History : Nov-Dec 2018
MILESTONES 10 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 One of Bohemia’s Protestant no- blemen, Count Matthias Thurn led the group. He rallied local Protestants by claiming that the imperial Catholic regents were plotting to revoke religious and political freedoms enshrined in the Letter of Majesty, issued in 1609 by the Holy Roman emperor Rudolf II. The events that followed had fateful consequences not only for the king- dom of Bohemia but for much of Europe. Although none of those present could O n a chilly Prague morning in May 1618, a group of angry men hurried up the steep path to Hradcany Castle. They stormed the staircase to the council chamber where representatives of the Catholic Holy Roman Empire were meeting. By the end of this confrontation, three men would be defenestrated—thrown out the window—and Europe would be on the path to a lengthy and devastating conflict. foresee it, the Defenestration of Prague, as it came to be known, became a trigger for the Thirty Years’War, one of the most destructive conflicts in history. The war would ensnare the powers of Europe and drastically redraw the map by the time it was all over in 1648. An Empire Divided Founded in 800 by the Frankish king Charlemagne, the Holy Roman Empire was a confederation of kingdoms in Out the Window: The Defenestration of Prague Four hundred years ago, a group of Bohemian nobles flung three men out a window, an act that triggered the Thirty Years’ War, one of the worst conflicts in European history.