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Thinking With The Thurgau: Political Pamphlets From The Villmergerkrieg And The Construction Of Biconfessional Politics In Switzerland And Europe

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Chapter Summary

An important dimension of the critique against the war emerged in a series of pamphlets published in 1655 and 1656, purportedly in Thurgau dialect and portraying friendly dialogues between a Catholic peasant, Jockle, and a Protestant innkeeper, Barthle. Although the pamphlets had different authors and took opposing views about the events leading up to the conflict, they shared a common view about what lay behind the rush to violence. This chapter examines the series of four dialect pamphlets on the war that appeared between 1655 and 1657, as well as another pamphlet analyzing the Swiss conflict, now attributed to Georg Phillip Harsdörffer, that appeared in the Empire in 1656. The Swiss pamphlets consisted of dialogues set in the biconfessional Thurgau and colored by Thurgau dialect, though linguistic analysis suggests that their authors in fact came from Schwyz and Zurich as well as from the Thurgau itself.

Keywords: Catholic peasant; Protestant innkeeper; Schwyz; Swiss conflict; Thurgau; Zurich



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