• German Princes want to gain autonomy from
Holy Roman Empire
• France wants to limit Hapsburg power
• Spain wants to expand Hapsburg power into
• Sweden and Denmark want to strengthen their
control over the Baltic.
• Majority of goals are geopolitical, not
The Bohemian Phase (1618-1625)
• Bohemians (modern day Czechs and Slovaks)
were mostly Calvinist
• Emperor Matthias I Catholic Bohemians begin
to fear loss of religious freedoms
• Defenestration of Prague
• Ferdinand II becomes Holy Roman Emperor and
with support of Spanish Hapsburgs crushes
• Catholics win and take land away from Protestant
The Danish Phase (1625-1630)
• Christian IV of Denmark (Lutheran) wants to
strengthen Protestants in Germany and annex
German lands for his son.
• Ferdinand II has mercenary army raised
much pillaging and plundering, defeat Danes
• 1629 Ferdinand II passes The Edict of
Restitution restored all of the protestant states
back to Catholicism
The Swedish Phase (1625-1630)
• Cardinal Richelieu (Regent to Louis XIII of France) gives
financial aid to Sweden to encourage more war.
• Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, a Lutheran is eager to
fight to strengthen protestant claims.
• Adolohus wins decisive victory against Catholics, but is
• German princes enter into separate peace with
• The Peace of Prague revokes Edict of Restitution
• Swede defeated, but Richelieu still hopes to undermine
Hapsburg power in Germany
The French-Swedish Phase (1635-1648)
• France, Holland, and Savoy all enter war on
• Spain continues to support Holy Roman
• French defeat Spanish at Rocroi
• 1644 peace talks begin in Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia
Cuius region, eius religio!
• Peace of Augsburg reinstituted, Calvinism added
• Edict of Restitution revoked, land lost by protestant
• Switzerland and Holland gain independence from
• France, Sweden, and Brandenburg (eventually
Prussia) gain territory
• German princes were made sovereign rulers limiting
power of HRE.
– Over 300 leaders in Germany, unification will not occur
until 19th century!
Effects of Thirty Years War
• Germany devastated
• age of religious wars end, greater religious
tolerance, rise of nation-states, “balance of
• Hapsburg power weakened greatly
• Protestant and counter reformations slowed,
Protestantism safely established.