324 Europe XII Colonisation and War

The early 17th century saw the emergence of the Dutch Republic as a new colonial power, and the resurgence of France after her religious wars. But most of all the period is scarred by the destruction of the 30 Years War

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Last time, then we reached the story of the Iberian peninsula and the war with the Dutch Republic; so this the Dutch Republic seems like the perfect place to start, and it will also lead us into the continuing story of Europe and it’s growing colonisation outside Europe. We’ll talk then about France and also there’ll be a war that lasts 30 years, about which Zack will give us a bit more detail the following week. All of which is leaving mighty and glorious France horribly close to the end of our tour, but hey, as Malcolm Sargeant once said, start with a bang and end with a bang and no one will care what you do in the middle. Or at least I thought Malcolm Sargeant said that but the various quote things on the intertubes didn’t seem to attribute it anywhere. The only quote they had was an utterly daft interview question he was asked – To what do you attribute your advanced age? To which Malcolm’s response was ‘Well, I suppose I must attribute it to the fact that I have not died.’ A reasonable answer, but the question which probably still disturbs the sleep of the journalist who asked the question which wins the most daft prize to this day. Anyway, we’ll leave the glitter of France to later in this episode.

And Until after the glitter of the Dutch Republic. Now when I were a lad, the 17th century was known as the Dutch Golden Age. Despite the almost constant pressure of war, the Dutch built a society of great prosperity, religious toleration and artistic endeavour that had the collective jaws of other European nations knocking gently on their toe caps. The reasons for it are a matter of debate, and many and various they are too. It used to be said that Calvinism had something to do with it, a story of sort of super careful and thrifty merchants making money and spending it wisely and meanly; but actually it’s been noted that these supposedly thrifty and tightfisted Calvinists partied like it was the end of a global pandemic on Brighton beach, and beautified their houses with all sorts of pricey artworks. This was an extraordinary period for all those Dutch paintings we love so much – Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer, any number of others. Patrons eagerly commissioned for their own houses as well as public spaces – it’s been suggested that at least 3 million paintings were produced in the 17th century alone. An English traveller Peter Mundy commented that even houses of ‘indifferent quality’ were filled with furniture and ornaments ‘very costly and curious, full of pleasure and home contentment, as rich cupboards and cabinets…imagery, porcelain, costly fine cages with birds’

Furthermore the wealth spread through society, not restricted to a wealthy elite; bakers, farmers, blacksmiths, all kept artwork.

It seems more likely then that economic and population changes were more influential than Calvinism specifically. An increasing population promoted economic growth in one of Europe’s most sophisticated, industrialised and well capitalised societies, and religious toleration fuelled further growth. So there were was mass movements of people from the Spanish controlled low countries, so that cities like Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp suffered what has been called a ‘catastrophic haemorrhage of inhabitants’. Thousands of Jews emigrated from Spain and Portugal to the Republic, and Huguenots from France. The same openness encouraged thinkers and writers like Descartes and Locke to set up shop there. I’m not suggesting the Rene and John bought so many pastries and buns that they single handedly fuelled the Dutch Golden Age, just that this same spirit of toleration and openness brought immigrants to Dutch cities and those cities swelled with people and commerce – Amsterdam was a city of 50,000 in 1570, and 200,000 in 1700.

Technology also played its part; new production processes improved manufacture, and new financial arrangements fuelled industry. And in the carrying trade, the Dutch innovated, producing new ships which handled better, carried more cargoes, and required fewer crew to operate and were therefore cheaper. The new ships, called fluyts established one of the central planks of Dutch economic success in the rather prosaic herring trade, carried on routes between Iberia and the Baltic, with Baltic grain heading southwards too; the Dutch expansion into the carrying trade at once cut out the costs associated with using Spanish and Portuguese bottoms with their fees, and added to Dutch profit. They were also to provide the workhorses for the Dutch’s very conscious expansion into colonial empire and world trade; as the philosopher and Lawyer Hugo Grotius declared, the Dutch had to take their destiny into their own hands.

The Dutch colonial enterprise was a very conscious national effort and almost certainly did much to fund wealth and economic success. So lets talk about that briefly before we get to France and Warfare again. In 1602 the government created the Dutch East Indies company, or VOC; a single entity to lead trade into Asia, on the understanding that a single entity would be more powerful that competing merchants working alone. It’s a good example of the way the Dutch did trade generally – pooling resources and risks across a wide body of investors, rather than operating monopolies as commonly happened in England. There does, however appear to be some debate about the first joint stock company; and often the VoC gets the crown. However I think England’s Muscovy company in the 1550’s was earlier; maybe the difference is that the VOC was the first company to issue shares, but there really doesn’t seem to be a solid answer.

