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Ferdinand II

Archduke of Austria, he became king of Bohemia (1617), king of Hungary (1618), and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (1619). Zealous for the cause of Roman Catholicism, he favored the Jesuits in their aggressive endeavors to regain territories lost to Protestantism. In Austria he banished the Utraquists, the Reformed, the Lutherans, and the Anabaptists, and in 1624 required adherence to Roman Catholicism. He carried through the Counter-Reformation in Tirol. Peter Canisius* was his court preacher between 1571 and 1577. In the Thirty Years’ War, Wallenstein brought him a succession of victories, so that in 1629 he considered himself strong enough to issue the Edict of Restitution, which required that properties confiscated from the Roman Catholic Church since 1555 be returned by the Protestants. The intervention of Gustavus Adolphus checked the emperor’s successes, although the Treaty of Prague in 1635 resolved matters in his favor.