Peace of Westphalia

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Map of Europe following the Peace of Westphalia.
Map of Europe following the Peace of Westphalia.

The Peace of Westphalia marked the ending of the protracted series of wars between Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism Central European called the Thirty Years' War in 1648. Peace was the result of social and economic exhaustion and was formalized with the signing of a series of treaties culminating with the Treaty of Westphalia on October 24, 1648.

The provisions of the Treaty of Westphalia recognizing the individual sovereignty of the German states is usually credited with ending the relevance of the Holy Roman Empire (of which they were part). The Peace of Westphalia established the suppremacy of states in the international arena and is widely believed to be the first community of nations in Europe, and thus the point of origin for all other European multilateral agreements.

External Links

  • Text of the Treaty of Westphalia
  • Westphalia, Peace of (Encyclopedia.com Entry)
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