PEACE OF WESTPHALIA
Hear Ye! Hear Ye far and wide!
The treaties of Munster are here.
Before that, The Herald issues a formal apology and begs for forgiveness before our Lord and our Excellencies working to bring peace. Last edition, the writer committed heresy of the first degree, and dared to call for a peasant’s revolt. This was not sanctioned by The Herald editors. The writer was promptly met with representatives of the Spanish Inquisition as he was exiting the meeting’s halls. He did not expect them. Authorities justly proceeded to hang him, and a peasant rebellion was avoided, also thanks to the piety of the Westphalian people.
Today commenced with a cannon thunder; full victory of the Dutch to maintain their independence, including the precious enclave of Maastricht. It was visibly painful to have these terms read out aloud to some of the Excellencies. It will remain to be seen whether the young traders’ republic will survive with the French, Germans and Spanish at their doorstep.
Similarly, Trier is now happily minding its own business, having not signed up to the Diet and being completely independent. It can rely on French protection to not be swallowed by its bigger neighbors. The other realms did not agree to the contract, but this doth not matter.
Other territorial disputes were also settled, while the idea of the Imperial Diet has now prevailed as an ordering force of the Holy Roman Empire’s internal squabbles.
It appears that the Swedes maintained permanent foothold in German Brandenburg, which has also reconciled with Saxony by means of intermarriage.
Spain and France are now conjoined in brotherly, Catholic love, and have reconciled their border disputes, therein guaranteeing the continued existence of the Swiss confederation. “Thirty years of war over the Swiss reconciled in one in sentence”.
French had the discussion of the crusade resurface. The Holy Roman Empire enthusiastically reasserted that a holy war will be the unifying mission bringing together all Christians. Jerusalem must be ours, Deus bloody Vult! Brandenburg notes the logistic challenges of such an undertaking; who provides the beer?
Although it is somewhat humorous that France wants to reestablish the disgraced Templar order, when it was King Phillip IV of France who cleansed them from the earth in the year of the Lord 1307.
Nevertheless, there will be a launching party in Trier, with wine for all. Thus, a thirty years age of slaughter shall now be over. The killing now goes on elsewhere, which is way better.
Merry crusading and happy heretic hanging, everybody!
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
The Excellencies sure have come a long way. Multiple achievements can be booked. Overall, the halls are filled with jests and laughs, which seems peculiar, keeping in mind the mountains of dead Christians this convention is the result of. The wars of the nobles are carried out on the back of the faithful peasant.
For now, the armistice holds. But is it a just peace?
Furthermore, religious … tolerance, let’s say, is established. The current draft of the treaty went from the recognition that all “Christian beliefs are equal” to “the recognition that they are superior to non-Christian faiths”. Again, the covenant is most united in their distaste for others.
Now, a promising the idea of the Imperial Court championed first by Spain floats the halls. Therein, a religiously-independent court would be established to arbitrate the conflicts of the Holy Roman Empire’s nobles and settling territorial or religious disputes. This may also include military means if necessary. Through these means, territorial integrity of realms could be maintained. Within these, princes enjoy the full monopoly on legitimate violence. This way, sovereigntywould become a reality and the Empire could live on. What would be the Emperor’s future there?
Before this is decided upon, the Holy Roman states are squabbling about how to reorganize themselves along sustainable lines. Meanwhile, France, Spain and the Netherlands are pondering what attractive or ugly features would be distributed after a potential marriage between their royalties … Turns out, the Habsburgs are considered the ugliest.
Meanwhile, the Dutch are impatiently waiting for the Empire to get over itself, so that its independence might be discussed.
These negotiations are a disgrace to God. Catholics, Protestants and even the Calvinist are all-too-joyfully convening and fornicating like the four apocalyptic riders. Who’s next, are the Ottomans invited soon, too? The faithful peoples of God have become pawns in the powerplays of the aristocrats who all-too-readily banned religion from their affairs. This is where The Herald has to take a public stance. We call for a peasant’s revolt in Westphalia and all Christian lands! We declare allegiance to the Pope, the one true representative of God on His holy earth.
Peasants! Seize the covenant and lynch the lords! The Pope is with us and therefore, also God. Drive out all Protestants, Calvinists and those Catholics who have forgotten their divine mission of cleansing the lands of heresy. Thirty years of war cannot have been for nothing. The Church must emerge victorious and with it, the salvation of the People.
May God’s furious vengeance burn to ashes all those who claim his name in heresy!
Simon Pompé for The Herald
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
The Excellencies started out their Saturday negotiations with their usual squabbling. After Bohemia’s prince Wallstein rushed in not-so-nobly after having missed his horse and hurrying through the hills on foot like a commoner, the Holy Roman Emperor demanded grudgingly: “Off with his head – bad tie!”
