Religious division in the holy Roman Empire

The Thirty Years’ battle was a series of wars between various Protestant and Catholic claims in the fragmentised Holy roman Empire between 1618 and 1648.

You are watching: The peace of augsburg ended the conflict between

Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe divine Roman empire was a fragmentised collection of greatly independent states, which, after ~ the Protestant improvement in the 16th century, to be divided between Catholic and Protestant rulership.The peace of Augsburg ended beforehand conflict between German Lutherans and Catholics and established a principle in i m sorry princes were guaranteed the appropriate to choose either Lutheranism or Catholicism in ~ the domains they controlled.Although the tranquility of Augsburg developed a temporary finish to hostilities, the did not solve the underlying spiritual conflict, which was made yet more complex by the spread of Calvinism transparent Germany in the years the followed.The war began when the newly elected Holy roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, tried to impose spiritual uniformity on his domains, forcing roman inn Catholicism ~ above its peoples, and also the Protestant says banded together to revolt versus him.Key TermsPeace of Augsburg: A treaty between Charles V and also the pressures of Lutheran princes top top September 25, 1555, i m sorry officially finished the spiritual struggle between the two groups and enabled princes in the holy Roman realm to pick which faith would reign in their principality.Ferdinand II: His rule coincided with the Thirty Years’ War and his aim, together a zealous Catholic, to be to regain Catholicism as the just religion in the empire and also suppress Protestantism.


The Thirty Years’ war was a series of wars in main Europe between 1618 and 1648. The was one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in europe history, resulting in millions of casualties.

Initially a war between various Protestant and also Catholic says in the fragmentized Holy roman Empire, the gradually occurred into a more general dispute involving most of the great powers. These claims employed relatively big mercenary armies, and the war became less about religion and more of a continuation of the France-Habsburg rivalry because that European political pre-eminence. In the 17th century, religious beliefs and also practices were a much larger influence on an average European. In the era, almost everyone to be vested ~ above one next of the problem or another.

The war began when the newly elected Holy roman inn Emperor, Ferdinand II, tried to impose spiritual uniformity top top his domains, forcing roman Catholicism on its peoples. The northern Protestant states, angry by the violation the their civil liberties to select granted in the tranquility of Augsburg, banded together to form the protestant Union. Ferdinand II to be a devout roman Catholic and relatively intolerant when contrasted to his predecessor, Rudolf II. His plans were thought about heavily pro-Catholic.

The divine Roman Empire

The divine Roman realm was a fragmented collection of greatly independent states. The position of the holy Roman Emperor was greatly titular, but the emperors, indigenous the residence of Habsburg, also directly ruled a huge portion of imperial territory (lands that the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom the Bohemia), and the Kingdom the Hungary. The Austrian domain was thus a major European strength in its very own right, ruling over some eight million subjects. Another branch of the home of Habsburg subjugated Spain and its empire, which had the Spanish Netherlands, southerly Italy, the Philippines, and also most the the Americas. In addition to Habsburg lands, the divine Roman Empire had several local powers, such as the Duchy the Bavaria, the Electorate the Saxony, the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Electorate that the Palatinate, Landgraviate that Hesse, the Archbishopric that Trier, and also the cost-free Imperial City of Nuremberg.

Peace the Augsburg

After the protestant Reformation, this independent states ended up being divided in between Catholic and Protestant rulership, providing rise to conflict. The tranquility of Augsburg (1555), signed through Charles V, holy Roman Emperor, ended the war in between German Lutherans and also Catholics. The Peace established the rule Cuius regio, eius religio (“Whose realm, his religion”), which allowed Holy Roman empire state princes to choose either Lutheranism or Catholicism in ~ the domain names they controlled, at some point reaffirming the self-reliance they had over their states. Subjects, citizens, or residents who did no wish come conform come a prince’s an option were offered a period in which castle were totally free to emigrate to different regions in i m sorry their preferred religion had been accepted.

Although the peace of Augsburg produced a temporary finish to hostilities, the did not settle the underlying spiritual conflict, which was made however more complex by the spread out of Calvinism transparent Germany in the years the followed. This added a third significant faith come the region, but its place was not known in any method by the Augsburg terms, come which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties.

Religion in the divine Roman Empire, 1618: religion in the divine Roman empire on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War. Blues show Catholic regions and red/orange show Protestant (including Lutheran, Calvinist, Hussite, and Reform).

