, Research Paper
Consequences of the 30 Years War- Essay From the change of warfare, to the vast changes in government and dominance, the Thirty Years War had clearly resulted in many changes and effected many areas of life. These changes occur politically, religiously, socially and economically. As the most destructive event in German history, the Thirty Years War started as a conflict between the Protestants and Roman Catholics, yet ended up as a fight for political power. The war was divided up into 4 phases, the Palatine-Bohemian, Danish, Swedish, and French phases. Though all the effects of the war were great, the change of political power was of the most importance. Although the war was disastrous in many ways, politically, it brought some positive effects to certain countries, and death to others. In all of the Continent, France became a leading power over Spain because of the weak and scattered Germany after the war and the acquired province of Alsace. For Switzerland and the United Provinces of the Netherlands, the effect of the war had brought upon them independence from Spain. In Germany, princes received sovereign independent authority. Although the Hapsburg family, the Spanish, and the Germans were severely weakened, they continued to work together in international affairs. In all of this, Germany had been effected the most economically, especially because the war was held mainly in Germany. As a center of trade before the war, Germany had suddenly become robbed of its resources economically after the war. During the war, soldiers pillaged the farms and houses of the Germans. The lustrous land Germany once had became unusable after the war because the land was burned and fought on. Agriculture and trade was halted in all of Europe because there weren’t enough people to rebuild and regrow the crops. A severe inflation had also occurred because of the flood of Spanish silver from South
America in Europe, which had impacted Germany the most. Although economics was a great effect after the war, socially, the Continent had been damaged severely. In the Holy Roman empire, population had declined 40% and in Germany, 33% of the urban residents and 40% of the citizens in rural areas had died partly because of military actions, and diseases such as typhus, dysentery and syphilis. In Germany, education was stopped, cities were in ruins and serfdom had inclined rapidly because of the expense to rebuild and the scarce labor. The death of many after the war was a direct cause of the inclination of serfdom in Germany. Many princes and landowners created a vast plantation that contained serfs as a response to the war. The many effects of the war were disastrous, yet religiously, some issues were finally solved. Ironically, the Thirty Years War had started as a religious conflict, yet at the end of the war, the effect of the war religiously was not a major significance compared to the Reformation. Although Calvinism finally became a legal creed, the Peace of Augsburg had basically been agreed to stand permanently, in which the effects were already seen after the Reformation. In the German states, each prince could determine the religion practiced in their territory. The papacy also lost its power in the right to participate in German affairs. At the end, the Northern German states remained Protestant, and the south remained Catholic. The Thirty Years War solved little religiously yet had effected severely politically, socially, and economically. The end of the Thirty Years War was marked by the Peace of Westphalia. The treaty brought upon many effects of the war in every aspect. Germany was of the greatest effected because the war was mostly fought on its land. The war had been the most disastrous event in German history. From the changes of religion, to the change of government and warfare, the Thirty Years War formed a break with the past and the modern world.