The Dutch Republic, in turn, bemoaned the Holy Roman Empire’s and Spain’s lack of proper memery. Indeed, the ancient tradition of the maymay has been neglected by some but upheld honorably by others.
After those matters of decorum were settled, the negotiations entered the issues of religion and thereby, the matter of the Holy Roman Empire’s future commenced yet again in full force. After a fragile armistice was reached yesterday, France came forward with another proposal to divide the continent in a way that sustains peace in the long run. Therein, buffer realms were foreseen between the major power. Thus, if any conflict should arise, the major powers could employ its diplomatic capabilities to find allies among the other buffer states or bigger players. “We do not compete for territory anymore; we compete for allies”. The Excellencies’ eyes shone at the mention and promise of the colonial promises of non-European lands, where Christians could exercise their lust for warfare instead.
However, France proposal was showered in criticism for insincerity and accusations of land grabs. It has become clear that dividing the continent along lines that take both religious and territorial matters into account is indeed a herculean task. The Excellencies will have to employ all their divine and sovereign fervor in order to not be swallowed by their neighbors.
May God bring Forgiveness for the sins committed in these wars.
Simon Pompé for The Herald
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
The Excellencies convene again to bring the light of God to these lands ridden with war. Spain has yet again put oh so eloquently an opening: “Was any of the Excellencies cold on the way here? It was quite chilly… But Spain stays warm at the thought of burning heretics at the stake back home.” But, alas, they moved past all such activities in favour of more sober interests.
Statehood has arrived firmly as a concept in the negotiations. They do want to ensure, though, that religion stays within its orderly bounds; the motto of ‘cuius regio, eios religo’ (those whose land it is may determine its confession) prevails thus far, as it seen as stability promoting. Nonetheless, no one is seriously asserting his particular faith as the one supposed to prevail after the fighting. We shall see what God has to say about all this heresy in the afterlife.
Some have again asserted the presence of Russian and Ottoman forces at Christianity’s Eastern border. Indeed, the very survival of the Lord’s Church is at stake, should negotiations fail. The King of Sweden was the only one downplaying the fears of Russian meddling in the Imperial elections of the new Holy Roman Emperor. Maybe they have made a secret pact with the Russians?
Nevertheless, the biggest general approval today was voiced for, well, hating the Muslims. The covenant was not afraid to call out another holy crusade to vanquish Ottoman forces near Vienna. “In the end, we’re all Christians. And who do we hate? Muslims!” General approving table knocking followed enthusiastically. The argument goes that this would unite European lands under one banner. Leave it to the Excellencies to turn a debate about finding peace among themselves into a battle planning session for another war. Because sometimes, thirty years are just not enough.
Before that, though, the Excellencies must agree on a temporary armistice which provides difficult. In this war, armies just cannot stop fighting all of a sudden, because armies have o rape and plunder the surrounding villages and towns in order to maintain supplies.
Overall, the negotiations’ honorable chairs are satisfied thus far. “They’re all talking about the right things, but fighting over semantics”. It seems, as if this the constant running through all of Christian European history.
May God’s light bring peace to us all. Amen.
Simon Pompé reporting for The Herald.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
The Excellencies of Christian Europe have come together in the year of the Lord 1648. The peoples of the lands have suffered for thirty long years under the wars of the princes, and now, the kings of divine grace convene to bring peace. That, at least, they can agree on. As the Kingdom of Catholic Spain proudly proclaimed: “Our blood waters the fields of Flanders!”
Given the high prestige of many of the attendees, the first negotiations were spent on how to properly address each other; Your Highness? Your Royal Excellency? At the suggestion of holding merely the title of a count, the French representation idignatedly yelled: “I’m a prince, I’ll have you known!” Eventually, a blanket-title of ‘Your Excellency’ became accepted by all. These kinds of formalities showcase the vastly different positions that the sides are coming from.
But what even are the sides? Protestant versus Catholic? Pope against Lutherans? Or is it not rather that allies emerge depending on what territory they desire together? It seems, that geopolitics have indeed replaced religious interests; at the end of these negotiations, something may perhaps emerge that can be called “state interest”.
For now, however, religion remains a contested point. When the Dutch Republic suggested, it may be left to the people of the lands to decide themselves what confession they might want to follow, the general consensus seemed to be instead that “Come on, people want to be ruled!”
Will the Excellencies be able to pacify all of Christianity? Or will fighting continue? Some say, up to two-thirds of the German population have perished in the last three decades. Surely, this suffering is not the will of our God Creator. Peace will depend on how Catholics, Protestants, and those, who want to ban religious ideas from their political considerations will arrange themselves. And some have been sure to note the presence of the Ottoman Empire at Vienna’s doorstep …
May God’s Grace shine upon us all. Amen.
Simon Pompé, from The Herald