Catholic League 1609

Catholic League (1609)

 

a union of the Catholic ecclesiastical and secular feudal lords of Germany, created on July 10, 1609, in order to combat the Protestant Union of 1608. The initiator and head of the Catholic League was Maximilian of Bavaria.

The Catholic League became one of the principal forces of Catholic reaction not only in Germany but throughout all of Western Europe as well. Material support from Spain permitted the league to create a large army, led by J. Tilly. With the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) the Catholic League concluded an alliance with the Emperor Ferdinand II. Its troops won a number of victories during the Czech and Danish periods of the war. With the creation of the Imperial Army under the command of A. von Wallenstein the influence of the league decreased. But after the publication of the Edict of Restitution in 1629 the league succeeded in forcing Wallenstein to retire (1630). Tilly became commander in chief of the league’s army as well as that of the emperor. However, after the defeats inflicted upon the troops of the Catholic League in 1631–32 by the Swedish king Gustavus II Adolphus, it was dissolved in accordance with the Peace of Prague (1635).

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