When Diplomacy Fails

By Zack Twamley

On Going since May 2012 • Updated weekly

A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

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  Direct Link   Download 30 Minutes 23 Sep 2020

Almost exactly 401 years to the day since Frederick accepted the Bohemian Crown, we return to our 30 Years War narrative, with episode#19!In this episode, we reach the long-awaited moment when Frederick decided, after all, to accept the Bohemian Crown. Was it a terrible mistake? In retrospect, YES! However, as I explain in this installment, things were not so black and white in the summer and autumn of 1619. For one, the Habsburgs appeared to be on their last legs, and it's worth considering whether Frederick, seeing Vienna under siege for the second time in two years - felt pressure to act before the spoils had all been siezed.But what about the other side. Was Ferdinand's military arm really as frail as Frederick seemed to believe? Granted, Ferdinand had only Spanish money and Bavarian promises, but as all were soon to see, these were still powerful weapons in the right hands. Further, while Ferdinand secured his allies with a mixture of bribes, unconstitutional pledges and quality Spanish steel, it seemed above Frederick's imagination to suppose that he could even be abandoned. His wife, after all, had sworn that James I & VI could not ignore their plight.But James had no intention of jeopardising his rapprochement with Spain, and still believed, just as naively, that he could play both sides, and maintain peace between the two pillars of Christian Europe. Within a few years, the folly of these positions would become clear, but these were still desperate times for both sides of the initial conflict. After so many years of posturing and preparing, could Germany's most infamous rivalry now explode into the open, with Bohemia caught in the middle? (spoiler - yes, yes it could!)******************DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter6) Get our new Thirty Years War book, For God or the Devil! 
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