East Central Europe 1648 CE

Much of Central Europe is threatened by the Ottoman Turks.

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What is happening in East Central Europe in 1648CE

The Hapsburg family has become a European power in its own right. By an extraordinary sequence of dynastic accidents, they have become kings of Bohemia and of Hungary, as well as virtually hereditary Holy Roman emperors.

In the mid-15th century Poland-Lithuania reduced the Teutonic Knights to vassal status, and the country became one of the greatest powers of Europe. However, a new danger was gathering on her eastern frontier as a newly-powerful Russia started her expansionism. Soon Poland-Lithuania was at almost continual war with Russia, and having to concede large amounts of territory. In 1569 the Polish-Lithuanian nobles agreed to elect a joint king. This agreement has led to the elections of foreign kings, who have left the nobles a large measure of independence but have involved Poland-Lithuania in constant wars with her neighbours.

To the south, Hungary faced a growing threat from the Ottoman empire. The death of king Louis at the battle of Mohacs (1526) left a political vacuum, which the Hapsburg family eventually filled. By that time, however, the Ottomans had conquered much of the country. The eastern part, Transylvania, had become a client state of the Ottomans.

In the lands of the Hapsburgs, the Catholic Counter-Reformation against Protestantism was actively (and in many cases successfully) pursued. In Bohemia, this led to open revolt by the Protestants, which sparked off the terrible Thirty Years War in Europe.

Next map, Central Europe in 1789

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