Anyway, the Dutch plan was not to trade alongside other nations and compete with them, such as Portuguese, Venetians and German traders did in Goa for example, each with their own factories in the same town; the plan was instead to replace their competitors. How to do that tended to vary; in the Americas the Dutch West India Company set out to colonise territories that had not yet been colonised by other European nations. In the Spice Islands, though, the isolated Portuguese community was expelled in 1605 as part of a systematic programme to establish control over the East Indies, and the VOC established a base at Batavia, modern day Jakarta. It was not just Europeans they targeted but local authorities too – they established control over Malacca, Colombo, Ceylon and Cochin, and then the sultanate of Macassar in Modern Indonesia in 1669. Slavery formed a central part in these settlements; it’s been estimated that between one third and two thirds of the inhabitants of Dutch East Indies cities were enslaved people – mainly from South Asia before 1660[1]. Many others were enforced labour, often from China.

In West Africa, the Dutch pushed out rivals; new bases were established, and the Portuguese pushed out of many bases such as Elmina on the Ghanaian coast. As a result, the Dutch dominated the gold trade and became heavily involved also in the slave trade; they were a powerful force in the Atlantic trade; although they eventually failed to maintain a presence in Brazil, by the 1640s they had a presence along with the French, English and Danes in the Carribbean, and owned a major share of trans-atlantic shipping, and all but controlled the sugar trade.  Even further afield, a Dutch navigator Abdel Tasman, charted the outlines of Australia and New Zealand in 1642-3.

Obviously, Spanish and Portuguese empires continued to expand in the South Americas, while you will all know more than I about the early arrivals of Europeans into North America, beginning with the explorations of Jacques Cartier in 1534 and grandly claiming the territory for his king as you do, in what would become New France. The honour of the earliest permanent colonies in New France goes to either Port Royal or Quebec City (1607 and 1608 respectively), both founded by Samuel de Champlain. And of course further south we have the establishment of Jamestown in Virginia in 1607. Incidentally, in writing this short piece I have re-written history, which happens you know, since in the first version I boobed and was corrected by Pierre-Michel and Olivier. Merci messieurs.

Since this is a topic of super importance to England I will not dwell here on the culture of Native Americans, or the arrival the Pilgrim Fathers, we’ll do it properly in its own episode. As you’ll know, the English had established the East India company in 1600, which would become a beast in the next century, but initially, it struggled to compete against the Dutch, and their presence forced the English to concentrate on India. There they tried without success to gain an imperial decree from the powerful Mughal rulers of India granting them regular trading privileges throughout the Mughal Empire. They managed only a few specific privileges such as in Mumbai; which were revoked in 1686 when the English tried force and only managed to continue trading by paying a heavy fine and prostrating themselves in front of the Mughal Emperor.

France like England was a relatively slow starter in the process of colonisation except in the Caribbean, and in 1663 Louis XIV brought all the endeavours in New France in the North Americas under royal control, and saw new colonies in the Americas as a perfect scenario for Absolutism, to establish colonies without all those annoying customs, liberties and guilds. That will be for the future, but it brings us, I hope relatively neatly, to France, long awaited.

France was very much on the up by the end of the reign of Henry IV, who had done such a superb job to end the religious wars. Together with his chief minister the Duc de Sully they worked to restore the French infrastructure – building bridges and highways, canals and planting forests. Sully was a famously hard worker – rising at 4, have breakfast at 6.30, work til noon, stop for a fine lunch – obs, this is La France apres tout – and then work through until 10 at night. Henry’s focus was very much to restore the wealth of his people

If God keeps me alive I will ensure that no peasant in my kingdom will lack the means to have a chicken in the pot of Sundays

Nonetheless they did not forget to beautify Paris either, with the palais of the Louvre and the Pont Neuf, which in common with things called new, like the New Forest for example are in fact normally the oldest things, and the Pont Neuf today is the oldest bridge in Paris. Sadly, a religious nutter decided Henry was not a proper catholic, and killed him when held up in traffic.

