30 Years War

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30 January 2014

Thirty Years' War Essay

The Thirty Years' Year War was a war between the Protestants and the Catholics that lasted from 1618, and after impacting countless numbers of people, ended in 1648. This war had a huge effect on the religious landscape of Europe and the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor was ended. The two individuals in this first hand account of the Thirty Years' War, Peter Hagendorf and Hans Heberle, lived in the same time period but led very different lives. One was a mercenary who seemed to play the role of a pawn to his army commanders, being sent to various towns to ransack and plunder. The other was a cobbler, respected in his community, caught in the crossfire of a violent war that, like most civilians in wartime, he had no say over and had many tragedies befall him during this time.

Peter Hagendorf came from a family of military craftsmen and once he joined the army he moved from city to city with his troop. While he was in the service, Hagendorf faced many challenges including disease and a lack of food and money. Once Hagendorf arrived in Hunstrück he wrote, "…there was such a famine within the army that no horse was safe in its tall from the foot soldiers. They would stab a horse with a knife in the chest and then walk away, leaving the horse to bleed to death. Afterward they would eat it" (Document 37, pg. 292). Much of Hangendorf's writing dealt with the trips he was embarking on with the army. He traveled much more than Heberle, going from city to city ransacking the town and robbing the townspeople of money and supplies. Hagendorf brought his family and children everywhere, therefore whatever troubles he faced,