Friday, September 23, 2011

War in Europe in 16th century

“War is one of the scourges with which it has pleased God to afflict men”, wrote Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), the French Minister who played no small part in spreading the scourge.

War usually undertaken to gain additional territory or to reclaim lost territory, with rights of inheritance and claims through marriage or treaty given as the reasons for fighting when negotiations failed to produce a settlements of conflicting claims.

War affected every, member of the society from combatants to civilians. There were no innocent bystanders.

The early part of the century had witnessed the dynastic struggle between the Hapsburgs and the House of Valois as well as beginnings of the religious struggle between Catholic and Protestants.

But the wars that dominated Europe from 1555 to 1648 brought together the worst of both of these conflicts. War was fought on a larger scale, it was more brutal and more expensive, and it claimed more victims.

It brought ruin, misery, and displacement to innocent masses, especially to the poor and deprived. Some of the major wars were: Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) between England and France, Germany experienced three different civil wars within three decades (1522-1555), the Dutch fought the Spanish (catholic) occupation for nearly nine hundred years and finally won independent in 1648.

During this century war extended thorough out the Continent.

Military technology increased in sophistication and expense following the ‘gunpowder revolution’ in the 14th-16th centuries and the oceanic explorations of 15th century and as highly trained and costly state based standing armies and navies were developed from the 16th century.

In the 16th century, the rulers of France, England and the Holy Roman Empire – who during part of the 16th century included the King of Spain, dominated warfare in international military campaign.

By end of the 16th century there were three great , centralized, gunpowder kingdoms in Europe, France, Spain, England, a diffuse but powerful Habsburg empire in central Europe and a number of smaller states - Sweden, The Netherlands – whose local power could not be ignored.
War in Europe in 16th century
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Most Popular Posts