Henry’s son Louis XIII was but 9 years old, so his Italian mother Marie de Medici became regent, and immediately rewarded her Italian chumps, in this case Leonora Galigai and her husband Concino Concini. They were not popular with the French, but when he technically came of age Louis seems to have been happy to let them carry until 1617; Louis XIII was an odd fish, deeply socially inept and terrified of women, and yet determined and politically confident. So when his best mate Charles D’Albret convinced him the Concinis were pants he acted, firmly. And I mean firmly – Concini himself was assassinated, and three months later Leonora was convicted of witchcraft, beheaded and burned at the stake, which is probably the right order if you are going to have to go in such a way. Louis’ Mum Marie was exiled to Blois, and bessie Charles made Duke of Luynes for his good advice.

On Luynes’ death Louis looked around and chose as his new chief minister a man who had been knocking around French politics for a while, Armand du Plessis, a Cardinal since 1622. I speak, of course, of one of the surely the most famous names in European politics – le Cardinal de Richelieu, made famous both by his achievements but also, let us admit it, by his presence in Alexandre Dumas and his Three Muskateers.

Richelieu, as my one time school friend Mark Shostack used to say, was robota, which he says means the business in Polski, but to be honest Google translate begs to differ. There’s a fab picture of the lad, that’s Richelieu not Mark Shostakone of those 3 in 1 pictures and he was clearly an impressive man – commanding presence, hawk like eyes, hooked and powerful nose.  He radiated power and confidence. He was also an autocract, and if Louis XIV was to be an Absolute monarch, it was Richelieu who laid the foundations, metaphorically speaking, of Versailles. Richelieu was determined that the French nobility should be bent to the will of the king, and he extended the partnership started under Henry IV, of creating Nobles of the Robe, raising money for the crown by creating new members of the nobility while selling them offices, charging the Paulette for the privilege, a tax on office holders. The ancient nobility, the Noblesse d’epee, nobility of the sword, were unimpressed. Meanwhile Administration was to be centralised and the power of local parlements curtailed; he created a new class of royal officials, the Intendants, appointed to govern and raise taxes in a region, appointment directly from the crown, alien to the province they were to rule. The nobility must be worked hard

They must be likened to mules which, being accustomed to their burdens, are spoiled by long idleness rather than by labour

A tough boss. He also disapproved of the kind of freedoms given to the Huguenots, with their separate fortified towns. Aha I hear you say, well he was afterall a cardinal of the church so he can’t have liked a prot. Well, it wasn’t necessarily that – Richelieu was no hunter of heretics. What he insisted on though was that, like Elizabeth I for example, that they should be loyal to the king and the state, he hated the idea of a state within a state. Duly then, Huguenot liberties were restricted, most notably in the case of the fair city of La Rochelle.

La Rochelle is a sea side town and a thoroughly lovely place to visit, especially the Isle de re I might say – sea, sand and bicycles that sort of thing. A croissant a day keeps the gut ticking over sort of thing. But back in 1627 it was the most powerful of the Huguenot towns, with a reputation for resisting strong sieges – and which Richelieu strongly suspected of harbouring a potential rebellion, So, despite the rather embarrassing attempt of support from England’s Duke of Buckingham, La Rochelle was invested, taken after 14 months siege, and once it fell its walls were razed and the citizens forbidden to maintain their own arms as had been promised them under the Edict of Nantes. It was to prove a slippery slope.

Richelieu also carried with him that century plus old fear of the Habsburgs. France was strongly convinced that it should be, as it had been before, the leading nation of Christendom. And it had every right so to think, prosperous, wealthy and large – 20 million inhabitants as opposed to 10 million in Spain and a mere 4 in England. And yet, one barrier lay between France and the hegemony she desired – those blessed Habsburgs, encircling mother France from the south, the east with the German Emperor and to the north with the Spanish Netherlands. It was this that persuaded Louis and Richelieu, to everyone amazement, to take their Catholic nation to war – on the side of the Protestant nations. Shock, and indeed horror. Sacre bleu.

We’ll hear more about that in a minute, but Richelieu died before the end of the 30 Years War, and his boss Louis died a year later in 1643. This brought to throne an even more famous Frenchman, even more famous than Thierry Henri – Louis XIV, the Sun king. Once again, though, Louis was just a little ’un, a morris, a minor; and so once again that meant his mother Anne of Austria would be regent; and as her chief minister she employed another famous name, and possibly maybe perhaps also her lover, Cardinal Mazarin, once more an Italian, and although very different to Richelieu in style, another very capable minister. He was also, I understand, a massive gambler. Like Anne and Richelieu he was also a convinced Absolutist, but in 1648 his unpopularity as a furrgner, a centralising autocrat and the weight of the taxation required to fight the 30 years war brought the maybe inevitable reaction – Rebellion.

