduction of Parma and a fresh round of difficulties with the papacy, war began when Philip of Hesse surprised and occupied the imperial city of Frankfurt. Moritz for his part published his own pamphlet in German advancing the French alliance as necessary to the preservation of German liberty and the reformed faith. Henri II did the same, in which he appointed himself "Protector of the Liberties of Germany."

    With surprising ease, Philip and Moritz marched south. One reason for the absence of a defensive force lay in that, quite apart from the war for Parma, Charles had dispatched a fair number of his forces east to the Hungarian frontier, where the Ottomans were making war against his brother Ferdinand. Julius of Braunschweig and word of the loss of Frankfurt to the Hessians arrived the same day, and initially Charles was inclined to dismiss Julius without hearing him, thinking it likely he was just there to repeat the stale justifications for yet another betrayal by the Saxon elector. It was only at some length, and with no small tenacity, that Julius was able to convince members of Charles's court that the Friedrich was not, and in fact had no intention of becoming, a party to the league against the emperor.

    For his part, Charles immediately disengaged from the struggle in Italy, realizing the necessity of making it north of the Alps before the reformed princes could seize the superior positions in the passes and choke off his way back into Germany. The magnitude of the crisis dawning on him, Charles begged for assistance from his brother Ferdinand, who refused, citing the Ottoman threat, essentially answering Charles's plea with his own. Next, with even his incomparable resources drained by the expenses of near-constant war-making, Charles was refused a loan by the same bankers of Augsburg who had long supported him. His situation declining precipitously, Charles received word that the French army had entered Alsace and had occupied with little opposition a great many towns, not just the three cities of the Vicariate that France claimed as its bounty for its intervention in imperial affairs, but places like Hagenau and Weissenburg.

    Now the emperor, unlike the elector, was a man quite willing to tarry in the face of exigent events. And thus, as a maelstrom swirled around him, the emperor fell silent. At this point, Charles's options had begun to quickly dwindle towards a set of unthinkable options.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  10. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Now, where were we?

    It's going to take me a few days or more to reacquaint myself with the narrative, where it left off, and where it was going when it did. In the meantime, as I do this, does anyone have questions about what's happened so far, or any butterflies that may not have been covered? Very soon in the timeline we are going to backtrack to cover events in England around and following the death of Henry VIII.
  11. Threadmarks: Supplemental on the History of Friedrichsland

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    11 Surprising Facts About Friedrichsland!

    1. Friedrichsland is not Fredericksland.
    It is frequently confused with the English-speaking republic in northeastern North America.

    2. Most people think otherwise, but Friedrichsland was not named after the Holy Prince.
    Instead, it was named after the first emperor of the New Realm, Friedrich I. Germans refer to him colloquially simply as Erste (First).

    3. The Inlandseen Project represents the largest single human construction project of all time. In the peak year, work on the canals, dams, desalination facilities and power generation apparatuses represented a quarter of the Friedrichlandish economy and over half of all national public expenditures.

    4. Friedrichsland has a larger nuclear arsenal than Germany itself. Following Clear Skies, Germany is limited by international agreement to 60 suborbital sunsplitter darts. Friedrichsland as a nonsignatory power has 89, and an additional unspecified number of short-distance darts.

    5. Friedrichsland is the second-largest German speaking country, by population. Whereas Germany has a population of 102 million, Friedrichsland has a population of 45 million. The next largest German-speaking country, Neupreussia, has 32 million.

    6. Friedrichsland is demographically complex.
    Despite popular belief, descendants of the German colonists represent only 36 percent of the population. Immigrants from Germany post-independence, Europe or the North American settler states constitute an additional 9 percent. 27 percent of the population represent descendants of people brought to Friedrichsland involuntarily for labor, both before and after the official abolition of slavery. Of these, 12 percent represent African ancestry, 9 percent East and Southeast Asian, and 6 percent Pacific Islander. Voluntary immigrants originating outside Europe and other settler states represent the balance of the remainder, with the descendants of the population native to Friedrichsland before colonization comprising less than one percent of the total population.

    7. Friedrichsland and "Vati Deutschland" have gone to war five times. Following the War of Independence, Germany has intervened several times in Friedrichsland's long and winding journey towards a regime of general liberty (see The Long Deferral), most dramatically when in the First and Second Sunda Wars it contributed to the coalition to prevent Friedrichsland's annexation of nearby islands for economic and security purposes.

    8. Friedrichsland is an agricultural powerhouse. Among other products, Friedrichsland is the world's largest exporter of wool, cotton, and beef. Even in periods during which Friedrichsland was otherwise internationally isolated, its staple products were in high demand in the Chinese metropolises. This has led to certain long-term diplomatic partnerships.

    9. The people of Friedrichsland go by an endless series of nicknames. The most common of these is "Freddie", which they too share with the residents of the tiny country between the Hudson and Connecticut rivers, making the potential for confusion only worse. But because of their love of the sun they are also called "Cooked Germans", "Crispy Germans", "Fried Germans" and other derivations thereof. Because the national animal is the pocketdeer, or taschenhirsch, they are frequently called that too. Some of these names have ceased to be socially acceptable due to the evolution of Friedrichslandish or "Freddie" society.

