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Men’s Book Club Discusses “The Thirty Years: Europe’s Tragedy”

September 13, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 pm

In The Thirty Years: Europe’s Tragedy, Peter Wilson provides a detailed analysis of a war that lasted from 1618 to 1648.  The Thirty Years War fatally weakened many ancient dynasties, extinguished any expectation that Catholic hegemony would be restored over all of Europe and brought suffering and death to vast swaths of Europe.  The War began as an attempt to resolve simmering disputes between Catholic and Protestants in the Holy Roman Empire, which covered much of central and eastern Europe. Protestants forces might well have succumbed  because of divisions among them over the dogma.  However Catholic religious unity dissolved as rival dynasties sought to gain power against other dynasties regardless of faith. Catholic France sought to undermine Catholic Spain and the  Holy Roman Empire by supporting the independence of Protestant Netherlands  from Spain and Protestant Sweden’s invasion of Catholic regimes in Northern Europe.  Exhausted rulers eventually were forced to engage in an unprecedented multi-national peace process which culminated in the Peace of Westphalia. The Peace did not resolve all issues but it did create a system of  toleration among Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinist regardless of the faith of the ruler,  violence was, for a time, discredited as means of repression, and the door was opened to a secularized Europe.

The meeting will be hybrid, in-person at the home of Earle O’Donnell and via Zoom. Contact Earle O’Donnell to join the group’s email list.  Newcomers are always welcome!


September 13, 2023
7:30 am - 9:00 pm


Men’s Book Club


Hybrid: Onsite and Online
6701 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815 United States
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