Martin Luther’s Reformation sharply divided German princes within the Holy Roman Empire, leading to conflict between the Catholic Hapsburg emperors and the princes (primarily in the northern part of the Empire) who adopted Lutheran Protestantism. This led to several conflicts that ended with the Peace of Augsburg (1555), which established the principle of cuius regio, eius religio (whoever reigns, his religion) within the Holy Roman Empire. According to the terms of the Peace of Augsburg, the Holy Roman Emperor renounced the right to enforce a single religion throughout the “Empire” and each prince could choose between establishing Catholicism or Lutheranism in the lands under his own control.
The Thirty Years’ War began as a local religious conflict between the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor and his Protestant subjects in Bohemia, but grew into a continent-wide political conflict over the Balance of Power in Europe.
The Four Phases
The Bohemian Phase
The Danish Phase
The Danish Phase concluded with the Catholics again firmly in the lead. In 1629, Ferdinand issued the Edict of Restitution, which ordered the return of Catholic lands that had been taken over by Protestants since the Peace of Augsburg.
The Swedish Phase
The Swedes were helped by financial support from the French, who decided to support the Protestant faction in spite of France being a Catholic country. Cardinal Richelieu, the First Minister of France, was a politique in the vein of Henry IV, caring more about weakening the Hapsburgs than about what religion people professed in the Holy Roman Empire.
The French Phase
Gustavus Adolphus was killed in battle in 1632, ending Sweden’s active leadership in the Protestant cause. In the last phase of the Thirty Years’ War, the most dominant player on the Protestant side was Catholic France. Granted, the French had a bit of help from the Swedes, who had switched roles from fighter to financier. Here’s a device for remembering the roles of the Swedes and the French during the later phases of the Thirty Years’ War:
The Peace of Westphalia (1648)
The last phase of the Thirty Years’ War was the bloodiest and failed to produce a decisive result. After thirty years, people were weary of war and had lost track of why they were even fighting. The warring parties gathered at Westphalia to hammer out a rational peace to end a long war that had begun as a local religious conflict.
Calvinism was accepted as a third option for princes in the Holy Roman Empire to choose as an official religion and the freedom of private worship for religious minorities within the principalities of the Empire was guaranteed. The goal here was to avoid future religious conflict.
The Thirty Years’ War was the last major religious war in Europe and put an end to the violence accompanying the Protestant Reformation.
In the new AP US History curriculum, Key Concept 1.1 focuses on the development of Native American societies in the years preceding and immediately following European contact.
There are three broad ideas that a student really needs to understand in order to be successful when questioned about this topic on the AP US History exam:
Nomadic vs Settled Tribes
While some tribes - especially in the North - subsisted exclusively on hunting and gathering, most Indian tribes employed agriculture for at least part of their food supply. Tribes that subsisted on hunting and gathering tended to be nomadic, while tribes that depended more heavily on agriculture built more permanent settlements. Those living close to rivers, lakes, and oceans also fished.
Geographical Culture Groups
In societies that practiced hunting, gathering, and agriculture, women tended to do the lion’s share of agricultural labor, while men spent most of their time hunting. Early European colonists believed that Native men were lazy and oppressed their women, but from their cultural standpoint, this was simply a different division of labor (Native men wondered why European men did "women's work" on the farm).
Adolf Hitler's Rise to Power is a frequently searched topic on Google and YouTube, but until this week, there was little to be found in terms of an academic lecture on the subject. This week, I released a half hour lecture on Hitler's Rise to Power that is divided into three parts and is availabe on my YouTube channel.
Hitler and the Nazi Party
I’m disappointed. Donald Trump, after saying that he’d love to debate Bernie and that it would be easy to debate Bernie… has backed out of debating Bernie. This is even after one company has pledged to give $20 million to women’s health charities in order to host the debate. This could have been the biggest debate in history… and Trump turned it down. It could have been a great opportunity for the two most popular candidates in this election cycle to establish some common ground… but we’ll never know.
Photo by Gage Skidmore
WHY did #ChickenTrump turn down this opportunity? Clearly, there was a decision-making process that led to Trump’s reversal on the idea, so it’s our task to figure out why he’s decided to back out of the debate.
First off, Trump doesn’t need this debate. He is already the presumptive Republican nominee. There is nothing that he is guaranteed to gain from this, as he is already getting constant publicity.
On the other hand, Bernie has nothing to lose. BEWARE of a person who has nothing to lose. This would be the fight of Bernie’s life and he would come in swinging. This brings back memories of Chris Christie torpedoing Marco Rubio’s campaign. If Bernie went into this with the mindset that he could be the man who stumps the Trump, so to speak, it could go very badly for Trump. Trump, on the other hand, has to look to November and the last thing he wants to do right now is destroy Bernie.
Trump has more to lose than to gain. On one hand, the two could establish some common ground and eliminate Hillary Rodham Clinton from the discourse shortly before the nation’s last and largest primary. Trump could even use this as an opportunity to differentiate himself from the most radical element of the Democratic Party. The majority of Americans don’t want their taxes raised to pay for free college and socialized medicine and Trump could speak for that majority. On the other hand, in a political climate where winning debates is all about who gets in the best one liners, Bernie could end up scoring a victory that could haunt Trump in the general election campaign – even if Bernie is not his opponent. If Trump were to be cast as the loser of the debate, it would be an unnecessary defeat.
