In history, there have been countless wars fought to control other places. Europe was the central area of the world where the most power was held. This lone area had many countries which contained much power. However, this region was held in religious turmoil and countries continued to fight one another. The Thirty Years’ War, from 1618-1648, represented a major turning point in European history due to the consequences of the war which include the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia, the destruction of Germany, and France becoming the dominant power in Europe.
Europe faced so much destruction and death that the Thirty Years’ War had to come to an end. One of the ways to reach the conclusion of the war was the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia. This document successfully gave the rulers of the German Principalities the right to determine the religion of their own state and Calvinism was accepted. It also acknowledged the independence of the Dutch Republic from Spanish control and neutrality of Switzerland. This document helped to unify many countries such as France, England, and the Dutch. However, it left the German Principalities separated. Because the Treaty of Westphalia was signed, it essentially created the structure of Europe for the future. It provided the territorial boundaries for many nations and it made the citizens of a nation more inclined to follow their rulers and not those of religious based. The Treaty of Westphalia was an important document that helped to bring the Thirty Years’ War to an end and created a turning point in the History of Europe.
Germany was a major component in the Thirty Years’ War and for its actions, the land and people were devastated. Nearly one third of the entire population was killed. This is nearly the same ratio as the Bubonic Plaque that ravaged Europe. This is due to the fact that most of the fighting took place in the Holy Roman Empire.
At the outcome of the War, only one country can be seen as the winner:...