300 episodes

Current: Thirty Years War series
Patreon: Poland Is Not Yet Lost

Hello and welcome history friends patrons all to When Diplomacy Fails Podcast, or WDF as I like to call it! My name is Zack Twamley, history PhD student, author and all-round history nerd! For over seven years, I have been privileged to examine wars throughout history through a unique lens. I always try to ask what on the surface may seem like very reasonable questions - why, how and WHEN did diplomacy fail? This approach has enabled a loyal base of 'history friends' to grow up around WDF, and thanks to their much appreciated work getting the word out there, we have taken history podcasting to incredible new heights!

You should know that my jam at WDF is not the mundane, the tedious or the repetitive - I care little for the logistics of why one general moves his forces to point A, or what impact weapon X had on the war. Instead, I delve into human agency, the story populated by sometimes ingenious, sometimes fatally flawed human beings, who believed or had been led to believe that the time was right for war. Under these circumstances, diplomacy certainly fails, but thanks to our window into the era, you get to find out all about it! From the machinations of Louis XIV, to the complex set of events which led to the outbreak of the First World War, to the most obscure of conflicts besides, WDF has been through it all, and there's so much more to come! So why not stop by, give us a listen, and do your bit to help make history THRIVE!

When Diplomacy Fails Podcast Acast

    • Society & Culture

Current: Thirty Years War series
Patreon: Poland Is Not Yet Lost

Hello and welcome history friends patrons all to When Diplomacy Fails Podcast, or WDF as I like to call it! My name is Zack Twamley, history PhD student, author and all-round history nerd! For over seven years, I have been privileged to examine wars throughout history through a unique lens. I always try to ask what on the surface may seem like very reasonable questions - why, how and WHEN did diplomacy fail? This approach has enabled a loyal base of 'history friends' to grow up around WDF, and thanks to their much appreciated work getting the word out there, we have taken history podcasting to incredible new heights!

You should know that my jam at WDF is not the mundane, the tedious or the repetitive - I care little for the logistics of why one general moves his forces to point A, or what impact weapon X had on the war. Instead, I delve into human agency, the story populated by sometimes ingenious, sometimes fatally flawed human beings, who believed or had been led to believe that the time was right for war. Under these circumstances, diplomacy certainly fails, but thanks to our window into the era, you get to find out all about it! From the machinations of Louis XIV, to the complex set of events which led to the outbreak of the First World War, to the most obscure of conflicts besides, WDF has been through it all, and there's so much more to come! So why not stop by, give us a listen, and do your bit to help make history THRIVE!

    30YearsWar: #5 - 'The Triumphs of Peace'

    30YearsWar: #5 - 'The Triumphs of Peace'

    Listen to Tom's relaunched show - a History of France in English. Welcome back Tom!
    Listen to Tom's other project, Grub - a History of Food


    War wasn’t good for everything in the early 17th century, and nowhere was this more evident than in the spate of peace treaties which were signed between Spain and its enemies during the years 1598-1609. Spain went from at war with, to at peace with, its three primary enemies in the space of little more than a decade, and I think it’s time we examined why! Such a task isn’t possible without first looking at where the most dominant of these conflicts – that of the Dutch War – first came from. We go a bit deeper into the history of the Dutch revolt here, and assess how a lucrative corner of Spain’s Empire went onto become the greatest pain in Madrid’s backside.


    What began as the Burgundian Netherlands had split into North and South, Dutch and Spanish, loyal and rebellious, by 1609, but the conflict had dragged on relentlessly since the 1560s, so it was little wonder that some inclinations towards peace were pursued. Here we are introduced to the logic behind a temporary peace with one’s enemies, as well as the family charged with taking the fight to the Spanish in the first place, the House of Orange. This semi-royal House started off as a source of loyal Spanish governors for Madrid, but had been transformed into stadtholders – agents of rebellion and military reform, with talents that surpassed and ruined all Spanish expectations. Orange and the Dutch henceforth were inseparable, much like the two Habsburg branches. 


    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
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    • 41 min
    30YearsWar: #4 - "The French Connection"

    30YearsWar: #4 - "The French Connection"

    This episode continues where we left off in the previous instalment, by delving deeper into the motives of the French King Henry IV, in the context of the ongoing Julich-Cleve Crisis. Would Henry intervene, thereby reigniting the war against Spain which had only come to an end in 1598? The answer was no, but not for lack of trying. At the last moment, Henry was assassinated in 1610, on the verge, perhaps, of a great rupture with the enemies of France. That rupture would have to wait fifteen years, as the Empire focused back in on itself. A major force in the Empire was plainly Maximilian, the Duke of Bavaria, and in this episode we get closer to grips with him, assessing his influence, his wealth and his power. Much of these qualities were enhanced, as we will see, thanks to his relationship with the Habsburgs. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, or in Maximilian’s case – marry them! The Bavarian-Imperial arrangement was to prove mutually beneficial to both sides, and effectively carried the Thirty Years War forwards, and we investigate it here.


