1625, Augsburg (Free City), Ferdinand II. Large Silver Thaler Coin. Damaged VF+
Mint Year: 1625 Mint Place: Augsburg Denomination: Thaler Reference: Davenport 5019A, KM-30.2 ($400 in VF!). R! Condition: Removed suspension loop at 12 o'clock, some tooling/smoothing in fields, otherwise XF! Weight: 28.66gm Diameter: 43mm Material: Silver Obverse: Mitred and mantled standing figure of Saint Ulrich, holding book of gospels and fish in left hand and crozier in right. Square baroque frame in front of him with arms of Augsburg. Date (16-25) split in fields. Legend: * SANCT : VDALRICVS - EPIS : AVGVSTANV-S
Reverse: Imperial crown above nimbate double-headed imperial eagle. Legend with title of Ferdinand II around. Legend: . IMP : CAES : FERD : II . P . F (privy mark: horse-shoe) GER : HVN : BOH : REX :
Saint Ulrich of Augsburg (893 – 4 July 973), sometimes spelled Uodalricor Odalrici, was Bishop of Augsburg in Germany. He was the first saint to be canonized not by a local authority but by the Pope.
Augsburg is an independent city in the south-west of Bavaria. The College town is home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and also of the Bezirk Schwaben and the Landkreis Augsburg. In 1906 Augsburg became a Großstadt (city), and is currently the third-largest city in Bavaria with more than 264,000 citizens. Only Munich and Nuremberg are larger. The name of the city dated from the Roman settlement Augusta Vindelicorum. The city was founded by the Roman emperor Augustus 15 BC as a castra. Therefore the "Fuggerstadt" is the second oldest city in Germany after Trier. In 1530 the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg. Following the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, after which the rights of religious minorities in imperial cities were to be protected, a mixed Catholic–Protestant city council presided over a majority Protestant population; see Paritätische Reichsstadt (German). Until the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), religious peace in the city was largely maintained despite increasing confessional tensions. In 1629, Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution resulting in the installation of an entirely Catholic city government that radically curtailed the rights of local Protestants. This persisted until April 1632, when the Swedish army of Gustavus Adolphus took the city without resistance. Just over two years later, the Swedish army was routed at nearby Nördlingen, and by October 1634 Catholic troops had surrounded Augsburg. The Swedish garrison refused to surrender and a disastrous siege ensued through the winter of 1634–5, during which thousands died of hunger and disease. These difficulties, together with the discovery of America, and of the route to India by the Cape, conspired to destroy the town's prosperity.
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (July 9, 1578 – February 15, 1637), of the House of Habsburg, reigned as Ferdinand II, Archduke of Inner Austria (normally called Ferdinand II of Germany when referred to as Archduke) and Holy Roman Emperor from 1619-1637. He was also the Archduke of Styria (Inner Austria) from 1590–1637, King of Bohemia from 1617-1619 and again from 1620-1637, as well as King of Hungary and Croatia from 1618-1625. The expansion of the ongoing acts of rebellion against his Imperial Governors in Bohemia on May 23rd, 1618 directly triggered the Thirty Years' War, and can be blamed on his religious intolerance toward Protestants.
A devout and very pious Catholic, his recognition as King of Bohemia and suppression of Protestantism precipitated the early events of the Thirty Years' War, and he remained one of the staunchest backers of the Anti-Protestant Counter Reformation efforts as one of the heads of the German Catholic League, prolonging the Thirty Years' Wars by insisting the Edict of Restitution be enforced. The duration of his reign was occupied by confessional and military concerns, and some historians blame him for the large civilian loss of life in the Sack of Magdeburg in 1631, as he'd instructed Count Tilly to enforce the edict upon Saxony—his orders causing Tilly to move the Catholic armies east, ultimately to Leipzig, where they suffered their first substantial defeat at First Breitenfeld.
Emperor Matthias died in Vienna in March 1619. As earlier agreed, Ferdinand succeeded him on the throne. Supported by the Catholic League, which included the rulers of Poland, Spain, and Bavaria, Ferdinand sought to reclaim his Bohemian possessions and stamp out the Protestant rebellion. On November 8, 1620, Catholic forces engaged those supporting the Protestant Frederick, who had taken the Bohemian kingship, at the Battle of White Mountain. After only two hours of fighting, the Catholics emerged victorious. The now-deposed Frederick fled to the Netherlands and Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria, the leader of the Catholic League, moved to confiscate his lands in the Palatinate. The restored Ferdinand set about strengthening the Catholic church in Bohemia, reduced the authority of the Diet, and forcibly converted Austrian and Bohemian Protestants.
By 1625, despite receiving subsidies from the Spanish and the Pope, Ferdinand was strapped for cash and looking for a means to raise his own army. His solution was to charge the Bohemian soldier and "military entrepreneur" Albrecht von Wallenstein with raising and commanding an Imperial army. Wallenstein accepted the position with the proviso that the management (and possession) of the army's funds were solely his, as was the right to take and distribute loot and ransoms taken in the course of operations. Quickly raising at least 30,000 men (he would later command at least 100,000), and fighting alongside the Catholic League army under the Count of Tilly, Wallenstein defeated Protestant forces in Silesia, Anhalt, and Denmark.
With his forces scoring important victories against the Protestants, Ferdinand crowned his religious policies by issuing his Edict of Restitution (1629), which was designed to restore all ecclesiastical properties which had been secularized since the Peace of Passau in 1552. This blatantly pro-Catholic policy has been widely credited with bringing the Protestant King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, into the war against Ferdinand.
Despite the successes of Wallenstein, many of Ferdinand's advisors saw a genuine political threat in the general, citing his growing influence, his increasing number of estates and titles, as well as his extortionate methods of raising funds for his army. Ferdinand responded by dismissing Wallenstein in 1630. With the loss of his commander, he was once again forced to rely on the Catholic League army under Tilly, who was unable to stem the Swedish advance and was killed in 1632. As a result, Ferdinand recalled Wallenstein from retirement.
In the spring of 1632, Wallenstein raised a fresh army in a matter of weeks and drove the Protestant army out of Bohemia. In November came the great Battle of Lützen, at which the Catholics were defeated, but Gustavus Adolphus was killed. Wallenstein withdrew to winter quarters in Bohemia. Although he had lost strategically and been forced out of Saxony, the Protestants had suffered much greater casualties.
The campaigning of 1633 was indecisive, partly because Wallenstein was negotiating with the enemy, thinking that the army would be loyal to him, rather than Ferdinand, and follow him if he switched sides. In early 1634, he was openly accused of treason and assassinated at Eger, probably at Ferdinand's instigation.
Despite the loss of Wallenstein, Imperial forces took Regensburg and won a victory at the Battle of Nördlingen. Swedish strength was greatly weakened, but France entered the war on the side of the Protestants out of fear of Habsburg domination. Although the country was Catholic, France feared both the Germans and the Spanish, so Cardinal Richelieu convinced King Louis XIII of France to ally himself with the Dutch and the Swedes.
The French were highly dissatisfied with the terms of the Peace of Prague concluded in 1635, the last important act of Ferdinand. Therefore, although a treaty was signed, peace did not come. At Ferdinand's death in 1637, his son Ferdinand III inherited an embattled empire.
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