History Of Early Modern Europe

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History of Early Modern Europe

Thesis Statement

The Thirty years war remains undoubtedly a "meaningless conflict" in the history of early Europe and certainly a waste of men as a result of the war of supremacy between different religious groups of that time.

Table of Contents



The Setting of the Conflict5



History of Early Modern Europe


The Thirty Years War marked its origin in 1618 during the later part of the Reformation which was a phase of discontentment between various nobility and religious groups. This war was a consequence of the failure of many people of that time to cope and compromise, particularly under the regulation of a totalitarian management. The war was based on the principal “Cuius regio eius religio” (whose religion, his religion), in other words it was the war of supremacy between different religious groups in Europe (Durant, 1961). The major internal clash was the church teachings against its methods. People were taught by the church to improve themselves through love and care or the achievement of good manners. Hitherto, the Catholic Church would give up its entire beliefs to reacquire its dominance. This conflict between power and moral values led many to question the source and validation of this catastrophic war. The Church utilized their religious power to sacrilegiously and unrightfully justify its way of achieving its objectives.

Each period of the war including the Bohemian period, Danish period, Swedish period and the Swedish-French period had one common resemblance and that was the limitation of religious independence. Altogether, the Treaty of Westphalia, which concluded the war in 1648 led to the recognition of the Calvinists, provided more privileges to princes' supremacy in their principalities, and, more significantly, lawful power for the Protestants. This treaty also granted power to Sweden and France to govern parts of Germany and affirmed ultimate boundaries between countries. Thus, The Thirty Year's War remains undoubtedly a "meaningless conflict" and certainly a waste of men in the history of early Europe (Kagan, 1995). Religious freedom, by no means, sanctions the loss of numerous followers only to attain political recognition. However, neither the Protestants nor the Catholics earned the recognition they wished for, but in its place, left the world in chaos.


Spain's golden era was over, however the political and religious conflict of dynasties sustained with added intensity. In spite of the failing of Spain, other countries still dread Habsburg revival and other dynasties required to succeed more power and territories. Furthermore, the rising number of proponents of the Counter Reformation and Calvinists were still expecting complete win in the struggle and fight over the true religion. These concerns eventually became the reason for the beginning of the Thirty Years War, which initiated in 1618. At massive cost in wealth and lives, this war at last concluded the political evolution from medievalism by blazing out old obsessions related to religion and clearly illuminating the secular contentions of European states. (Parker, 1984)

The Setting of the Conflict

Throughout the sixteenth century, European countries had look out upon the world with pride in their superiority ...
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