The abdication of Margrave George Friedrich of Baden-Durlach — an act of «political prudence»?

Michael Roth assistant lecturer, Department of History, Heidelberg University (Grabengasse 3–5, aud. 229, Heidelberg, Germany, 69117)

Roth M. The abdication of Margrave George Friedrich of Baden-Durlach — an act of «political prudence»?, Religiya. Tserkov’. Obshchestvo. Issledovaniya i publikatsii po teologii i religii [Religion. Church. Society: Research and publications in the field of theology and religious studies], Saint-Petersburg, 2019, vol. 8, pp. 254–269.

doi: 10.24411/2308-0698-2019-00013

Language: Russian

The study focuses on territories outside the Kurpfalz border. The first decades of the 17th century were in fact very turbulent not only for Kurpfalz, but also for the small duchy of Baden-Durlach: this time was coloured by religious confrontations, and especially the Thirty Years War. The fate of the famous Heidelberg «winter king» and his family prevails in the images of the first years of the war, although other rulers of lands in the south-west of the Empire was also forced to accept the challenge of war. An example is the fate of Margrave George Friedrich, who ruled the Baden-Durlach Margrave and sought, being a strictly Lutheran prince, to influence the outcome of the just begun Thirty Years War. Militarily, during the Battle of Wimpfen, he was as unsuccessful as his Heidelberg associate, however, is a wonderful example of political farsightedness. Having renounced the power given to him in favour of his son, he tried to keep Baden out of the war until the moment when he personally entered into it. The act of princely renunciation of power is unusual in itself, so the author in addition to external circumstances and the process of renunciation, also investigates the issue of theological premises that explain this renunciation, as well as political prudence in the framework of modern political theorizing about the resignation.

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Key words: political act, Baden, confessionalization, Protestant union, power, church


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