Treaty of westphalia

Peace of Westphalia
Treaties of Osnabrück and Münster
Ratification of the Peace of Münster (Gerard ter Borch, Münster, 1648)
Type Peace treaty
Drafted 1646–1648
Signed 15 May – 24 October 1648
Location Osnabrück and Münster, Westphalia, modern-day Germany
Parties 109

The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the independence of the Dutch Republic.

The Peace of Westphalia treaties involved the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III, of the House of Habsburg, the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of France, the Swedish Empire, the Dutch Republic, the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, and sovereigns of the free imperial cities and can be denoted by two major events.

  • The signing of the Peace of Münster[1] between the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of Spain on 30 January 1648, officially ratified in Münster on 15 May 1648.
  • The signing of two complementary treaties on 24 October 1648, namely:
    • The Treaty of Münster (Instrumentum Pacis Monasteriensis, IPM),[2] concerning the Holy Roman Emperor and France and their respective allies.
    • The Treaty of Osnabrück (Instrumentum Pacis Osnabrugensis, IPO),[3] concerning the Holy Roman Emperor, the Empire and Sweden and their respective allies.

The treaties resulted from the big diplomatic congress,[4][5] thereby initiating a new system of political order in central Europe, later called Westphalian sovereignty, based upon the concept of a sovereign state governed by a sovereign and establishing a prejudice in international affairs against interference in another nation's domestic business. The treaty not only signaled the end of the perennial, destructive wars that had ravaged Europe, it also represented the triumph of sovereignty over empire, of national rule over the personal writ of the Habsburgs. The treaties' regulations became integral to the constitutional law of the Holy Roman Empire, and stood as a precursor to later large international treaties and thereby the development of international law in general.

The treaties did not restore the peace throughout Europe, however; France and Spain remained at war for the next eleven years. But the peace of Westphalia at least created a basis for national self-determination.

Locations

Peace negotiations between France and the Habsburgs, provided by the Holy Roman Emperor and the Spanish King, were to be started in Cologne in 1636. These negotiations were blocked by France.

Cardinal Richelieu of France desired the inclusion of all its allies, whether sovereign or a state within the Holy Roman Empire.[6] In Hamburg and Lübeck, Sweden and the Holy Roman Empire negotiated the Treaty of Hamburg. This was done with the intervention of Richelieu.


The Holy Roman Empire and Sweden declared the preparations of Cologne and the Treaty of Hamburg to be preliminaries of an overall peace agreement. This larger agreement was to be negotiated in Westphalia, in the neighbouring cities of Münster and Osnabrück. Both cities were to be maintained as neutral and demilitarized zones for the negotiations. Münster was, since its re-Catholization in 1535, a strictly mono-denominational community. It housed the Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster. Only Roman Catholic worship was permitted. No places of worship were provided for Calvinists and Lutherans.

Osnabrück was a bidenominational Lutheran and Catholic city, with two Lutheran and two Catholic churches for its mostly Lutheran burghers and exclusively Lutheran city council and the Catholic Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück with pertaining other clergy and also other Catholic inhabitants. In the years of 1628–1633 Osnabrück had been subjugated by troops of the Catholic League. The Catholic Prince-Bishop Franz Wilhelm, Count of Wartenberg then imposed the Counter-Reformation onto the city with many Lutheran burgher families being exiled. While under Swedish occupation Osnabrücks's Catholics were not expelled, but the city severely suffered from Swedish war contributions. Therefore Osnabrück hoped for a great relief becoming neutralised and demilitarised.

Both cities strove for more autonomy, aspiring to become Free Imperial Cities, so they welcomed the neutrality imposed by the peace negotiations, and the prohibition of all political influence by the warring parties including their overlords, the prince-bishops.

Since Lutheran Sweden preferred Osnabrück as a conference venue, its peace negotiations with the Empire, including the allies of both sides, took place in Osnabrück. The Empire and its opponent France, including the allies of each, as well as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and its opponent Spain (and their respective allies) negotiated in Münster.[7]

Delegations

The peace negotiations had no exact beginning and ending, because the participating total of 109 delegations never met in a plenary session, but dropped in between 1643 and 1646 and left between 1647 and 1649. Between January 1646 and July 1647 probably the largest number of diplomats were present. Delegations had been sent by 16 European states, sixty-six Imperial States, representing the interests of a total of 140 involved Imperial States, and 27 interest groups, representing the interests of a variety of a total of 38 groups.[8]

Results

Internal political boundaries



The power taken by Ferdinand III in contravention of the Holy Roman Empire's constitution was stripped and returned to the rulers of the Imperial States. This rectification allowed the rulers of the Imperial States to independently decide their religious worship. Protestants and Catholics were redefined as equal before the law, and Calvinism was given legal recognition.[10][11]

The Holy See was very displeased at the settlement, with Pope Innocent X in Zelo Domus Dei reportedly calling it "null, void, invalid, iniquitous, unjust, damnable, reprobate, inane, empty of meaning and effect for all time".[12]

Tenets

The main tenets of the Peace of Westphalia were:

  • All parties would recognize the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, in which each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state, the options being Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism (the principle of cuius regio, eius religio).[10][11]
  • Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.[10]
  • General recognition of the exclusive sovereignty of each party over its lands, people, and agents abroad, and each and several responsibility for the warlike acts of any of its citizens or agents. Issuance of unrestricted letters of marque and reprisal to privateers was forbidden.

There were also territorial adjustments:

See also

References

External links

  • Treaty of Münster Text (Yale University)
  • Texts of the Westphalian Treaties (German)
  • Peace Of Westphalia – Firmly Plants Protestantism in Europe
  • High Resolution Map of Germany after the Treaty of Westphalia
  • Peace Treaty of Osnabrück (Full Text)
  • Peace Treaty of Münster (Full Text)

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