Peace of Westphalia, 24 October 1648
Treaty that ended the Thirty Years War. The Peace greatly weakened the Empire, to the benefit of most of its enemies. Sweden gained territories on the Baltic coast, including some of what is now the Polish coast. France received Alsace and most of Lorraine. The German Princes were granted a general amnesty, their soveriegn rights recognised, and religious equality between Catholic and Protestant states. The Emperor had been decisively defeated and Imperial authority almost destroyed. The war established France as the strongest power in Europe, saw the power of Spain massively decreased, and forced the Hapsburgs to concentrate more on their central European lands.
The Thirty Years War , C.V.Wedgewood. Despite its age (first published in 1938), this is still one of the best english language narratives of this most complex of wars, tracing the intricate dance of diplomacy and combat that involved all of Europe in the fate of Germany.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (28 December 2000), Peace of Westphalia, 24 October 1648, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/treaty_westphalia.html