Golden Age Colloquium by Peter Arnold Heuser (Zentrum für Historische Friedensforschung der Universität Bonn). Focussing on the Westphalian Peace Congress, the lecture invites all those interested in historical press studies to take an active part in that Pleasure of Reading Diplomatic Correspondence that Gordon A. Craig, in 1991, conjured up in a programmatic essay.
Dealing at once with the Thirty Years‘ War in Central Europe, the Eighty Years‘ War between the Spanish and the Dutch or the Franco-Spanish war, the Peace Congress was, for the years between 1643 and 1649, a melting pot of European diplomacy. The envoys (ambassadors, residents, and agents), their entourage and staff members maintained frequent correspondence with their principals at the European courts, discussing political tactics concerning both the congress and their domestic affairs, their European adversaries and allies. Based on these correspondence series, and with a particular focus on the French congress embassy and the Franco-Dutch relations, the lecture works out the actors‘ handling of early modern print media (the young periodical press, the pamphlets) as policy instruments in the years immediately preceding the famous pamphlet wars of the Fronde rebellion.