The history of the thirty years war and its importance

Although the struggles that created it erupted some years earlier, the war is conventionally held to have begun inwhen the future Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand IIin his role as king of Bohemiaattempted to impose Roman Catholic absolutism on his domains, and the Protestant nobles of both Bohemia and Austria rose up in rebellion.

The history of the thirty years war and its importance

Today it is estimated to be one of the lengthiest and most violent conflicts in European history. What originally commenced as a feud between the Protestant and the Catholic countries, within the area previously known as the Holy Roman Empire, gradually scaled out of all proportion, becoming a matter of life and death for all the European superpowers.

The France was pitted against the Habsburgs in a race for European hegemony, whereas the common folk were almost entirely engrossed in supporting one side or the other, religion being an important subject, discussed among all classes on a daily basis.

The onset of the war was marked by the newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II imposing religious uniformity on all his lands. This meant that whatever their previous religion was, from now on all his subjects would have to convert to Roman Catholicism. Therefore, they conjoined starting the Protestant Union.

The act led to an atmosphere of religious-political unrest spreading throughout Europe and ultimately to the Protestant Bohemians, living on the territory known today as Czech Republic, rebelling against the Habsburgs. A series of conflicts followed. The Bohemian citizens wanted to get rid of the Habsburgs and they The history of the thirty years war and its importance so in electing Frederick V, Elector of Palatinate.

This, however, was an incendiary event for the southern Catholic states, which formed the Catholic League. The Battle of White Mountain ensued, where the Empire prevailed and the Palatinate armies were defeated. As a result, the Protestants just got more annoyed. Soon, Saxony joined the Protestant Union, with Sweden a military superpower of the era.

Sweden intervened inled by the prominent general Gustavus Adolphus.

The history of the thirty years war and its importance

This was the exact moment when a series of fights on religious grounds had turned into a full-scale war on the European continent. The Catholic Spain quickly rushed in to support its Habsburg ally, Austria, and to once and for all defeat the Dutch Protestant forces both in the Netherlands and in the Dutch Republic.

The answer to this move was most surprising, as the Catholic France unexpectedly joined the coalition on the Protestant side, transforming a conflict of faiths into a conflict of superpowers. It swept drastically through entire regions, leaving nothing but famine, disease and decimated local populations behind.

The latter was especially visible among the people of the German and Italian states, the Crown of Bohemia and the Low Countries. The war also became infamous for the actions of numerous mercenary armies, hired by the superpowers.

Looting and extorting tribute, as well as theft were commonplace, which meant that even remote civilian villages were dragged into the atrocities of the conflict. The peace of Augsburg was the starting point of the conflict. It confirmed the establishments of the Diet of Speyer and ended the religious war between the Lutherans and Catholics in Germany.

The highlight of the peace of Augsburg was ensuring that the rulers of the German states could choose wither Lutheranism or Catholicism and that their subjects would follow suit. Moreover, the document stated that the subjects should all lawfully follow the religion of their ruler, with no exceptions, according to the Latin rule: The Peace of Augsburg also extended its provisions to territorial cause.

It stated that the Lutherans could keep their territory, which they had previously confiscated from the Catholic Church via the provisions of the Peace of Passau in What is more, the prince-bishops who had switched sides to Lutheranism were ordered to give up their lands.

The Lutheran bishop-princes were then substituted by Catholic rulers, and had to renounce their entitlement to the land entirely.

The Consequences and Effects of the Thirty Years War

However helpful, the Peace of Augsburg did not resolve the social tensions completely. The factor making it virtually impossible to lay the religious cause to rest was the fast spreading of a new religious doctrine throughout the German lands.

The doctrine was Calvinism. The Augsburg agreement did not recognize this new movement as a religion in its own right and this led to more military action, now with the Calvinist party fighting for their freedom against the Protestant and against the Catholic rule.

Spain wanted to adjoin the German states to its vast area consisting of some Italian states, Spanish Netherlands and other parts of the Empire.

At the same time, France was threatened because of its position between two Habsburg states — Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, and wanted to assert its stance as a superpower. Sweden and Denmark wanted to rule over the German Baltic Sea states. Contrary to what one may think, the Holy Roman Empire was not at all unified.

The whole country was composed of a multitude of small, autonomous states. The title of the Holy Roman Emperor was also mainly a representative title, as the Emperor had little to no business in imposing his strict jurisdiction on all the states.

Only the territories of the Archduchy of Austria, Kingdom of Bohemia and Kingdom of Hungary were ruled by the Emperor in a more direct manner. So, the Austrian domain was a military power in its own right, but it was also very divided.

The second part of the Habsburg house ruled over Spain and the Spanish empire, including the Netherlands, the southern part of Italy, the Philippines and a greater part of the two Americas. The real strength of the Holy Roman Empire was in its regional power states, such as those within the area of the present day Germany.

The most prominent states included: However powerful the small states might have been, however, they were rather incapable of establishing long-term diplomatic relations with the neighboring countries.Peace of Westphalia, European settlements of , which brought to an end the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Dutch and the German phase of the Thirty Years’ War.

The peace was negotiated, from , in the Westphalian towns of . Mar 23,  · Best Answer: The Thirty Years' War ( - ), was fought throughout Europe, though focused primarily in what is now Germany. The origin of the conflict is thought to mostly be religious in nature, due to the friction between the Protestants and the Catholics at the time, though political disputes also had a lot to due with ashio-midori.com: Resolved.

To fully understand modern history, it is important to comprehend the full effects of the Thirty Years War. The end of the Thirty Years War produced a number of dramatic consequences and altered Western Europe in significant .

Mar 23,  · Best Answer: The Thirty Years' War ( - ), was fought throughout Europe, though focused primarily in what is now Germany.

The origin of the conflict is thought to mostly be religious in nature, due to the friction between the Protestants and the Catholics at the time, though political disputes also had a lot to due with ashio-midori.com: Resolved.

Many international relations theorists date the contemporary system from , the year of the Treaty of Westphalia, ending the Thirty Years War. This treaty marks the end of rule by religious authority in Europe. The Westphalia area of north-western Germany gave its name to the treaty that ended the Thirty Years' War, one of the most destructive conflicts in the history of Europe.

The Consequences and Effects of the Thirty Years War