Peace of Westphalia
- The Peace of Westphalia constituted the end of a major conflict by creating the
idea of a major conference where all involved nations could come to terms (even
- WWII had no “end of war” conference. Potsdam was a conference among the
allies (England, USA, and Russia). The German power broke up too quickly to
have a real end of war conference that involved everyone…because there was no
- The Peace of Pyrenees in November 1659: France and Spain came to terms. It
was the belated / final closing stage of the 30 Years War.
- Münster and Osanbrûck (twin towns in North-Western Germany) were where the
Peace of Westphalia was signed. It was the beginning of an organized international
- Münster = catholic opponents who made peace with the Habsburgs.
- By the later 16 century, the Habsburg ruled two significant powers: Spain and
Austria. They seemed well on the way to destroying any possibilities for an
international system by trying to establish one great European kingdom.
- The Austrian Habsburgs’ effort (with the help of their Spanish cousins) to turn the
Holy Roman Empire into one giant state was the main reason for the 30 Years War.
- This attempt for one giant nation would have effectively destroyed any possibilities
for an international system.
- The Peace of Westphalia put the Habsburgs back in their place: Austria would
again be just another state –– not the European rulers that the Habsburgs intended.
- Secularization of international relations was the termination / removal of religion as
the primary source of international dispute, disagreement, and / or disunity.
- The 30 Years War was one giant war that led to the dehumanisation of an enemy.