Exam essay answers - Peace of Westphalia + Appeasement
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PEACE OF WESTPHALIA
The Peace of Westphalia was made up of a collection of treaties that put an end to the Thirty Years
War. The agreement was among the states, including Spain and the Dutch. It recognized the
sovereignty of Netherlands, and German states. This meant Europe would not unite under one
emperor. This essentially meant a decline for the Habsburg monarchy.
The Peace of Westphalia resulted from the first modern diplomatic congress and initiated a new order
in central Europe based on the concept of state sovereignty. Westphalian sovereignty is the concept of
nation-state sovereignty based on two principles:
Territoriality and the exclusion of external actors from domestic authority structures.
The treaty established the two core principles. First was the king is sovereign and is not subject to the
political will of anyone else. The absolute power of rulers was linked to their own specific territory.
The second was that of the king being able to determine the religion practiced in his realm. The
principle prohibited interference in internal affairs of other states and provided the basis for
international law today.
Westphalia is regarded as the start of organized international system. It provided the future of system
building. This was the point that saw the start of embassies, communication points, and essential
communication centers for orderly cooperation. Westphalia made orderly cooperation possible – this
is the first reason it is the start of a successful international relations system in Europe. It opened the
floor to diplomatic negotiations.
Peace of Westphalia also ended the Thirty Years War in Europe. A great conference was held for
peace – this is the first main example of this settling between enemy powers. This is the example of
how Westphalia laid the foundation for the development of organized international relations. Other
examples include the Treaty of Versailles and the Congress of Vienna, all of which followed it.
The Peace of Westphalia taught powers how to settle conflicts, and this one of its main positive
Westphalia addressed the issue of hegemony and territorial settlements in Europe. One state was not
allowed to be the most dominant power in Europe. The other countries “wouldn’t allow it.” All the
countries involved had specific borders, within which they were allowed to have their own practices
and laws. It enforced the principle of equality between states. They were not allowed to intervene in
other states’ matters.
There were a lot of religious and territorial wars over sovereignty at that time in Europe. They were
based on ideology and this causes negative effects on maintaining IR. Ideological beliefs hinder
The Westphalia Treaty rebuffed Habsburg’s hegemony. The other powers of Europe felt threatened by
the Habsburgs. They resisted Habsburg domination of Europe. There would have been an imperial
power struggle for nature of IR. Habsburgs entered the war for power reasons, not religious or national
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