How To Start A War On Accident
Did you know that the Thirty Years’ War – one of the longest and most destructive wars in Europe, a war so bad that Europe never fought again over religion – was started by three men being thrown out of a window?
The men were the Catholic regents of the Catholic emperor of Bohemia. Under the rules governing the Holy Roman Empire which Bohemia was part of, individual princes could choose what religion their subjects followed. Religious freedom, yay! As you may have guessed the Bohemians were ordered to be Catholic. This did not sit well with Protestant nobles in Prague. When the Bohemian authorities started cracking down on their Protestant churches, they called an assembly at Prague Castle, and demanded the four regents answer for their actions.
After some talking, two regents were let go. But two were held back. After a nice little speech about their tyranny, both men were thrown out the third-story window. Then their secretary, for good measure. It goes down in history as “The Defenestration of Prague.”
All three were badly hurt, but survived. “A miracle!” claimed the Catholics, “They fell in a dung-heap!” claimed the Protestants. Within days, troops were being mobilized, and within months Bohemia was ablaze. Most of central Europe would catch fire. And millions would die because of the actions of a handful of noblemen in Prague.