Czech Republic

Exhausted coffers of German and Austrian countries, centerpiece of the sacrum in Germany Central power, and the enormous difficulty of getting new armies, they produced a growing inability to defend himself to the Bourbons and their armies took advantage of to the maximum. In 1645, Fernando III, heir to the Holy Roman Empire, saw with concern how their forces were defeated at the battle of Jankau (today Czech Republic) before the French and Swedish troops commanded by Lennart Torstensson. With this triumph, it was not difficult for enemies to force in 1647 to Maximiliano I, King of Bavaria, to break his alliance with the Holy Roman Empire. This virtually marked the end of the 30 years war. Distant times that was simply a war of beliefs, had now transformed into a conflict in which the territorial interests were everything.

With its recent momentum, a joint effort of different lands habsburgas (Austria, Spain, Germany and Northern Italy) failed to achieve victory in the battles of Zusmarhausen and Lens. In bankruptcy, and annoyed by terrible French pressure, due to negotiate access. The end of a long conflict the peace of Westphalia, a treaty whose repercussions were decisive for the future of the Western world, is known as two specific agreements reached in the cities of Osnabruck and Munster (Germany) in 1648, one on May 15 and the other on October 24. Under these treaties, ending is war between belligerent States and concluded the confrontation which pitted Spain against the Republic of the seven Netherlands for 80 years. However, the main direct consequence was the weakening positions of Austria and Spain and the strengthening of France (represented by the Mazarino) that won numerous territories at its eastern border, including Alsace and Metz. It was not the only beneficiary. Brandenburg, thanks to the mediation of France (which sought to promote a power in the North of Germany which equilibrase the balance with Austria) annexed numerous territories and formed the core of what in coming decades would be the Kingdom of Prussia. The small United provinces also managed the definitive recognition of its independence, and Sweden became the strongest power in the North of Europe, making cornering to Denmark in its continental space.

As we can see, the scope of this Treaty have again set up throughout the European Organization. From there its huge importance. The consequences of Westphalia went far beyond a simple territorial adjustment. Human lives and material destruction were maybe as big as a world war. During the course of the same, for example, the population of the Holy Roman Empire was reduced by 30%. In Brandenburg was 50%, and in other regions even reached two thirds of the total. The male population in Germany was reduced to half. In Bohemia the population fell one-third because of the war, hunger, disease and mass expulsion of Protestant Czechs. Only the Swedish armies during the war destroyed 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages and 1,500 towns in Germany. Finally, the old idea by which the Emperor and the Pope could mediate in the Affairs of all Christendom, was exterminated, triumphing as well the idea of State French, which rejected the interference of powers strange in the internal affairs of the Kingdom. The papacy was thus definitively away from participation that came exercising European policy decisions, and the Empire became an outdated institution.

Comments are closed.