Ferdinand II


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Holy Roman Emperor; one of the main upholders of the Counter-Reformation. He had already done much to re-establish Catholicism in Inner Austria when he became Emperor in 1619 and set about extirpating Protestantism from all the Habsburg domains. The attempt of the Protestants of Bohemia to replace him with the Calvinist Elector Palatine Frederick III was repressed, but Ferdinand's decision to punish Frederick broadened the conflict into the Thirty Years War. After Catholic military successes his ‘Edict of Restitution’ (1629) ordered Protestants to restore appropriated ecclesiastical property in their dominions; the Protestants rebelled and under Gustavus Adolphus nearly overthrew the Emperor. See also Thirty Years War.

Subjects: Literature — Christianity.

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