    10. Despite, or perhaps because of, some similarities, Freddies and Neupreussians do not get along. Both countries are German-speaking settler states occupying dry and sunny climates. Both have extensive value-systems and mythologies built up around frontier life. Both have difficult relationships with their neighbors. And yet, the Freddies disdain the Neupreussians with all their heart, and the reasons why go to the character of both nations. To the Freddies, the Neupreussians are soulless bankers, profiteers, and extractors of wealth. The Freddie, at least in his or her own eyes, is all about improvement, cultivation, building, and the production of physical goods, and for him or her the Neupreussian is a sterile and dishonorable way of life. The Neupreussians' view is best explained in the old Neupreussian maxim that "A Freddie will plant a field just to buy the tractor", meaning that they are preoccupied with work and activity for its own sake.

    11. Friedrichsland has its own homegrown genre of popular music. When enslaved populations from Africa and the Pacific Islands met in the mines, ranches and farms of colonial Friedrichsland, in their shared quarters and districts they developed a new musical tradition combining facets of both cultures. The first reference to this fesselmusik came in 1791, in reports of slaves locked for days in sweathouses as punishment for singing and playing instruments in an unchristian way. Literally taking its name from the clanging of manacles, most references to fesselmusik over the course of the 19th century was cultural commentary by German Friedrichslanders fearful of the erotic and violent movements in fesselmusik dancing. Among some more religious observers, it was seen as having a likely relationship to demonic possession. Gradually though, it penetrated illicit and low culture, becoming common entertainment for people of all races in drug parlors and houses of prostitution even as criminal penalties for performing it or dancing to it in the intended way remained, and in fact intensified. At the same time, the name fesselmusik was accepted by performers and patrons of the art form as a token of its origins and its danger to polite society. Then in 1906 the French film Les Observateurs Autochtones became an international sensation because of a scene set at a fesselmusik performance. Though the scene occupied nine minutes of 2 hours of run time and the film was a plodding psychological thriller built around unrelated themes, the fesselmusik scene led Les Observateurs Autochtones to earn back twenty times its production budget in the first year. Around the world, there were reports of women fainting, people of both sexes being removed from theaters for inappropriate behavior, and riots against the showing of the film by local religious groups. Banned originally in 29 countries, not shown legally in Friedrichsland until 1952, Les Observateurs Autochtones popularized fesselmusik in a way different from any popular music form before. Other styles which historians have variously called black music or slave music from various regions had previously become popular with white audiences, and in Louisiana, Saint-Dominique and similar places the whole affair passed with little notice, or perhaps even with an eye-roll. But the sexual frankness and fury of fesselmusik made it different, and left an indelible impression in the culture of Europe and the settler states. In 1967, rather than see the continuing popularity of the genre enrich recording companies in New Amsterdam and London which made fesselmusik with emigre artists, the Estates General of Friedrichsland finally repealed the laws banning fesselmusik, to widespread protest and predictions of the end of civilized society in Friedrichsland. After an initial craze, the sudden omnipresence of the music, its incorporation of a less dangerous and physically demanding style, and the appropriation of fesselmusik sounds, themes and references by safer, more more accessible music acts, rendered it unfashionable. In the words of the fesselmusik star Von Dem Loch, "the masters finally managed to kill fesselmusik when they legalized it." It did not begin to recover its popularity until recently in the 21st century. Whether fesselmusik is disease-culture is still hotly debated.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  12. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Good update, and interesting development on Australia...

    Welcome back, @Dr. Waterhouse...
  13. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1552

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Cranach's Albertine princesses.jpg

    Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Princesses Sybil, Emilia and Sidonia of Saxony (1535)

    From The Habsburg Struggle for Europe (1940) by Perez Wolfman

    In early 1552 it seemed the fate of the Holy Roman Empire hung on whether the Emperor Charles V would accept help from, and in so doing pardon the innumerable crimes of, the Elector Friedrich IV of Saxony. The key matter, in the eyes of the emperor, was actually not as to whether the Emperor could trust Friedrich, even after the long history of betrayals running between the two men. Instead the hindrance was, now as ever with Charles, the acceptance of religious division within the empire as a permanent, rather than a provisional, state of affairs.

    As ever, Charles's court was sharply divided. By and large his Spanish advisors were fiercely opposed to any conciliation with any of the Protestant heretics whatsoever, while the Burgundians and Germans considered this alliance not the best step, nor even the obvious step, but the only step Charles could take to save his throne as emperor. What cannot be underestimated in the Spanish argument was that it lay outside secular notions of power politics: it was not about the secular well-being of the emperor's dominions, or the survival of his rule, but the risk to his immortal soul should he facilitate the sundering of Christ's Church. In our focus on the pragmatic politics of the time, we cannot just set aside the immediate spiritual consequences that dominated the principles' consideration of their choices.

    But whether Charles could come to no decision, or found the options available to him at that moment unsatisfactory and so decided to wait for the situation to change and thus offer him new ones, did nothing. And Friedrich, even as he made his preparations for war, heard nothing. Realizing Charles's silence could itself be the result of a strategy, luring him into action against his former allies in the hopes of inducements the emperor had not yet approved, Friedrich carefully observed an absolute neutrality toward the French and the members of the league.

    It was by way of Charles's court that Ferdinand, King of the Romans, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, found out about Friedrich's offer. And because of his own war, Ferdinand was in his own predicament requiring an end to the knotted controversies impeding the assistance of the rest of the Empire against the Turks. So Ferdinand answered instead of his brother. And he did so favorably to Friedrich's terms, but Friedrich had not been involved in these controversies for so long without learning that an agreement was only as good as the authority of the prince one dealt with to bind himself and his state.