This testifies to Trump’s innate sense of caution that has not been evident during this campaign. In the first chapter of The Art of the Deal, Trump relates a story of a Texas oil man who wanted him to invest in an oil field. It was pitched to Trump as a no lose proposition. It sounded great. But then,
Anyone who wants to understand Trump and his decision-making process should start with The Art of the Deal. His approach to risky situations is the same as it was thirty years ago. He has never been shy about backing out of a deal at the last minute, even if he’s already made a commitment to it. While we could come up with all kinds of reasons that Trump should do this debate, Trump has a tendency to go with his gut. His instincts have gotten him this far, so maybe he should keep trusting them.
Trump would have to be an impulsive media whore in order to walk into this sort of ambush…
But wait! Isn’t he an impulsive media whore? Maybe not. Maybe he’s being… presidential. Maybe he’s not the loose cannon that everyone thinks he is, which is something that I’ve been saying for a long time. Trump says what he feels that he has to say to get media attention, but he also realizes that there can be such thing as too much media attention, as was made evident in his disastrous interview with Chris Matthews in March.
When Trump’s endgame is considered, his decision makes perfect sense. Trump wants Bernie to win the California primary, which will place a dark cloud over the legitimacy of Hillary’s nomination, which may be part of the reason that he helped to create this debate buzz in the first place. BUT Trump doesn’t need Bernie to get so much positive media attention that he ends up getting the Democratic nomination. Right now, Trump is set to go into the general election against an embattled candidate who has absolutely no charisma, is not trusted by the majority of the public, and has an indictment hanging over her head like a Damocles Sword. When you add in Hillary winning the Democratic nomination by the skin of her teeth in a seemingly fraudulent process that’s created a lot of bad blood, this is a dream scenario for Trump. The media buzz that has resulted from the proposed debate may end up being enough to give Bernie the edge he needs to win California – and that’s all Trump wants.
Sharing a debate stage with Trump would give Bernie an unprecedented air of gravitas and would allow Bernie to speak for the Democratic Party and cast him in the role of the presumptive nominee. While it should be easy for Trump to beat a self-avowed democratic socialist in a general election, Bernie has a very excited base behind them and he shares Trump’s commitment to keeping jobs in this country. It would be a bad idea to underestimate Bernie.
And Trump knows that it would be a bad idea to underestimate Bernie. He doesn’t need this debate against a man who has nothing to lose and that is why he didn’t do it. And as disappointed as Trump’s decision makes me, I have to say that he made the right decision. This is cold, calculating realpolitik at its best. Trump has backed away from a battle with the war in mind – a war that looks increasingly winnable if he can avoid making impulsive decisions like this decision very well could have been.
I think that there needs to be some distinction between someone's personal financial misfortunes and the decisions that they make as public officials. Of course, an exception should be made for business dealings that might have been crooked or willfully unethical, as the public should be able to inquire about these things. I’m sure even my friend Curt can agree that people should be able to ask questions about Trump’s bankruptcies or about donations solicited for the Clinton Foundation, as these sorts of questions address a candidate's character… but to ask someone about a foreclosure on their second personal home is a bit much. One might expect something like this to come from other candidates or Super PAC smear ads – but this one came from the moderators! It’s not much different in my view than if a moderator were to have asked Barack Obama whether he was born in the United States – this sort of talk has no place coming from a professional moderator in a debate setting.
I realize that given the results of my admittedly unscientific Twitter poll, some people may not be convinced, so let’s look at this from a historical lens. There were some great presidents who never would have been able to serve if impeccable personal finances were a prerequisite for serving as president.
BOTTOM LINE: Not everyone is great at managing their personal finances and not everyone is lucky in their business dealings (let's face it, a great deal of success in business has to do with luck). Some people have expensive tastes and live beyond their means - I think this would include most Americans if we're honest with ourselves. As long as it does not involve crooked business dealings or misuse of public funds, it should not be a major issue in the selection of a president.
For Further Reading: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/politics/us-presidents-who-were-deep-in-debt-7.aspx
"The war I am about to describe is the most memorable of any that have ever been waged, I mean the war which the Carthaginians, under Hannibal's leadership, waged with Rome."
This week, I am teaching the Punic Wars in my Ancient History course. When reading Livy's History of Rome, something that always jumped out at me was the bold claim he makes in his preface to Book XXI, which begins his account of the Second Punic War (also known as Hannibal's War):
This, of course, got me thinking about what makes a war truly memorable and meaningful. Every year, I like to ask my students this question in some form or another. This year, I asked students to think of America's wars as a beauty pageant of sorts and to tell me which of America's wars would be the three finalists in this competition. While there may be some argument about which was was the most important, a consensus quickly emerged regarding the top three:
Like the Romans, we Americans have fought a lot of wars in our day. What makes these three so important? My ninth graders tended to think of the Revolutionary War as the most important, as it began the existence of the United States as a nation. Without the Revolutionary War, nothing else would have followed, so it is important as an antecedent to every war that followed (if we'd never been a nation in the first place, there would have been no Civil War). Students also see the Revolutionary War as being fought over a set of distinctly American values that are still important to them today. The Civil War was fought to decide whether the United States would be one nation or two and also brought about the end of the institution of slavery.
I am a history teacher, YouTuber, and PowerPoint slide designer blogging about teaching history, using PowerPoint in the classroom, making YouTube videos, and maybe a little shameless self-promotion now and then!