Sunday, June 11, 2023


 I no longer think that all wars are unnecessary; but some are, and I still think that the Thirty Years War was one of these.  It need not have happened and it settled nothing worth settling.  No doubt it assured the replacement of Spain by France as the dominant power in Western Europe, an event of some importance in the history of the western world.  But the same result might have been achieved at far less cost and without a generation of war among the Germans who were only indirectly concerned in the matter at all.  Several statesmen of genius outside of Germany from time to time dominated the course of the war; no statesman of genius inside of Germany appeared to put a stop to it.  The dismal course of the conflict, dragging on from one decade to the next and from one deadlock to the next, seems to me an object lesson on the dangers and disasters which can arise when men of narrow hearts and little minds are in high places.

-C. V. Wedgwood, as she completes her Introduction to The Thirty Years War

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