Thirty Years War Changed the Course of European History by Resolving Some Disputes – Essay Example
The paper "Thirty Years War Changed the Course of European History by Resolving Some Disputes" is a wonderful example of a history essay. Thirty Years’ War refers to a series of European conflicts that occurred between 1618 and 1648 primarily in Germany and altered the religious, political and social history of Europe through a decline in Holy Roman Empire, flourishing of independent nations and emergence of citizen protests in France and diseases in Germany. The Thirty Year’s war commenced after the Protestant revolt against the Holy Roman Empire thus taking the central powers from the Catholic Church. The princes within German could declare their provinces as Lutheran, Calvinist or Catholic and Catholics went to South of Europe, Calvinists to the North and Lutherans to Central Germany. The war led to peace in Westphalia through the peace agreement signed in 1648 thus leading to geographical change since the Netherlands and Swiss confederation were declared autonomous. Spanish Hapsburgs were finally forced to declare independence of Dutch and Swiss. In addition, Sweden and France flourished in commerce thus overtaking the economic power of Spain (Dutton, Marchand and Harkness 113). The Western lifestyles shifted from faith-based nations to more secular-based nations after the fall of Holy Roman Empire and Hapsburgs. The nations started concentrating on commerce and non-religious affairs and France overshadowed countries like Sweden and Denmark in trade-economic (Dutton, Marchand and Harkness 129).
The Thirty Years’ War altered the course of European history since it changed the balance of power among the European countries as Holy Roman Catholic lost the control in Germany and political influence of the Austrian Hapsburgs. The religious War later led to a political struggle between France and countries like Spain and Austria thus degenerating to military conflicts. Some countries that gained dominance include France and Sweden, but Spain’s influence and power declined substantially as Switzerland was formally acknowledged as an independent nation (Dutton, Marchand and Harkness 118). The War was a demonstration that neither Protestants nor Catholics could dominate the continent and thus Germany enhanced religious tolerance acceptance though freedom of worship remained limited. Germany broke into semi-autonomous states that later became independent countries (Dutton, Marchand and Harkness 126). The war was costly and precipitated uprisings in countries like France since the working peasants were unfairly taxed to finance the large armies. The agricultural output declined significantly since armies had large numbers of men and women and thus desperate peasants resulted in attacking the monasteries and castles (Dutton, Marchand and Harkness 131). The War led to an outbreak and spread of diseases such as plaque that claimed the lives of one-third of the German population