"I Loved War Too Much": The Peace of Westphalia's Attempt at Pragmatic International Relations


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In 1648, the Thirty Years War ended and brought about multiple treaties that culminated in the Peace of Westphalia. The Peace of Westphalia ended war with religious intent, and solidified the Germanic Estates pursuit of sovereignty in Europe. The overarching themes of the Treaty held significance but the Treaty itself held more significance than grandiose ideals. The Articles and the precedent set by the plenipotentiaries of the Peace described international relations for Europe. The leaders of the Peace talks understood the conditions of European politics and the war that ravaged the continent. Europe, created in 1648, aspired not only to function under war, but also to prosper in these conditions. The Treaty of Westphalia reconstructed European relations economically and politically. The Peace affected Europe drastically and set precedent for future peace agreements. Following the Treaty of Westphalia, Europe designed to handle war, a Europe designed to function in war, a Europe designed for war. The Peace of Westphalia finally ended religious control over international relations and created a new diplomatic framework for Europe.