Why wasn't England involved in the Thirty Years War?
- ammianusLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
There were a number of reasons.
Firstly, both James I and Charles I had a policy of avoiding war, mostly due to the cost. There was no standing army in England in the early 17th century, so war meant building an army quite literally from scratch,an expensive process.This meant new taxes,something both Parliament and the population at large were sure to find unpopular,and therefore something both Charles and James wanted to avoid; Parliament,when summoned, was likely to complain as much about the Stuart belief in Divine Right as it was to address the reason it was summoned.Once Charles I dismissed Parliament in 1629 and embarked on 11 years of personal rule,both the likelihood and possibility of finding money for foreign military adventures receded even further.
Secondly, such military action as was undertaken in the 1620s - expeditions against Cadiz (Spain) and another against the Ile de Rhe (France) - were expensive disasters, the rapidly raised and equipped English forces being amateurish, badly outfitted and poorly led. This meant that both James and Charles were unwilling to risk resources in what would probably be ineffective armies anyway.
Finally, the outbreak of the Bishop's Wars in Scotland (1639), a Catholic rebellion in Ireland (1641),and finally the English Civil War (1642) meant political,financial,and military attention in England was fully occupied by internal conflict during the later stages of the Thirty Years War.
So, a combination of these factors meant England wasn't involved much in the Thirty Years War.
- 6 years ago
It was involved, though the country as a whole didn't declare war on either side. Many English fought, and Frederick was son in law to the king of England, and thus had what support the king could give (far less than he hoped for).
You have to remember the time period. The English civil war was right around the corner.
I recommend the Revolutions podcast by mike duncan for a primer on that civil war, and the book Europes Tragedy (it's on kindle) for the 30 years war.