The Fronde were a series of rebellions between 1648 and 1653, and they are an odd lot really. They are effectively civil wars that rumbled on – traditionally divided into two phases, the Fronde Parliamentaire and the Frondes des Princes. The name, Fronde, comes from the French for sling, you know, the sort of thing you’d use to bring down goliath or chuck mud at politicians rather than the sling to cradle your arm type; and frondeur is a short word for political rebel or activist. The initial barney started over a composite series of reasons; there’s your political infighting and hatred of Mazarin and Anne of Austria; then there’s a resistance to the creeping absolutism thing, against the growing primacy of royal decree over the parlements; and then probably there’s just good old taxation and economic distress of ordinary people. The trigger was Anne’s removal of members of the parlement of paris when it tried to resist demands for extra taxation; it’s important not to equate the French parlement with the English parliament by the way. The French version was more like a court of appeal, not a legislative or representative body, but a body there to make sure French customs and liberties were protected. Anyway, Paris erupted in riots, there were mobs, barricades, the works. The Fronde des Prince from 1650-1653 was much more elitist, political intrigue by royal princes and high nobility. In the end, it was a rather odd movement without an aim or principles, everyone just got sick of it, put away their gillets jaune and it all sort of petered out.

Now look, I think you might be interested to know more about the Fronde, and I have given you a rotten summary. But there just isn’t space here, so there are a couple of things I’d like you to take away. Essentially, the powers of royalty butched it out in the end, and royal power was confirmed rather than limited. The other thing was the impact of all this on the young Louis XIV, 9 years old when it all kicked off. He saw the mob with his frightened little eyes; at one stage he and the rest of the royal party were bundled out of the capital to flee to safer ground, to return eventually in triumph and chaos. Little Louis, just the Sun Nipper at this point, or the Rising Sun, or I don’t know, the rising candle, learned a lesson from all of it. He learned to distrust chaos and built a determination that the nobility must be controlled in whatever way that was required. And he learned to hate the mob and Paris in particular. So maybe here’s where he started to draw pictures of massive palaces on his lace cuffs, massive palaces based outside Paris, where the fury of the mob could not reach him.  Soon after the Fronde, Louis took personal control of his reign and the rest is, well you know, history. Well it’s all history really, obs.

Now then, the Thirty years War then. I remember reading Robert Tombs’ excellent book on the English and their History, and in it he talked about the English horror with the First World War, and the determination not to forget it; somehow the attitude towards it is very different to the Second World war. Well, I realise this is a little tangential, but I wonder if there was just a smidge of the same attitude towards the 30 Years War in Germany? From a world where warfare was pretty ubiquitous and yes frequently vicious, but to a degree relatively limited in scope, the 30 Years War suddenly seems like a vicious step up, into hell. Vast, ill disciplined armies storming all over Germany like murderous locusts, laying waste to everything before them, a wave of death, murder rape, destruction plague. Peter Frankopan in his excellent book The Silk Roads has a rather uncompromising view about the rise of the west; that it was laid on the back of violence and military technology, and that violence was formed in the never ending, constantly self perpetuating wars that wracked Europe in the Early Modern period and beyond, on a scale quite out of proportion to that which had gone before. Other historians have made the point that many of the combatants took part because of fear; they fought to achieve peace, and comprehensively demonstrated that war produces nothing except more war. It also comprehensively and definitively demonstrated that the people who suffer from war are you and me, ordinary people – unless of course there are some world leaders listening in or course, in which case, sorry and all. Numbers are difficult, but it could be that the population of Germany fell from 21 million to 13 million. It’s hideous.

The causes are also constantly debated, but there are two big ones really. One the one hand, you might argue that it was the third round in the religious wars – round 1 being the conflict leading of the Peace of Augsberg in 1555; round 2 being religious wars leading to Henry IV’s edict of Nantes and the truce between Spain and the Dutch; and round 3 being this, the Thirty Years War, until the peace of Westphalia in 1648. This is a strong strand of historiography, but it has been increasingly poo poo’d in favour of a much more traditional dynastic conflicts, at the heart of which was the continuing rivalry between France and the Habsburg which had caused so much death since Charles VIII invaded Milan darling in 1494. It’s also been seen in the context of this idea about a general 17th century crisis; or of revolt of the peripheries against the assertion of central royal power – such as the Emperors had constant sought to establish over the German princes, or the Castilians over the Dutch, Catalonians, Aragonese, and Portuguese.

