Thirty Years War Causes

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The causes of the Thirty Years War can be traced as far back as the renaissance period. It was during the renaissance that such ideals as secularism, humanism, individualism, rationalism and above all else secularism was first apparent in main stream society (5). The Thirty Years War was one of the most important and bloodiest of the religious wars. An uneasy truce had existed in Germany since the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. This agreement allowed Lutheran and Catholic rulers to determine the religion of their subjects but it did not make any provisions for the inroads of Calvinism. Catholics were alarmed that the Lutherans were gain¬ing conversions and territory in violation of the settlement. Lutherans feared that the Peace of Augsburg would …show more content…
This significantly hampered the power of the Holy Roman Empire and decentralized German power. It has been speculated that this weakness was a long-term underlying cause of later militant German Romantic nationalism. The Thirty Years ' War rearranged the previous structure of power. The conflict made Spain 's military and political decline visible. While Spain was preoccupied with fighting in France, Portugal which had been under personal union with Spain for 60 years acclaimed John IV of Braganza as king in 1640, and the House of Braganza became the new dynasty of Portugal (7). Meanwhile, Spain was finally forced to accept the independence of the Dutch Republic in 1648, ending the long conflict between the two nations. With Spain weakening, France became the dominant power in Europe, an outcome confirmed by its victory in the subsequent Franco-Spanish War. The defeat of Spain and imperial forces also marked the decline of Habsburg power and allowed the emergence of Bourbon dominance. From 1643-1645, during the last years of the Thirty Years ' War, Sweden and Denmark fought the Torstenson War. The result of that conflict and the conclusion of the great European war at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 helped establish post-war Sweden as a force in Europe (1). The edicts agreed upon during the signing of the Peace of …show more content…
The en¬tire area of Germany was destroyed and much of its culture was lost. Agricultural areas suf¬fered catastrophically. The Hapsburg and Holy Roman Empire were greatly weakened. The age of religious wars ended permanently and Protestantism was established in Europe. Finally, the concept of the balance of power emerged as a force in international diplomacy, whereby na¬tions went to war with one another, not for religion but to ensure that one power did not domi¬nate the continent (3). The major impact of the Thirty Years ' War, in which mercenary armies were extensively used, was the devastation of entire regions scavenged bare by the foraging armies. Episodes of widespread famine and disease (a starving body has little resistance to illnesses) devastated the population of the German states and, to a lesser extent, the Low Countries and Italy, while bankrupting many of the powers involved. The war may have lasted for 30 years, but the conflicts that triggered it continued unresolved for a much longer

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