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PODs of the Thirty Years War XXV

Redolegna

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Gaston was well and truly his mother's son, the daft bastard. He cuts a dashing figure, the sort that looks like a king, but that's about the sum total of his qualifications. Though I'm not sure him taking power would see the stop of centralisation. Certainly nothing as effective and driven as Richelieu's efforts, but magnates who acceded to the throne usually found that they liked having power and found any attempt to imitate their previous digs at central power to be damn inconvenient.

The Duchy of Bar was a funny feudal thing as well, being divided between Barrois mouvant, i.e. under the French crown, and Barrois non-mouvant, i.e. part of the HRE and independent. This is what allowed Richelieu to play silly buggers over issues of sovereignty. That said, I won't shed a tear for Charles IV who was a bastard's bastard (blimey I'm using that word a lot) even by the standards of his time, considering how he treated his wife Nicole, through which his entire claim to Lorraine derived.
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
Interesting and depressing as always. It does sound as if the later period of the war was more or less the people on the sidelines realizing their proxies were too battered to meaningfully continue so they had either make peace or get involved directly and as usual peace is only desirable if it achieves all a war promises.
 

SenatorChickpea

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I do find it fascinating how fragile the French state actually was at this time- when you consider that they were going to be one of the victors of the war, that their de facto ruler was one of the most famous and effective leaders of the early modern period, that their armies would shortly throw up great generals and troops that would be feared across Europe... and yet this is a period where they keep avoiding coups and invasions by the skin of their teeth.

We haven't even got to the rebellion which won its battle, stood on the road to Paris and then dispersed after the leader accidentally shot himself in the face.
 

Redolegna

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I do find it fascinating how fragile the French state actually was at this time- when you consider that they were going to be one of the victors of the war, that their de facto ruler was one of the most famous and effective leaders of the early modern period, that their armies would shortly throw up great generals and troops that would be feared across Europe... and yet this is a period where they keep avoiding coups and invasions by the skin of their teeth.
The French state had torn itself apart in the Wars of Religion, and despite a respite under Henri IV for about fifteen years, it was still suffering from the fallout. Richelieu and Mazarin's great achievement was that they broke each rebellion so decisively that afterwards no nobles could challenge royal authority by force. And once the demographic giant is bouncing back from the loss of the civil wars of the sixteenth century, the flexing of muscles is just terrifying to the rest of the continent.
 

Alex Richards

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The French state had torn itself apart in the Wars of Religion, and despite a respite under Henri IV for about fifteen years, it was still suffering from the fallout. Richelieu and Mazarin's great achievement was that they broke each rebellion so decisively that afterwards no nobles could challenge royal authority by force. And once the demographic giant is bouncing back from the loss of the civil wars of the sixteenth century, the flexing of muscles is just terrifying to the rest of the continent.
Whereas Spain is in the middle of a downward spiral that would probably have been seen as an outright fragmentation if the Catalans had also managed to win their independence.
 
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