I think the clever money as always is to meld elements of all of these, and maybe also reflect that the mix and relative importance of motivations changed over time. So it doesn’t do, it seems to me, to under estimate the importance of religion in this conflict; it provided the basic kindling material in tension leading up to conflict, it provided the trigger in Prague. The rise of Calvinism, ignored in the Treaty of Augsberg, provided some of the grit that produced the poisoned pearl. For many ordinary people they came to join in the wars to fight for their religion – in particular the Scots and English who went to join the armies; though even in this it’s important to recognise that many went for the money and opportunities it presented.

Anyway, a brief overview without losing my trousers. The war might really be described lasting 47 years, starting at Donauworth in an incident between German Lutherans and Catholics in 1606, leading to the formation of a Protestant league in Germany, and consequently a Catholic league. You might think about the war as coming in a series of phases, and the period 1606-1618 is a sort of pre phase when increasingly German princes prepared for war. The first phase then, Focused on Bohemia, came about in 1618-1623. The Austrian Habsburgs were as passionately catholic as the Spanish branch; they had been shocked at the success of Protestantism in their ancestral lands in Austria and before the war kicked off worked hard to reverse that. When Ferdinand II became King of Bohemia in 1617 and Holy Roman Emperor in 1619, he was to try to extend that policy throughout Germany. And of course Bohemia was the perfect place to start with it’s history of dissent going back to Jan Hus and being predominantly Protestant. Bohemian nobles objected to Ferdinand closing protestant churchs and violating their Charter of Toleration, and the dealt with it in traditional manner, defenestrating his representatives in 1618 in Prague, said representatives being saved by a dung heap or by the wings of a band of holy angels depending on your view point. Less traditionally they removed Ferdinand as King and chose Frederick, the Protestant Elector of the Palatinate of the Rhine instead. Interestingly and sadly, they found that the support they hoped for from their fellow princes to be sadly lacking, and outgunned and outnumbered they were horribly defeated at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620. In comprehensive revenge, the native nobility were completely suppressed and replaced by Catholic nobility, and conversion started, and the tradition of Protestantism in Bohemia was on the way out.   Frederick, or the Winter King as he was known – fled. His lands in the Palatinate were invaded too and seized by the Bavarians. Count Tilly pursued the Protestant army across Germany, and the devastation of Germany had begun. It was a complete victory, and the prospect rose that maybe Germany could be the start of the reunification of Christendom under the Pope, and the establishment of a strong and centralised Holy Roman Empire, the dream of Frederick Barbarossa and the Frederick II Stupor Mundi – role credits.

Obviously this prospect worried others, and maybe they wished they’d been a little more supportive of their Bohemian brothers. The first to break ranks then was Lutheran Denmark and the Danish phrase of 1625-1629 saw Christian IV intervene militarily, with English, Dutch and slightly shockingly, French subsidies. Enter Count Wallenstein, the Imperial general. He won a series of victories, took the fight all the way into northern Germany. By now Spain had joined the fun and attacked once more into the United Provinces and more nations were involved in this widening conflict. The Danish phase was not a success for the Danes or the Protestants. In 1629 the Danes slunk back to Denmark and victorious Ferdinand produced the Edict of Restitution ordering all protestants to surrender all ecclesiastical land gained since Augsberg. All Protestants were watching their walls get smothered with writing, Daniel was in the Lions Den – or Nebucadnezzar’s feast or whatever the biblical allusion is.

Enter stage right in phase 3, 1630-1635 the Protestant champion, Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden and a bonefide military genius. He died quite quickly when defeating Wallenstein at Lutzen, but in two short years the wars had been transformed, Count Tilly had been crushed in battle and the Swedes were preparing to advance on Vienna when Adolphus was killed at Lutzen. Adolphus has, as I say, often been seen as a protestant champion; but in that old dynastic vs religion argument, it is worth noting that Sweden was not the Social Democratic nation of today we all love and revere; it was busy constructing a Baltic empire very much threatened by the resurgence of Imperial Germany. Jus sayin’. Anyway, by 1634, Ferdinand, disillusioned and weary now was looking for peace with his German Princes and suspended the Edict of Restitution. Not until he had demanded Wallenstein, who was, I think it fair to say, something of a loose cannon, be brought in alive or dead, and duly been assassinated by a group of Irish and Scottish officers.

