Aarushi Jain AP European

The Treaty of Westphalia represents an important landmark in modern European History, as it had a considerable impact on the religious situation in Germany, on th]-e political development of major power and the German states, and on international relations for the next hundred and fifty years.

The religious situation in Germany before the Treaty of Westphalia was very unstable. Although the Peace of Augsburg tried to help two religious groups (Lutheranism and Catholicism) co-exist, it ultimately failed. The reasons behind this are that only the Prince held power to decide the religion of his state and other religious aspects such as Calvinism were not considered in the previous Treaty. The Treaty of Westphalia included Calvinism and gave Calvinists equal legal power. Although this did not mark the end of religious disputes it created temporary peace. Also the Peace of Augsburg did not successfully provide for tolerance in the Habsburg lands. As seen in the Bohemia phase of the Thirty Years Wars, the religious situation was very unstable. The Protestants and Catholics again were at odds and the Emperor had no control to stop them. The Edict of Nantes essentially dissolved the Peace of Augsburg when current Protestant acquired lands were returned to the church. The Treaty of Westphalia

resolved this by in turn dissolving the Edict of Nantes and returning much of the previously Protestant held land. The Treaty of Westphalia led to a decline in religious persecution and gave stability to many territories that were disturbed over the issue of religion. The Treaty of Westphalia also protected the German princes against harsh or unreasonable emperors. Although the Peace of Augsburg had given the princes the power to

authorize religion. . Austria was at the biggest disadvantage of all as she was destroyed by the physical fighting of the Thirty years war and gained nothing from the treaty but the right of religion. The increase in the power of German states led to the decline of the power of the Holy Roman Emperor. Also this gave the German Princes the authority to make separate treaties as long as they did not argue the existence of the Emperor. The Treaty weakened Spain and eventually led to her decline as a major power. When Spain was at a disadvantage. The Treaty of Westphalia increased the territorial gains of French as well as her strength. The Treaty also affected people far beyond its domain. The Treaty of Westphalia provided a greater guarantee of the powers of the Princes. the French profited. Rudolf II attempted to unite Germany under a Catholic force in turn infringing upon the rights of the Princes. Also the Treaty killed any ambitious ideas Philip II had about uniting Europe under a Spanish Catholic power. She suffered from a period of decline but regained much of Hungary during the decline of Ottoman reign. they were still under the emperor. Sweden was provided a vote in Diet but the continuing years saw a decline in her influence. There were no prospects of not uniting the German states under a single religion. It paved the route for the Holy Roman Emperor having no value but that of a symbol. This gave her confidence to become more aggressive and she began to threaten the independence of German states in the Rhine area. He was in no position to make any decision whether it be regarding raising an army or taxes without the consent of the Princes. She struggled over territorial gains with Brandenburg and her limited resources were spent in maintaining German territories. This was a prosperous period for France. France was always scared of threats from Spain and Austria. French territorial gains along the Rhine threatened Spain¶s ability to hold onto Flanders and Franche Comte.

.In conclusion the Treaty of Westphalia brought great changes all over Europe.

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