    Thus, for all Ferdinand's power as King of Bohemia and King of Hungary, and for the significant role he exercised in imperial affairs as King of the Romans, Friedrich plainly understood that he could not enter into an arrangement with Ferdinand that Charles could later overrule. He understood in this way the Protestant princes could be lured into destroying each other for no lasting benefit at all. In fact, this was becoming more and more the consensus of the electoral court, that whatever merits Julius's idea of siding with the Habsburgs against the French had originally, clearly a moment of immense opportunity was now being squandered: after all, the evangelical princes of the empire had in the field a significant enough ally to win them outright and forever on the battlefield the same terms Friedrich was now trying to needle out of the intransigent Habsburgs by way of negotiation.

    The Duke Johann in particular was all but ready to leave his brother behind and go fight for the King of France himself.

    The other parties however felt no compunction about waiting for the Ernestine Wettins and Habsburgs to figure things out. Henri II seized Lorraine without much difficulty. Philip of Hesse and Moritz had marched south from Frankfurt, seizing first Ulm, and then Augsburg, the town which had so often hosted the court of the emperor. The impositions of Charles and his Spanish courtiers had left behind a sour taste, and the townspeople welcomed the Landgrave Philip and Duke Moritz as their deliverers. By now Charles V had realized the stakes in the game being paid north of the Alps were much higher than his contest with the Farnese over a minor Italian duchy, and he marched north in a frantic effort to prevent the League of Chambord from closing the passes to him, bottling his forces in Italy.

    Moving with astonishing speed, the Emperor beat his enemies, crossing the Ehrenburg pass into Tyrol just in time.

    Unfortunately though, enough of Charles's resources had been committed to Hungary in the war against the Ottomans, and in the west against the French, that his councils advised against confronting the League directly. In fact, the Duke Johann and the pro-French party at the Saxon court were right about one thing: had Friedrich fielded the large army he was assembling against the Emperor at that moment, the Evangelical princes would have been unbeatable.

    All the emperor could do was once again beg his brother Ferdinand for assistance, but the situation with the Ottomans was no less dire than it was previously, and Ferdinand could give no answer to the emperor better than he had before. Worse still for the emperor, his treasury was depleted, the willingness of his usual sources to replenish his funds with it. Not for nothing had the League moved so aggressively on Augsburg, home of Charles' bankers of last resort, the Fuggers.

    By late spring the pressure on Friedrich to act, one way or the other, was immense. He held by far the largest uncommitted force in the war, and it was plain to every one some ultimate resolution was fast approaching. News of Henri II's seizure of Metz and Verdun ratcheted up the pressure on both the Emperor and the King of the Romans to come to some arrangement. But still, Charles could not be moved to either accept or reject Friedrich's offer. Finally, less in eagerness to usurp his brother's authority than in exasperation, Ferdinand agreed to meet personally with Friedrich at the tiny village of Schandau, just inside Saxony's border with Bohemia.

    Their exchanges now had a distinctly different tone than the prior negotiations, founded on the joint recognition that the present situation was wholly unsustainable. Friedrich may have had his differences with the Hapsburgs. Nonetheless, he understood, Henri II's appropriation of his rhetoric about German liberty aside, that a complete French victory as now seemed a very real possibility would mean the end of the imperial constitutional order. Most likely it would also mean trading Charles V for a new Emperor, Henry VIII.

    Though Philip and Moritz were glad to think this would be an improvement, to Friedrich this meant the man whose father had been the perpetrator of the Massacre of Merindol, the very crime the depiction of which hung at Friedrich's back. For his part Ferdinand was still fighting the existential threat of the Ottomans with virtually no assistance from the rest of the Empire, in particular his brother. By now he surely regretted the accumulated provocations that had led Germany so divided that a fair number of its princes regarded the potential conquest of Hungary by the Turks was indifference or even a spiteful glee.

    Thus, both men came willing to concede that matters could no longer be left to the Emperor.

    The two princes met in the tiny village on the Elbe, and with them the ambassadors of the two broken halves of the German nobility, which had gone for almost a decade without speaking, one side because they were deemed traitors and heretics and the other side as allies of a foreign tyrant. It quickly became apparent that the ambassadors from the most important princes, in particular the various secular and ecclesiastical electors, had been entrusted with wide discretion as to what agreements they would subscribe their princes to, so long as the internal war was ended and a common front against external enemies took its place.

    In the first meeting, Ferdinand accepted Friedrich's positions on the most important issues. Imperial institutions could no longer be competent adjudicators of religious disputes; the capacity of individual princes within the Empire to accept the Augsburg Confession would have to be respected; the borders of the territorial princes would henceforth be as they stood at the last truce, before Henri II made common cause with Philip, Moritz, Albert and their confederates; all hostages would have to be returned, by which was meant one hostage in particular. Moreover, Friedrich's qualms about Ferdinand's capacity to strike a deal found its answer in the willingness of the Palatinate, and also Brandenburg, which was lured out of its participation in the League of Chambord by Friedrich's unexpected fit of loyalty, to subscribe to these terms.

