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Treaty Of Westphalia Essay

766 words - 4 pages

The Thirty Year’s War in Europe lasted from 1618 until 1648, and consisted of four phases: The Bohemian phase from 1618 to 1625, the Danish phase 1625 to 1629, the Swedish phase 1630 to 1635, and the French phase 1635 to 1648. As the war went on Europe, so tired of the devastation, began crying for peace. Though the Spanish and French would fight another eleven years, until 1659, the Thirty Year’s War officially ended with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 which changed not only borders on maps, it was also the death blow to the Counter Reformation, ushering in a new era of secularization.
Though peace talks began in 1644 in Munster and Osnabruck, the actual signing of the Treaty of ...view middle of the document...

Such an agreement would be impossible, and thus, the principle of self-government was ironically used to destroy the Empire as an effective political entity. While the rest of Europe rose under royal absolutism, Germany sank into fragmentation and localism.
The diplomats who assembled at Westphalia were of many nationalities and religions. They included “electors,” the most powerful provincial leaders of the Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Swedish, Dutch, Venetians, diplomats from other Italian states, and the Pope. No one at this council pretended that Europe had any real political or religious unity; rather they embraced their disunion as a sign of sovereignty, creating the modern system of sovereign states. This council also demonstrated the wave of secularization that had washed over Europe. In line with the Politique philosophy, people realized that order in the state was more important than religious difference. Thus, even though the Pope disagreed with the treaty and refused to sign it, no one truly cared. With the Treaty of Westphalia, the terms of the Peace of Augsburg were renewed, allowing each state to decide its religion, and Calvinism, Lutheranism...

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