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Ferdinand II

Ferdinand II (1578-1637) was the Holy Roman Emperor during the Thirty Years War. History research Papers on the Thirty Years War must touch on the era of Ferdinand II. You may want to divide your research paper according to various topics on Ferdinand II, such as the following interesting facts:

  • A member of the House of Hapsburg, he was a devout Catholic who worked to suppress Protestantism in central Europe.
  • The son of Charles II Archduke of Austria
  • King of Bohemia in 1617 and King of Hungary in 1618.
  • When his cousin Matthias, the Holy Roman Emperor died childless in 1619, Ferdinand found the support of the Spanish branch of the Hapsburg family in order to become Emperor.

Ferdinand II as King

Ferdinand II

His subjects on Bohemia almost immediately revolted, deposing him as King. Ferdinand responded by crushing the rebellion and initiating the Thirty Years War. Ferdinand was successful in suppressing Protestantism in Austria and Bohemia, and reduced the power of the local Diet, making himself more of an absolute monarch.

Ferdinand II

and Protestant Forces


In response, Protestant forces under Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden invaded Germany. Ferdinand’s forces were directly responsible for the Sack of Magdeburg in 1631, the plundering and massacre of that Protestant city, and were defeated at the First Battle of Breitenfeld later that same year. Eventually Louis XIII of France joined forces with Ferdinand in order to drive the Swedes out of central Europe. Although Ferdinand signed the Peace of Prague in 1635, religious wars continued across Europe for several more decades. Ferdinand died in 1637 and was succeeded by his son, Ferdinand III.

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