    Important though Bavaria was, the Emperor would have been utterly lost without his Habsburg brethren, the King of Spain, on hand for a handy loan of money or the occasional lending of a whacking large army of professionals. Unfortunately for the King of Spain Philip III, his kingdom was at war with the Dutch, or at least it had been, until an unlikely mediator, the assassinated King of France, helped bring it to a temporary end. The Twelve Years Truce paused the war with the Dutch, but it did not relieve Spain completely from the burdens which were to follow. Europe seemed to be moving into two distinct camps – one Habsburg, and one against that great dynasty. Only time could tell what consequences might follow…


    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
    1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!
    2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!
    3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!
    4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!
    5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 31 min
    30YearsWar: #3 - "Dukes, Electors, Emperors and Kings"

    30YearsWar: #3 - "Dukes, Electors, Emperors and Kings"

    If you thought you properly understood how the Empire worked at long last – then think again! There was always some wrinkle or exception to the rule, but perhaps no rules were more important than those concerning the role of Electors. We touched on them in the last episode, but here we place them in their proper context, and unwrap what specifically made them so important to the functioning of the Empire. The Habsburgs, powerful though they were, depended upon the Electors for their legitimacy, and after the Reformation, the seven invaluable votes which could be offered were split along these lines. What was the solution? To a generation of Habsburg rulers, it was quite simple – maintain such a monopoly on power that the votes come in regardless. How to manage this feat? Marriage, of course!


    Into this examination we throw several wrenches, including the Julich-Cleve Crisis of 1609-14, which provided a dangerous training ground for the two ideological blocs of the Empire to square off. Another incident, the destruction of the city of Donauworth in 1608, and its capture by the Duke of Bavaria, also deserves mention. The Empire, stable though it somehow remained, was in danger of a major rupture if calmer heads did not prevail. Somewhere to the west, an individual was seeking an opportunity to capitalise, and bring his Kingdom to the front of the Emperor’s lists of problems. Henry IV, the King of France, had emerged triumphant from the French Wars of Religion, but this scion of the House of Bourbon had a way to go before he could sponsor the showdown with the Habsburgs that his son and grandson were to pursue. Tune into episode 3 to see exactly how Europe sustained such domineering personalities and powers!
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    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
    1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!
    2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!
    3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!
    4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!
    5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 31 min
    30YearsWar: #2 - 'The Small Print'

    30YearsWar: #2 - 'The Small Print'

    The Holy Roman Empire was a unique place, full of unique laws, unique settlements and very unique rulers. Unique is just a polite way of saying, that the HRE was a freakin’ mess, but it is a mess which we have to acquaint ourselves with if we’re to stand any chance of understanding the event which it housed – the Thirty Years War. It was in the lands of this sort of state/sort of empire that the events of this conflict were played out. It was fanned and exacerbated by men like Electors and Emperors, it was driven by arguments over religion and constitutions, and it was empowered by actors outside of the Empire, who had their eye on manipulating the situation to their advantage.


    Our focus in this episode goes to 1555, where a settlement between protestant and catholic agents was agreed. The Peace of Augsburg, the religious and profane peace, as it would come to be known, was a crucial milestone in the history of the Empire, but it is also vital to our understanding of the conflict which followed three generations later. How did the Empire work, what did the Electors did, how did the Emperor get elected, what did the whole thing look like in practice – all of these are questions which we will get to grips with in this episode, so I hope you’ll join me!
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    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
    1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!
    2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!
    3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!
    4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!
    5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 41 min
    Poland Is Not Yet Lost - What's That? [Teaser]

    Poland Is Not Yet Lost - What's That? [Teaser]

    Today in our Patreon feed, the first episode of the Poland Is Not Yet Lost narrative is released, which is super exciting! But, even if you've been tempted in the past to sign up for $5 a month and get this extra content, you may be wondering, what exactly does this series look like, and how do I know if I'll like it? All good questions, which I hopefully answer with some preview clips of episodes we've released before in this exclusive series.


    If you find yourself wanting more, you know where to go! Head over to the Patreon page for this podcast by clicking this link here. By supporting the show you're not only accessing great history content you won't get anywhere else, you're also helping me live my dream in my History PhD! So thanksss so much! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 25 min
    30YearsWar: #1 - "Prosperity, Profit, Power"

    30YearsWar: #1 - "Prosperity, Profit, Power"

    We're back! After running through 17th Century Warfare with a fine-toothed comb, I am finally ready to deliver to you the most exciting series we've ever covered here at WDF Towers. It's eerily familiar, but also breathtakingly different - it sounds like the Thirty Years War!


    Our first proper episode of the Thirty Years War begins with a somewhat surprising scene – Hernan Cortez, far away in South America, coming face to face with the Aztecs. Why do we begin our story with such a controversial, pivotal character? Simple – Cortez was, truth be told, an agent of the Habsburgs, or more specifically, Charles V, the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor.


    Charles was the embodiment of Habsburg power and influence; he was arguably the most powerful man in Europe since the era of Roman Emperors, and he owed his position to the incredible marital policy of his forebears, who married their way out of obscurity in an isolated Swiss castle, to become THE predominant European family by the turn of the 16th century. The Thirty Years War is a story which cannot be told without the Habsburg dynasty, so I hope you’ll join me in this first true instalment of our series to see where this dynasty came from, and where it went next!
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    **DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THESE LINKS!**
    1) To support the podcast financially in return for some extra audio content, check out Patreon!
    2) To find a community of history friends, look at our Facebook page and group!
    3) To keep up to date with us, follow us on Twitter!
    4) For everything else, visit our website, where you'll find the shop, archive, and much more!
    5) To purchase merchandise of all sorts, including mugs, books and clothing, check out our Merchants' Quarter! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 30 min

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