    Among them, these four princes controlled a majority of votes in the subsequent imperial election. Though a living emperor had never been removed, the message was clear. Whatever ambiguity Charles or his more intransigent advisors may have wanted to find in the resulting document was extinguished by its clear language: "The grave threat to the empire made by the French king and his allies necessitates the immediate cessation of the war that has burned its houses, raped its women, maimed its children, reduced its towns to beggary and its countryside to famine. There is no piety to be found in the ashes of our home, no justice in its unburied bodies. Thus we call upon all the princes of the empire to act in brotherhood, forgive all past sins, recognize all property as it was held before the present crisis, release all prisoners, make war only against the common foes of the realm, and cease from any interference from those matters, including those of the correct observance of the Christian faith, best left to the magistrates of each land of the empire."

    These were strong words, dictated by one prince who had made a whole career out of surprise attacks against his sovereign, and another who had intended to crush and overthrow princes of the empire with tax moneys they had gladly paid to furnish armies to defend against the same external foe being warned of now. But, of course, the whole point of the arrangement that was fast coming into focus at Schandau was that every ruling head of the empire was being invited into an act of collective amnesia, all trespasses forgiven and forgotten.

    Once Bavaria signed on, which it did only a week after the Palatinate and Brandenburg, the momentum behind the peace seemed unstoppable. Even the ecclesiastical electors, the Archbishops of Cologne, Trier and Mainz, whose ambassadors to the court of Ferdinand may as well have been dragged to Schandau in chains for their reluctance to share the same air as the heretics, relented. In the end they were princes too, and princes of realms especially vulnerable to the French. Thus, while the ecclesiastical princes did not sign the declaration, they did not, once its terms became generally known, undertake to frustrate or sabotage it, fearing the consequences of further war as much as anyone.

    Moreover, these ecclesiastical princes were as eager as the Lutherans to rid themselves of the noxious terms of the Augsburg Interim, which the Declaration called for in an imperial diet to not be held after the summer of 1554. They were even only too glad for the withdrawal of all German cooperation with the Council of Trent, which was another term, given that, like the Interim, this would force upon them the acceptance of reforms they variously saw as unnecessary or the first step down the road to becoming Lutherans themselves.

    By a certain point in the proceedings, a giddy jubilation took over. Friedrich sent lavish gifts to the Archbishop of Mainz, Cologne and Trier. There was the sense among the assembled that the cooler heads had at last found their way to each other and were settling matters with sobriety and honor.

    This newfound spirit of reconciliation exerted such a powerful hold on the assembled at Schandau that it almost came as a surprise that armies were still in the field. On June 11, the seemingly interminable maneuvering between the Army of the League of Chambord and that of the Emperor Charles V ended, when the smaller force of the emperor was caught trying to cross the Danube at Vilshofen. Friedrich wrote a letter to Philip, which arrived only after the battle, begging him to forebear the disgraceful slaughter of so honorable a prince as Charles, when they were so close to a negotiated peace that would win the Protestants their freedom. Better, Friedrich advised, for Philip to abstain, and use his force as the additional leverage necessary to ensure Charles assented to the terms reached at Schandau.

    For his part, Philip was well past this talk. As far as he was concerned, the wheel of truces and half-peaces and conciliations with the Habsburgs had gone as many turns as they ever could, and the only way to a lasting peace lay over the corpse of the Emperor.

    In the end, Vilshofen was decided not by maneuvers or geographic advantages or even numbers. The Emperor's 14,000, facing the 35,000 of the League, with Philip's and Moritz's armies swelled by mercenaries in the pay of the French, simply absorbed the force of the larger army, withstood its worst, killed and kept killing, using all its experience, tactics and superior discipline.

    At the end, it was Philip of Hesse who was dead, cut down as he tried to retreat. It was with his bloody end that the evangelical princes' defeat became a rout.

    Philip had begun the campaign confident of victory, but over the months of the chase several factors had intervened. First, the presence of Saxon veterans in his army, so desirable at the start of the year, made more and more trouble for him as the flow of desertions home increased with the growing awareness the elector was not merely sitting out the preliminaries of the fighting, but was truly adverse to his former friends in this matter. Second, Duke Albert of Bavaria, succeeding his father William, was outraged by the offenses of the army of the League of Chambord on his territory in the army's long pursuit of the emperor. Even if he were not a rigid Catholic by inclination, and even if he were not an even more rigid adherent to a pro-Habsburg policy as another son-in-law of Ferdinand, he would have likely gone out of his way to provide sufficient assistance to the emperor to evict the evangelical princes.

    It was the supremest of inconveniences for Friedrich then, that word first arrived of Charles's improbable victory at Vilshofen, and second of his absolute rejection of the terms of Schandau. Of course his elimination of the army of the German princes supported by the French throne did not eliminate the threat offered either by the French invasion west of the Rhine or by the Ottomans in the east. He still faced enemies that he could not defeat on his own. Yet at the same time he acted as if the Declaration of Schandau could no more be accepted than the Lutheran heresy itself.

    In the face of this intransigence, the parties of Schandau held firm. None of the adherents of the Declaration were going to facilitate or contribute towards the reduction of any other power of the empire subscribing to these terms, including the vast and powerful Bohemian kingdom. One can only wonder what the more private correspondence passing back and forth between the two brothers said, though Charles by now probably had good reason to regret his gambit of a few years before trying to arrange for the eventual succession of his son Philip to Ferdinand as king of the Romans and then emperor, to the exclusion of Ferdinand's sons.

