1648 saw the end of the devastating Thirty Years’ War through the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster, collectively known as the Treaty of Westphalia. The Eighty Years’ War (or ‘Dutch Revolt’) and the Spanish-Habsburg quest for dominance in the Netherlands also came to a halt, with Spain finally recognizing Dutch independence. The Holy Roman Empire was broken, with each of its territories being given de facto independence given the right to choose their religion. Switzerland gained independence and the Empire also lost territories in the northern Netherlands and French-annexed Alsace-Lorraine. France emerged as a major western power; Sweden controlled the Baltic. The Treaty of Westphalia was an influential peace agreement that shaped Europe culturally and politically for many years to come, not least through long-lasting legacies but also the emergence of the principle of state sovereignty.
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