Germany 1648 CE

Germany has experienced the terrible 30 Years War.

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What is happening in Germany in 1648CE

In 1519, a monk called Martin Luther protested against abuses in the Church. This protest gathered a momentum of its own, sparking off that great episode in European history known as the Reformation.  With the Holy Roman emperor, Charles V, seeking to uphold the Catholic Church, Germany descended into war. The Peace of Augsburg (1555) restored peace with the compromise that Germans must either be Catholic or Lutheran; nothing else. Their religion depended upon that of their prince – if he was a Catholic, so must they be, if a Lutheran, they also.

Continuing tensions between the Hapsburg emperors seeking to impose Catholicism (and a more centralized control over the empire), and the German princes wishing to preserve their religious and political autonomy, led to the outbreak of the Thirty Years War in 1618. The war drew in many European powers, and German and foreign armies ravaged Germany. Perhaps a third of the German population perished.

The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) has at last ended the fighting. Its many clauses include formal recognition for the 365 German principalities as autonomous states. Any remaining imperial power, on the part of the Holy Roman emperor, is now at an end, though he remains a figure of outstanding prestige within European politics.

Next map, Germany in 1789

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