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Rise Of Austria and Prussia. Chapter 4 Section 4. The Thirty Years’ War. Voltaire, a French philosopher, said that the Holy Roman Empire was a patchwork of several hundred small, separate states. In theory, these states were under control of the Holy roman Emperor

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Rise of austria and prussia

Rise Of Austria and Prussia

Chapter 4 Section 4

The thirty years war
The Thirty Years’ War

  • Voltaire, a French philosopher, said that the Holy Roman Empire was a patchwork of several hundred small, separate states.

  • In theory, these states were under control of the Holy roman Emperor

  • He was chosen by seven German princes called electors.

  • In practice, the emperor had little power over the many rival princes.

  • Religion further divided the German states, and this sparked the Thirty Years’ War.

The war begins
The War Begins

  • War had both religious and political causes.

  • Began in Bohemia, presently the Czech Republic

  • Ferdinand, Hapsburg king of Bohemia, sought to suppress Protestants and assert royal power over local nobles.

  • In May 1618, a few Protestant nobleman tossed two royal officials out of a castle window.

  • This started a general conflict, which turned into a general European War.

The war begins1
The War Begins

  • The following year, Ferdinand was named the Holy Roman Emperor.

  • He tried to roll back the Reformation, with the support of Spain, Poland, and many Catholic States.

  • Early on in the war, he defeated the Bohemians and their Protestant Allies

  • Immediately after, Protestant Powers such as Netherlands and Sweden sent troops to Germany.

  • Political Issues quickly outweighed religious issues, and many rulers shifted their alliances to suit their interests.

  • Eventually, Catholic France joined Lutheran Sweden against the Catholic Hapsburgs.

A brutal conflict
A Brutal Conflict

  • Armies of mercenaries, or soldiers for hire, burned villages, destroyed crops, and killed without mercy.

  • Murder and torture were followed by famine and disease.

  • The war led to depopulation, or reduction of population.

  • Historians estimate that one third of the people in German states died from the war.

Peace at last
Peace at Last

  • In 1648, the sides accepted a series of treaties, known as the Peace of Westphalia.

  • France came out as a clear winner. They gained territory on both it German and Spanish Frontiers.

  • The Hapsburgs were the losers because they had to accept the total independence of all the princes of the Holy Roman Empire.

  • Netherlands and Switzerland won recognition as independent states.

Peace at last1
Peace At Last

  • Germany ended up divided into 360 separate states.

  • They still acknowledged leadership of the Holy roman emperor.

  • Each state had its own coinage, government, armed forces, state church, and foreign policy.

  • Germany remained fragmented for another 200 years.

Hapsburg austria
Hapsburg Austria

  • Weakened by war, Hapsburgs wanted to create a strong united state.

  • Kept title of Holy Roman emperors.

  • Along with Austria, they added Bohemia, Hungary, and parts of Italy and Poland.

Unity and diversity
Unity and Diversity

  • Uniting the lands were very difficult.

  • In the Hapsburg Empire, people had their own languages, laws, assemblies, and customs.

  • The Hapsburgs did exert control over these diverse peoples.

  • The Hapsburg Empire never developed a centralized government.

Maria theresa
Maria Theresa

  • In 1700s, emperor Charles VI had no son to take his place as ruler.

  • His daughter, Maria Theresa, was capable, but no woman had ever ruled Hapsburg lands.

  • Charles asked many rulers to recognize his daughter’s right to succeed him, but many ignored their pledge.

Maria theresa1
Maria Theresa

  • In 1740, Frederick II of Prussia seized control of a Hapsburg province.

  • Maria asked Hungarians for military help, but they were unfriendly with her.

  • She eventually got help from Britain and Russia.

  • Throughout the war, she strengthened Hapsburg power by reorganizing the bureaucracy and improving tax collection.

The rise of prussia
The Rise of Prussia

  • Prussia emerged as a new Protestant power

  • In 1600s, the Hohenzollern family ruled parts of north Germany.

  • They eventually conquered many other states and they set up a central bureaucracy and reduced independence of nobles, called Junkers.

  • Many Prussian rulers formed one of the best trained armies in Europe.

  • They won loyalty of Junkers by giving them positions in government or army.

Frederick ii
Frederick II

  • Frederick William trained his son Frederick II in the art of war

  • Frederick II preferred playing the flute and writing poetry.

  • His dad treated him terribly because of this, and Fred JR. tried to flee the country

  • Finding out about this, Frederick William put his son in solitary confinement.

Military successes
Military successes

  • Shortly after becoming king, Fred Jr. used his army to seize Silesia from Austria.

  • In many other wars, Fred Jr. brilliantly used his army, forcing all to accept Prussia as a great power.

  • This is how he became Frederick the Great.

Keeping the balance of power
Keeping the Balance of Power

  • By 1750, the great powers of Europe were Austria, Russia, Prussia, France, and England.

  • Formed alliances to maintain balance of power

  • Sometimes, rivalries caused worldwide conflict.


  • Mercenary- Soldier for hire, only fights for the highest bidder

  • Depopulation- Loss of population due to war, famine, or disease

  • What country did the Hapsburg’s rule, actually what country and empire? Austria

  • What was the group of Princes called that selected the Holy Roman Emperor? Electors

  • What did the Holy Roman Emperor want to roll back in Europe? Protestant Reformation/Protestant Tide

  • What was the war called the ended with the Peace of Westphalia? 30 years war

  • Who was the first female empress of Austria? Maria Theresa