Tension Mount

Religious stress remained solid throughout the second half of the 16th century. The peace of Augsburg started to unravel—some convert bishops refused to offer up your bishoprics, and particular Habsburg and other Catholic rulers the the holy Roman Empire and Spain search to regain the power of Catholicism in the region. This was noticeable from the Cologne battle (1583–1588), in which a dispute ensued when the prince-archbishop the the city, Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg, convert to Calvinism. Together he was an imperial elector, this could have developed a Protestant majority in the college that elected the divine Roman Emperor, a place that Catholics had constantly held.

At the beginning of the 17th century, the Rhine lands and those southern to the Danube were greatly Catholic, if the north was conquered by Lutherans, and specific other areas, such as west-central Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, were conquered by Calvins. Decimal of every creed existed virtually everywhere, however. In part lordships and also cities, the number of Calvinists, Catholics, and also Lutherans were approximately equal.

Much to the consternation of their Spanish judgment cousins, the Habsburg queens who followed Charles V (especially Ferdinand I and also Maximilian II, but likewise Rudolf II and his successor, Matthias) were contents to enable the princes that the realm to select their own religious policies. This rulers avoided spiritual wars within the realm by allowing the various Christian faiths to spread without coercion. This upset those that sought spiritual uniformity. Meanwhile, Sweden and Denmark, both Lutheran kingdoms, seek to help the Protestant cause in the Empire, and also wanted to obtain political and also economic affect there as well.

By 1617, the was obvious that Matthias, holy Roman Emperor and King that Bohemia, would certainly die without an heir, through his lands going to his nearest masculine relative, his cousin Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria, heir-apparent and also Crown Prince of Bohemia.

War division Out

Ferdinand II, educated by the Jesuits, was a staunch Catholic that wanted come impose religious uniformity top top his lands. This made him very unpopular in protestant Bohemia. The population’s sentiments notwithstanding, the included insult of the nobility’s refusal of Ferdinand, who had actually been chosen Bohemian Crown Prince in 1617, triggered the Thirty Years’ war in 1618, when his representatives were thrown out of a window and seriously injured. The so-called Defenestration that Prague provoked open up revolt in Bohemia, which had an effective foreign allies. Ferdinand to be upset by this calculated insult, however his intolerant policies in his own lands had actually left that in a weak position. The Habsburg cause in the next couple of years would seem to suffer unrecoverable reverses. The Protestant cause seemed to wax toward a quick in its entirety victory.

The war can be separated into four major phases: The Bohemian Revolt, the Danish intervention, the swedish intervention, and also the French intervention.


Ferdinand II: Ferdinand II, holy Roman Emperor and King that Bohemia, who aim, as a zealous Catholic, to be to regain Catholicism as the only religion in the empire and also suppress Protestantism, and also whose actions helped precipitate the Thirty Years’ War.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsSince 1526, the Kingdom the Bohemia had been governed by Catholic Habsburg emperors who to be tolerant that their mainly Protestant subjects.Toward the finish his reign, Emperor Matthias, establish he would die without an heir, arranged for his lands to walk to his nearest masculine relative, the staunchly Catholic Archduke Ferdinand II the Austria.Protestants in Bohemia to be wary of Ferdinand reversing the spiritual tolerance and freedom formerly created by the peace of Augsburg.In 1618, Ferdinand’s imperial representatives were thrown the end of a window and seriously hurt in the so-called Defenestration that Prague, i m sorry provoked open up Protestant revolt in Bohemia.The dispute culminated after several battles in the final fight of White Mountain, where the Protestants suffered a decisive defeat. This started re-Catholicization of the Czech lands, but additionally triggered the Thirty Years’ War, which infect the remainder of Europe and also devastated substantial areas of main Europe, including the Czech lands.Key TermsBohemian Revolt: an uprising that the Bohemian estates versus the dominance of the Habsburg dynasty.defenestration: The act of throw someone the end of a window.


In 1555, the tranquility of Augsburg had actually settled religious disputes in the divine Roman empire by enshrining the rule of Cuius regio, eius religio, enabling a prince to recognize the religion of his subjects. Because 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia had been governed by Habsburg emperors who go not force their Catholic religious beliefs on their mostly Protestant subjects. In 1609, Rudolf II, divine Roman Emperor and King the Bohemia (1576–1612), increased Protestant rights. He was increasingly viewed as unfit to govern, and also other members that the Habsburg dynasty declared his younger brother, Matthias, come be family head in 1606. Top top Rudolf’s death, Matthias prospered in the rule of Bohemia.

