The Treaty of Westphalia 1648


Map Code: Ax00855

The negotiations for the peace of Westphalia lasted almost six years, and produced several separate treaties resolving both the Thirty Years’ War (involving France, the Holy Roman Empire, Sweden and various other combatants) and the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and the Netherlands. The main treaties were signed at Munster and Osnabrück. They established for the first time certain enduring principles of international law, including freedoms of religious practice, inviolability of state borders, and non-interference in the domestic affairs of foreign states. Territorial provisions included the recognition of the independence of both the Dutch Republic and the Swiss Confederation. France gained jurisdiction over ten imperial cities, and territory in Lorraine. Sweden was awarded Bremen, Verden and Western Pomerania, and adjustments were made between German principalities in favour of Prussia, Saxony and Bavaria. The Peace was not absolute: France and Spain, for instance, continued hostilities until 1659.

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