So maybe that would be it. But no, the Imperial and Spanish fortunes were still too bright for one remaining interested party – that would never do; and it might be said Calvinists were still excluded from any potential peace. So to everyone’s astonishment, France, whose official religion was of course Catholic, entered the war in support of the Protestant states and the war advanced in the Netherlands, on the Rhine and in Saxony. At Rocroi in 1643, another brilliant general the Prince de Conde, won a crushing victory over the Spanish which has been sometimes identified as the marker that the supremacy of the Spanish military was over. From 1644, diplomats were now shuttling to and fro while the war wandered on. In 1648, in what was a series of treaties, the war officially came to an end. There were further disputes though – the last Swedish soldiers didn’t leave German soil until 1654.

Before we move on to the political impact of the war, we should maybe think about those people that really paid the price. The thing about the soldiers wandering across Germany was that they could simply not be supplied effectively; communications were awful, the importance of logistics was the real military lesson of the war. So it’s not that soldiers were necessarily let lose on the population – though Wallenstein’s army in particular were accused of atrocities, and there were clearly many. It’s more than armies brought plague; they brought displacement, villagers crowding into cities where they could not be fed and were more vulnerable to plague.

A couple of examples. Parker uses the village of Linden as an example. In 1634, 20 Swedish soldiers rode into the village looking for food, broke into 13 cottages and raped Frau Rosch and took what they wanted. The villagers struck back; they organised, ambushed the soldiers and stripped them of clothes, loot and horses. The next day the soldiers returned with a constable and arrested 4 villagers. Shortly after, the village was listed as uninhabited – we know not why.

Second example; sack was a legitimate part of warfare; often towns and cities would manage to pay off the army; other times it was the soldiery who paid with their lives and the people with their property but not necessarily their lives; the rules of sack allowed for plunder for a city that did not surrender. But sometimes things got out of hand. The most infamous case was that of Magdeburg. After 2 months of siege, the inhabitants of Magdeburg decided that they should surrender and tried to inform Count Tilly, the Imperial commander. The note never reached him, and the city was carried by assault. The soldiery ran riot; maybe 20,000 people were killed, the vast majority of buildings were destroyed and at the end of it a Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral.

C V Wedgewood in her analysis of the War claimed that it resolved nothing. That’s not quite true. It confirmed the effective end of the HRE and its potential to control a unified German state; the princes of the empire controlled their own territories, independent of the Emperor; Ferdinand after an early first burst of success was the loser. The principle was re-established of cuius regio cuius religio, now including Calvinism – so the ruler defined the religion of their state. The religion of many states was established – Austria and Bohemia notably confirmed as Catholic countries. The Pope however was livid. He denounced the settlement as

‘null, void invalid, iniquitous, unjust, damnable, reprobate, inane and devoid of meaning for all time

Pope Innocent X would have had fun on social media. But of course there was much to be wept over; not only had the political powerlessness of the Papacy been finally confirmed for all to see, but dead with it was the idea of the unity of Christendom which had been such a central part of European life and experience, and which had died so hard and in such a welter of blood.

France and Sweden had gained from the war – Sweden was now the most powerful state of northern Europe and achieved its vision of a Baltic empire – for a while. France had advanced its borders to the Rhine, the Dutch Republic was fully as an independent state – though actually its troubles were about to begin when Louis XIV got his teeth into them. And the Spanish decline was confirmed.

[1] Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E.. Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789 (Cambridge History of Europe) (p. 501). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

6 thoughts on “324 Europe XII Colonisation and War

  1. All that remains from my comment is my name. Sigh….

    Anyway, I’ll make it short: Cartier did not found Mountréal in 1536. Maisonneuve did found Montréal, and that was a century later.

    1. You are of course quite correct, Alaim; and indeed, Pierre-Michel and Olivier have both rumbled me! I have amended the file duly…though before I saw your post, so sadly you do not get your proper recognition!

  2. Hi David,

    Pretty sure that the ‘start with a bang, end with a bang’ quote was Sir Thomas Beecham.

    Best wishes,


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