Without heirs, Emperor Matthias search to guarantee an orderly transition during his life time by having his dynastic succession (the fiercely Catholic Ferdinand the Styria, later Ferdinand II, divine Roman Emperor) elected to the separate royal thrones of Bohemia and Hungary. Ferdinand to be a proponent the the Catholic Counter-Reformation, and also not well-disposed to Protestantism or Bohemian freedoms. Some of the Protestant leaders of Bohemia fear they would be losing the religious rights granted come them by Emperor Rudolf II in his Letter of Majesty (1609). They desired the protestant Frederick V, Elector the the Palatinate (successor that Frederick IV, the creator of the good news Union). However, various other Protestants sustained the stance taken by the Catholics, and in 1617 Ferdinand to be duly chosen by the Bohemian mansions to end up being the Crown Prince and, instantly upon the fatality of Matthias, the next King that Bohemia.

The Defenestration the Prague

The king-elect then sent two Catholic councillors (Vilem Slavata that Chlum and Jaroslav Borzita of Martinice) as his representatives to Hradčany lock in Prague in might 1618. Ferdinand had actually wanted lock to provide the federal government in his absence. On might 23, 1618, an assembly of Protestants seized them and also threw them (and likewise secretary Philip Fabricius) the end of the palace window, i beg your pardon was some sixty-nine feet off the ground. Remarkably, despite injured, they survived. This event, recognized as the Defenestration of Prague, started the Bohemian Revolt. Shortly afterward, the Bohemian dispute spread through every one of the Bohemian Crown, including Bohemia, Silesia, Upper and also Lower Lusatia, and Moravia. Moravia was currently embroiled in a conflict between Catholics and Protestants. The religious conflict at some point spread across the totality continent that Europe, including France, Sweden, and also a number of other countries.


Defenestration of Prague: A later on woodcut of the Defenestration that Prague in 1618, which motivated the Thirty Years’ War.


Immediately after the defenestration, the protestant estates and Catholic Habsburgs began gathering allies because that war. After the fatality of Matthias in 1619, Ferdinand II was chosen Holy roman Emperor. In ~ the very same time, the Bohemian estates deposed Ferdinand as King the Bohemia (Ferdinand continued to be emperor, because the titles room separate) and also replaced him v Frederick V, Elector Palatine, a leading Calvinist and also son-in-law that the good news James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, and also Ireland.

Because castle deposed a properly preferred king, the Protestants might not conference the worldwide support they essential for war. Just two years after the Defenestration the Prague, Ferdinand and also the Catholics regained power in the fight of White mountain on November 8, 1620. This became known as the an initial battle in the Thirty Years’ War.

This was a severe blow to protestant ambitions in the region. As the rebellion collapsed, the extensive confiscation of property and also suppression of the Bohemian the aristocracy ensured the country would return to the Catholic side after more than 2 centuries of good news dissent.

There was plundering and also pillaging in Prague because that weeks following the battle. Several months later, twenty-seven nobles and citizens to be tortured and also executed in the Old city Square. Twelve of their heads were impaled on stole hooks and also hung from the leg Tower as a warning. This also contributed to catalyzing the Thirty Years’ War.

Danish Intervention

After the Bohemian revolt was suppressed by Ferdinand II, the Danish king, Christian IV, fearing that current Catholic successes intimidated his sovereignty as a good news nation, led troops against Ferdinand.

Key Takeaways

Key PointsAfter the Defenestration the Prague and also the occurring Bohemian Revolt, the Protestants warred through the Catholic league until the previous were firmly defeated at the battle of Stadtlohn in 1623.With news of the outcome getting to Frederick V the the Palatinate, the king was compelled to sign an armistice with divine Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, thus ending the “Palatine Phase” the the Thirty Years’ War.Peace was quick lived; the Danish duchy, under the dominance of Christian IV, rallied troops to assistance the Protestants versus Ferdinand.Ferdinand received support indigenous Albrecht von Wallenstein, who led troops to loss Christian IV’s army.With one more military success for the Catholics, Ferdinand II took earlier several good news holdings and also declared the Edict the Restitution in an effort to gain back the spiritual and territorial situations reached in the peace of Augsburg.Key TermsEdict that Restitution: Oassed eleven years right into the Thirty Years’ War, this edict was a belated attempt by Ferdinand II come impose and restore the spiritual and territorial situations reached in the tranquility of Augsburg (1555).


After the Defenestration the Prague and also the taking place Bohemian Revolt, the Protestants warred v the Catholic organization until the previous were firmly defeated at the battle of Stadtlohn in 1623. After ~ this catastrophe, Frederick V, already in exile in The Hague, and also under growing pressure indigenous his father-in-law, James I, to end his joining in the war, was forced to abandon any hope the launching further campaigns. The good news rebellion had been crushed. Frederick was compelled to authorize an armistice with divine Roman Emperor Ferdinand II, thus finishing the “Palatine Phase” that the Thirty Years’ War.

