The thirty years war
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The Thirty Years’ War. Cultural, Political, & Religious Effects of the Division Between Protestantism & Catholicism. Origins and Causes?. The Thirty Years War was one of the most destructive & longest continuous war in European history.

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The Thirty Years’ War

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The thirty years war

The Thirty Years’ War

Cultural, Political, & Religious Effects of the Division Between Protestantism & Catholicism


Origins and causes

Origins and Causes?

  • The Thirty Years War was one of the most destructive & longest continuous war in European history.

  • It’s true cause is debated among historians, however, on a broader level, the war was:

    • A conflict between Protestants and Catholics

    • A conflict between two powerful ruling families in Europe, the Bourbon (France) and Hapsburgs (Spain & Austria)

  • To truly understand what helped cause the war, we have to look back into an event that occurred in Germany, during the Protestant Reformation…


Consequences of lutheranism

Consequences of Lutheranism….

  • As Lutheranism spread throughout Germany, the Catholic Church struggled to accept rise of Protestantism.

    • The Holy Roman Emperor threatened to invade the already fragmented German states.

    • Attempting to force the still-loyal Catholic German states into his armies, he attempted to attack the Northern German states & force them back to Catholicism.

  • Result? The Catholic states refused the Holy Roman Emperor & threatened war against his forces by joining forces with their Protestant, German brothers in the north.


Peace of augsburg

Peace of Augsburg

  • The Holy Roman Emperor was forced to sign the Peace of Augsburg, which stated:

    • German states had the right to freedom of religion as dictated by the German prince in power over the state.

    • The Holy Roman Emperor no longer held the authority to interfere in the independence of sovereign kingdoms.

  • Underlying effects?

    • Allowed the unencumbered spread of Protestantism

    • France realized it was surrounded by lands controlled by the powerful family, the Hapsburgs (Spain & Holy Roman Empire)

    • Religious tensions remained high in Europe


Cause of 30 years war

Cause of 30 Years War?

  • Ferdinand II inherited the throne as king of Bohemia, but he was also to be the Holy Roman Emperor by default, as he was born into the Hapsburg family.

    • He believed in ruling with absolute authority.

    • He was a devout Catholic and was determined to reclaim its power over the Protestant kingdoms of Central Europe

  • Ferdinand II’s power led to revolts across Bohemia and other Protestant kingdoms.

    • These revolts led to clashes between armies of Protestant forces & those loyal to Ferdinand II.


France sweden join

France & Sweden Join…

  • The 30 Years War is the 1st war to encompass most lands in Europe.

    • Most of the fighting occurred in German lands as Germany sought to help the Bohemians.

    • Sweden joined the war to help the Protestant cause. They sent their superior general, GustavusAdolphus to help lead the Protestant forces.

    • France, though Catholic, joined to help the Protestants due to their fear/hatred of growing Hapsburg power.

  • Once France joined the war, the Catholic forces under Ferdinand II crumbled.


Treaty of westphalia ends the war

Treaty of Westphalia Ends the War

  • Treaty of Westphalia is a significant document for several reasons:

    • 1st peace treaty among multiple kingdoms of Europe

    • Ended religious wars in Europe permanently

    • Holy Roman Emperor (& the Hapsburg family) no longer held political power over other sovereign nations.

  • Geographically, there were winners & losers:

    • Western European kingdoms established their fixed borders

    • Central Europe remained a cluster of feudal states

    • German attempts to unite into a country were ruined as the German states were weakened by the war


Consequences of the war

Consequences of the War:

  • Casualties:

    • Germany suffered the most: (depending on the German state) anywhere between 25%-40% of the population declined.

    • Czech lands also suffered from population declines: Roughly 1/3 of Bohemian population died during the war.

    • Swedish armies wreaked havoc: they destroyed 18,000 villages and up to 2,000 castles in total.


Consequences of the war cont d

Consequences of the War Cont’d:

  • Disease:

    • Typhus & bubonic plague re-emerged:

      • It is believed they were spread as armies moved across European lands

      • Many peasants moved to the villages/towns to escape the war. The overcrowding led to increased famine & disease

  • Political Issues:

    • German unification was halted

    • Hapsburg-Bourbon tensions continued as Spain & France remained at war after the Treaty of Westphalia

    • The Spanish were forever forced to accept the independence of their former colony: the Dutch.


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