Ratification of the Peace of Münster (Gerard ter Borch, Münster, 1648)
On today's date in 1648 treaties known as "The Peace of Westphalia" that ended the famous Thirty Years' War were signed. With these treaties are said to be born Public International Law, the starting point of International Relations studies, and that of the "theory of balance of power".
A simplified map of Europe after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
The Westphalia agreements were carried out in two conferences:
1. The agreement of Osnabrück, where Protestant Swedes negotiated with the Holy Roman Empire. In other words, it was the agreement between Catholics and Protestants.
Gerard Terborch's Treaty of Westphalia depicts the signing of the landmark accords.
2. The agreement in Münster, where Catholics States met. The Spanish monarchy reached an agreement with the United Provinces (Netherlands) to recognize the independence led by the Netherlands and which ended the political-territorial war between these Provinces and Spain. Additionally, a second Münster agreement made peace between France and the Holy Roman Empire. That is, an agreement between Catholics States.
The agreements signed in Münster and Osnabrück are known in history with the generic name of the Peace of Westphalia.
Allegory of the Peace of Westphalia by Jacob Jordaens, 1654
The Peace of Westphalia marked the end of military conflicts appeared as a result of the Protestant Reformation and Counter-Reformation. From the time of Martin Luther, the European wars raged for both geopolitical and religious grounds. After the Peace of Westphalia, religion ceased to be wielded as a “casus belli”. Notwithstanding the provisions tried a religious coexistence, intransigence forced into exile in practice to those who did not adopt the ruling.