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17. - 18. století

Religion of the State

Expanding religious tolerance and the strengthening role of the state
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Recatholization is a process through which the Protestants were supposed to be brought back to the pale of the Catholic Church.
In Bohemia, the Recatholization started immediately after the defeat of the Estate Revolt in the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. Therefore, it is known as an After-White Mountain Recatholization. In the popular National-Revival writings of fiction, the Recatholization process and especially the Jesuits were characterized in a very unflattering way and thought partial. Nevertheless, the situation was not as black and white as it seemed. The Jesuits brought education into the country as well, and they restored many decayed parishes. On the other hand, there was sometimes a strong and cruel persecution of the Protestants. However, this fact differed from region to region.
In Northern Bohemia, the Recatholization

happened in a very mild way, in the form of missions, and people switched to the Catholic religion more or less in a conciliatory fashion.
In Eastern Bohemia, the situation was somewhat more complicated because the Protestant religion was deeply rooted there and the population refused to give it up. Hence the harsh violence that happened there on both sides.
Moravia was a stronghold of Protestant aristocracy, which was, to a certain degree, able to provide protection to the non-Catholic population. Moreover, in Silesia, the Protestants were tolerated as well because the ratio of non-Catholics was significant and also because of the more limited power of the Habsburg Monarchy.
Recatholization was an important period, which affected religious history of the Bohemian lands throughout the entire 17th century and part of the 18th century.


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