Friday, September 11, 2009

War in winter: diplomacy - Historyzine

Historyzine's recounting of the War of Spanish Succession, brings us in the latest issue of the podcast to the winter of 1705. The main protagonist in Jim Mowatt's version of this history is the Duke of Marlbourough. Until the winter of 1705 he has had a successful campaign and now the war takes a break and preparations begin for the next round, after the winter in 1706.

These preparations consist of diplomacy. Marlbourough travels around the courts of his allies to assure their continued support in the next part of the war. Mowatt makes this lull in the fighting an extra interesting part of the history. He describes how Marlbourough has to use all his talents in order to placate the various allies in the east. Once having done that, he makes his last stop in The Hague, where the closest allies, the Dutch are and only on the last day of the year he returns to England.

The importance of this round of diplomacy is made clear especially by the example of Prussia. Marlbourough, in Mowatt's history, closes a fateful deal with Prussia, that keeps this rising power from allying with the Swedes and paving the way to the consistent growth of the small kingdom, to the eventual power that would unite the German Reich.

More Historyzine:
The lines of Brabant,
Historyzine at its best,
The battle of Blenheim,
Reliving the War of Spanish Succession,
The year 1703.
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