Why is the Thirty Years War Relevant Today?

The Thirty Years War most often thought to be just a war between the Protestants and Catholics, was in actuality a devastation for a large part of Central Europe. It was composed of a series of smaller wars between the Holy Roman Empire and neighboring Sweden, France and Spain. It lead to an unimaginable devastation to German people( The Holy Roman Empire). I’ll put the devastation in comprehensible terms, According to Historytoday.com the average rural area lost 40% of its inhabitants, while the average city lost a third of its population. Their of course are some outlying cases such as Magdeburg, where a reported population of 35,000 in the 1618 census was reduced to a population of 2,464 in the 1644 census. For Germany this is one of the most devastating wars in their history, but why is that relevant to us the average american whom doesn’t really put much value of which wars another country finds the most devastating, ours will most likely always be the American Civil War, but that’s besides the point.  One of the real way in which it continues to affect our everyday life, was created in the Treaty of Westphalia, the peace making process in the Thirty Years War. 
    The peace conference from which the treaty was made was composed of delegates representing no less than 194 states. It was the birth place of Westphalian Diplomacy which was heavily used post WW1 and WW2. It continued the soldiers transition from the once mythic pursuit of kleos to the lust for victory culminating in the modern hope for a favorable peace. The Thirty Years War therefore changed the face of warfare, therefore changing our lives for the foreseeable warring future. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s