October 24, 1648 : Thirty Years War ends

Introduction

The Treaty of Westphalia is signed, ending the Thirty Years War and radically shifting the balance of power in Europe.

The Thirty Years War, a series of wars fought by European nations for various reasons, ignited in 1618 over an attempt by the king of Bohemia (the future Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand II) to impose Catholicism throughout his domains. Protestant nobles rebelled, and by the 1630s most of continental Europe was at war.

As a result of the Treaty of Westphalia, the Netherlands gained independence from Spain, Sweden gained control of the Baltic and France was acknowledged as the preeminent Western power. The power of the Holy Roman Emperor was broken and the German states were again able to determine the religion of their lands.

The principle of state sovereignty emerged as a result of the Treaty of Westphalia and serves as the basis for the modern system of nation-states.

Article Details:

October 24, 1648 : Thirty Years War ends

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    October 24, 1648 : Thirty Years War ends

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/thirty-years-war-ends

  • Access Date

    November 22, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks