The aftermath of the Thirty Years’ War.
|Earlier efforts had been made to reach a peace settlement. In
1636 Pope Urban VIII (Maffeo Barberini), no friend to the Hapsburgs
whose influence in Italy he feared, had tried to convene a peace
In 1640 Ferdinand III - without
success - suggested a peace plan based on excluding all foreign
powers from German affairs.
Eventually, the warring parties agreed to hold negotiations at a Congress
held in Westphalia. The Imperial negotiators arrived in July 1643, the French in April
1644, and the other nations' delegations trickled in during that
year. Even so, no negotiations of substance began until 1645, since
the delegates bickered about protocol, precedence, and other
formalities. Even when peace negotiations finally commenced in 1645,
disputes between the Swedes and the French, plus the Swedes' refusal
to meet the papal envoy meant that the conference had to be held in
two separate locations in Westphalia (Osnabrück
|Negotiations finally ended 24 October 1648. In January, Spain had already
recognized the independence of the Dutch Republic.|
[Full text of the
The dominant military position of France and Sweden ensured that they
did well from the peace. (Both might have done better had they not
allowed the Emperor to play them off against one another).
The final treaty involved a series of
|France succeeded in weakening the Emperor's power within Germany and
strengthening that of Bavaria. France also gained land west of the
Rhine, which effectively gave it control of Alsace. (Ultimate control
of Alsace would be contested long after). French rights in
Metz, Toul, and Verdun were confirmed.
|Sweden acquired a wealthy and strategically important region of
Pomerania, including the town of Stettin (at the mouth of the river Oder), as well as control of the
prosperous German port of Bremen.
|Brandenburg Prussia gained the rest of Pomerania, and the bishoprics
of Halberstadt, Minden, and Carmin.
|The independence of Switzerland and the United Provinces was
recognized by the Emperor, as were constitutional limitations on his
power over the Holy Roman Empire. This effectively made the German
|The Palatinate was split: the Lower Palatinate was returned to Karl
Ludwig (son of Frederick V), whilst the
Upper Palatinate was retained by Bavaria.
Fabio Chigi (1599-1667)
(later Pope Alexander VII)
the papal delegate to the negotiations
|Pope Innocent X sent Fabio Chigi to Westphalia
to defend papal interests. Chigi tried his best, but the Pope was
not happy with the outcome. His Bull, Zelo domus Dei
(November 1648), condemned many articles of the Treaty of
Westphalia as contrary to the Catholic religion.
The Peace of Westphalia granted Calvinists in the Empire a degree of
toleration for the first time. A ruler could now legally make
Calvinism the established religion of the state. (Lutheran
establishment had been permitted since the Peace of Augsburg, 1555).
Rulers were to permit private religious exercises of any
confession that had been legally allowed in 1624. (After five years, a
group not tolerated in 1624 could be expelled, but the property of its
adherents was not to be confiscated). The transfers of land made under
Catholic occupation during the 1620s and 1630s were largely
The religious clauses of the Treaty of Westphalia should have
guaranteed the right of private worship to Protestants in Hapsburgs'
hereditary territories. In practice, this was never fully allowed.
The Peace of Westphalia did not involve any major territorial losses
or gains. However, it entailed the Spanish conceding that they could
never recapture the United Provinces, the Hapsburgs acknowledging that
they would never be absolute rulers over a unified Germany, and
Catholic admission that Protestantism was here to stay. The
recognition of these obvious facts of life was very important to
future peace and stability in Europe.
Scandinavia and Poland
Teczynski, c. 1630
|The Treaty of Westphalia brought the wars in Germany to an end,
but peace did not break out in the North and East of Europe.|
Sweden and Denmark spent much of the seventeenth century in conflict.
Denmark levied heavy tolls on ships passing through the Baltic Sound.
Principal shipping routes through the
The Swedish resented attempts to levy these tolls on produce from
their territories in Northern Germany. Dutch merchants, whose vessels
controlled much of the carrying trade, also begrudged the high tolls.
