Peace of Westphalia

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Peace of Westphalia
Westfaelischer Friede in Muenster (Gerard Terborch 1648).jpg
The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648 (1648) by Gerard ter Borch
Type Peace treaty
Drafted1646–1648
Signed15 May – 24 October 1648
Location Osnabrück and Münster, Westphalia, Holy Roman Empire
Parties109

The Peace of Westphalia (German : Westfälischer Friede) was a series of peace treaties that were signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster. They largely ended the European wars of religion, including the Thirty Years' War. They closed a calamitous period of European history that killed approximately eight million people. [1] Scholars have identified Westphalia as the beginning of the modern international system, based on the concept of Westphalian sovereignty, though this interpretation has been challenged. [2]

Contents

The negotiation process was lengthy and complex. Talks took place in two different cities, because each side wanted to meet on territory under its own control. A total of 109 delegations arrived to represent the belligerent states, but not all delegations were present at the same time. Three treaties were signed to end each of the overlapping wars: the Peace of Münster, the Treaty of Münster, and the Treaty of Osnabrück. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) in the Holy Roman Empire, with the Habsburgs (rulers of Austria and Spain) and their Catholic allies on one side, battling the Protestant powers (Sweden, Denmark, Dutch, and certain Holy Roman principalities) allied with France (Catholic but anti-Habsburg). The treaties also ended the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognising the independence of the Dutch.

The Peace of Westphalia established the precedent of peace established by diplomatic congress. A new system of political order arose in central Europe, based upon peaceful coexistence among sovereign states. Inter-state aggression was held in check by a balance of power, and a norm was established against interference in another state's domestic affairs. As European influence spread across the globe, these Westphalian principles, especially the concept of sovereign states, became central to international law and the prevailing world order. [3]

Locations

Peace negotiations between France and the Habsburgs began in Cologne in 1641. These negotiations were initially blocked by Cardinal Richelieu of France, who insisted on the inclusion of all his allies, whether fully sovereign countries or states within the Holy Roman Empire. [4] In Hamburg and Lübeck, Sweden and the Holy Roman Empire negotiated the Treaty of Hamburg with the intervention of Richelieu. [5] The Holy Roman Empire and Sweden declared that the preparations of Cologne and the Treaty of Hamburg were preliminaries of an overall peace agreement.

Dutch envoy Adriaan Pauw enters Munster around 1646 for the peace negotiations EinzugdesGesandten AdriaenPauw.jpg
Dutch envoy Adriaan Pauw enters Münster around 1646 for the peace negotiations

The main peace negotiations took place in Westphalia, in the neighboring cities of Münster and Osnabrück. Both cities were maintained as neutral and demilitarized zones for the negotiations.

In Münster, negotiations took place between the Holy Roman Empire and France, as well as between the Dutch Republic and Spain. [6] Münster had been, since its re-Catholicisation in 1535, a strictly mono-denominational community. It housed the Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster. Only Roman Catholic worship was permitted, while Calvinism and Lutheranism were prohibited.

Sweden preferred to negotiate with the Holy Roman Empire in Osnabrück, controlled by the Protestant forces. Osnabrück was a bidenominational Lutheran and Catholic city, with two Lutheran churches and two Catholic churches. The city council was exclusively Lutheran, and the burghers mostly so, but the city also housed the Catholic Chapter of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück and had many other Catholic inhabitants. Osnabrück had been subjugated by troops of the Catholic League from 1628 to 1633 and then taken by Lutheran Sweden. [5]

Delegations

Sebastian Dadler undated medal (1648), Christina of Sweden, portrait with feathered helmet right. Obverse Sebastian Dadler Original Medal N.D. (1648), Christina of Sweden, Peace of Westphalia. Obverse.jpg
Sebastian Dadler undated medal (1648), Christina of Sweden, portrait with feathered helmet right. Obverse
The reverse of this medal: Christina of Sweden as Minerva holding an olive branch in her left arm and grasping the tree of knowledge with her right hand. Sebastian Dadler Original Medal N.D. (1648), Christina of Sweden, Peace of Westphalia. Reverse.jpg
The reverse of this medal: Christina of Sweden as Minerva holding an olive branch in her left arm and grasping the tree of knowledge with her right hand.

The peace negotiations had no exact beginning and ending, because the 109 delegations never met in a plenary session. Instead, various delegations arrived between 1643 and 1646 and left between 1647 and 1649. The largest number of diplomats were present between January 1646 and July 1647.

Delegations had been sent by 16 European states, 66 Imperial States representing the interests of 140 Imperial States, and 27 interest groups representing 38 groups. [7]

Treaties

Three separate treaties constituted the peace settlement.

Results

Internal political boundaries

Map showing European borders in 1648 Europe 1648 westphal 1884.jpg
Map showing European borders in 1648
Holy Roman Empire in 1648 Holy Roman Empire 1648.svg
Holy Roman Empire in 1648

The power asserted by Ferdinand III was stripped from him and returned to the rulers of the Imperial States. The rulers of the Imperial States could henceforth choose their own official religions. Catholics and Protestants were redefined as equal before the law, and Calvinism was given legal recognition as an official religion. [12] [13] The independence of the Dutch Republic, which practiced religious toleration, also provided a safe haven for European Jews. [14]

The Holy See was very displeased at the settlement, with Pope Innocent X calling it "null, void, invalid, iniquitous, unjust, damnable, reprobate, inane, empty of meaning and effect for all time" in the bull Zelo Domus Dei. [15] [16]

Tenets

The main tenets of the Peace of Westphalia were:

Territorial adjustments

Legacy

Allegory of the Peace of Westphalia, by Jacob Jordaens. Alegoria de la Paz de Westfalia, por Jacob Jordaens.jpg
Allegory of the Peace of Westphalia, by Jacob Jordaens.