    Nonetheless, the most Charles was willing to concede was that no violence should offered against any prince of the empire offering assistance against external foes or internal rebels, that an imperial diet should be held in 1554, and that all sitting princes of the empire not allied with foreign princes could attend in peace. But beneath this flinty acquiescence lay the awareness that there was a new unity in the princes against Charles, and that whether he accepted the terms of their agreement or not he could not move against them without provoking a countermeasure that, whether it meant Emperor Ferdinand or the long-sought accession of the Bavarian Wittelsbachs to the imperial throne, would most likely mean his removal as Emperor. So, Charles accepted what he could, such as by calling the diet for 1554, and was silent as to what he could not, such as the end of the Augsburg Interim. And he hoped that perhaps once again the wheel of fortune would turn before the princes met to codify their new brotherhood as the law of the empire.

    For Friedrich though, one pressing matter remained. Duke Moritz fled from Vilshofen with all the speed and wiles of one who had made a career of timely departures, with hostile armies and potential jailers on his heels. He could have conceivably returned to Hesse, where Philips' sons would have most likely welcomed him, or to one of the other small evangelical states that had sided with the French king against the emperor in their quarrel. Or he could have fled to points further afield, there to begin a new life as a soldier of fortune as so many dispossessed princes had before him. Instead, Moritz appeared in his old lands in August and September 1552, trying to recruit a fresh army in the lands he had held as the Albertine duke.

    By this point, Friedrich had held the country of Albertine Saxony longer than Moritz had been its duke. Moreover, the Saxon printing presses and the Lutheran ministers sent from Wittenberg had had years to do their work. Only a few hundred were willing to follow the Last Albertine. Having assembled an enormous army to what was fast becoming little practical purpose, Friedrich raced to confront him. They met near Freiburg, with Moritz's forces slipping away until there was only 60 or 70 men to surrender before the 8,000 Friedrich had brought.

    Offering his cousin his sword, Moritz expected the polite confinement Friedrich had been given by the Emperor, perhaps even a return to the hunting schloss that still bore his name to while away his days chasing harts before the winds of politics changed again and he was deemed useful. Instead, Friedrich tried him, found him guilty, and executed him, then and there. For, as the official announcement of the act, committed to the printers of all Saxony, explained, Moritz "was but a low traitor to the emperor, the crime of treason against one's prince being the one which God must surely detest above all others."

    Thus in 1552, the Albertine line of the House of Wettin entered into memory.
  14. Threadmarks: The Life of Anna of Denmark, 1552

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008

    Anna of Denmark, by Lucas Cranach the Younger

    Marie Kilgrave, Consorts and Concubines: The Companions of the Electors and Dukes of Saxony, and How They Shaped the New Realm.

    "Anna Horribilis, Part I"

    For Duke Johann, the spring of 1552 was an exciting time. This had little to do with foreign invasions, unlikely alliances, or the prospect of peace finally returning to Saxony. Certainly not the last.

    Instead, our good duke had a spring in his step because with Philip of Hesse and the duke Moritz rebelling against the emperor, in league with the king of France and adverse to the suddenly loyal Electorate of Saxony, he had sufficient grounds to begin ignoring the agreements previously reached with Moritz whereby his sons were set aside collectively for a match to Moritz's one surviving child, Anna.

    All things being equal, the Elector himself would have preferred to wait for the German political situation to become more settled before jettisoning existing marriage alliances, but Friedrich recognized that Johann was wealthy enough, and influential enough with the Saxon nobility, that keeping Johann happy was necessary to accomplishing anything else. Thus he acquiesced, and permitted Johann to begin negotiations with King Christian III of Denmark over a potential match between Johann's eldest son Johann Wilhelm and Christian's daughter, Anna.

    It cannot be stressed just how unusual this situation was, on first blush: it was a match between a royal princess, a king's first-born child, at that, and a ducal prince who was not even the heir to Saxony. The priority for any marriage alliances should have been Johann Wilhelm's first cousin the Duke Alexander, who was at this point still a hostage in the Burgundian court of Brussels, memorizing saints' lives and learning all about the faithlessness of his father the elector. But Alexander was still only eight, and currently the elector had no control over his person.

    Thus, though Friedrich obviously did not intend it in such a way, opening the negotiations with Christian over a match between Johann Wilhelm and Anna meant conceding that whether because Alexander might die, for whatever reason, in the care of the Habsburgs; that he might be rendered Catholic by his time in the clutches of Charles V; or that his less than robust health meant he might die before he could make heirs of his body, plans were being made for an adequate succession should it come to rest in the sons of the cadet house fathered by the Duke Johann.

    Of course it went without saying that every part of this turn of events infuriated the Electress Dorothea. First, this was because the Elector was sending the message that their own son was becoming an afterthought in the matters of succession, taking the back seat to the arrogant scion of the hated Duke Johann. Second, this was because the match was with, of all the houses of Europe, the family which had usurped her father and sent her family fleeing. However, Dorothea's breach with Friedrich at the time of the surrender of the Duke Alexander to Charles V had been so absolute that her displeasure now had no weight at all. When she tried to request that they might include among the terms of the marriage contract between the Electorate of Saxony and the Kingdom of Denmark provisions freeing her father from his long imprisonment at Kalundborg into the custody of the elector, she was not even heard out.

    Increasingly, Dorothea's hopes for influence or even respect clung to the slender thread that her son might inherit after all.