In 1640, the two powers allied in an attempt to secure free trade in
In 1643, soon after the Second Battle of Breitenfeld,
marched his troops against the surprised Danish forces in Jutland.
Meanwhile the Swedish navy attacked the Danish Fleet and defeated it
at Fehmarn (Femern) Belt (October 1644).
In the Treaty of Brömsebro (1645), the
Danish were forced to concede exemption from tolls to the Swedish and
to hand over land in Norway, Germany, and Halland (in the Southern
John Casimir, King of Poland, son of
Sigismund III (King of Sweden from 1592 until 1599 when he was
deposed) disputed Charles X's right to the throne of Sweden. Charles X
decided to extend Sweden's Baltic dominions by attacking Poland
(already weakened by Cossack revolts and Russian invasion) and
overthrowing John Casimir.
In July 1655, the Swedish army
invaded Poland. It soon captured Warsaw (September 1655) and most of
the rest of Poland. The Protestant troops, however, treated the
Catholic population with such brutality that it was soon in revolt.
Throughout 1656 the Swedish occupation force was harassed by the Poles, who finally,
and with the help of the Crimean Tartars, defeated the Swedes at Prostki (October 1656).|
Stefan Czarniecki (1599-1665) became a Polish
hero by fighting stubbornly - and eventually successfully -
against the Swedes, despite suffering a series of disastrous
Charles X reached an
arrangement with the Cossacks and with Brandenburg-Prussia that
allowed him to withdraw from Poland and fight Denmark, which in June
1657 declared war on Sweden.
By dint of a forced march of amazing
speed, Charles X was able to move his army to Holstein by July 1657.
- ruler of the Duchy of Schleswig Holstein -
was the father of Charles' wife, Eleonora, and Holstein and Hamburg
(Denmark's long-term enemy) helped the Swedish army regroup.
In January 1658, the Swedish
army made a daring march across the frozen Baltic and besieged
Denmark was forced to agree to the Peace of Röskilde
(January 1658) - Scania,
Halland, and Bleking became Swedish, as did also Bornholm, the last Danish eastern Baltic
Swedish success against
Denmark did not solve all the state's problems. Brandenburg-Prussia,
Poland, and Austria settled their differences and aligned against
Sweden. In February 1660, Charles X contracted a fever and died, aged
1660 Treaty of Oliva,
Poland abandoned all claims to the Swedish crown; Prussia agreed to
move its troops out of Swedish Pomerania.|
1660 Treaty of Copenhagen confirmed the Treaty of Roskilde
except that Sweden handed back some territory (Trondheim and Bornholm)
Poland remained at war with Russia until 1667, when by the Treaty of
Andrusovo (Andruszow) it ceded much of the Ukraine (including
Kiev), and Smolensk.
between France and Spain to 1659
The marriage of Louis XIV of France to Maria Teresa,
daughter of Philip IV of Spain
of Westphalia ended fighting between France and the Austrian
Hapsburgs, but Spain's war with France went on.|
||In 1640 two areas under the control of the Spanish monarch revolted, Portugal and Catalonia, rebelled. France sent help to
both. Spain turned against the Catalans first, which probably saved
the Portuguese, who in 1665 won a decisive victory at
|The French also suffered
from domestic disruption - the Fronde. Between 1648
and 1652, there were both popular disturbances (occasioned by high
levels of taxation), and noble rebellion aimed against increasing
|The Spanish government
took advantage of the Fronde to suppress the Catalans,
finally retaking Barcelona in October 1652. Philip IV promised to
respect Catalan privileges.|
|France and Spain also
continued to fight in the Italian peninsula. The Spanish finally
captured Casale (Montferrato) in 1652.|
|In 1655 England (then allied
with France against Spain) and
captured Jamaica from the Spanish (although failing to
take Hispaniola). The two powers jointly defeated Spanish troops at
the Battle of the
Dunes (June 1658) and took the port of Dunkirk, which
fell under English control.
|1659 Peace of the Pyrenees finally ended the Franco-Spanish wars. France made some
small territorial gains (chiefly Roussillon), agreed not to help
Portugal, and betrothed Louis XIV to Philip IV's daughter, Maria