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Peace of Westphalia.doc

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Denis Smyth

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 defeated powers). - 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 defeated power. - 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 system. - 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.
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