    Despite the difference in apparent rank between groom and bride, the Danish king had his own powerful interest in the match. As matters stood, though Friedrich had honorably observed his disclaiming of the Danish succession, the fact remained that through Dorothea Alexander had a credible claim to the Danish throne. Building an alternate dynastic link to Saxony strengthened the legitimacy of the Danish regime not only because it required Saxony to reconfirm their right to rule, but because it lent credence to the line Johann Wilhelm and his royal princess might make as potential successors to the electoral dignity, to the exclusion of Alexander. It was not unwarranted suspicion on Dorothea's part that King Christian III and Duke Johann were colluding against the young duke Alexander. Almost blatantly, that was the idea.

    This in turn is enough to make us question the Elector Friedrich's acquiescence. It is of course one thing to submit to the necessity of keeping the peace against his brother, who could have made himself a formidable rival to him if he ever chose. But his willingness to countenance the setting aside of his son seemed cruel and arbitrary to many, especially given that he was the reason the boy had been taken from safety and the Saxon realm in the first place. Friedrich's intent, however, to the best of our knowledge, was that this was yet another gambit in the long struggle against the Habsburgs, one by which he would minimize Alexander's value as a hostage, and so speed his return.

    The marriage of Johann Wilhelm of Saxony and Anna of Denmark satisfying everyone's grand strategies so completely, the marriage was negotiated by June 1552, and the wedding was celebrated in Torgau that August. This would be the first wedding of state held by the Ernestine Wettins since 1534. Ironically enough, it would also be the first since Friedrich had extinguished the alternate Albertine line of princes, and since the putative end of the Spanish War with the capture of Moritz at Freiburg. For a great many reasons, and to a great many persons, the marriage of the Elector's nephew to the Danish princess was to signify the beginning of a new era.

    And of course it did. It was just that this was not an era which, having put a period to sixty-five years of feuding between Ernestine and Albertine Wettins, was setting aside internecine dynastic rivalry as such. It was just that no one yet knew the terms Fredericine and Johannine, which would take the place of the earlier division. And no one knew the role in this struggle that would be played by the new Duchess Anna.

    We should set aside, at this juncture a few words for the bride. She was a figure of keen intelligence. Her knowledge of agriculture was such that she was able to oversee the introduction of new farming techniques to Saxony that had undoubtably salutary effects on crop yields. Her understanding of theology was sufficient for her to engage with the most learned professors of the Leucorea as if she were a colleague. But she was also a figure of indomitable will, wholly intent upon the succession of her husband, and ultimately, her children, to the electoral dignity in the way envisioned by her father and father-in-law, to the exclusion of the young prince who was still nominally the heir. Moreover, to a degree Friedrich did not know and could not have foreseen, Anna was a far more orthodox Lutheran than any other member of the family, her ardor exceeding even Johann's sincere, but uninformed, piety. And her rigorous understanding of the faith did not admit any possibility for compromise, whether with Catholics or with the other reformed sects, in the sharing of the religious life of the country.

    Thus did Friedrich receive into his court that summer a 19 year old girl not just wholly dedicated to the destruction of his legacy in the area of religious life, but entirely possessing the skill and tenacity to accomplish it, if given half the chance.

    Of course history would provide her a rival who would be a counter-weight to her many efforts, but as of yet that figure had not yet arrived on the scene, and thus in late 1552 Johann, his eldest son Johann Wilhelm, and Johann Wilhelm's new bride Anna, seemed the singular repository of Saxony's future.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
  15. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Like the foreshadowing, @Dr. Waterhouse...

    Waiting for more, and good reboot, BTW...
  16. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Thanks. We're by no means done with the Spanish War and the dispute over religion and the imperial constitution. But I felt the need to get this note in there, and set up the dynamic for what follows. Because these Wettins are not going to be simple or univocal. There's going to be convulsive fighting inside the family over what they want Saxony and Germany to be, going all the way to, well, their today.
  17. Threadmarks: Supplemental on Architecture, England, 17th Century

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Building a Nation: The Brandons and Architecture by Riaz Kendall

    Of course, no great royal house is without a residence befitting its role in the life of the nation. We might judge such homes by their grandeur, their age, the uniformity of their design and the consistency of its execution. In all these respects, perhaps one of the greatest palaces in all the world, is Whitehall. Designed by Inigo Jones, constructed piecemeal over the better part of a century beginning in 1639, it is today a symbol of the enduring place of the monarchy in English life and a world-renowned architectural treasure. Even today, the most substantial change to the present-day elevation from these original plans is the Elizabeth II Orangerie, constructed in the northeast courtyard in the eighteenth century, which was when built the world's largest glass-enclosed structure.

    The Water Side

    00653 park side of white hall jones design, note exhisting banquetting house.jpg
    The Park Side
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  18. Threadmarks: The Life of Elector Friedrich IV, Holy Roman Empire, 1552-3

    Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008

    Wilhelm IV, Landgrave of Hesse by by Kaspar van der Borcht

    Outlaw Saxony: New Perspectives on the Sechszentes Jahrhundert Empire by Louis Hadrami

    Following the execution of Duke Moritz, the unsteady reconciliation of Habsburg and Wettin took--unsurprisingly--another sharp turn. Ferdinand was now all but ordering Friedrich to provide financial support to his efforts against the Great Turk in Hungary and to continue on with his troops west across the Rhine to engage the French. Friedrich, still mindful of the possibility that facing the French with only stingy assistance from Charles V might just accomplish two goals of the Habsburgs' foreign policy at no cost to themselves, tarried.

