Political Language and Wartime Propaganda in Denmark, 1625–1629

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Lockhart examines the role of the Danish clergy in defending the military intervention of King Christian IV in the Thirty Years’ War. The loyal clergy, with royal sanction, acted as the authors and distributors of propaganda in favour of the war, a war which was unpopular with the ruling aristocracy. Elsewhere, most wartime propaganda portrayed intervention in the war as political or confessional necessity; in Denmark, however, the clergy presented the war as the manifestation of divine wrath, brought upon the people of Denmark for their collective sins. Denmark’s enemies were no more than tools of God’s anger; the king, however, was portrayed as a pious national saviour, who would ultimately save his people from their own iniquity. This view was propagated through printed tracts, broadsides, and frequent ‘prayer-days’ at royal command. Lockhart suggests that this was an early manifestation of royalism, depicting the king as superior in virtue to his aristocratic Council of State. The author relies mainly on printed sermons and religious tracts.



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