Dutch Intervention

Peace complying with the royal victory in ~ Stadtlohn proved brief lived, with dispute resuming at the initiation that Denmark. Danish involvement, referred to as the low Saxon War, began when Christian IV that Denmark, a Lutheran who also ruled as battle each other of Holstein, a duchy within the divine Roman Empire, aided the Lutheran rulers the neighboring reduced Saxony by top an army against Ferdinand II’s imperial forces in 1625. Denmark had actually feared that the recent Catholic successes threatened its sovereignty together a protestant nation.

Christian IV had profited significantly from his policies in north Germany. Because that instance, in 1621, Hamburg had been forced to expropriate Danish sovereignty. Denmark’s King Christian IV had obtained for his kingdom a level that stability and also wealth that was essentially unmatched somewhere else in Europe. Denmark to be funded by tolls ~ above the Oresund and additionally by comprehensive war reparations from Sweden.

Denmark’s cause was aided by France, which along with Charles I had actually agreed to aid subsidize the war, no the least since Christian to be a blood uncle come both the Stuart king and his sisters Elizabeth that Bohemia through their mother, anne of Denmark. Some 13,700 Scottish soldiers under the command of general Robert Maxwell, 1st Earl that Nithsdale, were sent as allies to aid Christian IV. Moreover, some 6,000 English troops under Charles Morgan likewise eventually arrived to bolster the defense the Denmark, despite it took much longer for them to arrive than Christian had actually hoped, due partially to the ongoing British campaigns versus France and also Spain. Thus, Christian, as war-leader of the reduced Saxon Circle, gotten in the war through an military of just 20,000 mercenaries, few of his allies from England and Scotland, and a national military 15,000 strong, top them as battle each other of Holstein rather than as King the Denmark.

War Ensues

To hit Christian, Ferdinand II work the military aid of Albrecht von Wallenstein, a Bohemian nobleman who had made himself rich from the confiscated mansions of his protestant countrymen. Wallenstein pledged his army, i m sorry numbered in between 30,000 and 100,000 soldiers, come Ferdinand II in return because that the ideal to plunder the caught territories. Christian, who knew nothing of Wallenstein’s pressures when that invaded, was compelled to retire prior to the combined forces of Wallenstein and Tilly. Christian’s crashes continued when all of the allies he assumed he had were forced aside: France was in the midst of a polite war, Sweden was at war v the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and also neither Brandenburg no one Saxony to be interested in transforms to the tenuous peace in eastern Germany. Moreover, no of the considerable British contingents arrived gradually to prevent Wallenstein’s defeat of Mansfeld’s army at the fight of Dessau bridge (1626) or Tilly’s victory at the fight of Lutter (1626). Mansfeld died some months later of illness, supposedly tuberculosis, in Dalmatia.

Wallenstein’s military marched north, occupying Mecklenburg, Pomerania, and Jutland itself, but proved can not to take the Danish capital, Copenhagen, ~ above the island that Zealand. Wallenstein lacked a fleet, and also neither the Hanseatic ports nor the Poles would allow the building of an imperial fleet on the Baltic coast. He climate laid siege come Stralsund, the only belligerent Baltic harbor with enough facilities to build a big fleet; it soon came to be clear, however, that the expense of continuing the war would far outweigh any type of gains from overcoming the remainder of Denmark. Wallenstein feared shedding his northern German gains to a Danish-Swedish alliance, when Christian IV had suffered an additional defeat in the battle of Wolgast (1628); both were prepared to negotiate.

See more: 700 Ml Equals How Many Ounces, Convert 700 Millilitres To Fluid Ounces

Negotiations and the Edict that Restitution

Negotiations concluded with the contract of Lübeck in 1629, which stated that Christian IV might retain control over Denmark (including the duchies that Sleswick and also Holstein) if he would certainly abandon his assistance for the protestant German states. Thus, in the adhering to two years, the Catholic powers subjugated much more land. In ~ this point, the Catholic League encouraged Ferdinand II come take earlier the Lutheran holdings the were, according to the peace of Augsburg, rightfully the possession that the Catholic Church. Enumerated in the Edict of Restitution (1629), these possessions contained two archbishoprics, 16 bishoprics, and hundreds the monasteries. In the very same year, Gabriel Bethlen, the Calvinist prince the Transylvania, died. Just the port of Stralsund continued to hold out against Wallenstein and the emperor, having been bolstered by Scottish “volunteers” that arrived from the Swedish army to support their countrymen already there in the organization of Denmark.