    This was enough to exasperate Ferdinand in particular almost beyond belief. Promises had been made, oaths sworn, and now it seemed that once again the Saxon Elector was about to reverse himself. His answer was simple, and direct. He had now moved against one of Charles's enemies and dispatched him, utterly. If the emperor would want Friedrich to move against the rest, then Friedrich would have to receive something on his list of demands. And Julius of Braunschweig was very clear that promises to abstain from attacking Saxony, or to recognize its present frontiers, would not be enough. No, the time had come for a specific inducement to action, not notional but physical.

    It was simple, really. As Julius explained to Ferdinand in Prague, Friedrich wanted his heir returned to him. Or, failing that, 60,000 guilders to defray the cost of raising his present army and campaigning with it in the west against the French. He did not particularly express a preference for one option over the other. This nonchalant attitude towards the return of his heir, coupled with the prestigious marriage of the young Duke Johann Wilhelm to Anna of Denmark, made clear that the Saxon establishment did not regard the Duke Alexander's captivity as paralyzing, or Alexander's eventual rule of the country as inevitable.

    Once again, Emperor and King fractured over the appropriate response to Friedrich. Charles, still intent on bringing Saxony to heel along with the other protestant states through strong measures, supported a new series of reprisals, including denying the legality of the Duke Johann Wilhelm's marriage, and even vacating the electoral dignity of Saxony vacant and advancing the eight-year old Duke Alexander as the new elector, with his dear great-uncle Charles as regent.

    Ferdinand was flabbergasted at this turn. Having survived so much bloodshed, the most recent of which more narrowly than one might think, Charles was now acting as if the past ten years had not happened, and Saxony and the other Lutheran states could be successfully bullied by mere threats. Once again he was enjoined to act in the spirit of Schandau.

    Yet even the matters of either Duke Alexander's return, or his usurpation of his own father as a figurehead for a foreign potentate, were small next to the instability of nearby Hesse. Philip had died in battle leaving behind four sons by the Landgravine Christine of Saxony (daughter of the Albertine Duke Georg) among whom, if a normal succession were permitted, Hesse would be divided. The five additional sons Philip had fathered by his bigamous second wife Margarete von der Saal were, by the terms of Philip's arrangement with Christine, not permitted to succeed to the title landgrave, though they would be recognized as counts. Of the four new landgraves, only Wilhelm, the eldest surviving son, was of age to rule. His younger brothers were 15, 11 and 5, and would require regents. All this brought to mind the nasty crisis of Philip's own boyhood, when disputes between the young landgrave's mother and the Hessian estates had led to the elector Friedrich of Saxony being brought in to mediate and help prepare the young landgrave for rule himself.

    Of course, in present circumstances, finding a competent regent for the three younger landgraves was the least of the problem. For Philip had died a rebel and traitor to the empire. Nominally he had of course been removed by the imperial ban all the way back in 1546, but the Augsburg Diet had of 1549 had both conceded the illegality of the process of this ban--Charles had memorably not gone through the prescribed process but just produced a paper saying Friedrich, Philip and their allies were dispossessed of land and titles--and then not replaced that deficient document with anything sturdier upon which to deprive any of the named princes of their legal rights.

    Now, the Emperor was taking the position that with Philip's treason Hesse as such reverted to the emperor, to be disposed of by a grant to a new feudal lord. Very likely this would be if not a Habsburg himself, some close ally. Given the power of the Habsburgs within the empire as matters stood, this option was unacceptable to virtually everyone else with the power to make their opinion known. Of course, simultaneously, it could not be ignored that Saxony had expanded substantially in recent years, and that Friedrich's territory conveniently bordered the lands at issue. Even his congeniality to Protestants outside the Lutheran Church advertised him as a potential liege-lord, or "prince-defender" of these territories. And against this possible the consensus of the German princes was as fiercely opposed as it was to the Habsburgs.

    Friedrich understood by now the question must be dealt with adroitly, and satisfying any ambitions for territorial expansion would only once again bring the empire into coalition against him and trigger a fresh war with the Habsburgs. So instead he assumed the pose of a protector of the rights of the House of Hesse. Forcefully, he argued in a September 6 letter to the Emperor that the bans on Philip of Hesse being deficient, and the deficiency having been admitted as such by the fact that the two of them were communicating, the Emperor had no right to dispossess Philip's heirs of their lands.

    But he went further. None of Philip's sons had married, partly because the war had as hopelessly complicated their marriage prospects as it had the Wettins, and Friedrich now offered them his nieces. Wilhelm, now 20, was offered the hand of Maria, now 22. Louis, 15, was paired with Margarethe, 14. One can only imagine the early death of Johann's daughter Elisabeth spared her becoming the third bride, of Philip the Younger. What Johann thought of these arrangements for both his surviving daughters is not known. Given his support for orthodox, and uncompromising, Lutheranism, he may have been less than thrilled that his two sons-in-law preferred the more radical Sacramentarian outlook popular in southern Germany and the Rhineland.

    But Julius of Braunschweig did record his and Friedrich's views in his voluminous correspondence, and they reveal a double-game. Whatever wider strategy was at work, one thing Friedrich wanted in these marriages was to apply the brakes to the Johannine enthusiasm for the enforcement of orthodoxy on evangelicals outside the Lutheran church. Presumably, if Alexander were not to inherit and Johann were to come to power, sympathy for his own daughters and grandchildren might tame his desire to enforce doctrinal uniformity.