The treaties did not entirely end conflicts arising out of the Thirty Years' War. Fighting continued between France and Spain until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. The Dutch-Portuguese War had begun during the Iberian Union between Spain and Portugal, as part of the Eighty Years' War, and went on until 1663. Nevertheless, the Peace of Westphalia did settle many outstanding European issues of the time.

Westphalian sovereignty

Scholars of international relations have identified the Peace of Westphalia as the origin of principles crucial to modern international relations, including the inviolability of borders and non-interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. This system became known in the literature as Westphalian sovereignty. [3] Although scholars have challenged the association with the Peace of Westphalia, [23] the debate is still structured around the concept of Westphalian sovereignty.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Osnabrück Town Hall town hall of Osnabrück

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The itio in partes was a procedure of the Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire between 1648 and 1806. In this procedure, the members of the diet divided into two bodies (corpora), the Corpus Evangelicorum and the Corpus Catholicorum, irrespective of the college to which they otherwise belonged. That is, the Protestant (Evangelical) members of the College of Electors, the College of Princes and the College of Cities gathered together separately from the Catholic members of the same. The two bodies then negotiated with each other, but debated and voted among themselves. A decision was reached only when both bodies agreed. The itio in partes could be invoked whenever there was a unanimous vote of one body. At first, it could only be invoked in matters affecting religion, but gradually this requirement was dropped.

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References

  1. Clodfelter, Michael (2017). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Encyclopedia of Casualty and Other Figures, 1492–2015. McFarland. p. 40. ISBN   978-0786474707.
  2. 1 2 Osiander, Andreas (2001). "Sovereignty, International Relations, and the Westphalian Myth". International Organization . 55 (2): 251–287.
  3. 1 2 Henry Kissinger (2014). "Introduction and Chpt 1". World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History. Allen Lane. ISBN   0241004268.
  4. Croxton, Derek (2013). Westphalia: The Last Christian Peace. Palgrave. ISBN   9781137333322.
  5. 1 2 Schiller, Frederick. "The Thirty Years War, Complete".
  6. Konrad Repgen, 'Negotiating the Peace of Westphalia: A Survey with an Examination of the Major Problems', In: 1648: War and Peace in Europe: 3 vols. (Catalogue of the 26th exhibition of the Council of Europe, on the Peace of Westphalia), Klaus Bußmann and Heinz Schilling (eds.) on behalf of the Veranstaltungsgesellschaft 350 Jahre Westfälischer Friede, Münster and Osnabrück: no publ., 1998, 'Essay Volume 1: Politics, Religion, Law and Society', pp. 355–72, here pp. 355 seq.
  7. Konrad Repgen, "Negotiating the Peace of Westphalia: A Survey with an Examination of the Major Problems", In: 1648: War and Peace in Europe: 3 vols. (Catalogue of the 26th exhibition of the Council of Europe, on the Peace of Westphalia), Klaus Bußmann and Heinz Schilling (eds.) on behalf of the Veranstaltungsgesellschaft 350 Jahre Westfälischer Friede, Münster and Osnabrück: no publ., 1998, 'Essay Volume 1: Politics, Religion, Law and Society', pp. 355–372, here p. 356.
  8. Sonnino, Paul (30 June 2009). Mazarin's Quest: The Congress of Westphalia and the Coming of the Fronde. Harvard University Press. ISBN   9780674043862.
  9. "Original text in Dutch National Archives". beeldbank.nationaalarchief.nl.
  10. "Digital German text Treaty of Münster". lwl.org.
  11. "Digital German text Treaty of Osnabrück". lwl.org. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  12. 1 2 Treaty of Münster 1648
  13. 1 2 Barro, R. J. & McCleary, R. M. "Which Countries have State Religions?" (PDF). University of Chicago. p. 5. Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  14. "This day, Mary 15, in Jewish history". Cleveland Jewish News.
  15. The incipit of this bull, meaning "Zeal of the house of God", quotes from Psalm 69:9: "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me."
  16. Larry Jay Diamond; Marc F. Plattner; Philip J. Costopoulo (2005). World religions and democracy. p. 103.
  17. Section 28
  18. Böhme, Klaus-R (2001). "Die sicherheitspolitische Lage Schwedens nach dem Westfälischen Frieden". In Hacker, Hans-Joachim (ed.). Der Westfälische Frieden von 1648: Wende in der Geschichte des Ostseeraums (in German). Kovač. p. 35. ISBN   3-8300-0500-8.
  19. Böhme (2001), p. 36.
  20. Böhme (2001), p. 37.
  21. 1 2 3 Böhme (2001), p. 38.
  22. Gross, Leo (1948). "The Peace of Westphalia, 1648–1948". American Journal of International Law . 42 (1): 20–41 [p. 25]. doi:10.2307/2193560.
  23. Osiander, Andreas (2001). "Sovereignty, International Relations, and the Westphalian Myth". International Organization. 55 (2): 251–287. doi:10.1162/00208180151140577. ISSN   1531-5088.

Further reading