    But it was in that wider imperial context that the matches had their great strategic significance. In the ranks of Protestant princes, Hesse had been coequal to Saxony not by virtue of its size, population or wealth but on account of Philip's personality and renown. Now, with Hesse likely to be divided four ways, the weakness of their common situation was known to everyone. Regardless of what had transpired following what was now understood as Hesse's disastrous French alliance, Philip's sons and their respective advisors and courts all agreed on the need for powerful allies to protect their interests from a vengeful emperor and the potential predators he might lead to their inheritance. That Friedrich of Saxony saw them, so to speak, as friend and not food was vastly comforting, and for their part they leapt at the opportunity for the matches, waiving dowries and many of the ordinary inducements for marriage contracts at the rank of landgravine.

    For what it's worth, during this highly unstable period of 16th century German history, stratagems were born and died quickly. Many would last, many would be discarded, and many would come to be seen with hindsight with the keenest irony. Ask King Christian I how he felt about Friedrich's belief that the way forward lay with an accommodation with Ferdinand and his line, given "Prague is closer than Madrid." But one notion that would prove durable was Friedrich's investment in the fate of Hesse and the sons of his old ally, Philip. As his ambassadors would write the English king in sixty years, "to this day all the Hessian landgraves follow the Saxon elector wheresoever he leads, like goslings gliding on a lake behind their dam."

    Thus Friedrich committed Saxony to maintaining the integrity of the Hessian inheritance, which conceivably could plunge Saxony back into war with the Emperor. But at the same time, to a degree that he otherwise could have done only by annexing them outright, he had won the Hessians' resources for Saxony in any future conflict. The alliance at the heart of German Protestantism, dead only a year before, was now reborn, and much stronger, at the double marriage of Wilhelm of Hesse and Maria of Saxony and Louis of Hesse and Margarethe of Saxony in Leipzig on Christmas Day.

    Not in attendance for the festivities was Julius, detained as he was with the interminable negotiations at the imperial court. Friedrich took offense, until three days later a reliable merchant arrived bearing a letter from Julius with the excuse. The young ducal prince of Braunschweig had won for Friedrich his son's freedom, after almost four years in the Netherlands. If Friedrich appeared in attendance upon the Emperor on Easter at Liege, with an army of no less than 30,000 persons, in order to wage war in the emperor's service the whole campaign season, then as soon as the emperor's heralds could reach Bruges, a ship would leave its harbor bearing the Duke Alexander to England, from which he would travel to Hamburg, and from there up the Elbe to Wittenberg.

    Finally, military necessity had pierced the emperor's hatred. While this did not mean all the issues between he and the elector were resolved, and Charles certainly did not mean to concede the religious settlement of Germany, he was now surrendering the chief means of leverage he had over Friedrich's behavior. More than Schandau, more than Vilshofen, this development indicated that the Empire might at last be about to know some kind of peace.
  19. Samuel Von Straßburg Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2014
    I am really enjoying the TL! Does the division of Hessen o along the same lines of OTL or is it divided somewhat differently?
    Dr. Waterhouse likes this.
  20. Dr. Waterhouse A Mighty Fortress Is My TL

    Nov 12, 2008
    Thanks! Now, let's start by backtracking a bit. In real history, Philip dies and following German custom Hesse is partitioned into four states for each of his sons by his consort. Following the convention of these things each is named after the seat of each prince's court. So we have Hesse-Kassel, Hesse-Marburg, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Hesse-Rheinfels. Some of these states disappear fairly quickly, others make it rather far into the process of German unification, and in that way so peculiar to the Protestant nobility of tiny German principalities in OTL, various sons and daughters of the ruling houses marry into major European dynasties and come to have out-sized historical importance.

    So, what has changed about Hesse thus far? Hesse has expanded somewhat, absorbing the lands of the prince-bishopric of Fulda and a few other territories. While it has not grown by as much as Saxony has in the Spanish War, that's because it is also starting out as a much smaller land. Of course, the other major change is that Philip of Hesse has now died fifteen years ahead of schedule, leaving behind in three of these four slots, if the Hessian inheritance occurs as normal, three minor sons requiring regents.

    But what I would emphasize here is that the Hessian inheritance itself is not settled yet, especially not the borders of the various Hesse-Backyards. What is happening is that Friedrich is muscling in, offering Saxony's protection to the various sons of Philip to defend their patrimonies and thus discourage the Habsburgs from trying to install a new dynasty on the grounds of Philip's treason. The actual adjudication of all these matters is probably going to happen in the 1554 diet at which everyone is going to have SO MUCH to discuss.

    One last thing: we are now at the point where genealogical changes to the European royal houses are going to start to snowball. Obviously, no more Albertine Wettins is a very big deal. Goodbye, August the Strong. The just-completed double marriage is somewhat less so, but it's significant. William, the eldest (he's Hesse-Kassel) is now going to produce heirs with Duke Johann's daughter. Ludwig (he of Hesse-Marburg) is both more complicated and more simple. We have married him to another daughter of Johann at an age where it was literally an offer he couldn't refuse. In real history, though he was apparently healthy and intelligent, he stayed single and produced no heirs of his body. Now, this could be for any number of reasons: the boys could have drawn straws to choose one among them to contribute his lands back to the pot to be divided up among the others, in the realization the pie had too many pieces already; he may have had some otherwise non-apparent health problems; he could have had a relationship with a woman inappropriate to bear him heirs; he could have been a Kaiser Rudolf special and just not cared for the ladies; or who knows. Whatever is the case, Ludwig will, though married, still not be producing any heirs.